30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, August 30, 2013

Flea Market Flops #1: The Inaugural Edition

It's a crapshoot every time I grab my backpack, water bottle, and pistachios and head out to the local flea market.

Sometimes I find new items for my collection.  And other times I walk away empty handed.  Either way, I usually only write about my flea market success stories.  But that's about to change.  I figure it's probably just as interesting to reflect on the stuff I didn't buy too.

So here's a look at some of the stuff I walked away from over the past month or so:

Binder Full of Los Angeles Dodgers  $100

This was from a few weekends ago.  I came across this awesome binder full of 70's and 80's Los Angeles Dodgers cards.  Obviously... a few bloggers instantly came to mind, so I asked the guy about it.  After a two to three minute conversation about how rare some of these cards are, he told me he wanted $150... but I could have it for $100.

I'm sure if you're a fan of Beckett values... it might be in the same ballpark.  But I wasn't willing to pay over $20.  Sorry Night Owl, Zakwin, Stealing Home, and GCRL.

Cards One: Bringing Back The Oldies 80's Packs $2 each or 3 for $5

How addicted am I to cardboard?  I'm so addicted that I considered picking up these repacks from Cards One... which probably contain a bunch of 1988 Topps baseball.  Anyways... I was willing to give the guy $2 for all three packs, but he kindly shot down my offer.

Rubber Band Wrapped Sports Cards $2

I flipped through these and didn't see anything I wanted.  But I had figured the least I could do was entertain the lady and ask her about the cards.  She told me that they were left behind in her classroom by a former student... which led to a conversation about teaching, schools, and of course "education" in general.

In the end, she told me I could have them for $2, since I was a teacher.  I passed... even though I appreciated the $3 educator's discount.

Baseball Card Binder $50

I'm not going to lie.  I really, really wanted this binder.  It had a bunch of 70's stars in it, including Pete Rose, George Brett, Reggie Jackson, and Tom Seaver.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough in it to justify spending $50.  I offered $20 (which I though was more than fair) and the guy laughed at me.

Ichiro Suzuki Bobble Head $7

Seven dollars isn't a terrible price for a hand painted bobble head, but it was just a little out of my price range.  I wanted to pay $3... but was willing to go up to $5.  The good thing is that I've seen this bobble on three different occasions.  Maybe one of these times he'll drop his price.

2000 McFarlane Big League Challenge Mark McGwire $10

Do I really need a Mark McGwire logo-less figure?  No.  Do I really want a Mark McGwire logo-less figure?  No.

But I had to ask about it... and the Jeff Garcia bobble sitting right next to it.

The guy wanted $10/each or $15 for the pair.  As I walked away, he asked how much I wanted to spend.  I told him a buck and he told me not to waste his time.  Well... that's how much I wanted to spend.  My parents told me to never ask a question, if I didn't want to hear the answer.

9-Pocket Pages w/Baseball Cards $10

This is probably one of the more intriguing things I walked away from, because within this packet of 10 to 12 9-Pocket pages, there were inserts and rookie cards.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a great look at them, because they had taped the pages together.

Ten dollars was kind of high for a mystery package that only guaranteed me a Russell Martin rookie card and a low end insert of Derek Jeter.  I was willing to give the guy up to $3, but didn't say anything because I didn't want to offend the guy.

Dave Dravecky & Wally Joyner Autographed Balls $225

I had to save the best for last.  In all honesty... this might be one of my all-time favorite flea market stories.

As a child of the 80's, I would love to add autographs of both of these guys to my collection... but seriously... there's no way anyone is giving the lady $225 for the pair.

But hold on... it actually gets better.  She wanted $150 for each of them individually, but was willing to give me a package discount.

Wait... it gets better.  When I picked up the Dravecky to see if it was certified... she YELLED at me.  Not just a "loud" voice... it was a sharp, unsuspecting, ear piercing scream.  Everyone stopped what they were doing to see what the drama was about.

It was awesome!

As she yelled at me, I immediately began thinking to myself... how should I react?  Well... I took the high road... put the ball down... took out my phone and snapped this picture... then walked away with a huge smile on my face.

The event definitely got the blood flowing... but I can't wait until the next time I see her.  Because I'll definitely be fondling her balls again.

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Sticky Project

I have no idea who was running the ship over at Fleer during the 80's... but they were geniuses.  Seriously.  Those MLB team logo stickers they inserted into packs were awesome.  I must have plastered hundreds of these on binders, book covers, and even on my closet door when I was in elementary school.

Then right around middle school... something happened.  I'm not sure what exactly took place, but I stopped using Fleer's stickers and started throwing them in a box.

No... I wasn't collecting them.  But the "hoarder" in me wouldn't allow me to throw them out.  Eventually, they were sold off with the other unwanted items in my collection.

Fast forward to a few months ago... when I stumbled across some older 70's Fleer logo stickers at one of the mall shows.  It was like I was in elementary school again.  I desperately wanted to add some Fleer stickers to my collection, so I searched eBay and picked up a few of these vintage stickers:

These cloth stickers are awesome.  I love the old school logos and colors, but the coolest thing about these stickers are the variations.  I'm looking forward to chasing down a few more of these to add to my Oakland A's, San Diego Padres, and Montreal Expos collections.

Then a couple of weekends ago, I found a guy at the San Jose Toy Show with a box filled with Fleer stickers.  He wanted 10¢ a piece or 15/dollar, so I asked him if he'd sell me the box for $5.  That worked for him and I'm now the proud owner of over 200 stickers ranging from the early 80's to the early 90's.

Here's a look at the stickers I pulled for my new project:

My goal is to collect all of the different A's, Padres, and Expos stickers from the 80's.  I know there are a lot of different variations, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Thankfully, there's a blog out there dedicated to these stickers called The Fleer Sticker Project.  I've already bookmarked it and plan on going back and reading his past post to educate myself a little.

Anyone else collect Fleer Stickers?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Flea Market Freebies

Have you ever wanted to acquire free stuff at the flea market?  If you replied "yes" to this question... then just follow these three easy steps:

Step #1:  Purchase a Pokemon collection for $80.

Step #2:  Turn around and sell that Pokemon collection to another vendor for $100.

Step #3:  Use the twenty extra dollars to fund the following flea market purchases:

Wax Pack Grab Bag $5

Coco Crisp Autographed Baseball $5

Landon Donovan Bobblehead $5

Mike Eruzione Autographed Puck $5

Simple... right?  What are you waiting for?  Get out there and invest in Pokemon cards!

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cheap Cool Cards #36: 1988 Topps #172 RC

Five Swings = Five Home Runs = Mr. August

Reggie Jackson might be Mr. October and Derek Jeter is Mr. November.  But Lloyd McClendon receives my vote for Mr. August.

1988 Topps #172 RC

Now before you "sheesh" me... hear me out.  Back in the summer of 1971, Legendary Lloyd hit five home runs on five pitches during the Little League World Series.  He was intentionally walked the other five times he entered the batter's box.

That year, his little league team from Gary, Indiana made it into the championship game where they faced off against Tainan City of Taiwan.  McClendon launched a home run on the first pitch he saw, which led to him being intentionally walked his final four plate appearances.

Taiwan which dominated the Little League World Series during the 70's ended up winning the game in extra innings by the score of 12-3.

Since then there have been plenty of former Little League World Series alumni to end up playing professional sports:  Chris Drury, Jason Varitek, Gary Sheffield, Pierre Turgeon, Matt Cassel, and Carney Lansford

But none of the had an August quite like Legendary Lloyd.

On a side note... congratulations to the the kids from Chula Vista, California and Tokyo, Japan!  They put on one heck of a championship game.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday Night Five: Cal Ripken Jr. 80's Oddballs

I grew up watching baseball during the Cal Ripken Jr. era.  So it was hard for me not to sit back in awe and admire his amazing twenty-one season career.  Obviously the consecutive games played streak stands out to most people.  But the thing I like about #8 is the fact that he stayed with the Baltimore Orioles his entire career.

Today Mr. Ripken is celebrating his 53rd birthday and tonight's post is in honor of Iron Man himself.

Here are a look at five of my favorite oddballs that sit in my collection:

1989 LJN Topps Sports Talk #77

I know that the 1989 LJN oversized cards are a pain in the butt to store, but I absolutely love them.  Topps did a great job incorporating their regular base card design into these oddballs.  If you're interested in learning more about these cards, here's a link to a post I wrote last year.

1986 Fleer Star Stickers #99

In the 80's... Topps had their bubble gum.  Donruss had their puzzles.  And Fleer had their team logo stickers... which they inserted into baseball card packs.  But they also created an oddball issue called Star Stickers.  Essentially... they're a baseball card and a sticker combined into one.

1983 Donruss Action All-Stars #52

From 1983 to 1985, Donruss had a line of oversized trading cards known as Action All-Stars.  I'm not a TTM autograph collector, but if I was... I'd probably use these.

1983 Topps Stickers #315

I'm glad Topps started producing sticker albums again, because I loved collecting them when I was in elementary school.  The above sticker is part of a subset called Stars of the Future, which also featured Ryne Sandberg and Wade Boggs.

1987 Donruss Pop-Ups #5

Okay... so Donruss might have stolen this idea from Topps.  But you know what they say... imitation is the finest form of flattery.  Anyways... these Stand Ups... I mean Pop-Ups are still pretty cool oddballs to collect.

Happy Birthday Mr. Ripken!

Happy Saturday and sayonara!