30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nifty 90's Nostalgia #8: Baseball Cards Magazine

Sports cards and the 90's... love it or hate it... the "junk wax era" has left it's mark on a lot of our collections.
The decade showcased the hobby's most creative technologies and innovative products. My collecting experiences during this era taught me to collect for enjoyment, not for investment.

And last, but not least... the 90's introduced the internet to my parent's household... and with that it changed the way I buy, sell, and trade collectibles. I started on the AOL message boards and today, you can find me trading in a couple of different sports card forums.

The internet has made it a lot easier to find the "white whales" that were hiding in collections across the country. It's also saved me hundreds of dollars, by allowing me to watch videos of people busting boxes... so that I don't have to.

But with the development of the internet age... I've also seen the decline of newsprint publications, especially in our hobby. I'm not talking about Beckett and their grasp on our hobby. I understand that they're doing just fine... and they were actually smart enough to invest in a variety of media forms.

However today, I want to take the time to recognize another sports card magazine. This weekend I purchased four different issues of a magazine called Baseball Cards. I'm currently reading the January 1991 issue with Jose Canseco on the cover and have been completely blown away with what I've seen so far.

It has thirteen multi-page articles, including interviews with Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams. Plus there's a reader's reaction section, a collector's Q & A section, a classified section, and of course a baseball card price guide. It's 222 pages of hobby heaven. Okay... I should also point out that half of the pages are advertisements... but I've had just as much fun reading these and comparing today's market prices to the ones in the magazine.

And I almost forgot to mention... every issue of Baseball Cards came with free cards. I'm missing three of the cards from this magazine... but the original owner did leave these three:

In 2000, Krause Publications (who produced Baseball Cards) purchased Tuff Stuff Magazine from Landmark Communications and decided to merge the two magazines under the Tuff Stuff name. I had a subscription to Tuff Stuff for many years and could see many similarities between it and my copy of Baseball Cards. But Tuff Stuff had nowhere near the number of quality articles that Baseball Cards magazine did, so I eventually canceled my subscription... just like I've done with most of the Beckett magazines. I just didn't feel I was getting my money's worth out of these publications.

However... if Krause Publications still produced Baseball Cards (like they did back in the early 90's), I'd be first in line for a subscription. I guess my father was right again... "they just don't make them like they used to".

If you have the opportunity to pick any of these older issues of Baseball Cards, I would encourage you to do so. It's like taking a trip back into the past... more specifically... a trip back to the "junk wax era".

Which brings me to today's question of the day.

If you could bring one thing back from the 90's (it doesn't have to be sports card related)... what would it be?

Besides my new, favorite magazine... I'd have to say high quality "rap". It's not that I don't appreciate today's artists... because I'm actually pretty open minded when it comes to music. I listen to everything from Rascal Flatts to Katy Perry to Bruno Mars to Justin Bieber... just kidding...no JB for this guy.

But today's rappers just don't compare to the likes of Biggie, Tupac, & Dr. Dre... as well as groups like the A Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets. These artists along with a host of others made "rap" my choice of music during the 90's.

Alright... it's your turn. I can't wait to read your responses. Happy hump day... and sayonara!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Flea Market Finds #10

When: Sunday, June 26th
Where: Capitol Flea Market
What: LaserDiscs, some magazines, & a box of 1991/92 Pro Set Soccer cards
How Much: $7.50

I have three major flea markets in my area. There's the De Anza Flea Market, which is held on the first Saturday of every month. This is one of the nicer flea markets I've been too. Vendors have a lot of older stuff, but they're items that may be considered collectible by some. It's sort of like going to a garage sale in a middle class neighborhood.

Then you have the Berryessa Flea Market. This one has a lot of newer items. You can find everything from fake basketball jerseys to toothbrushes to furniture at this flea market. It's not my cup of tea, since if I want new stuff... I'll just head over to Target or Walmart. I might attend this flea market once every other year... usually for the exercise.

Finally... there's the Capitol Flea Market. If you're looking for stained stuffed animals, dirty old shoes, or somebody's old crap... then this is the place for you. It defies all logic, but I love going here.

I'll usually go 5 to 7 times a year. Most of the time, I come home with nothing. But every now and then... I'll find a hidden gem.

Today was not one of those days. In fact, I spent more on my lunch... then my total purchases combined. It's okay though... I was able to get some exercise and a few items from my college years.

Purchase #1: Star Wars Trilogy on LaserDisc $3

I remember my buddy Chris had one of these players when we were in elementary school. We were all envious of him, because he watched movies on these shiny, fancy discs... while the rest of us watched them on VHS and Betamax tapes. I've slowly built up a small collection of these over the years, even though I don't own a player. One of these days, I hope to frame a few of these and hang them up in my place.

Purchase #2: 4 issues of Baseball Cards Magazine & a Mike Tyson Sports Illustrated $1.50

There were a few vendors who had baseball cards today. The guy I purchased these from had a bunch of cards from the early 90's, but I didn't see anything of interest. But I did come across two boxes full of magazines. One was full of Sports Illustrated magazines and the other had about 10 copies of Baseball Cards, which was a price guide magazine from the early 90's.

He had a bunch of cool Sports Illustrated magazines from the 80's, some of which I considered picking up... but was too lazy to carry them around. But when I saw this Mike Tyson issue from 1986, I knew I had to have it. The box was labeled $1/each, but he gave it to me for fifty cents, because the cover had been sliced by a box cutter. It's his first SI cover appearance and looks sweet.

I used to watch Tyson dominate opponents in the late 80's and early 90's with one of my buddies who's a huge fan of Iron Mike. Since I have a few extra frames laying around, I decided to mount the cover and give it to him.

The guy at the flea market also had a box with about 10 issues of Baseball Cards. It's a magazine that is similar to Tuff Stuff. He wanted a quarter a piece, so I picked out the four covers I liked the most. I figure it's entertaining toilet bowl reading. Plus... it's a look back into the Junk Wax era.

Purchase #3: Wax Box of 1991-92 Pro Set Soccer $3

I came across this box on my way out. This guy had a bunch of random stuff and in the middle of it was this box of cards. It's funny, because he didn't have anything else relating to sports. In honor of the Gold Cup Final and the women's World Cup, I decided to inquire about the box. He wanted $3, which is less than 10 cents a pack (there's 48 packs per box) and the rest is history.

As soon as I got home, I busted the box. Pro Set products might have been overproduced, but I'm still a huge fan of their work. The box produced almost two complete sets (I'm missing 6 cards: 15, 103, 152, 192, 202, 207 for my 2nd set) and had amazing collation.

After busting 30 packs, I started sorting the cards to see if I had a set yet. I came up 9 cards short. I slowly busted the remaining packs hoping to complete the set with a few packs to spare, so I could give them away in this contest. Unfortunately, I pulled card #202 in the 48th pack of the box.

If I can find the last 6 cards for my 2nd set, I'll give it away in the contest. But don't get your hopes up. I'm not sure I'll be able to find too many people with singles of this product laying around.

So there you have it. I spent $7.50 (+ $1.75 admission) on stuff I don't necessarily need. Don't get the wrong idea though... I'm happy with my purchases.

Sunday's question of the day... is sort of a contest. In one of the magazines I purchased, there's a company that was selling a Muhammad Ali autographed boxing glove (not a pair).

How much do you think the advertised price was?

The first person to post the correct answer will earn 5 points.

If nobody guesses it correctly, then the person who's closest without going over wins. If by chance more than one person correctly picks the answer, the person who posted first will win the 3 points. Everyone else who guesses will receive the usual 1 point.

Well... I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I'll be posting a contest update in the next hour or so. Sayonara!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sayonara Salute #10: Devin Setoguchi

Each year fans have to deal with the possibility of their favorite players on their favorite teams being traded. I've dealt with my share of heartache... and although I might be used to it... I'm not going to lie... it still sucks. Some are more painful than others... but it seems like the first time and the most recent hurt the most.

1984 - Rickey Henderson traded by the Oakland A's to the New York Yankees.

1992 - Jose Canseco traded by the Oakland A's to the Texas Rangers

1993 - Rickey Henderson traded by the Oakland A's (AGAIN) to the Toronto Blue Jays.

1996 - Tim Hardaway traded by the Golden State Warriors to the Miami Heat.

1997 - Mark McGwire traded by the Oakland A's to the St. Louis Cardinals

1998 - Nick Van Exel traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Denver Nuggets.

1999 - Eddie Jones traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Charlotte Hornets.

2000 - Joey Galloway traded by the Seattle Seahawks to the Dallas Cowboys.

2001 - Jeff Friesen traded by the San Jose Sharks to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

2004 - Shaquille O'Neal traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Miami Heat.

2008 - Brett Favre traded by the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets.

2010 - Adrian Gonzalez traded by the San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox.

And now we can add this one to the list:

2011 - Devin Setoguchi traded by the San Jose Sharks to the Minnesota Wild.

After Jeff Friesen was traded in 2001... it seemed natural that Patrick Marleau would take his spot as my favorite San Jose Shark. Both Friesen and Marleau were solid players and at the same time humble fan favorites.

Then in 2007, a 20 year old half Japanese guy suited up and scored 2 goals in the 2007-08 season opener and his first regular season game as a San Jose Shark. He went on to score 7 goals and 1 assist in his first nine games as a Shark. And from that moment forward... I had a new favorite player: Devin Setoguchi.

Now... I know this sounds bad... like I dropped Marleau like a bad habit. Okay... before I continue on about Seto... let me just say this: I've never stopped liking Patty. When many San Jose fans started saying Marleau should be traded... I always stood by him and said he's one of the leaders on the team and I hope he stays a Shark for life.

But let's face the facts... there just aren't a lot of hockey players who are Japanese. And the handful of players who are don't play for the Sharks. Plus... Setoguchi fit the perfect hobby image for me. He was good, but not great. Which meant that he was readily available, but affordable. Plus he was exciting to watch... when he was on his game.

Unfortunately... he was also very inconsistent... know for his goal scoring streaks... and sadly... his goal scoring droughts. Which is why his name has been in trade rumors for the past two seasons.

Then... two days ago he signed a three year contract extension, which definitely brought a smile to my face. I figured the Sharks were happy with his playoff performance that included 7 goals (two were overtime winners).

Sadly... this was just a tease... because Seto was traded yesterday to the Minnesota Wild for blueliner Brent Burns. The Sharks definitely needed a solid blueliner and Burns is just that. So as a fan of the San Jose Sharks, I understand why they did it.

But as a fan of Devin Setoguchi... this has seriously bummed me out.

So here is today's question of the day:

Have you ever been bummed out, because your favorite team traded your favorite player?

If so... who was it? Do you still collect him/her?

By the way... I'll still be collecting Setoguchi. If there's something positive to come out of this trade... it's the fact there'll be Sharks fans dumping their Setoguchi cards at blowout prices.

So here's my sayonara salute to #16. I wish you the best of luck in Minnesota and will be cheering you on anytime you're not suiting up against the Sharks.

Have a great weekend everyone! Sayonara!

Friday, June 24, 2011

MVP (My Vintage Pick-ups) #1: Rose, Ryan, & Robinson

I've been collecting cards off and on for 30 years now... and during that time my interests and goals have changed more times than Brett Favre's decision to retire.

Once upon a time... I collected sports cards as an investment. Sadly... when I sold off the majority of my collection ten years ago... I took a huge loss... but at least I was able to buy a place. That experience has definitely made an impact on the way I collect today. Sure there is a part of me that looks for a good deal that I can one day flip and make a profit. But these days... I mostly collect cards that interest me... and don't put too much emphasis on investment.

Rookies, inserts, parallels, autographs, memorabilia cards, and vintage cards have all at one time or another been an interest of mine. These days, when it comes to my player & team PC's, I mainly trade for autographs and memorabilia cards.

But... I actually collect all of the above. I just don't bother to really trade for the other stuff, because these days I can pick up rookies, inserts, parallels, and vintage cards at unbelievable prices online. As we all know... most autographs and memorabilia cards values have softened as well... but from my experience, not quite as much as the others.

I was actually quite shocked to see how affordable vintage cards of star players have become. I actually stopped collecting vintage years ago, because I just couldn't afford the cards I wanted.

Then... I started searching for certain cards on COMC and boy was I surprised with what I found. I was able to find a bunch of cards at really affordable prices. Now before I show off My Vintage Pick-ups (MVP)... let me just say one thing: I know the condition of these cards are not the greatest... but for the price I paid... I could care less.

1960 Topps #335 Red Schoendienst
1956 Topps #228 Mickey Vernon
1961 Topps #297 Kansas City Athletics

1965 Topps #383 Felipe Alou
1977 Topps #70 Johnny Bench
1976 Topps #600 Tom Seaver

1974 Topps #55 Frank Robinson
1969 Topps #385 Orlando Cepeda
1976 Topps #355 Steve Carlton
1977 Topps #650 Nolan Ryan

1978 Topps #20 Pete Rose
1965 Topps Embossed #58 Ernie Banks
1975 Topps #260 Johnny Bench

1970 Topps #10 Bob Griese
1971 Topps #3 Marty Schottenheimer RC
1971 Topps #100 John Brodie
1971 Topps #10 Lance Alworth

It's nice to know that you can pick up some vintage cards of some HOFers, a few fan favorites, and a team card of your favorite team... for a little over $1 a card.

I won't be putting any of these into my parent's safe, because none of these carry any true monetary value. But the history and memories behind these cards are truly priceless.

There's one more thing that makes cheap, vintage cards sweet. These are going to look much better in a binder on my office bookshelf... which I'm able to pull down whenever I want and enjoy... rather than sitting in a dark box that is over 350 miles away.

Okay... now onto today's contest entry...

Describe one of your PC's.
Why is it special to you?
How long have you been building it?

If your new to my blog... here are a couple of my unusual PC's that I've been putting together:

I've been slowly building my damaged card PC for almost 15 years. Whenever I obtain a damaged card, I add it to the collection. I figure... I can't trade them to other collectors... so I might as well make the most of it. My favorite card is easily the Stan Musial autograph that I pulled from a pack of Donruss Signature years ago.

The sports bust PC is a little newer. This collection was started after I realized nobody wanted to trade for my Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, or Michael Olowokandi autographs. I'd estimate that about 30% of the cards were in my tradebait... and the rest I've picked up at bargain prices. It's a cheap way to collect and have a quick laugh at my cardboard investment failures.

Well... that's it for tonight. Have a good weekend everyone... and thanks again for everyone's participation in this year's contest.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Remember Brandi Chastain?

I've said it before... I don't follow soccer on a regular basis. But over the years, I've slowly warmed up to the sport.

Last summer... I dove head first into the 2010 FIFA Men's World Cup hoopla, cheering for Team USA and the Blue Samurai of Japan. Sadly... both teams were eliminated in the 2nd round.

But that didn't stop me from watching the rest of the tournament, which ended in Spain winning. By the time the tournament was over, I had learned several key names... a few rules... and even discovered my favorite player: Keisuke Honda.

But today's post isn't about him... or men's soccer. It's all about the ladies of futbol.

On Sunday... the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup will kick off in Germany. And just like last year... I'll be pulling for The Yanks and Nadeshiko Japan.

I'm a little embarrassed to say this... but I've been a fan of women's soccer longer than men's soccer. I've been living in theBay Area my whole life... and in 1999... the Women's World Cup craze arrived. Several games were played in Spartan Stadium and the semi-final game involving Team USA was played at Stanford Stadium, so it was impossible not to get swept up in the hype.

The USA vs. Brazil semi-final game in Palo Alto was the first time I ever watched a full soccer game. But that's not the game most Americans remember.

It's the USA vs. China Final's match that most people remember... and more specifically... it's Brandi Chastain scoring the deciding goal in the penalty shootout to win the game for Team USA, then pulling off her jersey in celebration. And although she was already a huge name in soccer... this event made her a household name in the states. The memory was captured on numerous magazines and newspapers throughout the country, including Sports Illustrated:

But... I actually was a fan of Brandi... long before that historic day. I went to high school with her brother Chad and remember seeing her name in San Jose Mercury News since her days at Santa Clara.

Sadly... my only soccer card of her is this 1999 Roox U.S. Women's Soccer card that I picked up a few months after they won the cup.

Then a couple of months ago, I picked up this gem:

It's an autographed Nike soccer ball authenticated by Steiner Sports. If you follow my blog, you might remember my Ryan Miller puck purchase in April. It was part of a 3 autographs for $99 promotion. Well... this Brandi Chastain autograph was the second item in the deal.

I'm currently looking for a reasonably priced soccer ball display, so I can put it up on one of my bookshelves in my office.

Okay... moving on to the contest. Here is today's Question of the Day:

Brandi ChastaText Colorin... along with James Jones (of the Green Bay Packers), Dave Stieb (former pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays), Andre Carter (of the Washington Redskins), and Mark Grieb (of the San Jose Sabercats) are all hometown heroes.

Who are some of your hometown heroes?

Oh... and I almost forgot. I promised to add another prize this week... and here's what I have for you guys.

It's a complete set of 1999 Roox U.S. Women's Soccer cards. The set contains 19 cards and features Mia Hamm, Brianna Scurry, Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy and of course... Chastain. I'm sure it's not for everyone... but the worst case scenario... you use it as trade bait.

I'll cut off the comments for Monday's post right now... but I won't have a contest update until later on this evening.

Well... I'm off to work. Happy hump day and sayonara!