30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, March 31, 2012

PC Addition: Japanese Trading Cards

Yesterday, I wrote about TakaTanakaGiant's "care package" for me & my students.

Today, I'm showing off what I pulled from the stack and added to my collection:

A Trio of 2011 BBM Former MLBers

TakaTanakaGiants shipped a healthy stack of Japanese baseball cards and included some cool parallels and inserts. But the ones I wanted the most were these three, because they all played in the MLB and I figured they'd look cool paired with their rookie cards.

Dynamic Darvish Duo

The card on the left is a subset card from the 2011 BBM set... and the card on the right is a promo card, which also features Norichika Aoki of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Japanese Baseball Team Mascots

I'm a huge fan of MLB mascots... especially Stomper & the Swinging Friar. But the mascots from across the Pacific sure give them a run for their money. These are going straight into my Japanese PC binder.

2010 BBM Sumo Wrestler Cards

I'm a huge fan of odd-balls... and this is the first time I've ever seen sumo cards. I figured my students probably wouldn't appreciate cardboard featuring obese, topless men, in thongs as much as I would. LOL.

2011 BBM Series 2 Wax Pack

Is there another Darvish inside? I'll never know, because this is going straight into my unopened Japanese Wax Pack Collection. This pack is the 33rd one in my collection... but I'm in the process of possibly adding some more in the near future.

1/1 Calligraphy Card

Last, but certainly not least is the awesome one of a kind calligraphy card written by TakaTanakaGiant's wife. Is this awesome or what?

Thanks again TakaTanakaGiants... these are huge additions to my collection.

Happy Saturday... and sayonara!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Domo Arigato: Taka Tanaka-san!

Earlier this month, I met TakaTanakaGiants over on Sports Card Radio Forum in one of the threads and after talking about Japanese baseball cards, he offered to send me some to share with my students. Here's a peek at what he sent:

But if you're interested in seeing everything... just watch this video:

There was a little bit of everything in the package: base cards, parallels, mascots, sumo wrestlers, anime cards, and even a promo card. I asked him if it I could add the mascot cards to my collection and he responded, "do what you'd like with any of the cards".

Well... I hope you don't mind... but I pulled out a few singles from the stack, because they were begging to be added to my collection.

I'll do a special PC Addition post tomorrow, so you can see exactly what I kept. My students won't be shortchanged... I promise. I've already replaced the cards I took out with extras from my Japanese PC.

Oh... he also threw the very cool 1/1 calligraphy card (shown above) personally made for me by his wife. Tell her thank you very much... and let her know that it's now has a permanent spot on my office desk (next to my Kurt Suzuki autographed ball & Kurt Suzuki sketch card... both gifts from fellow bloggers).

Thank you TakaTanakaGiants! Your generosity is much appreciated. I haven't showed them to my students, but when I do... I know they'll think it's cool. Especially those two anime cards.

I'm not sure if you know... but I don't accept "gifts" without returning the favor. I'll be shipping you a package this weekend with some Tony Gwynn cards.

And to everyone else... if you collect Japanese trading cards, I encourage you to check out TakaTanakaGiants's YouTube account or contact him at SCR. He really knows his stuff when it comes to Japanese cardboard. And... he's a class act... who truly cares about the cardboard community.

Happy Friday everyone... and sayonara!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Players I Love to Hate #1: Teemu Selanne

After watching last night's hockey game between the Anaheim Ducks & my beloved San Jose Sharks, I knew I had to start a new series on my blog.

For the 50th time in his career... Teemu Selanne scored a goal against Team Teal... the game winning goal to be specific. The Sharks desperately needed to win last night... and Teemu & the Ducks had nothing to play for, other than to spoil San Jose's playoff hopes.

Gosh... I hate that guy. Okay, maybe I'm being a little dramatic. I don't really "hate" Selanne, but I can't really say I "like" him either. The guy has made a career of destroying the team I love. In fact, I wasn't even a fan of Selanne when the Sharks traded for him in 2001... because they traded away my favorite player:

Teemu... if you're reading this right now. Do me a favor and just retire already. I'm begging you!

Are there any athletes that "destroy" your team(s) on a regular basis?

Happy Thursday everyone... and sayonara!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1991 Redemption Cards?

Anyone else remember the trading card company known as Wild Card?

If you're unfamiliar with
Wild Card... they entered the hobby in 1991 and produced collegiate basketball, collegiate football, and NFL trading cards. One of the things that separated them from other products was their "Stripe Redemption Program"... where they randomly inserted cards with stripes into packs, like this one:

Stripes came in denominations of: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 1000. When you pulled one of these cards, you could redeem them for multiple copies of the specified card. For example, if you sent in the above Larry Johnson card, Wild Card would send you 20 copies of the same card, but without the stripes. Obviously, the higher the number, the rarer the card.

These days,
1000 stripe cards still command a decent dime on eBay. Example: a 1991 Derrick Thomas 1000 stripe recently sold for $51.

Another cardboard concept that made
Wild Card unique were their use of "wild cards" or "surprise cards". These cards were issued as part of the base set, but collectors had the opportunity to redeem them for special cards or sets.

For example... collectors who pulled and redeemed the above "wild card", received a special ten card set which commemorated Super Bowl XXVI:

126A Mark Rypien, 126B Rickey Ervins, 126C Darrell Green, 126D Charles Mann, & 126E Art Monk

126F Thurman Thomas, 126G Bruce Smith, 126H Cornelius Bennett, 126I Scott Norwood, & 126J Shane Conlan

Like most early
90's products, Wild Card overproduced these sets... which means they're practically worthless. Beckett lists the set at $3, which isn't bad since 40% of the players are enshrined at Canton.

Anyone else miss the ingenuity that Wild Card brought to the table back in the 90's?

Happy Hump Day everyone... and sayonara!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Domo Arigato: Matthew @ Number 5 Type Collection

This morning, I arrived at work and discovered a big white envelope inside of my mailbox. Matthew over at Number 5 Type Collection shipped a bunch of baseball cards to my school.

Last week he held a Spring Training Giveaway and I was fortunate enough to get two teams: San Francisco Giants (for my students) & San Diego Padres (for my collection).

Here's a snapshot at what I received:

San Francisco Giants

San Diego Padres

I was really stoked to find this Swinging Friar card in the stack. Usually I buy specific singles, instead of packs and boxes... so these cool lower end cards don't usually make their way into my collection.

Thanks Matthew... both my students and I really appreciate your generosity.

Have a great week everyone... and sayonara!

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Good things come to those who wait..."

I recently stumbled across a 2008 UD Masterpieces Stroke of Genius Joe Namath autograph. Unfortunately, there's a gag order in place that prevents me from revealing who gave me this card. However, I'm sure some of you (who have been following my blog for awhile) can figure out where I got it.

Anyways... back to the Namath. As soon as I received it, I checked to see how much they sold for on eBay. Survey says... NO COMPLETED SALES. Then I decided to contact I am Joe Collector... the UD Masterpiece connoisseur... to pick his brain about the card.

His response...

"That is a rare rare rare card indeed. If you put it on eBay, I would either let it ride at .99 or put a BIN of $700 OBO. I wouldn't be surprised if if fetches $300-$500."

Well... I took his advice and posted it up on eBay:

Within two days, I had two offers: $205 & $500. I considered milking it... but then I remembered an old Italian proverb about being greedy... Big mouthfuls often choke. So after sitting on the offers for 24 hours, I accepted the highest one.

Unfortunately, I don't get to keep the whole $500. After eBay, PayPal, & shipping fees, I took home $438.80.

Not too shabby for card I had invested absolutely nothing in... except for my precious time and effort.

Part of the money has already been spent... and the rest I'll use on future cardboard purchases.

Thank you to those who wish to remain unnamed. I guess Mama Fuji was right... Good things come to those who wait.

Have a great day... and sayonara!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Domo Arigato: The Big Kahuna @ Enough Already

On Friday, I received a "just because" package from Tim over at the cardboard blog: Enough Already. He had emailed me awhile back telling me he had something for my collection, but told me... it was a "surprise". And that's exactly the reaction I had when I opened the package.

The first thing I noticed inside of the box was a white envelope with a note and a autographed card of Andrei Zyuzin (former San Jose Sharks defenseman). He mentioned in the note that he hoped that the "surprise" would cheer me up on a rainy day... and as ironic as it sounds... it actually started raining this weekend.

And... if that wasn't a big enough coincidence... I've actually been going through a pretty rough patch these past few weeks. And this awesome hobby of ours is one of the few things that helps take my mind off my personal problems.

So after I put down his letter, dug into the box, I came across this:

I recognized the autograph as soon as I saw it... and without exaggeration... I felt like a little kid receiving the most wanted item on his Christmas wish list. Can you figure out the player? Maybe this will help you out:

It's not my first Kurt Suzuki autograph, but this is my first piece of memorabilia signed by him.

Thank you Tim for this very generous gift. I've put it inside a glass display case and set it on my desk in my office. Words cannot express how grateful I am for your present. It definitely cheered me up and helped me take my mind off of things.

But as I mentioned in one of our emails... I'm not the kind of guy who accepts gifts without returning the favor. I shipped out a package yesterday... that should arrive in the next couple of days. I can't promise it will have the same impact as your gift had on me... but hopefully you'll enjoy it.

Now... time for Sunday's question of the day:

Do you have any special pieces of memorabilia in your collection that were given to you?

Domo arigato Big Kahuna-san! Happy Sunday... and sayonara!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly #8: Matt Bush

The Good: In 2004, the San Diego Padres selected the 18 year old, Matt Bush with the first overall pick in the MLB Amateur Draft. The Padres were so confident in his skills that they selected him in front of future MLB All-Stars: Justin Verlander & Jared Weaver. They awarded Bush with a 3.15 million dollar bonus, which until 2009 was the largest signing bonus ever given to a draft pick in franchise history.

The Bad: Bush has never played in a MLB game. In 2007, the Padres converted him from a shortstop to a pitcher. Eventually he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, who released him less than 2 months later for breaking their zero tolerance policy. Bush eventually signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Rays organization, where he's played in their minor leagues system the past four seasons.

The Ugly: Thursday afternoon, Bush hit a motorcycle from behind and proceeded to drive off without stopping. In the process of leaving the scene, witnesses say he ran over the 72 year old motorcyclist, who was rushed to a local hospital and is in serious condition. Bush is being charged with a driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident.

It's this kind of story that truly makes me appreciate the things I have. I'm not a talented athlete, nor have I ever received a multimillion dollar signing bonus. And thankfully, I've never ran away from a crime scene or been thrown in jail.

Hopefully, the motorcyclist makes a full recovery from this incident. And maybe... just maybe... this is the thing that turns things around for Mr. Bush.

Happy Saturday everyone... and sayonara!

Extra Edition!
I just realized that I wrote about Matt Bush back in 2010. He was the 9th addition to my Sports Card Bust PC. If you're interested... CLICK HERE.

Friday, March 23, 2012

One down... one to go!

Are you a member of the Card Collectors World Forum? If not, then I encourage you to head over to their site and sign up. They have really cool contests, but better than that... you have the opportunity to meet other collectors who want to trade and/or talk about cardboard.

I've met a ton of cool collectors on their site... and ocanseco55 is one of them. He's a CCW forum moderator and a huge cardboard collector of the Canseco twins. Recently, he read about my Blog Trade with Starting Nine, which landed me this sweet Steve Carlton rookie card:

And he offered to help me out with my "Lefty Project" by sending me one of the two cards remaining on my Steve Carlton wantlist:

It's his 1987 Topps Traded #T19... which features him in his Cleveland Indians uniform. Doesn't it look awesome next to all of his Carlton cardboard colleagues:

Now... if I can only find a reasonably priced 1972 Topps Traded #751, then I can finally wrap up this particular project.

Thanks ocanseco55! Your generosity is much appreciated.

Happy Friday everyone... and sayonara!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

PC Spotlight #17: Run TMC Bobbleheads

This season, the Golden State Warriors are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their arrival to the Bay Area back in 1962. One of their more popular promotions has been a series of bobblehead giveaways that features: Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin... aka... Run TMC.

If you watched basketball in the 90's, then you probably enjoyed watching Run TMC tear up the hardcourt. They might not have as much talent as Lebron, Dwyane, and Chris or as many rings as Paul, Kevin, and Ray... but there's not a doubt in my mind that Tim, Mitch, and Chris are one of the most entertaining trios in basketball history.

Never seen them? Then grab some popcorn, sit down, and prepare to be captivated:

Pretty awesome right? Well... not as awesome as these bad boys...

Tim Hardaway

Given out to the first 10,000 fans at the February 13th game vs. the Phoenix Suns.

Mitch Richmond

Given out to the first 10,000 fans at the March 7th game vs. the Memphis Grizzlies.

Chris Mullin

Given out to the first 10,000 fans at the March 19th game vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. In addition to handing out these bobbleheads, the Golden State Warriors retired Mullin's #17 jersey number during halftime in a special ceremony that reunited all three members of Run TMC.

Now... my only dilemma is whether or not I bust them out of their cardboard cages. The Warriors fan inside me says "do it, they'll look awesome on the Warriors shelf in our office". But the collector in me says... "keep them sealed... they're collectibles in very nice boxes".

At least one fan has already opened there's up... here's what the look like when joined together:

Decisions... decisions. What do you think I should do?

If you were me, would you open them up or keep them sealed?

For now... I'm keeping them locked in their boxes. But... who knows what the future hold.

Happy Wednesday. Sayonara!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm officially worried...

I've haven't written much about the San Jose Sharks this season, except for the few times I've gone out to grab autographs. But that doesn't mean, I haven't been thinking about them.

This season has been pretty disappointing in terms of their overall record... but I never once gave up hope. Each time they lost... I figured maybe it was a good thing. Maybe they'd enter the playoffs as a 4th or 5th seed and feel a sense of urgency and play hungrier. Maybe that's what it was going to take for them to get over the hump.

But after last night's loss to the Los Angeles Kings... I'm officially worried.

I know they've had their fare share of injuries... but their roster is loaded with talent and they're deep enough to withstand an injured player here or there. And I know Antti Niemi isn't a Vezina candidate, but he helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup two years ago.

It seriously doesn't make any sense to me.

Anyways... I figured I'd use this post to show off some new San Jose Sharks PC additions, courtesy of Sports Card Radio's Card For A Cause II hockey group break.

Just like last time, you had the opportunity to bid on teams. I placed bids on a bunch of teams, but ended up only winning the Sharks for $5. Here's what I ended up getting:

2011-12 Leaf Certified Base Cards

My first official San Jose Sharks cards of Brent Burns and Martin Havlat... along with a Antti Niemi.

2011-12 Crown Royale "All the King's Men" Jersey Card

Crown Royale is loaded with four hits per box and I was fortunate enough to grab one of them, so I'm pretty happy.

Thanks Annie & Colin for hosting another group break for charity. I'm looking forward to joining the next one almost as much as I look forward to seeing the Sharks finally playing to their ability. Go Sharks!

Have a great day... and sayonara!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

As a Warriors fan... I understand, but disagree.

Last night, I went to the Warriors game to watch the Golden State Warriors retire Chris Mullin's jersey and to collect the final Run TMC bobblehead (stay tuned for a separate bobblehead post). By now, you've probably either seen or heard what happened during the halftime ceremony. If not... see the drama for yourself:

As a first year Warriors fan... I just want to say that I understand, but disagree.

I understand why many Warriors fans are frustrated with owner Joe Lacob. Last week, he traded Monta Ellis, a fan favorite and arguably the best player on the roster to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, who some consider to be fragile and injury prone. In addition to Monta, Lacob also shipped Ekpe Udoh, who was quietly becoming a fan favorite... at least in my eyes.

In other words, Lacob threw all hopes of a playoff season out the window... in hopes of drawing a lottery pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and of course building a playoff bound roster around Stephen Curry, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut.

But I don't agree with how some of those fans handed themselves last night. (IMHO) There's a time and place for everything. And last night was suppose to be Chris Mullin's night. Instead he was forced to share it with a showering of boos that (at the very least) made things awkward and (for some) embarrassing. (IMHO) Mullin should not have to defend the owner from fans on his special evening... an evening dedicated to the player who gave Golden State Warriors fans 13 amazing seasons (including 5 straight all-star appearances), 807 games (most in franchise history), 16,235 points (4th in franchise history), 3,146 assists (4th in franchise history), and 1,360 steals (most in franchise history).

By no means, do I want to sound like I'm passing judgement on my fellow Warriors fans. In fact, I understand and respect the fact that everyone has the right to their own opinion.

I just want to assure my readers that although I understand the frustration among many Warriors fans, I wasn't one of those who booed.

Congratulations Mr. Mullin... you're a Bay Area legend and a class act. I'm sure ten years from now, when the Warriors have a few more championship banners in the rafters... people will only remember the retirement of your jersey and not the drama.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week... and sayonara!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

PC Addition: Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1

There are two shows I watch religiously every week: The Big Bang Theory & The Walking Dead.

Both have hobby ties... since both have trading card sets. And simply put... both bring out the inner nerd in me.

Tonight is The Walking Dead's season two finale... and I'm not going to lie... I'm a little bummed. It means no new episodes for six whole months.

Luckily... this just arrived a few days ago:

It's my brand new copy of The Walking Dead Compendium Volume One. In other words, it's 1,088 pages of The Walking Dead comics... the first 48 comic books to be exact. Usually... I'm not much of a reader, but this time... I think I'll make an exception.

What are your favorite television shows?

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend... sayonara!