30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Flea Market Finds #110: Box Bottoms, Bobbles, and a Box of Comics

One of these days, I'll finally start a new series of posts called Flea Market Flipping.  That's where I find stuff at the flea market with the sole intention of turning around and flipping it on eBay or at another flea market to help fund the purchase of a new card for one of my PC's.

My most recent trip to the flea market resulted in the purchase of a pair of items that would qualify, but let's kick things off two things I'll be holding onto.

Purchase #1:  2015 Stephen Vogt SGA Bobble Head $6

When it comes to weird and cool bobbleheads... this guy has to at least be taken into consideration.  I'd try to explain why Everything Bagel is wearing a referee uniform, but it's easier to let him do the work...

The only thing bad about this purchase was the fact that I probably could have picked it up for less.  The guy who sold this to me accepted every offer he received from other customers while I was there.  I was just so excited to hear him say "six dollars" that I immediately, without thinking said "I'll take it".

Purchase #2:  Card Box Bottoms $1

After I grabbed the Vogt, I stuck around and checked out all of the other sports memorabilia he had for sale.  He had a pretty solid set up that included everything from World Series programs to old school sports LP's.

He also had a small selection of cards including a bin filled with 80's sports card box bottoms for 25¢ each.  I honestly should have grabbed them all for this price, but ended up picking out these for:

1985 Donruss

I already own a copy of this... but I wanted another one to cut up, because it features one of my favorite cards of Dwight Gooden.  

1987 Fleer Limited Edition

I've seen my fair share of box bottoms, but not this one.  Remember those 44 card sets Fleer produced in the 80's?  This box bottom is from one of those displays.  As soon as I saw that Ron Darling, I threw it in my pile.  As you can see... I accidentally cut it up before scanning the intact box bottom.  Oh well.

1985 Topps

While Donruss and Fleer mirrored the same card and color design for their box bottoms, Topps usually kept the same design, but switched the color of their borders.  1985 Topps football cards are known for their black borders, so this bright red box bottom definitely called out to me.

1988 Topps

Tres Padres on one box bottom?  Yes, please.  These three cards of Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn, and John Kruk commemorate their back to back to back home runs in the first inning of their home opener at Jack Murphy Stadium back on April 13th, 1987.

In case you missed it twenty-nine years ago...

Sadly the San Diego Padres were the worst team in the National League that season, but at least Benito Santiago won the NL Rookie of the Year Award and Gwynn won his 2nd batting title.

Purchase #3:  Chico State Bobblehead $5

I've been looking for a SJSU Spartan bobblehead for years... and they always sell for way more than I'm willing to spend.  I grabbed this bobblehead in hopes that it carries the same premium as its CSU counterpart.

I figured I'd throw it up on eBay with a best offer option and see if it's worth flipping.  Worst case scenario... I'll add it to my ever growing bobblehead collection.

Purchase #4:  Big Box of Comics $5

I don't really collect comic books, but some deals are too good to pass up.  It broke down to less than a dime each.  At that price... if nobody ends up buying them, I'll bring it into my classroom for my students.

Well that's it for now.  Have a great week.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Good & The Sad

I've always been a "let's hear the bad news first" kind of guy... so that I can end the conversation on a positive note.  With that being said... this afternoon I was at my friend's nephew's soccer game when I found out that Mr. Fuji passed away.

The highpoint in my WWF fandom took place in the 80's when Mr. Fuji was a "bad guy" manager who most people despised.  But for fairly obvious reasons... I liked him.  He was very entertaining and although I haven't watched wrestling religiously in years, he will be missed.  Rest in peace Harry Fujiwara.

I'll wrap this post of with two cards I received this past week that have brought me one step closer to finishing two different sets.

First up is this 1995 Topps Legends of the 60's Medallions metal card of Brooks Robinson:

Back in 1995, Stadium Club members were given the opportunity to purchase these heavy metal cards for the low, low price of $39.95 per card.  Like most 90's sports memorabilia... these haven't held their value that well.

I was able to pick up this single off of eBay for $5 shipped.  There are a total of twelve cards in the set and now I'm down to only needing two.

Yesterday, I received an out of the blue PWE from an unknown sender.  Inside was this card:

Earlier in the month, I purchased a nice 1981 Topps football starter set.  KevAlan over at CCW read my Flea Market Finds post and purchased this card over on Sportlots for me and had the vendor ship it directly to me.

Thanks Kevin!  Now I'm down to needing only five more cards to finish my set.

Have a great week.  Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, August 26, 2016

One Lucky Denny's Customer

If you're a fan of oddball issues, then you're probably a fan or at least familiar with Denny's holograms from the 90's.  From 1991 to 1997 hungry collectors were consuming Grand Slam breakfasts and getting their hands on packs of the popular cards.

In 1994, Upper Deck and Denny's teamed up to produce a 28 card set to honor a slugger from each MLB team.  There was also a special limited edition card produced of Reggie Jackson.  Each Denny's location was given a single copy of this card to used in a giveaway at the end of the promotion.

I wasn't able to pinpoint how many Denny's were around in 1994, but according to Wikipedia there are almost 1,600 diners currently in the States.  That means there were probably anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 of them back in the mid 90's.

These days when a card company makes 2,000 copies of one card, collectors treat it as if there were 2,000,000.  However... back in the day... 2,000 was pretty limited.  Maybe not exactly super rare... but definitely limited.

I've been looking for a copy of this card off and on for a few years... and after lots of patience... I found a eBay vendor willing to accept my $9 offer.  I realize that might sound like a lot of money for some Junk Wax Era insert... but when you factor in how long I've waited to add this card to my Oakland A's collection and the prices other vendors typically ask... I think I got a pretty good deal.

Happy Flashback Friday... and sayonara!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cheering for the Opposition

I'm guessing that for most sports fanatics... it's easier to choose favorite players from your favorite teams, than to pick them from teams you don't support.  However I'm in the minority.

Since the Athletics and Padres are both in rebuilding phases, you never know which guys are going to be around after the season.  This makes it really difficult for me to go out and drop money on a Sonny Gray, Stephen Vogt, or Wil Myers jersey.  However... when Matt over at Bob Walk the Plank wrote about his favorite non-Pirates, it only too me a few minutes to come up with my Top 5.

But before I get to them... let's take a look at a few honorable mentions:

Honorable Mention #1:  David Ortiz

2014 Topps Tier One Acclaimed Autographs #DO

Big Papi is a member of the Three C's Club.  He's a solid contact hitter.  He's clutch.  And he's chubby.  I don't get a chance to watch the Red Sox play very often... but when I do, I look forward to seeing what Ortiz does at the plate.

Honorable Mention #2:  Munenori Kawasaki

2013 Topps Supreme Stylings Autographs #MK

I had a really difficult time choosing between Kawasaki and my number 5 selection, because he represents everything I love about this sport.  He's fun, positive, and is a kid at heart.

Honorable Mention #3:  Andrew McCutchen

2011 Topps Lineage Reprint Auto #RA-AM

Cutch's batting average has dropped off this year... but he's still one of baseball's biggest class acts.  And even after winning an MVP Award, representing the National League in numerous all-star games, and becoming one of MLB's biggest names... he seems so down to earth and humble.

Honorable Mention #4:  Josh Donaldson

2010 Topps Chrome #191

This might sound crazy... but I've actually become a bigger fan of Donaldson since he was traded.  I've heard him talk about the trade on several occasions and he's always said he has no animosity towards Oakland and he'll always cherish the great memories.  Plus it doesn't hurt that the guy plays with a lot of heart.  Maybe one day when he's at the tail end of his career, he'll come back to the Athletics.

Okay... now for the unveiling of my favorite non-Athletic/non-Padre...

#5:  Bartolo Colon 

2013 Topps Update All-Star Stitches #BC

Big Sexy has become America's latest folk hero.  But seriously guys.  I've liked him since he signed with the Athletics back in 2012.  It's not everyday I come across a player my age who has weight issues and an entertaining personality.

#4:  Clayton Kershaw

2014 Topps High Tek Auto #CK

Kershaw is a once in a generation kind of pitcher.  The way he dominates hitters is truly something to marvel at.  To top it off... he's a lefty like myself... and that's why he's on this list.

#3:  Jose Altuve 

2016 Museum Collection Archival Autographs #JA

For the better part of my Little League career... I was the shortest guy on the team.  But I could do three things really well... field, make contact with the ball, and get on base.  Those are Mr. Altuve's strengths too... and he's one of the shortest players in the league... which makes him my third favorite player who doesn't play for one of my favorite teams.

#2:  Ichiro Suzuki

2001 Fleer Tradition #452

When I was a kid, I turned my back on my Japanese heritage.  I wanted to fit in with the people around me... and the fact is... there just weren't a lot of Japanese people in my neighborhood.  So I grew up a "banana".  It didn't help that as a kid in the 80's, there weren't many Japanese athletes to cheer for outside of Lenn Sakata and Christian Hosoi.

However eventually I realized the importance of embracing one's culture.  That's why I decided to collect Japanese athletes and one of the greatest of all-time is Ichiro Suzuki.  I've had the privilege of watching him play on multiple occasions and he's one of only a handful of athletes I've cheered for at the Oakland Coliseum.

#1:  Kurt Suzuki

2016 Museum Collection Archival Autographs #KSZ

This pick shouldn't really surprise anyone.  For years, Kurt was my favorite Oakland Athletic and I still root for him whenever I have the opportunity to watch him play.

Well there you have it.  Hopefully the A's and Padres will eventually establish a group of core players they'd like to build their franchises around.  The sooner they do... the easier it will be for me to finally find my next favorite Athletic/Padre.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Flea Market Finds #109: Pair of Wizards

Normally my two week summer vacation involves a lot of laying around and recharging my batteries for the upcoming school year.  However this year I was quite productive.

I was able to attend a pair of baseball games, spend a few days with my parents in Vegas, catch up with several old friends over lunch/dinner, hung out with my friend and her kids at Happy Hollow, and of course... I walked around several flea markets.

On a hot summer day in San Jose, there's a good chance it'll be about twenty to thirty degrees cooler on the coast.  Temperatures in my neck of the woods were approaching triple digits back in July, so my buddy and I decided to head over the hill to Capitola and set up at the Santa Cruz Flea Market.

I was in one of those house cleaning moods and pretty much accepted whatever anyone offered.  After eight hours of being a vendor, I made about thirty bucks and managed to get rid of the majority of the junk I brought.

Unfortunately I spent most of my profits buying stuff from other vendors... including my buddy who brought his usual assortment of sports memorabilia.

When:  Saturday, July 30th
Where:  Santa Cruz Flea Market
What: Bobbleheads and Harry Potter Cards
How Much:  $25

Purchase #1:  2002 Memory Company Padres Bobblehead $5

After an hour or so of sitting around and making a few sales here and there... I decided to walk around.  There wasn't much to look at, but I did find a guy who had some older issues of Sports Illustrated, about ten unopened wax boxes, and five or six bobbleheads.

His prices were pretty inflated, however he accepted my five dollar offer on this San Diego Padres bobblehead.  The box is pretty beat up, but the bobblehead is brand new.

Purchase #2:  Harry Potter TCG Cards $5

Another vendor had tables of toys... mostly old wrestling figures, action figures, and McDonald's Happy Meal toys.  Sitting on one of the tables were a few boxes of Harry Potter TCG cards.  I thought about buying all of them, but ended up grabbing just the box with a bunch of holofoil and rare cards.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Obviously these aren't as popular as Pokemon cards, but several of the ones I looked up on eBay closed in the $3 to $7 range.  I'm thinking about flipping them and using the money to buy new cards for my collection.  We'll see what happens.

Purchase #3:  2002 Ichiro Suzuki SGA Bobblehead $15

The final purchase I made was off of my buddy.  He found this bobblehead at another flea market and gave me first crack at it.  He sold it to me for the same price he originally paid... which after searching eBay seems to be a pretty good deal.

After the flea market we drove over to Gayle's Bakery and Rosticceria... where I ended up spending the remainder of my profits plus much, much more.  But I'm not complaining.  Life doesn't get much better than hanging out with your buddy, selling excess clutter, buying bobbleheads, and eating Gayle's.

Happy Monday and sayonara!