30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mixed Emotions

Another year has come and gone and the 36th Annual The National Sports Collectors Convention is officially over... and I'm totally envious of the thousands who were fortunate enough to attend.  I have never been to THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.  And although it's on my bucket list, I'd say that there's maybe a 50/50 chance that I'll actually go during my lifetime.

The fact is... it's way too expensive for this particular collector.  I considered flying out to Chicago this year, since my summer school session ended earlier than normal.

But here's a breakdown of my expenses if I had left Thursday morning and flew back after the show on Saturday:

Flight:  $600 (Roundtrip from San Jose to Chicago)
Hotel:  $140 ($70/night @ Motel 6)
Show Admission:  $54 ($18/day Prepaid Admission)
Food:  $100 (Fast Food Diet Plan)
Travel:  $40 (Taxi Cab Fare)

These prices were based on the most cost effective prices out there when I started researching this trip back in June.  Remember... I live on a teacher's salary and I pride myself on being a bargain hunter who enjoys digging through dime boxes and wandering around flea markets on weekends.  With that being said, the little journey projected to cost a little over $900 and thad didn't include any spending money.

Now depending on the individual... that could be a considered a bargain, a fair price, outside of a person's budget, or somewhere in between.  For me... it's somewhere between a fair price and outside of my budget.

Could I afford to go?  Yeah.  Back in June (or was it May?), I set up at the flea market and brought home $1,350.  That's not a typo.  $1,050 of that came from two sales.  A road bike I sold for $900 and a stroller that fetched me $150.  Both of these items were given to me by a friend, who was planning on donating them to Goodwill, so I offered to take them off her hands.

Anyways... the point is, I had the extra money.

But to be honest... attending The National wouldn't exactly have been the best use of my money, which is why I decided to forgo the cardboard camaraderie and cool memories.  Instead... I chose to live vicariously through the YouTubers and bloggers who attended.

It was the cheaper and wiser alternative.  And with the extra money I was able to purchase a few nice additions to my collection:

1995 Upper Deck Autograph #AC2

I have always wanted an autographed card of Willie Mays and this is one of the most affordable options out there.  It's the fourth card I've acquired from this five card set.  I also have the Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, and Roger Clemens:

One of these days, I'll complete the set with the Raul Mondesi.  Unfortunately I haven't found a reasonably priced copy... yet.

Next up is another Bay Area fan favorite...

2013 Five Star Autographs #BP

It's not what you think.  I haven't suddenly jumped on the bandwagon and become a San Francisco Giants fan.  I just happen to really love this autograph set and Posey is one of the short printed autographs in the set.

2007 UD Masterpieces Box Topper Autograph #MP2

It's big.  It's beautiful.  It's on-card.  And it's finally mine.  UD Masterpieces is arguably one the greatest sets in the past decade and I've wanted one of these box topper autographs for a while now.

Don't worry, I happened to have an extra 5x7 toploader laying around so storage isn't too big of a concern.

And finally, The Great One...

1996-97 SPx #GS1

This is one of those cards, I never thought I'd actually own.  When this card was released, I was making less than $10/hour working at a preschool and these cards were commanding top dollar.  Two decades later... it's one of the most affordable, hard-signed, pack pulled autographs you'll find of Wayne Gretzky.

Well that's it for now.  I hope all of you who attended had a lot of fun.  Like I mentioned earlier... I'm very jealous.  Maybe one of these days I'll end up fulfilling my dream of attending.  On the other hand... maybe I won't.  We'll just have to see which path the Cardboard Gods lead me down.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

Oh... one more thing.  Congratulations JediJeff... you won the 1987 Leaf Special Olympics set.  I'll add it to your care package that I'll be shipping out in the near future.


  1. W-O-W Fuji! Some beauties there, I think those would rival any National haul!

  2. Those are some great pickups, Fuji! As far as the National, yeah, it's cost-prohibitive for many people to attend. I'd love to go at some point, and I'd definitely go if it were here in Atlanta, but...I mean, I've got other things to pay for. Like a mortgage.

  3. Great cards Fuji! I agree, the National is ridiculous as far as cost. I might go if it ever gets close enough to eliminate the cost of airfare.

  4. Sweet Cards, I think if life allows, Plan on going to a NSCC when your A's are in town during, And spend a little longer on the holliday. Plus you can always get back your daily admission in free stuff given by box breakers etc.

  5. Oh man you know I am very jealous! Love the Griffey and the Great One. Wow!

    I am like you, I can't see spending that much to go to a show. Though an epic one. If it was in my area, oh yeah. But I don't ever expect that to happen either so that leaves me with that always at the top of my Hobby Bucket List.;

  6. Great pickups man. Although I sort of have to ask, didn't you at least consider picking up an Ichiro autograph too?

  7. You picked up some amazing autographs, I would say a very fair trade off when compared to going to the National.

  8. am i, as a dodger fan, allowed to say that i really like that mays auto you picked up? of course i am. a better use of funds for sure!

  9. Great additions Fuji. Thanks for the contest. I think I might try and hit the National in a few years in Cleveland. Visit the Rock n Roll HOF as well

  10. shoeboxlegends - thanks. i was excited about adding them to my cardboard family

    tony - totally agree... my mortgage is one of my top priorities. i'd love for it to come back to the west coast, but not sure if it ever will.

    eric b - yeah airfare was definitely the dealbreaker for me, but even the other stuff like hotel, food, and transportation added up quickly too.

    martyn - combining it with an existing trip would make more sense. one of my other goals is to go to all of the different mlb ballparks, so maybe i can kill two birds with one stone

    sport card collectors - have a feeling it'll be on my bucket list for many years to come too.

    zippy zappy - damn you. totally forgot about Ichiro. gotta wait until my friend gives me another bike to sell.

    corky - thanks. i'm happy with my choice.

    gcrl - lol... as an a's fan, i feel the same way.

    mark hoyle - that's a good idea. the whole combining the national with other things like the HOF and possibly a baseball game makes it more cost effective.

  11. Great additions Fuji.

    I think I'm going to try and go to the National when the show is back in Cleveland. Atlantic City would be doable, but that seems like it would get expensive fast.

  12. Maybe it will come back to Anaheim.

  13. Maybe it will come back to San Francisco,the 1987 National at the Cow Palace was great.

  14. Great choice! So many awesome cards there! Wow!

  15. You should come next year! That Posey is awesome, as is the Griffey...

  16. Yay me!!!

    Hey - I have a spare bed at my house. Just saying...

  17. Matthew Scott - Thanks Matt. If and when I go, I'll choose a baseball city and try to kill two birds with one stone.

    unclemoe & sg488 - I'm really hoping it comes back to the West Coast. Keeping my fingers crossed. Unfortunately... I missed out on the Cow Palace show.

    Daniel Wilson - Thanks

    Frankie.M - I won't say it's not going to happen... but it's probably more likely that I pick up a 1956 Topps Ted Williams first ;)

    JediJeff - Congratulations! Thanks for the offer. I'll make a note of that.