30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Admiring the Scenery

Allergy season has officially arrived.  Well... at least in my household.  Last night an itchy throat and a terrible headache kept me up into the wee hours of the morning, so I decided to catch up on some reading.

Commishbob was showing off more of his TCMA Stars of the 60's singles and I was blown away by his ability to identify baseball stadiums featured in the background of his cards.  Actually there are a bunch of you who share this skill and I've got to admit... I'm kinda jealous.

There are really only two baseball stadiums that I feel confident in pointing out on cards.  Both are from my childhood... but only one of them is still around to enjoy.

I started attending San Francisco Giants and Oakland A's games back in the 70's and have fond memories at both Candlestick Park and the Oakland Coliseum.  That's why I enjoy looking at 70's baseball cards so much.  I get a chance to see photographs of both stadiums the way I remember them as a kid.

I recently received a PWE from Adam over at Cardboard Clubhouse and he included this awesome 1973 Topps card of Gene Tenace that features the beautiful Coliseum in the background.

1972 World Series MVP

It's truly a beautiful sight to take in.  These days fans are treated to the monstrosity known as Mount Davis instead.

Adam also included these two 70's team cards which show the Coliseum from another angle:

Thank you Adam for helping me take a trip down memory lane.  If things work out for A's fans... we'll have a new stadium to watch games at and there'll be a new background for photographers.  And that'll be one more reason to appreciate 70's baseball cards.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Collection Recession

For the first time in nearly a decade, my collection's growth has pretty much stalled after I put myself on a strict hobby budget last month.

On one hand, it's a little disheartening because collecting cards is one of the things I'm truly passionate about.  I know some people say you can't buy happiness... but I don't subscribe to that theory.  Adding a new Rickey Henderson relic card or Jose Altuve autograph to my collection always brings a smile to my face.  Unfortunately my self imposed budget restricts these purchases.

With that being said... I think the pros of creating this budget outweigh the cons.  I know it's early in the game, but I'm proud of the fact that I've been able to resist temptation and keep my purchases to a minimum.

In fact, I've only made two hobby purchases in the last forty-five days.  The first was one of Gio's 1930 Baseball Stars custom sets over at When Topps Had Balls.  The other is a card I've been chasing for almost two decades.

No.  I didn't spend hundreds of dollars for this Walter Payton.  I actually pulled it out of a pack way back in the day and I've been in love with the 1999 UD Retro Inkredible autographs ever since.

Since then, I've been slowly chasing down all of the hall of famers in the set.  There are currently eleven guys on the checklist that are enshrined at Canton... and two more who will eventually join them.

I have slowly picked them up over the years, but the one that always seemed to elude me was Roger Staubach.  I've bid on quite a few, but have never secured one for the collection until two weeks ago when an eBay vendor finally accepted my best offer after submitting multiple offers over the past few months.

Without further adieu, I present to you my first and only eBay purchase in over a month:

1999 UD Retro Inkredible #RG

It felt good to finally cross this card off of my wantlist.

I'm still going to chase down the remaining eight cards I need to complete this set, but now that I have Roger out of the way... I'm no longer in any rush.  Seven of the guys are draft picks who never lived up to expectations, so I'll patiently wait for them to fall into my price range.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Runner Up

Last week I wrote a post about 1964 Topps Giant oddball issue and while digging through my scans, I found another interesting oddball from the same year:

1964 Auravision #9

Technically it's a record and not a baseball card... but considering how these were distributed to collectors, I'd still classify it as an oddball issue.

According to Sports Collectors Daily, these were available to baseball fans through a Milk Duds/Meadow Gold milk mail-in promotion.  Here are images I found over on Keyman Collectibles of what the milk carton and candy box ads looked like:

I was truly impressed with how informative their site was.  They mention that there was a large hoard of factory stock discovered in the 70's or 80's, which explains why these are very affordable considering these records are over fifty years old.

I wish I would have known this tidbit of knowledge six years ago when I overpaid and purchased my Koufax for $20 at the De Anza Flea Market.  But in hindsight, the uniqueness of this item and that fact that it brings two important things (records and sports) from my childhood together definitely softens the blow.

When I saw this sitting in the gentleman's display case, the first thing that caught my attention was the photo of Koufax and the bright blue sky in the background.  Even though its obviously a staged photo, collectors are able to imagine The Left Arm of God staring down at the opposing batter and waiting for Johnny Roseboro's signal.

The back is equally impressive.  There's a small biography, a second photo, full MLB statistics, and directions on how to play the record.

I had completely forgotten about this flea market find until I ran across this scan.  But after seeing how affordable these are, I'll probably add at least the two Athletics at some point... and possibly the Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn for my Lefty PC.

What about you?

Are these your cup of tea?  Would you consider collecting these?  Do you already own any?

Oh... and if you're wondering what's on this record, someone on YouTube recorded it:

Can you believe one of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball didn't play organized baseball until high school?  The stuff you can learn from fifty-three year old baseball records.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Break from Reality

Our country is going through some serious social justice issues and just thinking about the direction we're going in is kind of depressing.  It's a shame, because we have come so far in terms of fighting for equality.

But that's the beautiful thing about our hobby and blogosphere.  It can help us temporarily escape the ugliness that's going on around us in everyday life.

I can definitely use one of those breaks today, which is why I felt the urge to share the beauty of my 1999 Topps Gallery "Gallery of Heroes" set.

So sit back... grab your beverage of choice... and enjoy:

#GH1 Mark McGwire

#GH2 Sammy Sosa

#GH3 Ken Griffey Jr.

#GH4 Mike Piazza

#GH5 Derek Jeter

#GH6 Nomar Garciaparra

#GH7 Kerry Wood

#GH8 Ben Grieve

#GH9 Chipper Jones

#GH10 Alex Rodriguez

Okay... the break from reality is over.  Time to see Trump's latest tweet.  Sigh.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Card Show Substitute

It's Saturday afternoon and as I'm writing this post... my favorite card show is taking place a little less than an hour away.  Over the years, I've made numerous purchases ranging from dime box bargains to complete vintage sets.  Plus even when I don't buy stuff... it's nice to hang out and talk shop with fellow collectors.

But today I woke up and decided I wasn't really feeling it.  This week in the classroom took its toll on me.  It had nothing to do with the students.  They were fine for the most part, but somehow a bunch of schedules were messed up and the school finally corrected them five weeks into the school year.

I was fortunate to only lose two students, however I was stressed out that they were going to take out a bunch more.  Plus anytime students are moved around, we need to go back into our grading program and reenter all of our grades for those students.  I had almost thirty students affected.

Plus... a few weeks ago... I picked up a card I had been looking for and essentially blew my monthly hobby budget on one purchase.

So I decided to stay home, catch up on some rest, and finally open up a care package that Julie over at A Cracked Bat sent me last week.  It was truly a nice substitute for attending a card show.

She hooked me up with a bunch of nice cards for my Oakland A's and Japanese baseball player collections that included everything from inserts to rookie cards to hits.

Here's just a sampling of what she sent:

I figured I'd wrap things up with my five favorites...

#5:  2001 Team Best Minor League Auto #NNO

Julie sent me twenty-three baseball cards featuring Japanese baseball players.  Twenty-one of them were new additions.  When you take into consideration that I have four binders dedicated to that collection, it's pretty amazing that only two cards were duplicates.  This card wasn't one of them.

In fact this was my very first autograph of Tomo Ohka and it's hard signed which is an awesome bonus.

#4:  2001 Bowman's Best Locker Room Collection Jersey #MM

A's fans don't have a lot to cheer for right now, so sometimes we dwell on the past.  Mulder, Hudson, and Zito provided a lot of fond memories back in the day.  Anytime I can add a new relic of any of these guys, it's a good day.

#3:  2002 Topps East Meets West #EW-MS

Masanori Murakami paved the way for guys like Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, Yu Darvish, and of course... Mac Suzuki.  This card honors him.  I just wished Topps made more cards of him.

#2:  2014 Topps Red Hot Foil #104

When it comes to Topps baseball cards and Kurt Suzuki... 2014 was one of his finest years.  He had three different base cards and all of them are fantastic.  I absolutely love this card.

#1:  1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Greats of the Game #52

This card captures one of the finest moments in Oakland A's World Series history.  Talk about perfect timing by both Rudi and the photographer.  It's even more special that this took place a little over a month after I was born.

Thank you so much Julie for this generous care package!  I've got some Tigers set aside for you and the Biggio you commented on.  I'll get around to shipping them out eventually.

Oh by the way... I should also thank you for putting me in touch with Gio over at When Topps Had Balls.

He had an extra set available, so I grabbed it.  I was really excited to add it to my collection.  It was worth every penny.

Okay... time for a nice nap.  Happy Saturday and sayonara!