30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm Glovin' It!

On Saturday, I drove out to The Great Mall in Milpitas for my second card show in eight days. With $50 and some change in my pocket, I wasn't expecting to buy much. Like last weekend, I planned to walk around, talk to some of the dealers, and hang out with my buddy, who set up at the show.

Then I came across these two memorabilia cards produced ten years ago when card companies still cared about the COA's given to collectors:

Each card contains a piece of the player's game used batting glove. Best of all, they actually have respectable COA's that state the following:

Congratulations! You have received a/an _____________________ game-used batting glove from The Upper Deck Company, LLC. On the front of the card is an authentic piece of batting glove used by _____________________ in an official MLB game.

Now that's what a COA should look like. It specifically states that the memorabilia piece was used in an MLB game by the specified player. The only thing it's missing is a photo of the batting glove and the date when the player wore the glove.

I'm very tired of manufacturers and their vague COA's that guarantee nothing specific. But I've already ranted about this before, so I'll move on to my other purchases.

Later on, I headed over to Max's table. He's the guy with the awesome 10¢ boxes. After digging through his boxes for 45 minutes or so, I ended up finding 77 cards that I could use. As usual, I pulled a variety of stufff: vintage, 90's inserts, low end rookie cards, and of course singles of players on teams I collect. Here's a breakdown of my 10¢ purchases:

Seahawks Singles

Packers Singles

90's Inserts

Scooby Doo Promo Card

Rookie Cards

Vintage Singles

If you're a collector on a budget, I encourage you to check out Max's boxes. He also has 50¢ boxes, $1 memorabilia cards & autographs, unopened wax boxes, and even collectible figures. If you live in the Bay Area and are interested in attending his next show, here's his flier:

Last, but not least... I picked up two boxes of 2009 World's Greatest Chase from Max:

Each box contains 16 packs and the packs can range from comic cards to sports cards to movie cards. At $5 per pox, it provided me with ten to fifteen minutes worth of entertainment. However, I'll share the contents another time... in another post.

Today's question goes back to the two memorabilia cards I purchased...

Do you collect memorabilia cards?
If so, how much do you care about a company's COA?

Happy Monday everyone. Have a great week... and sayonara!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Morning Soapbox: Powderpuff Pro Bowl

"I'll be honest with you, I was a little bit disappointed. I felt like some of the guys on the NFC side embarrassed themselves." "I wanted to give the fans a show, and make the Green Bay fans who watched and were watching for me and my teammates, I wanted to make them proud of their Pro Bowlers. I was just surprised that some of the guys either didn't want to play or when they were in there didn't put any effort into it." -Aaron Rodgers
Well said Mr. Rodgers... I've got your back and not because you're my favorite player.
I cringed when three defenders let Greg Jennings walk into the end zone for a touchdown. Then, rolled my eyes when I saw Jared Allen's ridiculous barrel roll. And the icing on the cake was watching twenty men wearing pads watch Drew Brees miss his drop kick extra point attempt. One word... SICKENING.
If you're going to play a game in front of fans and you're getting paid to do it, then (in my opinion) you should give your best effort. Oh I understand the whole "just don't get hurt" philosophy... but I don't agree with it. It's a contact sport and injuries are part of the game... which explains why these guys make huge amounts of money.
But obviously... it's not realistic for the players to risk their careers on a game that doesn't matter to anyone except an individual's pride. So what's the solution?
Personally... I think they should just get rid of the Pro Bowl altogether. I'd be just fine knowing that my favorite players have made the First or Second Team All-Pro. It's better than watching guys play "powderpuff football".
And the player's bonuses? Use the money to help the homeless, military veterans, or even education. Or if the NFL has to have some kind of event to fill up the Sunday before Super Bowl... then bring back the Quarterback Challenge and other skills events similar to ones the NHL & NBA has.
Thanks for listening to me stand up on my soapbox... now I encourage you to jump on yours:
What's your opinion of the Pro Bowl?
Okay... now that I've got the juices flowing... I'm ready burn off some calories walking around the flea market.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday... and sayonara!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Night Five: Favorite Catchers

In honor of Ivan Rodriguez's retirement, I decided to list my top five favorite catchers who played during my lifetime.

Now before I get started, this list is not about who I felt was the greatest catcher... it's a list of my favorites. So don't hate... appreciate:

#1 Kurt Suzuki

It's quite simple. He's Japanese, a hard worker & a team leader, and he's on the Oakland A's.

#2 Johnny Bench

Anyone else watch Bench's saturday morning show... The Baseball Bunch?

#3 Thurman Munson

I don't remember ever watching him play... but I've wanted his rookie card for nearly three decades. It might just be the first card ever added to my wantlist.

#4 Carlton Fisk

Watching the original Pudge wave the ball fair in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series still gives me goosebumps. Amazing.

#5 Tony Pena

I couldn't find a card that captured his stance behind the plate. But if you've heard of Pena, you know what I'm talking about.

Honorable Mention: Ivan Rodriguez, Terry Steinbach, & Gary Carter

Okay, what about you?

Who are your five favorite catchers to play during your lifetime?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend... and sayonara!

Blog Trade #22: The Lost Cards File

In terms of blog trading, I've been on quite a roll the first four months of 2012. This past week, I completed my 6th blog trade of the year when I sent BasicWoogenomics over at The Lost Cards File a 2008 UD Masterpieces Captured on Canvas jersey card of recently retired Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez.

In return, he helped me out by adding a couple of cards to my Japanese PC.

First up... a 2011 Topps Lineage "The Rookies" insert card of Tsuyoshi Nishioka:

Nishioka signed with the Minnesota Twins in 2010 and became their starting second basemen in 2011. He's currently starting the season in Rochester for the Twins' AAA affiliate. Hopefully he'll find his bat and eventually get another shot in the Bigs.

Next is this 2003 Fleer Tradition jersey card of Kazuhiro Sasaki:

Sasaki pitched for the Seattle Mariners' bullpen from 2000 to 2003 and won the AL ROY Award in 2000. He returned to Japan in 2004 and was out of baseball by 2006.

The final card in the trade was this 2010 Allen & Ginter autograph of Koji Uehara:

Uehara had a fairly successful career in Japan playing for the Yomiuri Giants from 1999 to 2008. During that time he was an 8x NPB All-Star who won several major awards including the 1999 Central League ROY Award. In 2009, he crossed the Pacific to play in the MLB for the Baltimore Orioles. Last season, he was traded to the Texas Rangers. So far this year, he's made 6 appearances, pitched 5.0 innings, and has given up two home runs.

Thanks BasicWoogenomics for the smooth trade. I look forward to future transactions.

Happy Saturday everyone... and sayonara!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flashback Friday #8: 1983 Donruss All-Stars Pack Break

1983 was an amazing year for baseball cards. That year, the rookie card class produced three future Hall of Famers: Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, and Ryne Sandberg. In addition to three amazing base sets, these companies also produced cool oddball sets. Topps came out with their one-time wonder... 1983 Topps Foldouts. Fleer produced baseball stamps for the second year in a row. And Donruss produced their Donruss HOF Champions set (if you're interested in reading more about this set... click here), along with an oversized Donruss All-Stars set.

But even non-collectors were treated to something special that season.

That year, Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton raced to see who would pass Walter Johnson's all-time strikeout record first.

On April 27, 1983 the Houston Astros were in Canada visiting the Montreal Expos and gave Nolan Ryan the start. And in the bottom of the 8th, Brad Mills came in to pinch hit for Doug Flynn. Six pitches later, his name would go down in MLB history as he became known as Ryan's 3,509th strikeout victim. Why is that important?

That day, Nolan Ryan passed Walter Johnson to become the all-time strikeout king. Three weeks later, Steve Carlton would also pass Walter on the all-time strikeout list. And on June 7th, 1983, Carlton would pass Nolan Ryan to become the all-time strikeout king himself. The two would go on to take turns being the king nineteen different times over the next two seasons, with Carlton holding the title as late as September 1984.

But as we all know... Ryan would eventually outlast Carlton and hasn't relinquished the title to this day. So to honor their epic battle, I've decided to bust open a pack of 1983 Donruss All-Stars that features the All-Time Strikeout King on the front.

Each pack contains six 3.5" x 5" cards and three puzzle pieces. Here's a look at the other five cards in the pack:

10 Greg Minton

5 Larry Herndon

Mickey Mantle Puzzle (31,32,33)

54 Richie Zisk

53 Fernando Valenzuela

43 Carlton Fisk

Okay... time for today's question:

What was your favorite year to collect cards?

For me... it's definitely 1983. Tony Gwynn is my favorite baseball player of all-time and four rookie cards were produced for him that year. Throw in the fact that the 1983 Topps two photo design is one of my personal favorites and you have a no-brainer.

Time to head out to dinner. Have a great weekend... and sayonara!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cheap Cool Cards #25: 1994 Stadium Club #80 Paul Konerko XRC

300 MLB players have hit 200 or more home runs.

133 have hit 300 or more.

Last night, Paul Konerko became the 48th player in MLB history to hit 400 home runs in their career.

Only 25 have reached the 500 mark. Which brings up the question...

Do you think Konerko will reach 500 by the time he retires?

If he doesn't get injured and has the desire to play, than I think he has a shot. Although, I wouldn't necessarily bank on it.

One thing is certain... I'm glad I picked this 1994 Stadium Club XRC of Mr. Konerko. It's not worth much to most collectors... but I'll pay 25¢ for the rookie card of a 400 Home Run Club Member any day of the week.

Kudos to Kaptain Konerko! Happy Thursday... and sayonara!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cheap Cool Cards #24: 1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Jr.

I've discussed this before, but I'll say it again. I often associate players with specific decades, more than their overall career achievements. Ken Griffey Jr. is one of those guys.

During the 90's, there are only a few hitters who were in his class. The Kid simply dominated hitters at the plate. Here is a look at his numbers and where he ranked among his peers from 1990 to 1999:

Runs Scored: 1,002 (3rd in MLB)
Hits: 1,622 (6th in MLB)
Home Runs: 382 (2nd in MLB)
RBI's: 1,091 (2nd in MLB)
Slugging Percentage: .581 (3rd in MLB)

And during that 10 year span, he made the AL All-Star team 10 times & won the Golden Glove Award 10 times. He was also in the top 10 AL MVP Award voting 7 times, and won it in 1997.

Best of all, he did it with a smile on his face.

Which is why I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add his 1989 Topps Traded rookie card to my collection when I found it online for a dollar (free shipping). Yep... 100 pennies for the rookie card of a sure fire hall of famer.

There might be plenty of reasons to dislike the Junk Wax Era, but here's a good reason to love it.

By the way, just in case you're wondering... Mark McGwire led the 90's in Home Runs & Slugging Percentage. But three different players topped the 90's in Runs, Hits, and RBI's.

Can you name the three players and the corresponding categories?

I'll make things a little interesting and turn this into a contest, so comments will be hidden until the contest ends. Entries will be accepted until Saturday night (9pm PST). After that, we'll compare people's responses. If you guess all three players correctly, I'll enter your name into random.org for a prize package that will include a smörgåsbord of cards featuring at least one card (insert, rookie, parallel, or promo) from each of the players listed in this post.

By the way, if you're reading this post on CCW and want to participate in the contest... please head over to the actual blog post and enter there. Entries left on CCW will not be counted towards the prize package.

Can't wait to read your responses. Happy Hump Day & sayonara!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Japanese Kitty Cat Cards?

I'm not sure what's crazier... the idea that someone in Japan decided to make trading cards of cats dressed up as humans... or the fact that I bought a pack for $3.

As soon as I saw these packs at the Japanese grocery store, I knew I had to grab one. I mean... how often do you see a cat wearing a leather jacket on a pack of cards (actually... there's only one card inside).

In fact, I demonstrated absolutely no self control and ripped open the pack in the parking lot.

Inside, there was a stick of gum and this:

Nope, your eyes aren't deceiving you. It's a plastic card with three cats drinking beer & counting their Benjamins. I'm not sure what the purpose of this product, but I'll admit... the picture is definitely a conversation piece.

The back of the card resembles an ID card with a photo of a cat licking its lips:

I'd love to sit down with the creator of this product to pick his/her brain. I mean, who is this product marketed for? The 6 year old girl who loves dressing up kittens? The 75 year old woman who owns 15 cats? Or could it be the 39 year old guy who loves oddball cards?

By the way... in case you're wondering... that piece of gum was amazing! Just imagine the furthest thing from a piece of pink, brittle, and chalky Topps gum.

Happy Tuesday everyone... and sayonara!

Blog Trade #21: 2008 UD Masterpieces NFL Silver Frame Parallels

Two weeks ago, Dallas_Booker (author of 2008 UD Masterpieces NFL Silver Frame Parallels) contacted me about a pair of... you guessed it... 2008 UD Masterpieces NFL Silver Frame Parallels that I pulled from last year's case break.

We quickly hammered out a trade and last week, I received these two Randall Cobb autographed rookie cards for my Green Bay Packers PC:

If you have any silver parallels from the 2008 UD Masterpieces set and you're looking to trade them, I highly encourage you to contact him over at his blog.

He'll definitely make it worth your while.

Thanks for the trade Dallas_Booker!

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Domo Arigato Jon & Andy @ Community Gum

Earlier this month, Jon & Andy over at Community Gum held a free group break for a box of 2003 Leaf Baseball. The idea behind it was pretty cool and interactive. You were asked to respond to questions within their posts and participants were rewarded with a team in the break.

I picked the A's and received these five base cards:

And... this sweet looking Clean Up Crew insert of Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, and Jermaine Dye:

Thanks for the free group break Jon & Andy!

Happy Tuesday & sayonara!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sports Card Bust #28 - Adam Morrison

It has been over 9 months since my last Sports Card Bust PC Addition, so before I get into Adam Morrison... let me familiarize some of my newer readers on this unique collection.

Two years ago, I was going through my autograph trade bait binder and noticed I had a bunch of cards of guys who were once highly sought, but were now mere afterthoughts. So, I decided since nobody else wanted them... I'd breathe back life into their collectibles. I immediately pulled these autographs from the binder and added them to my collection.

Every now and then, I'll actively search COMC for some cheap Sports Card Busts. But I have a few rules:

Rule #1 - The player must have been drafted with one of the top 5 picks in their league's draft. A top 5 selection is expected to contribute, so there leaves little room for debate as to whether or not the athlete is a bust.

Rule #2 - I will not spend over $3 for an autograph. I originally set the spending limit at $10, but these days you can find autographs of stars for $5. Why should I spend $10 for a bust?

Okay, now that we're all caught up. Let me introduce to you... the 28th addition to my Sports Card Bust PC... Mr. Adam Morrison.

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is awarded annually to the top college basketball player in the country. Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Larry Bird, Kevin Durant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Pete Maravich have all been recipients of this trophy. And guess what? So has Adam Morrison.

Mr. Morrison had an amazing junior year at Gonzaga when he averaged 28.1 points per game and was the country's leading scorer. These numbers led to him being drafted 3rd overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats... and more specifically, their Manager of Basketball Operations... Michael Jordan.

Less than 6 years later, he's out of the NBA. And during his NBA tenure, his numbers were far from impressive:

Seasons Played: 3 seasons
Games Played: 161 games
Games Started: 28 games
Average Points Per Game: 7.5 PPG
Average Rebounds Per Game: 2.1 RPG
Career 30 Point Games: 1 game

But things weren't all bad for Mr. Morrison.

He won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and earned over $16,000,000 during his NBA career. He's been out of the league since 2010, but was recently playing in Turkey for Beşiktaş Milangaz. Then earlier this month he asked to be released due to lack of playing time.

It's nice to see this guy still wants to play the game.

Happy Monday everyone and enjoy the rest of your week. Sayonara!