30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, May 31, 2018

All Autograph Team: Vol. 6 (Fan Favorites)

Every year there's one product I look forward to more than any other product... and it's not Stadium Club.  It's Topps Archives.  The base set is average at best and the inserts aren't much better.  But their on-card Fan Favorites autographs more than make up for their mediocrities.

Over the past six years, I've collected over fifty different autographs and today I'm going to show off my favorites using Kenny's Blog Bat Around topic:  All Autograph Team.

I'm gonna go with the standard starting nine, a designated hitter, a pinch runner, four additional starting pitchers, a reliever, and a manager.

Here are today's team guidelines:

#1:  All autographs will be on-card, pack pulled autographs.

#2:  All autographs will be Topps Archives Fan Favorites autographs.

#3:  None of these autographs have made appearances on any other All Autograph Teams.

#4:  With the exception of Mota, all athletes will be guys I've watched play.

Now that we've established the details, let's check out my team...

Catcher:  Tony Pena

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-TP

This is one of my favorite Fan Favorite autographs in my collection.  I grew up impersonating Pena's catching style and couldn't wait for Topps to finally add him to their Archives checklist.

First Baseman:  Will Clark

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-WC

This is the second time Clark has made an appearance on one of my autograph teams.  Had a lot of fun watching The Thrill hit at Candlestick Park back in the day.

Second Baseman:  Davey Lopes

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DL

I'm not going to claim to be a diehard Lopes fan.  However he was the best option among guys like Jose Vidro, Tim Teufel, Delino DeShields, Tony Womack, and Joe McEwing.

Shortstop:  Matt Williams

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-MWI

Did you know that Matt spent the majority of his rookie season playing shortstop for the San Francisco Giants during the 1987 MLB season?

Third Baseman:  Kevin Mitchell

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-KML

What can I say?  I grew up going to a lot of San Francisco Giants games in the 80's.  In fact, if Topps ever adds Robby Thompson to their Fan Favorites lineup... they'll own a monopoly on the infield

Left Fielder:  Ben Oglivie

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-BOG

There's just something about those early to mid 80's Milwaukee Brewers teams that I can't help but love.  It started with guys like Rollie Fingers and Cecil Cooper.  Then there were Yount and Molitor.  But it was guys like Ted Simmons, Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas, Moose Haas, and Ben Oglivie that made the team stand out.

Center Fielder:  Fred Lynn

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-FL

I was a baseball fan before I started collecting baseball cards and as a kid, I was blown away by that amazing Red Sox outfield that featured Jim Rice in left, Dwight Evans in right, and Fred Lynn in center.  The Killer B's ain't got nothing on these guys.

Right Fielder:  Dave Parker

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DP

This All Autograph Team is filled with Hall of Very Good members... and Parker has to be close to the top of the list.  Cobra could do it all.

Designated Hitter:  Don Baylor 

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DB

Baylor was known for getting hit by pitches or hitting home runs.  But did you know that he also stole 20 or more bases in eight different seasons?  He's proof that you can't judge a book by its cover

Starting Pitcher #1:  Dwight Gooden

2016 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DG

Starting Pitcher #2:  Dave Stieb

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DS

Starting Pitcher #3:  Ron Darling

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-RD

Starting Pitcher #4:  Yu Darvish

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-YD

Starting Pitcher #5:  Phil Niekro

2014 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-PN

Gooden, Stieb, and Darling were three of my favorite pitchers during the 80's.  Darvish is the only active baseball player on this roster and represents my Japanese PC.  And Niekro was added to bring veteran leadership to this pitching staff and is the only hall of fame player on this roster.

Relief Pitcher:  Lee Smith

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-LS

Rollie Fingers and Kent Tekulve were originally slated to be this team's bullpen.  However... I was surprised to see that I don't own either of these guys' Fan Favorites autographs.  Oh well... having the guy who's third on the all-time saves list isn't too shabby either.

Pinch Hitter:  Manny Mota

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-MM

There's a pretty good chance that I watched Mota play at some point during the 70's.  I just don't remember.  With that being said... it's widely known that he's one of the greatest pinch hitters of all-time.  Therefore... he makes this roster.

Pinch Runner:  Vince Coleman

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-VC

Coleman is the only guy since the start of the 20th century to record three consecutive 100 stolen base seasons... and he did it during the first three seasons of his career.  I'd say that qualifies him as my pinch runner.

Manager:  Tommy Lasorda

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-TL

I shouldn't like Lasorda... since he and his Dodgers took down my beloved Athletics in 1988.  But sometimes, you just can't help but admire greatness.  Between fourth grade and my senior year in high school, I watched him lead the Dodgers to two World Series titles.  That forever left an impression on this collector.

That wraps up my sixth and final All Autograph Team post.  I was hoping to create a 7th team that included pieces of baseball memorabilia like bats, balls, and photographs.  However... I don't have access to all of my collection right now and didn't have enough stuff to fill an entire team.  Maybe one day though.

The conclusion of this series also means it's time to finish up my contest.  So today's contest question is:

If you could have Topps include any living baseball player to this year's 2018 Topps Archives Fan Favorites autograph set, who would it be?

The ones that immediately come to mind for me are Nate Colbert (Padres), Robby Thompson (Giants), Terry Steinbach (A's), Brian Downing (Angels), Mark Davis (Padres), Ted Simmons (Cardinals or Brewers), Kirk Gibson (Dodgers), Mike McCormick (Giants), Garry Templeton (Padres), Dwayne Murphy (A's), Larry Walker (Expos), Jeffrey Leonard (Giants), Steve Garvey (Padres), Pedro Guerrero (Dodgers), Willie McGee (Cardinals), Krazy George (A's), and Dick Allen (Phillies).

I know that Garvey and Gibson have signed for Archives before... but I'd like to see them in a different uniform this time.  Allen has a few Archives autographs, but hasn't been featured in years.  As for the others... I'm pretty sure they've never been featured in an Archives autograph set.  If they have, I've never seen it before.

I'm sure I've left out at least ten other guys I've considered in the past, but I'm currently drawing a blank.  But I'd love to see who you guys come up with.  Maybe someone at Topps will read this post and listen to our ideas.

Well that's it for today.  I'll close out this contest over the weekend and name the winners by Monday (maybe earlier).

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Flea Market Finds #129: Cards, Games, and Vinyl

There are three different flea markets in my area and over the past four weeks, I've forced myself to walk around all of them.  I realize that the days of finding a Pete Maravich rookie card or a Willie Mays autographed baseball for less than the price of a blaster are long gone.

But I'd be lying if I told you I only go there for the exercise.  Deep down inside, I'm hoping that I'll find guys with bargain sports memorabilia.

And the one thing I've learned is that when it comes to flea markets in my neck of the woods... bigger isn't necessarily better.

Two weekends ago, I walked around the Branham High School Flea Market which is much smaller than the other two flea markets and I was pleasantly surprised (and happy) to come home with a backpack full of goodies.

Purchase #1: 1990 Topps TV All-Stars $1

The second vendor in the first row is a regular that I've purchased cards from on multiple occasions.  He never really has any high end stuff, but he's the king of oddball issues.

Back in 1990, this set (along with five team specific sets) were available to collectors through a television offer.  I'm not sure exactly when I first heard about these sets, but I've wanted the Tony Gwynn and Rickey Henderson for awhile now.

If you look at the Henderson card, you'll notice he's sporting #22, instead the two numbers he's famous for:  #24 and #35.  That's because when he returned to the Athletics in 1989, Ron Hassey wore #24 and Bob Welch had #35.  Eventually, Rickey traded a set of golf clubs and a new suit to Hassey for #24.

By the way... the set is in pretty rough condition, but I just couldn't pass it up for a buck.

Purchase #2:  We Are The World Single LP  $2

The first three purchases came from the same vendor, but I separated them since I reached into my pocket three different times.

After looking through his box of sports cards, I started looking through his small stack of LP's.  This single from my childhood was the only one that really stood out.  The cover is in decent shape and the record itself looks like its brand new.

Purchase #3:  New Monopoly Games $15

This is exactly the kind of purchase I try to avoid, because I just don't have the room to store this kind of stuff.

However the price was too low to pass up.  If I ever decide to start flipping my flea market finds, these two board games should net a decent profit.

Purchase #4:  2018 Topps Angels Team Set $7

A few rows over, my buddies were set up with their usual assortment of "stuff I don't need".  Tony was the guy who sold me the 2017 Topps Yankees team set earlier in the month.  This time around he had the 2018 Los Angeles Angels team set with the Shohei Ohtani:

Later that afternoon, I went to Target and they had 15 to 20 of these sets for $4.95 each.  On the flipside... the Ohtani alone sells for $5 to $10 on eBay.

Purchase #5:  2018 Bowman Blaster Boxes $10

Bowman has been out for over a month and I've yet to see one blaster of this product at my local Targets.  I know I overpaid for these two stacks of Bowman, but maybe... just maybe one of the rookies will one day help cover the cost.

Purchase #6:  SCD Baseball Card Price Guide $1

There were actually three or four other vendors with trading cards set up at this tiny high school flea market.  The last guy I stumbled upon had a bunch of older Sports Illustrated issues and Becketts.  He also had a dollar box.  That's where I found this magazine.

I grabbed it, because it has a cool cover and contains this interesting Michael Jordan oddball issue:

Looking at older card values is one of the main reasons I enjoy picking up these old school price guides.  Hard to imagine a time when mint Jordan rookie cards were less than $300.

Well that's all I have for today.  In addition to walking around the much larger Capitol Flea Market this past weekend, I was also able to finish sorting that collection I purchased.

As soon as I take some photos and scan some singles, I'll show off that purchase.  Like I mentioned previously... it wasn't exactly my finest purchase.  But there were a few cool cards hidden within those 5,000ct. boxes, so stay tuned.

By the way... on Thursday, I'll be posting my final All-Autograph Team, which also means that I'll be wrapping up my contest probably this weekend.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!