Monday, June 30, 2014

Not Quite A Man Cave

More like a sports collectible themed office.  A few weeks back, I made the decision to bite the bullet and clean it up.

First up... the shelves.

My favorite is the Oakland Athletics shelf, because it has a good mixture of cards, SLU's, and bobbleheads.  Plus they're the team I've rooted for the longest.

I debated on breaking down my Los Angeles Lakers shelf, since I no longer watch basketball.  However, I left it up since I was a fan for the majority of my life.  To the upper right is my tiny San Diego Padres shelf.  I have a few other items, but lack of shelf space has limited me to what you see displayed.

The same can be said for my Green Bay Packers shelf.  I have four more McFarlanes that I couldn't fit on it, so I took them to work and have them displayed in my classroom.

Eventually, I'd like to expand my Seahawks shelf..  Now that they've finally won a Super Bowl, I'm hoping more companies will produce Seattle memorabilia.

After the shelves were cleaned and redecorated, I moved on to my binders which house a large part of my lowend PC's, as well as a bunch of trade bait.  It's sort of a living project as I'm constantly switching out binders as certain ones grow faster than others.

Last, but not least... I organized the bulk of my collection.  What you're looking at is a section of my office dedicated to 5,000ct. boxes filled with random box breaks and a few flea market purchases over the years.  You'll also notice a few monster shoe boxes that house some of the lowerend stuff from my PC's, as well as tradebait and supplies.

Unfortunately, that's only a fraction of my collection.  Lack of space doesn't allow me to store everything here.

Unopened Kenner SLU's, McFarlane's, action figures, bobble heads, the majority of my magazines and comic books, card sets, graded cards, and most of my personal collection that require top loaders or magnetics are stored at either my parent's house, a friend's garage, a tiny storage unit I recently rented, or my classroom... which sort of sucks, because I don't always have access to all of my stuff.

Which might have you wondering...

What's the point of owning a collection if you can't walk over to it and look at it?

I completely understand and agree with you, but it is what it is.

Until I'm able to afford a new place with plenty of room for storage and my very own man cave, I'll have to rely on my website and my blog.  Both of these allow me to have highlights of my collection right at my fingertips.

And if I want to actually touch and smell my 1956 Topps Jackie Robinson or my Gwynn Stroke of Genius autograph... well that just gives me another reason to go down and visit Mama and Papa Fuji.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Night Five: Card Show Purchases

I've been avoiding the flea market the past few weeks in an effort to save money... just in case I found things at the Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show.  It comes around three (maybe four) times a year and is easily my favorite show to attend.  I love the fact that there's a little bit of everything, so it's rare that I walk away empty-handed.

Today was no exception.  Tonight I'll list out my five favorite purchases.

Now if you're familiar with my personality, then you know that I'm sort of a bargain hunter and a dime box kind of guy.  In fact, 90% of my time at the show was spent digging through dime boxes.  However none of those purchases were able to crack today's list.  I was actually really surprised when I laid everything out on the floor and started ranking my purchases.

It's getting late, so let's jump into it.

#1:  1967 Topps Posters Set $30

The guy I've been buying all of the '75 Topps minis from didn't bring any minis for me.  But he had recently purchased a small vintage collection that contained this set.  

Most of the posters have two or three pin holes, but overall the set is pretty nice.  The Boog Powell is the only poster that will need to be replaced, because it's been taped.  As you can see he was looking to get $40, which seemed like a fair price to begin with.  But since I'm a regular, he dropped it to $30.  I couldn't resist picking up so many vintage hall of famers for such an affordable price.

Purchase #2:  Barry Bonds Autographed Ball $55

I'm the furthest thing from a San Francisco Giants fan, but the fact is... Barry Bonds was fun to watch.  Back in the day, I'd drop everything just to watch him step up to the plate.  And regardless of whether or not people think he deserves to make it into the hall of fame, he's one of the greatest hitters of all-time

My friend purchased several of these PSA/DNA autographed balls and was nice enough to pass the savings down to me.  The ball will go nicely with my autographed hat.  Now all I need is an autographed bat to go with them.

Purchase #3:  Bruce Lee Bobble Head $25

Here's another piece of San Francisco Giants memorabilia.  This time it's a SGA featuring San Francisco's very own Bruce Lee.  I have wanted one of these since they passed these out in 2012, but they've always been way out of my price range.  A guy had a pair of them marked at $30 each.  I offered him $25 for one and he accepted.

Purchase #4: Masanori Murakami Statue $18

I'll wrap up my San Francisco Giants purchases with one more SGA that was passed out last month honoring the 50th Anniversary of Murakami's MLB debut.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he was the first Japanese player to play in the MLB.

I purchased it from the same vendor who sold me the Bruce Lee bobble.  His asking price was $25, but he gave me a $7 discount since I purchased something from him earlier.

Purchase #5:  2013 Five Star Yoenis Cespedes Auto $15

It's taken me over six months, but I've finally added this card to my collection.  I was so surprised at the guy's price, that I didn't even bother haggling with him.  Cespedes has been showing off his cannon a lot this year and is currently on a twelve game hitting streak.  I'm very excited to finally cross this card off of my wish list, without breaking the bank.

Well that's it for tonight.  I'll share my dime box and other smaller purchases in another post on another day.

Until then... happy Saturday and sayonara!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Juuuuuuuussssst a Bit Outside!

It's sorta pricey, hard to store, and is missing several key characters... hence the title of this post.

But if you can look past the handful of flaws, this 25th anniversary Major League wax pack is pretty unique and a cool collectible for fans of this classic baseball film.  Collectors who are actually willing to crack open their wallets and drop $12.99 on a single pack of cards will receive six trading cards contained in an old school wax wrapper.

There was even a wax stain!

Thankfully, the people at Topps took this into consideration and added a seventh, blank card to keep the real cards from getting damaged.

The checklist is comprised with the five people in their 2014 Topps Archives Major League autograph set:

"Good morning gentlemen... and welcome to another season of Indians baseball."

Usually I like it when companies spice things up and add ladies to card products.  But this was the one card that left me scratching my head.  If it were up to me, I would have dropped Mrs. Phelps and added one of these guys:  Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano, Lou Brown, or even Harry Doyle.

On the flip side...  I applaud Topps' decision to use the 1989 baseball card design as a way of honoring the anniversary year.  What once was a symbol of overproduction and insipidity... I've recently started to appreciate and enjoy this particular card design.

"You got a chance to be a hero on national television... if you don't blow it."

This anniversary tribute couldn't exist without the inclusion of Jake Taylor.  I'm not exactly sure I could pinpoint a main character in this film, but if you held a gun to my head... Taylor would be in the conversation.

"Forget about the curveball Ricky... give 'em the heater!"

My love for this movie stems from the collectiveness of all the entertaining characters.  There were so many, it's hard for me to pick a favorite.  But based on autograph sales, it's pretty obvious that Vaughn's collectibility and fan popularity is second to none.

"You trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?"

If you appreciate what Gaylord Perry brought to the game, then you're probably a fan of Mr. Harris.  He's the proud owner of some of the movies' greatest lines.

"Let's cut to the crap, Vaughn.
I've only got one thing to say to you... strike this mother f'er out."

Rounding out the set is Mr. Dorn.  I've never been a huge fan of the character.  I understand the role he played as Vaughn's nemesis... but I can't think of too many times the guy made me laugh.  I wouldn't have been offended had Topps decided to substitute one of the previously mentioned characters in his place.

Last, but not least... there's a special Jobu card found only in these packs:

"It's very bad to steal Jobu's rum... it's very bad."

This was the key to my purchase.  As soon as I saw it on the Topps website, I knew I had to own this rum drinkin', bead bearin', cigar smokin' voodoo doll card.  In fact this card alone made the purchase of these special edition 5x7 trading cards worthwhile.

So what about you...

What are your thoughts on this special pack of oversized cards?

I completely understand that these cards aren't for everyone... but if you're a fan of the movie, appreciate non-sports trading cards, and can afford the $12.99 price tag... then you might want to consider picking up a set for your collection.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Miss Me Some Billy Ball!

On Saturday Bob Melvin got tossed from the A's vs Red Sox game. and I immediately thought of Billy Martin.

It's automatic.  Whenever I see a manager argue with an umpire and get tossed from a game, 99% of the time I think about Billy Martin and his entertaining tirades.  I can't help it. I grew up watching the guy and when he arrived in Oakland, he instantly became a fan favorite.  Billy Ball was born and was a household name here in the Bay Area during the early 80's.

To this day, I still consider him my favorite manager of all-time.  So today I'm showing off my Billy Martin PC.  Let's kick things off with one of the coolest cards of the 70's:

1972 Topps #33

Can you see it?  Should I turn it up?

Yup... before Billy Ripken's 1989 Fleer F-Face card, there was Martin's 1972 Topps Flipping the Bird card.  Twenty-two years later, Frank Thomas dedicated his 1994 Stadium Club "award winner" card to Billy:

1994 Stadium Club #285

Unfortunately Martin passed away five years before this card was produced, so he didn't have the opportunity to see Frank's tribute.  But if he had, I'm sure Billy would have given him a huge thumbs up:

1981 Donruss #479

Here's a look at the rest of my Billy Martin collection:

1981 Fleer #581

1981 and 1982 Granny Goose Cards

At first, I thought I scanned the same card twice.  But I went back and noticed that although these cards are similar on the front, they differ on the back.

1982 Donruss #491

Donruss did an excellent job of capturing Billy doing... what Billy does best.  While Topps did the best job at showing of Martin's famous cross cap:

1983 Topps #156

I know a lot of people (even players) didn't like Billy.  It's no secret that he had anger issues and problems with alcohol.  He has even been called a "cheater" and a "racist".  

But that's not what this post is about.  It's about honoring the man who loved the game of baseball as depicted on this card: 

1983 Donruss #575

The same guy who brought "Billy Ball" to the Bay Area in the early 80's:

Happy Monday and sayonara!