30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Glowing Find

The 1991 Topps Glow Backs are like termites.  I know they're out there and there's a good chance they're sitting within my home, but I've never actually seen them in person.

Well this analogy was broken over the summer when Steve over at 1975 Baseball Cards sent me a few to check out.  After failing to convert my iPhone into a black light, I purchased one on Amazon for less than $10.

Since then, whenever I stumble across a 1991 Topps baseball card in my collection, I have to check to see if it's a glow back.  I've actually found a bunch of Athletics... but nobody really cares about them, so I didn't bother to photograph them.

1991 Topps #333

On the other hand, I was pretty excited to find that one of my Chipper Jones rookie cards glowed in the dark:

Here's a look at the card back without the black light:

The other glow back I was pretty happy to find was this Tony Gwynn:

1991 Topps #180

It was actually sitting in my Gwynn binder the entire time.  It took about 20 minutes of digging, but I eventually found a non-glow back to sit next to his cardboard counterpart

Based on my personal findings, glow backs seem to be a little tougher to find.  However these findings is based on a very small sample size, so I turn to you...

Are 1991 Topps Glow Backs truly rarer?  

People on eBay seem to think so.  The handful of Chipper glow backs have BIN prices in the $18 to $30 range, while his regular card can be picked up for under $3.

Even if they are rarer... I've read that Topps produced close to four million copies of each 1991 Topps baseball card.  If that's true... than there are plenty of glow backs floating around our hobby to go around.  And if you're a player collector like myself... it's always fun to find a variation you didn't know you had sitting in your collection.

As for discovering termites... I'm not looking forward to that day.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Other Side of the Table

I've had the privilege of working at two different card shops during my lifetime and they were honestly two of the greatest jobs I ever had.  Had money not been a factor, I could see myself sitting around a card shop sorting cards and talking shop with co-workers and customers until retirement.  Unfortunately... minimum wage and card shop discounts weren't enough to cover my cost of living expenses, so I became a teacher instead.

Every now and then, I'll get to experience the old LCS days when I go and help out my buddy Mike who sets up at different collectible shows in our area.  I met him while working at my second card shop gig and whenever we hang out, it's just like the good old days.  In fact... half of our conversations seem to revolve around our time at Fun Stuff Collectibles back in the late 90's and early 2000's.

He's been in the collectibles industry since the late 80's and for as long as I have known him, he's focused on obtaining in-person autographs.  Without him, I never would have gone out and gotten all of the San Jose Sharks autographs that are hanging up in my office (pictured above in my header).  It's been a few years since I've gone Shark hunting, but he still does it during the hockey season.  Lately, he's been specializing in celebrity autographs like Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), and other pop-culture stars that attend the tons of conventions that have grown exponentially popular the past decade or so.

This past Saturday, I helped him out at the 2018 Bay Area Toy Expo and Comic Convention and got a chance to sit on the vendor side of the table and it was quite the experience.  You really get to meet and see some interesting people.  I wish I had taken photos of some of the people who dressed up for the event.  Everywhere you looked there were people wearing Star Wars characters, comic book characters, and even a few video game characters.

But at the end of the day, I was exhausted and came to the ultimate realization that this kind of stuff was no longer my cup of tea.  It was fun to hang out and talk shop, but doing it for 10 hours was a little too much.  I tried to kill some time by walking around the show, but there's only so many times I want to look at action figures and Funko Pops.

I told him that I'd be willing to help him out again in the future, but only if he really needed it.  As a veteran dealer, I think he understood where I was coming from.  He ended up hooking me up with these four signed items as a token of his appreciation:

First up is this Rubie's Boba Fett helmet that's autographed by Jeremy Bulloch and authenticated by Beckett.  Here's a closer look at his signature:

Mike has been involved with a few private signings with Mr. Bulloch over the years and each time he's gotten these helmets signed.  Unfortunately he recently announced his retirement, so it was really generous of Mike to hook me up with one of the last remaining helmets in his inventory.

He also hooked me up with these two signed (JSA witnessed) Funko Pops:

Stranger Things is one of my favorite shows.  This Netflix original really targets people like me who spent part of their childhood in the 80's.  Anyways... there were three cast members at the convention this past weekend: Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), and Mark Steger (The Demogorgon).  He didn't get anything signed by Mrs. Wheeler, but Mike got several things signed by the other two guys, so he generously gave me one of each.

The final autograph I added to my collection was this signed 8x10 photo:

Before Saturday, I had no idea who Paige was.  Fast forward a few days and I still don't know much about her except for the fact that she employed by WWE and she's easy on the eyes.

Thank you Mike for all of these awesome autographs and for giving me the opportunity to sit on the other side of the table and see things from a dealer's point of view like the good old days.

How about you...

Have you ever set up at a card show or worked at a card shop?  If not, have you ever wanted to?

That's it for today.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Whole Lot of Gravy

One of my favorite blog series of 2018 was The Collector's Sports Card Tour, where he'd target a city and write about their sports teams and sports cards.  It was cool to read about the different players he's collected over the years as well as his thoughts on the sports town itself.  Each post along his fifty-one city tour was very entertaining, educational, and motivated me to sit down and think about which athletes I've enjoyed collecting across the four major sports (and soccer) in North America.

If that weren't enough, he turned the whole series into a interactive contest, where you'd receive points by leaving comments.  Participants took turns picking prizes from his huge pool of goodies.  I happened to have the first pick in the contest, so I grabbed this card:

1977 TCMA Renata Galasso #20

I had just seen this card on someone's blog and was very excited to have the opportunity to own my very own copy.  But Jackie wasn't alone, he brought along a bunch of friends:

There was an even larger stack of 1979 TCMA 50's:

Here's a closer look at what these cards look like:

1979 TCMA 50's #49

This prize package sure boosted my 70's baseball card binder.

After everyone selected their first prize package, he offered up a second one.  I grabbed a medium flat rate box of baseball cards:

I didn't take the time to count the cards, but I'd estimate that The Collector sent over 2,000 baseball cards.  It took me about an hour to sift through all of it.  When I was finished, I had pulled out a handful of inserts and oddballs for my binders as well as these two cool rookie cards:

The rest will be taken to my classroom and either handed out to students or used as samples for my civil rights leaders trading card project.

Thank you so much Chris (a.k.a The Collector) for writing this amazing blog series and for hosting this very generous contest.  Your name has been added to The Hit List, which essentially means that I owe you one.

Until then...

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Hit List

The generosity and camaraderie among our blogosphere is truly something special.  The sheer amount of packages exchanging bloggers hands is impressive and has the ability to turn a frown upside down.  It warms the heart just watching guys like Wes and Matt send each other epic packages trying to outdo each other's hospitality and proves that there's plenty of good in our world and our hobby.

Over the years, I've received a fair share of packages containing cardboard myself.  Sometimes they're blind trades, where me and another blogger send each other mystery packages where there isn't anything specific.  Other times... bloggers will send a care package with no strings attached... once again proving how unselfish our blogosphere truly is.

Since the start of the year, I've received close to 25 packages from fellow bloggers (some bloggers sent multiple packages).  Well... I was finally able to get my act together and return the favor.  The process actually started a few months ago when I started targeting cards for people on COMC and wrapped things up yesterday afternoon when I shipped out twenty-three packages.  The first eighteen packages were to bloggers I had owed or to people I had picked up some stuff for:

Mario @ Wax Heaven
Julie @ A Cracked Bat
Wes @ Area 40
Christopher @ The Raz Card Blog

The final five were contest winners from back in June:

By the way... Sport Card Collectors... I threw in a few extra goodies since I owed you a care package and a contest package.

I apologize to all of you who have been waiting around for your packages.

There are two bloggers that I still owe:  Steve @ 1975 Baseball Cards. and Chris @ The Collector. I'll be trying to find some cards for each of these blogger's collections.  In the meantime, they're the inspiration for my blog's newest sidebar addition:  The Hit List.  It's a list of bloggers I'm trying to hunt down cards for.  In other words a list of bloggers I owe.

To be brutally honest... I can't make any promises on when these packages will be shipped out.  Whenever I try to commit to a date, things pop up, and shipments get delated.  That's the main reason I don't really trade anymore.  The only thing I can guarantee is that I'll eventually hit you back.  It might take three, six, or nine months.  But I'll eventually take care of business.

I realize that this isn't acceptable to some collectors.  If that's the case, I'd avoid sending packages my way.  I truly appreciate the thought... but there are just too many things going on in life for me to guarantee a quick turnaround time.

Well that's it for today.  If you don't see your name in this post and you feel I owe you a care package, leave a comment down below or shoot me an email, and I'll add your name to The Hit List.

I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend.  Today I'm helping my buddy out at the Bay Area Toy Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, but hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to sleep in and catch up on all of your blog posts.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Shill Bidding and Trapper Keepers

There was a time in my life when picking out a new lunch pail and Trapper Keeper for the upcoming school year was one of my favorite shopping excursions during the year.  I've thought about those moments a lot this past week, as I've made my way down to Target pick up things for my classroom and secretly hoping I'd stumble across a few Archives blasters.  Found plenty of notebooks, glue sticks, and highlighters... but no Archives.

That's probably a sign from the Cardboard Gods, since I've been spending way too much money on cards lately.  I already showed off the $140 worth of blaster boxes I purchased earlier in the month.  Then last week, I went a little crazy and spent $61.88 (+ $4 shipping) on this card:

1982 Topps #164

Back in the early 80's... I was obsessed with looking up box scores every morning in the San Jose Mercury News.  One of my favorite stats was stolen bases and for four straight seasons (1981 to 1984) these two guys were atop the leader boards.  Both of them terrorized pitchers and catchers on the base paths and both were very popular among fans.

So when I saw this card pop up on one of my saved eBay searches, I was determined to go all-in on this card and when the dust settled, I walked away with the winning bid of $61.88 (+ $4 shipping).

Unfortunately, it was a Probstein123 auction, which means there's a good chance shill bidding was involved.  But I can't complain.  Nobody forced me to enter my bid.  And honestly... I'm pretty stoked to add this card to my Rickey Henderson collection.

Believe it or not, according to Beckett... these two hall of famers have only been featured together on a card ten times and four of them are very rare memorabilia cards.  Maybe one day, Stadium Club will bring back their Co-Signers autographs and put these two on the same card.  I know I'd definitely be interested in adding that card to my collection.

By the way, I've been really busy with the start of the new school year and finalizing a bunch of care packages for fellow bloggers.  I originally thought I'd have them shipped out by today, but it looks like I won't be able to make it to the post office until tomorrow.  I also apologize for not taking the time to read any of your blog posts the past few days.  I'm hoping to sit down and catch up over this upcoming weekend.

Until then... happy Thursday and sayonara!