30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

So Long, Farewell

Baseball cards are awesome.  I mean... why else would I still be collecting them after nearly four decades?  However it's not always fun and games.  At the end of last year, I stumbled across this card on COMC:

2002 Topps Traded and Rookies Farewell Bat Relic #FW-JC

When I first saw it, I knew that I wanted it for my Oakland Athletics collection, because Canseco was such a big part of their franchise's success during their 1988 to 1990 World Series run.  The best thing about this card is that it's a tribute to his retirement earlier in the 2002 season.

Then like a big old brick, it hit me... it's been almost sixteen years since he made the announcement to retire.  My brain immediately tried to put things into perspective.  I started off by thinking about where I'll be sixteen years from now.  And there's a pretty good chance I'll be retired or at the very least counting down my final years of standing in front of the classroom.

I also started reminiscing on Canseco's career and realized that 2018 is the 30th Anniversary of his 40/40 and AL MVP season.  That's right about the time that his rookie card prices skyrocket and this card reached triple digits:

1986 Donruss #39

With the exception for graded gem mint copies, this card hasn't been worth triple digits in decades.  How much as hit gone down in value?  Well... I was able to grab this card at the TriStar Show last year for under a buck.  Talk about sports card depreciation.

I wonder how much this card will be worth in thirty years.  Heck... it'll be interesting to see if there are any card companies still around in thirty years and whether or not any of us are still collecting.

2048 may sound like it's a long way into the future for some of you, but if you've been collecting for as long as I have... then maybe you're like me and can feel it just around the corner.

That brings us to today's question...

Do you see yourself still collecting sports cards in 2048?

Until my next post...

So long, farewell... happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Prelude to a Post

It's sunny and 65° outside, which means that I've scheduled a scenic date with Mother Nature.  Is there anything better than breathing in clean, fresh air and soaking in some California sun while hanging out with a friend on a hike?

Well... I realize it's like comparing apples to oranges, but baseball cards would definitely be in the discussion.

Sport Card Collectors recently sent me a six card PWE that got me pumped up for my hike...

First up...

1999 Topps #110

Another Oakland Athletics buyback for my collection.  This one features the 1998 American League Rookie of the Year who was once the A's top prospect.  I went all in on Ben Grieve back in the late 90's and eventually learned that prospecting isn't my thing.

That's why I had no idea who this guy was...

2017 Bowman's Best Dean's List #BADL-LA

After looking him up online, I discovered that Armenteros is 18 year old outfielder from Cuba who probably won't be called up for at least a few more seasons.

The rest of the PWE was filled with veterans including two guys on the 2017 Oakland Athletics roster:

2017 Topps Gold #542
2017 Bowman's Best Refractor #53

Plouffe was traded last summer to Tampa Bay and is currently a free agent, while Davis just recently signed a one year deal to stay in town.

The last two cards are the perfect prelude to my Tuesday post:

2017 Stadium Club Gold #227
2017 Stadium Club Power Zone #PZ-JC

I don't want to spoil the surprise... but here's a hint.  Tuesday's post has nothing to do with Stadium Club baseball cards.

Thanks Sport Card Collectors for these cards.  You went 6 for 6... since I didn't have any of these before receiving your PWE.  Looks like I gotta go dig up some more Rodney Hampton cards to send you way.

In the meantime... I've gotta get ready for my hike.  Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday Night Five: Trevor Hoffman

2004 Sweet Spot Signatures #SS-HO

When Trevor Hoffman's name was announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Wednesday, I was very excited... but not really surprised.

Okay... okay... I know I left him off of my own ballot last weekend.  But that had to do with me keeping things conservative and only voting for "no brainers".  The only relief pitcher who will receive the "no brainer" treatment by the majority of baseball fans is going to be Mariano Rivera.

2007 Sweet Spot Patch #SW-HO

With that being said... today I wanted to stand up and express my admiration and appreciation for the Padres fan favorite and franchise icon.

2008 Topps Silk Collection #NNO

He is the first pitcher in MLB history to reach the 500 and 600 save milestones.  And when he retired from baseball after the 2010 season, he was the MLB all-time saves leader.  Those numbers by themselves put him in elite company.

1996 Leaf Signature Silver #NNO

But when you consider that over 90% of his saves were earned while wearing a San Diego Padres uniform that only strengthens his case.  Hoffman didn't have the luxury of playing on many winning teams, so he had to make the most out of his save opportunities.  Padres fans realize.

2001 SP Game Used Authentic Fabric #TrH

Congratulations Trevor and thanks for the memories!  Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Change of Scenery

When it comes to baseball cards, the 1956 Topps Jackie Robinson is the hands down favorite sitting within my collection.  After that... ranking my favorite cards gets much less clear, because a lot of it has to do with the mood I'm in.  One day, I might be into vintage hall of famers.  The next day I could be into on-card autographs.  And we all know how much I enjoy shiny 90's inserts and 80's rookie cards.

The exact same thing can be said for my favorite non-sport cards.  Earlier in the month, Billy over at Cardboard History ranked his favorite non-sport sets which inspired me to look into my collection and pick out some of my personal favorites.

After sifting through tons of scans and past posts, I came up with eighteen cards that were considered candidates.  This process also gave me a deeper appreciation of Billy's posts, because it wasn't a very easy task.

I decided to tweak and simplify things a little bit and focus on specific cards instead of actual sets.  I also quickly realized that it was very, very difficult to rank all eighteen of them, because I kept shifting the order every time I looked over the scans.

That's why I'm going to take the easy way out and only rank my Top 10 and list 8 honorable mentions.  C'mon it's the start of the second semester, I have 160+ new students, and I just wrapped up my 2nd Quarter grades.  Maybe this summer I'll come back and revise this post.

Until then... here are my Top 10 favorite non-sport cards:

#10:  2008 Topps Campaign #C08-BO

I don't even need to travel down the political path to appreciate this card.  Our first African American president standing in front of The United States flag speaks for itself.

#9: 2012 Allen and Ginter Framed Mini Relic #AGR-KU

Of course Kate's relic card is going to make the Top 10.  Six year's later, she's still as voluptuous as ever.

#8: 2010 Marvel Heroes and Villains Sketch Card #NNO

I'm not a big fan of Captain America or the Red Skull, but this is the coolest sketch card in my collection.

#7: 2009 Topps Heritage Heroes of Spaceflight #SSC3

I'm a product of the 80's, which means I grew up in an era when they'd televise all of the space shuttle launches and it was super exciting.  This card reminds me of those days.

#6: 1961 Topps Sports Cars #43

A vintage card of my vintage dream car.  The only problem is this card looks so good, I feel guilty about leaving it out of my Top 5.

#5: 1966 Topps Batman Black Bat #3

I have a deep appreciation of artwork... which will become apparent as I reveal my final five.  If DC and/or Topps were smart, they'd turn this card into a poster.  It'd look amazing hanging up in my classroom.

#4: 1956 Topps Flags of the World #1

Old Glory makes another appearance on this list... and she looks marvelous.  Seeing Mount Rushmore and The Statue of Liberty painted in the background doesn't hurt.

#3: 1967 Henerle #110

There are so many cool things about this card.  It's a vintage German trading card.  It features the first photograph of Earth from the moon's orbit.  And it was a generous gift from SumoMenkoMan.  This card is definitely a treasured piece of my non-sport card collection.

#2: 2002 Artbox Spider-Man Filmcardz Autograph #A11

Without Stan Lee, the world would be without The Fantastic Four, Hulk, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, and Spider-Man.  Can't even begin to imagine how many hours of entertainment he's provided for comic book enthusiasts and people who enjoy all of the awesome Marvel movies.

Honorable Mentions:

Sketch cards.  Relics.  Holograms.  DJ Kitten.  And a Doctor.  There's a lot of variety on my list of honorable mentions.

And now... for the moment of truth... here's my favorite non-sport card sitting in my collection.  Drum roll please...

#1: 1910-11 T59 Flags of All Nations

The Stan Lee autograph almost landed in this spot, but I decided to go with this card at the last moment, because it features museum quality artwork, it represents my family's heritage, and it's one of the oldest cards in my collection.

Okay, you know the routine.  It's your turn...

Do you collect non-sport cards?  Do you have a personal favorite?

As usual... I look forward to reading your responses.  Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Scotch Tape and Balls

Do you know who Herb Washington is?  How about Wally Moon?  Billy Cowan?  Oscar Azocar?  Lowell Palmer?  Billy Ripken?  Don Mossi?  Bip Roberts?  Kurt Bevacqua?  If you answered "yes" to four or more of these guys, then there's a pretty good chance you're a baseball card collector... or you were at some point.

1952 Topps #31

The one thing they have in common is that it can be argued that one of their baseball cards made them famous more than their performances on the field.  

The same could also be said for former MLB outfielder Gus Zernial.  His 1952 Topps baseball card is one of those silly cards you see pop up from time to time.  But do you know the story behind it?

Last year, Zernial's name showed up in my 100 Things A's Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die book.  According to the author, the photographer attached the balls to his bat with Scotch tape in honor of the six home runs he hit in a three game span (5/13/51 to 5/16/51).  The day that photo was taken, Zernial would go out and hit another home run.

Those seven home runs were the first seven he hit as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics.  He had been traded by the Chicago White Sox two weeks earlier and hadn't hit a single home run in his first eight games with the team.

He wound up hitting twenty-six more that season to beat out the legendary Ted Williams and take home the American League home run title.  The book also mentioned that no other American League player hit more home runs than Zernial from 1950 to 1955.  And believe it or not, there were only two American League players who hit more home runs than him during the 50's:  Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra.

Pretty interesting and cool, right?  But not quite as cool as his 1952 Topps card.  Let's take one more look at it:

That book motivated me to look for this card and two weeks ago I found this graded copy on eBay with an opening bid of $9.99 (+ $3 shipping).  I waited it out and put in a bid with 5 seconds to go... and wound up the lone bidder.

This is only the third 1952 Topps baseball card I have ever owned.  The first one was the Andy Pafko my aunt bought me back in the 80's, which I eventually traded away for a 1987 Fleer Tin set and some rookie cards.  The other is this mangled and torn Jerry Coleman:

1952 Topps #237

That means I only need 405 cards left to complete one of the most iconic card sets of all-time.  I'm not holding my breath though.  However I am holding one of the most affordable and coolest cards in the set.

Okay card collectors, here is today's question of the day...

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned nine baseball players who had one or more famous baseball cards:  Herb Washington, Wally Moon, Billy Cowan, Oscar Azocar, Lowell Palmer, Billy Ripken, Don Mossi, Bip Roberts, and Kurt Bevacqua.

Without searching them up on Google...

How many of these guys' cards were you able to visualize?

Had I not written this post, I would not have been able to picture Oscar Azocar, Lowell Palmer, or Bip Roberts.  I mean... I can picture a Bip Roberts card... but not his silly "hat" card.  I've also seen Oscar and Lowell's cards on numerous occasions, but I forgot their names.

Looking forward to seeing who beats my score.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!