30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

My Sports Card Bucket List

There are plenty of things I'd like to accomplish at some point in my life, but I'm sure you're not here to read about me going to the Smithsonian Institution or camping for 30 days straight at different places across the West Coast.

So today I'm going to write about some semi-realistic and not-so-realistic things I'd like to experience or accomplish before I kick the bucket.  But before I do... I want to give a shout out to Billy over at Cardboard History for inspiring me to write this list.  Last week he posted his bucket list over here.

Okay.  Let's kick things off with four things that are likely to never happen unless I win the lottery...

The Not Realistic Bucket List:

1.  Complete the 1956 Topps baseball set.  (Chance of Success: 3%)

1956 Topps #31

I've made it pretty clear to all of you just how much I love this set.  I'm in the process of collecting all of the hall of famers in this set, but it'd be so much cooler to own the entire set.  Money is the main thing that's holding me back.  I collect way too many things to focus my attention on this set.

2.  Own a 1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson.  (Chance of Success: 10%)

Heritage Auctions Image

As a rookie card collector, I'd love to one day own a graded copy of #42's rookie card.  I've watched a few copies here and there, but I just can't justify spending four figures on a piece of cardboard.  Maybe one day.  Maybe.

3.  Attend The National.  (Chance of Success: 25%)

Like Billy... I'd love to one day attend the National Sports Collectors Convention.  The problem is I'd much rather go shopping on COMC or on eBay, than spend hundreds of dollars on airfare and a hotel room.  My best chance would be if it returned to the Moscone Center in San Francisco or possibly the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California.

4.  Own a complete run of Kellogg's lenticular baseball sets.  (Chance of Success: 10%)

1974 Kellogg's #51
1979 Kellogg's #18
1982 Kellogg's #4

Ever since I purchased those Kellogg's sets last month, I've been on a mission to complete the 1976 to 1983 run of Kellogg's cards.  I'm down to only needing the 1979 set.  If money was no object, I'd be chasing down the 1970, 1971, 1972, and 1975 sets as well.  Unfortunately, it's really hard for me to justify spending hundreds of dollars on these four sets when there are tons of other "more affordable" singles I'm currently targeting.

Okay... let's move on to some things that are potentially a little more realistic...

The Realistic Bucket List:

1.  Own a Mike Trout autographed card(Chance of Success: 51%)

Google Images

There was a time when Greg Maddux, Barry Bonds, and Hank Aaron autographs were out of my price range.  But as they signed more and more cards, prices dropped lower and lower.  Hopefully the same thing applies to Trout.

2.  Complete my run of Topps baseball sets from 1972 to 1986.  (Chance of Success: 90%)

1973 Topps #142

Out of all of the things on my sports card bucket list, this is the one that's most likely to occur.  The only set I still need is the 1973 Topps baseball set and although it's vintage, these are pretty affordable.  It's mainly comes down to me finding a set in reasonable condition with a reasonable price tag.  I'm counting on this happening one day.

3.  Own a 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle.  (Chance of Success: 50%)

Heritage Auctions Image

This is the one 1956 Topps hall of famer that may or may not ever land in my collection.  Much like the 1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson and the Mike Trout autograph, it'll come down to money and whether or not I want to dedicate such a high percentage of my hobby budget to a single card.

4.  Visit a baseball card shop in Japan.  (Chance of Success: 40%)

Beckett Baseball Advertisement

If I ever cross off this bucket list item, it means I crossed off a major personal bucket list item as well:  travel to Japan.  The one thing holding me back would be the eleven hour flight from San Francisco to Tokyo and my anxiety.  It's possible.  I hope.

5.  Streamline my collection.  (Chance of Success: 35%)

This is the only bucket list item that isn't in the "want" category.  It essentially needs to get done.

I collect way too many things and due to lack of storage space, I've been thinking about streamlining things and trimming the fat.  Unfortunately I face one major issue.  I really, really, really enjoy collecting all of these things.

Well there you have it: my sports card bucket list.  I'm sure most of you have already checked out Billy's list, but if you haven't you should.  Just click here.

So what are some things you'd like to accomplish in this hobby before you kick the bucket?

As usual... I look forward to reading and replying to your responses.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Really, my only one that I would be disappointed if I never achieved is owning a Jeter autograph.

  2. 1954 Al Kaline RC. Never even held one. That, and a Ty Cobb tobacco card...OH, MY!

  3. I'd like to own a 1954 Topps Hank Aaron RC or a 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente RC - those cards would be at the top of my list as far as things to own.

  4. Great list! Maybe a cruise to Japan would be more palatable? I don't even know if they do that sort of thing. and for me it would not be much better as I don't know if I could handle it.

    I am in the same predicament with Europe. I have a strong affinity for my Italian and German ancestry, yet not sure if I will ever get there to see where my ancestors lived.

  5. I want to attend a game in Japan to have the experience. From all the footage I've seen they are the best fans in baseball.
    As far as baseball cards go I would really like to own a vintage Mickey Mantle card some day. It doesn't matter from what year or the condition, but my collection just feels incomplete without such a legend.

  6. Game Used Wise..a certified Game Used Michael Jordan Jersey..don't even care if it's a Wizards..I still kick myself knowing I let a Wizards one go years ago for less than 5 grand...UDA Certified and everything. Considering I've spent more than that on jerseys of KD and Andrew Luck..still makes me sick to my stomach.

    Card Wise..One probably not attainable and one pretty attainable

    The First MJ All Star Jersey Card..not even the autographed one which is wayyyy out of my price range, just the non auto'd version, which is still very expensive.

    The First Griffey UD Game Jersey-That one seems more attainable because I've seen them sell in the 300-400 range. It's definitely an iconic card that I'd like to add to my collection, I know you have the Gwynn from the set, just such a cool card.

  7. Visiting Japan is definitely on my bucket list too. Would love to check out both card and camera shops there. Would love to go to Koshien in addition to an NPB game. And would need to get to Kumamoto for family history reasons.

    More locally (and in the will definitely do one day category) is getting my butt to Cooperstown. Aside from the Hall of Fame it looks like a great collecting town and now that I live in NJ it's theoretically even drivable.

    As for objects? There's a lot of vintage Topps Giants cards on my wantlist which I'd love to cross off and never expect to be able to do so (I love that Mays was a Giant but yeah he makes it impossible for me to get team set runs). But if I'm really thinking about what I'd love to get into it's pre-war stuff and just getting any T205 or Cracker Jack Giants cards (for example) would be awesome.

  8. I'm actually surprised you don't have a Trout auto, considering how many amazing autographed cards you have in your collection.

    For me the bucket list is pretty much your #1: complete the '56 Topps set. If I can get my hands on a '41 Play Ball Ted Williams card (in decent shape) I'll die a happy man. Anything else is icing on the cake :)

    Good luck with your goals. I can definitely see you completing the Topps baseball run, and at least a few more of these.

  9. The Lost Collector - If I had not purchased mine back in the 90's when they were more affordable, I probably wouldn't have a Jeter autograph myself.

    John Sharp - I'm on the verge of chasing down all of the Topps Kaline player cards (no subsets) from his playing years. If I do... the 54 rookie card will be a challenge. Don't think I've ever even looked up a Cobb tobacco card. I'm assuming those go for 4 figures. Best of luck!

    Laurens - I'd love to add either of those to my collection as well. Maybe I need to start playing the lottery, so I can win the lottery. That's the only way I'll be able to own either of those cards.

    Billy Kingsley - Great idea about the cruise. Looks like there's one out of Vancouver. I'll definitely need to look into it. Thanks for inspiring this post! Loved the idea.

    P-town Tom - I've had a few friends who have gone and they all say it's insanely awesome. The whole stadium gets involved. As for Mantle, I still don't own a vintage regular base card of him either. I have subset cards and a few oddball issues. If and when I do buy one, it'll probably be the 1965 Topps or (crossing my fingers) the 1956.

    Chris P - Wow. You had a Wizards game used Jordan jersey? That's insane! Actually not really surprising since your collection is insane. Hope you're able to one day grab another one. Good luck on finding the Jordan and Griffey too. I'd love to add the Griffey, but they're just way too expensive. Just glad I have the Ordonez and Gwynn. Two out of three isn't too bad.

    Nick Vossbrink - Camera shops make sense. Your photography is awesome! You'll definitely get there before me. If I go it'll be when I retire in 15 to 20 years. I also want to visit Cooperstown. I'll either have to get over the flying issue... or do a cross country trip. Best of luck on finding a T205 or Cracker Jack for your collection.

    Chris - Trout's autographs were just starting to fall into the $150 range. Had the chance to snag a nice on-card autograph during the off-season, but passed. Totally regret that. The same card is selling for well above $200 now. My only hope is that one day Topps floods the hobby with his signature to the point where it takes another dip. Nice call on Teddy. That's a beautiful and iconic card.

    1. No..i PASSED on a wizards game used jersey lol...i WISH i had bought it!

  10. I great post. I really hope you can get to Japan someday! Amazing country and drugs can cure a lot of the flight anxiety. The main thing in my bucket list is to attend the National as well. I was in Chicago ready to attend the National several years ago and a family emergency sent me home. Ugh. Someday.

  11. Playing catch-up here on the 'bucket list' posts. Billy had a fun idea, I may have to come up with my own list. I'll drop two thoughts here. 1) I want to see Man United play in Old Trafford in Manchester and 2) I'd like to snag a 1915 Cracker Jack Charles Bender.

    Funny you should mention going to Japan. Many years ago I passed on an opportunity to go to Tokyo with someone because at that point I had never flown. The idea of that long flight scared the hell outta me and I knew that my then very tentative sobriety would be a victim.

  12. I like the idea of bucket lists and the %s you attached to them.

  13. SumoMenkoMan - Hopefully. I've been told to the same thing by friends, so maybe one day. Oh man... sorry to hear about that buddy. By the way... I received your box. Looking forward to tearing into it this weekend. Thanks in advance. I have some more Lairds for you. Gonna be owing you Lairds for the rest of my life.

    Commishbob - Going to a Manchester United game would be pretty cool. They were just in town a few days ago. Good luck with that Cracker Jack Bender! Yeah... going on a 10 hour+ flight for the first time flying would be quite the endeavor.

    Collecting Cutch - Thanks!

  14. Hope you make it to Japan it'd be well worth it. I'd be much more likely to go to the National if it was in California.

  15. No problem on the box. It is to say thanks for the interview you did over on my blog. Lots of randomness in there. Enjoy!

  16. Steve at 1975BaseballCards.com - I'll keep my fingers crossed for Cali. It'd be cool to meet some of the West Coast bloggers who decide to attend.

    SumoMenkoMan - Dude. No need to thank me for the interview. It was a pleasure. Don't get me wrong... I'm stoked to bust it open as soon as I have some free time. I love randomness!