30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Card Shows & Card Budgets Don't Get Along

Earlier this month... I created several hobby goals for 2012. One of them was to create a cardboard budget and stick to it... so I decided on $150/month would be more than sufficient.

I was wrong.

There are still three days left in January... and I'm way over budget. I've been documenting ever purchase I've made down to the last penny, so I knew heading into Saturday's card show at Serramonte Mall that I had to keep my spending to a minimum. Which is why I only brought $40 to the show.

At first... that was more than plenty. But by the end of the day, I had to take a trip down to the ATM... but in my opinion... it was worth every step. Let's get started.

Purchase#1: 40 cards for $4

First stop... Max & his 10¢ bins. I spent about 45 minutes sifting through his boxes and ended up picking up forty cards. There weren't any huge finds this time... but I was able to add a couple of cards to 90's insert binders.

Purchase #2: 24 cards for $8

Right next to Max's table were these guys selling figures. They had one small shoebox with toploaders marked 3 for $1. I was pretty stoked to find some cool Kobe inserts & rookies, along with some MJ baseball cards. I didn't bother to show the other six cards, because they were duplicates of the Kobe rookie cards. Who in the world sells Kobe rookie cards for 33¢ each?

Purchase #3: 2010 McFarlane "Cooperstown Series #7" Tony Gwynn $5

This was one of those damn impulse buys. I already have this figure displayed on my Padres shelf. But for the price, I just couldn't pass it up. Actually this show had a bunch of toy dealers and there were tons of bargains to be had... but I resisted temptation.

Purchase #4: 10 cards for $20

I've been wanting to add a LaDainian Tomlinson rookie card to my collection... and now I have two. I rarely look in people's display cases, but this guy had a sign advertising 5 cards for $10 on every card in the case. He had a bunch of cool, older WWE relic cards... so I jumped on those as well. My favorite is easily the Trish Stratus shiny dress card. Damn she's hot.

Purchase #5: GPK Collection & Oakland A's Helmet $90

By the time I strolled across this guy... I had three bucks in my pocket with no intention to spend anymore. He had vintage souvenir baseball helmets: the ones you could purchase from ball parks back in the 70's. He wanted $20 for the Oakland A's helmet and proceeded to give me the rundown on their history. I actually remember these from when I was a kid.

But what really caught my eye was a binder filled with Garbage Pail Kids from the 80's. It contained 9 complete sets (Series 2 through Series 10). Actually, the Series 4 set is missing five cards but I'll talk about that in a future post. He wanted $100 for the binder... which I thought was reasonable. After some wheeling & dealing and a quick trip to the bank... we agreed on $90 for the pair.

This is easily my favorite purchase of the show... so I'll post more about it later this week.

Purchase #6: 3 cards for $5

After lunch, I made one more pass through the show and ran across the guy selling stuff next to me at the DeAnza Flea Market back in November. We talked for about 10 minutes while I sifted through his stuff. I'm a huge fan of rookie card refractors and McFadden is one of the best backs in the game (when he's healthy). The Couch/McNown dual autograph fits well in my Sports Card Bust PC. And the low numbered rookie parallel of Gramatica will look nice with the jersey card I showed off last week.

I'm always looking to hear your feedback on my purchases.

Which was your favorite? Least favorite?

Remember... I'm a big boy... your opinions won't hurt my feelings. Personally... I sort of regret picking up the Gwynn McFarlane, since I don't really need two. Maybe I'll bring this one into my classroom.

And I didn't have to think twice about my favorite. I'm stoked about the GPK binder. A purchase I'll remember for years.

Well... I hope all of you had a great weekend. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Sayonara!

Extra Edition

Outside of buying cases of 2008 UD Masterpieces Football, 2008-09 Topps Signature Basketball, and 2009-10 Bowman 48 Basketball... this is easily the most I've spent on cardboard in a single month since the 90's. I will not be doing this again anytime soon!


  1. Favorite is DEFINITELY the McNown/Couch dual auto. That is just too awesome, especially at the price you paid!

    Least favorite is the Gwynn. I hate doubles lol.

  2. I love the purchase of the A's helmet. You should wear it to some games in Oakland. I am going to look into picking up a Dodger helmet for this season now.

  3. The A's helmet is awesome. You should try to get it signed.

  4. If you have any extra of those Kobe Hoops or Fleer Metal cards, I'd gladly send you a tomlinson rookie and other charger cards!

  5. Purchase 1 - was favorite - Love the Bubba Franks card.

    Puraches 2 - least favorite - those cards look bland

  6. Without a doubt my favorite was the steal for the Gwynn. A nice looking early Padre uniform is the clincher. You make me jealous when you show them off.

  7. spastik - i agree... why the duck do i need two copies of an overproduced mcfarlane? most likely, it's headed for display in my classroom.

    spiegel83 - i totally will wear it to games this year!

    the lost collector - that's a good idea too... but it'd have to be someone like reggie, rollie, or (joe) rudi.

    andrew - sorry... i pc kobe... and now that i have 3 tomlinson rookies (i just remembered that i have a graded copy too), i pretty much have my fill of him.

    john - heck yeah... it's already hanging out with a bunch of my other packers refractors.

    mariner1 - it's funny... i think i bought it b/c it was so cheap. i think i paid $11 (+ tax) for the first piece... so now it averages things out to around $8.50 per figure... which is not as depressing.

  8. Hey,

    I have been casually following your blog for awhile now. I'm also in the Bay and was wondering where you find out about local card shows coming. I never seem to know and always miss out! Thanks!

  9. anonymous - my buddy usually sets up at these shows, so he tells me the week before. there are a few big ones that come the bay area each year:

    tristar & gtsm

    if you browse their websites from time to time... they'll let you know when they're coming to the bay area.

  10. Two comments:

    I'm still seeking out my very own Tony Gwynn Cooperstown McFarlane. Sure, they're all over Ebay for $18, but having found the Trevor Hoffman for under $10, I haven't been able to just spend the money yet.

    Love what appears to be the binder cover to your Garbage Pail Kids collection. That's either Bony Tony or Unzipped Zack on the cover...old-school favorites.

    1. For a while, there were tons of the Gwynn pieces at my local Toys R Us... so check there. You might just get lucky.

      That GPK is one of my favorite purchases... it's a shame that it's part of the collection that's stored at my parents. I'd love to flip through it right now.