30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Cardboard Graffiti

Life is full of perspectives and the way you look at something can change in a heartbeat depending on circumstances.

Graffiti is a perfect example.  When done with pride, it can be breathtaking and draw rave reviews.  On the other hand, if the artist chose your backyard fence as his/her canvas... then you might not appreciate it as much as others.

I recently purchased this 1986 Topps Dwight Gooden card:

Upon first glance, some might see a piece of cardboard that's been defaced with orange paint pen.

However I see things from a completely different perspective.  I see one of my favorite 1986 Topps baseball cards signed by the man himself with a '86 Champs inscription.  I also see a card that was destined to be featured on a pre-Halloween post with its black and orange theme.

What about you?

What do you see?

I hope all of you have a safe and entertaining Halloween tomorrow.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Your Very First Time

Whenever I hear or read about someone talking about attending their first sporting event, there's a part of me that's truly envious.

One of my friends took her son to his very first A's game this past season and he received a special certificate honoring the occasion.  I'm not sure what her and her son did with the certificate, but there's a chance that in 40 years he'll be able to go back and reminisce with his children or grandchildren about that game.  In addition to the certificate, my friend took a bunch of photos and recorded a few videos to document the experience.

When I was a kid... things were much different.  Back in the 70's, my brother didn't have the privilege of owning a handheld mobile phone... and even if he did... they didn't come with a camera back then.  I'm not even sure he ever brought a camera to those games back in the day.  But if he did, we didn't keep any of those pictures.

As for the certificate... if the A's handed them back then and I received one, I sadly didn't keep it.

To make a long story short... I have no idea when I attend my first baseball game.  My guess is that it was sometime around the mid 70's at either the Oakland Coliseum, Candlestick Park, or San Jose Municipal Stadium.

Personally... I'd like to think it was at the Oakland Coliseum watching guys like Bert Campaneris, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi, and Gene Tenace play in their prime

Sadly... I'll never really know.

The good news is that even though I can't tell you the first game I ever attended, I'm 100% certain that I was able to watch all four of these players in person back in the day.

That's why I have been looking for this particular card ever since I learned about its existence:

2004 UD Legends Timeless Teams
Team Terrific Game-Used Team Logo #TT-OA

I was first exposed to this set and this particular card back in August over on GCRL's blogTimeless Teams.  If you're a fan of the 2004 UD Legends Timeless Teams set, then I highly encourage you checking out his blog.  He has put together quite the collection of autographs and memorabilia cards from this product.

Anyways... I immediately added this card to my eBay search and saw it pop up not too long ago for what seemed like a reasonable price.  Unfortunately... I waited too long and missed out on it.

Fast forward to last week and the card showed up in my mailbox:

Who sent me this amazing addition to my Oakland A's PC?  Well... none other than GCRL himself.

Thank you Jim for this very generous gift.  My mind was seriously blown.  I truly wish you the best of luck on your mission to complete this insanely awesome project!  The Don Sutton you requested should be arriving in the next few days.

Getting back to the original topic...

Do you remember the very first professional baseball game you attended?

If so... I'm super jealous.  But I'm not gonna lie... staring at this amazing card makes me feel a little better.

Have a great week everyone!  Happy Monday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

Congratulations Boston Red Sox fans!  I was hoping it was gonna be a closer series... but your team was just way too good.  I don't really have too many current Sox cards in my collection, so I went with an old school card to go along with this post.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Kick in the Butt

No matter how overproduced some of the stuff was... I'll always have a soft spot for 1980's baseball cards.  They were the baseball packs I grew up opening and the nostalgic feeling I get when I stare at them is truly priceless.

Ninety-eight percent of the packs my mother or I purchased were of the wax variety.  However... every now and then, I'd have the opportunity to open up a Topps rack pack.

Anyone who is familiar with mid 80's to early 90's Topps rack packs recognizes the Topps Glossy All-Star inserts.

Starting in 1984, Topps included one of these inserts into every baseball rack pack.  This tradition continued through 1991.  For years, I've been talking about acquiring all 8 twenty-two card sets and putting them into a binder for easy viewing.

Today, I finally got the ball rolling...

So far, I have the 1987, 1988, and 1989 sets in their entirety:

1987 Topps Glossy All-Star Set

1988 Topps Glossy All-Star Set

1989 Topps Glossy All-Star Set

As you can see, all three sets share the same design on the front:

The only exception is the year at the top of the card.  The concept is similar to the Living Set that Topps is currently marketing, except that these aren't numbered continuouslyEach of these sets are numbered 1-22.

The card backs basically feature the same design as well with the exception of the years located at the top and bottom.  The card stock is slightly different on the 1988 set as well.

This project wouldn't have been possible without the help of my buddy Woody over at The Cardboard ConnectionTwo weeks ago, he shipped me this medium flat rate box filled with goodies:

Inside there were tons of cards for my Oakland A's, San Diego Padres, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and Japanese athlete collections.  He also included a bunch of San Francisco Giants, Oakland Raiders, and Golden State Warriors cards for my students, as well as a bunch of oddball issue sets that I'll eventually feature in future postsThree of those oddball sets were the ones pictured above.

He also sent me most of the 1990 set:

1990 Topps Glossy All-Star Set

I'm excited to start targeting the 1984 to 1986 sets as well as the 1991 set on eBay.  Hopefully they're pretty affordable.  If not, I've got a lot of patience.

Thank you Woody for this very generous package of cards.  And thank you for finally inspiring me to start this project.  I truly needed that kick in the butt.  

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Flea Market Finds #134: The Gambler and The Gunslinger

We're heading into the tail end of the flea market season.  Pretty soon, it'll be too cold or wet outside to motivate me to hop out of bed and walk around scouring for stuff I really don't need anyway.  I figure I'll probably hit two maybe three more between now and the new year.

Last weekend, I hit the Branham High School Flea Market that occurs on the third Saturday of every month.  It's fairly small (maybe 50 to 75 vendors), but there were at least five guys out there with sports memorabilia.  Plus this is the only flea market in my area that offers free parking and admission.

I walked away spending only five dollars, but I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck.

Purchase #1Dollar Bin Cards $2

2007 Bowman Blue #231
2003 Chrome Pro Bowl Premium Jersey #PB-DB

These two cards came from a vendor I purchase from on a regular basis.  He sets up in the exact same place every time and usually has some interesting oddballs like box bottoms and board games.

He knows that I enjoy picking up cheap autographs and relics, so he handed me a cigar box filled with stuff he'd let go for a buck.  Most of the stuff was football, but I was pretty happy to find the Akinori Iwamura autograph for my Japanese player collection.

The only other card that really caught my attention was this super shiny Pro Bowl jersey card.  I don't really collect Bledsoe or the Bills, but this card was just too beautiful to pass up.

Purchase #2Dime Box Cards $1

The same vendor had a dime box as well.  Found about 15 cards that I could use, but narrowed it down to these ten.  My favorite is the Omar Vizquel rookie card which I plan to eventually use for his sports card trifecta.

Purchase #3Quarter Box Cards $1

The next row over, there was a new guy I hadn't seen before with one 5,000ct. box filled with a bunch of 90's football rookie cards.  I probably wouldn't have purchased anything, except I found this piece of buried treasure:

2005 Upper Deck #202

As a Green Bay Packers fan, this is a huge score.  I wasn't collecting back in 2005, so I totally missed out on Rodgers and his rookie cards.  This particular card is short printed and typically sells in the $10 to $20 range.

I didn't have a quarter in my pocket and didn't want to deal with change, so I found these three cards to go along with the Rodgers:

Four legendary quarterbacks for a buck.  Hard to pass that up.

Purchase #4Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits LP $1

I was happy to find three different vendors with record albumsOnly one of them had dollar vinyl though.  I took the time to sift through about eight boxes of his stuff.  This was the only one that caught my attention.

I'm not this huge Kenny Rogers fan, but my mom sure is.  We'd listen to a lot of his music back in the early 80'sGood times.

My next trip to the flea market is scheduled for Saturday, November 3rd.  My buddy and I were actually going to split a booth, but he hasn't been feeling well.  I'm hoping to make it out to the flea market at least once as a vendor in 2019.  I've got a bunch of stuff I need to get rid of.

Today's question of the day:

Did you grow up listening to your parent's music?  Do you still listen to it right now?  What are some of your favorites?

Well that's it for this week.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Stood The Test of Time

The Human Vacuum Cleaner.  Depending on your point of view, that could be either one of the worst or greatest nicknames ever.

If you're Brooks Robinson, then the nickname speaks to his ability to field just about any ball hit in his direction.  In fact, when I think about the best defensive infielders of all-time, he's the first person to pop into my head.

That's why I had to bid on this autographed card of his two weeks ago when I stumbled across it on eBay:

2007 Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Leather Gold Ink #SPS-BR (#'d 09/50)

Kudos to Upper Deck for having him sign this faux swatch of glove with gold ink.  It immediately made me think of his sixteen consecutive Gold Glove Awards.  Adding Memorial Stadium in the background was a nice touch.

I realize that Sweet Spot Signatures has received a lot of negative press over the years with their fading autographs.  However this card proves that some of their signatures have stood the test of time.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Blaster Box Prophecy

Although I really wanted to see Jose Altuve's Houston Astros face off against Christian Yelich's Milwaukee Brewers in the 114th World Series, I've gotta admit... I'm pretty stoked to watch the Boston Red Sox battle the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Both teams represent large sports markets, are loaded with talent, and are New York Yankees rivals.

For the first time in a few years, I'm not sure who to root for.  On one hand, I feel like I should cheer for the Red Sox, since that would probably annoy my friends who are Yankees fans more.  On the other hand, the Los Angeles Dodgers are representing California and the West Coast.

When it comes down to it... I'll probably be pulling for the visiting team and/or whoever is currently the underdog in the series.  In regards to specific players, I'll be actively rooting for Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts.  I'm a big fan of both of their games and would be pretty excited to see either of these guys win the 2018 World Series MVP Award.

As for predictions, I honestly have no clue who takes home the title.  So I'm going to let my two 2018 Archives blaster boxes do the dirty work.

It's pretty simple... I'm going to bust open both blasters and every time I pull a Dodger or Red Sox card, that team will earn points.  Whichever team has the most points after two blaster boxes will probably or probably not take home the 2018 World Series title.

Before I begin, each box contains seven packs of eight trading cards and one pack of two coins.  Here's a breakdown of how I'll be rewarding points:

Subset Base Card = 1/2 Point
Regular Base Card = 1 Point
Coin = 2 Points
Regular Insert or Parallel = 3 Points
Serial Numbered Insert or Parallel = 5 Points
Memorabilia Card or Autograph = 10 Points

To make things interesting, I've added a pair of multipliers:

Retired HOFer = 2x
Betts/Kershaw = 2x

Okay... let the games begin:

The first two packs revealed eight cards featuring players from playoff teams, but none of them were Dodgers or Red Sox players.

Then in the third pack, the Boston Red Sox kick things off with two points from Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. base cards.

Boston Red Sox 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 0

Lasorda immediately strikes back for the Dodgers in the fourth pack.  As a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, he takes advantage of the 2x multiplier and ties things up.

Boston Red Sox 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 2

In the fifth pack, the Duke of Flatbush gives the Dodgers their first lead in the series.

Boston Red Sox 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 4

Neither team scored any points in the sixth pack, but Devers closes the gap in the seventh pack.

Boston Red Sox 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 4

Neither team scored a point out of the coin pack from the first box, so after one blaster box... the Dodgers hold onto a slim lead.  Let's move on to the second half...

The first four packs of the second blaster box had zero Red Sox or Dodgers in them.  But when it rains... it pours.

Pack five held two current Red Sox:

Boston Red Sox 5
Los Angeles Dodgers 4

The Red Sox continued to pour it on in the sixth pack.  The gained two points with the Mookie Betts base card and added another with his subset card.

Boston Red Sox 8
Los Angeles Dodgers 4

The Dodgers are going to need a miracle in order to pull off a World Series victory and unfortunately they didn't get any help in the 7th and final pack of the box.  Their only hope is that there's a Cody Bellinger coin sitting in this pack:

Survey says...


So there you have it.  The blaster boxes have spoken and if they speak the truth... the Boston Red Sox will be the 2018 World Series Champions.

What about you?

Do you have faith in my blaster box prophecy?

By the way... if you're wondering if I pulled anything else of significance from the two blasters... I'd have to say not really.

Here are my top three pulls:

#1:  Cal Ripken Jr. Silver Parallel (#'d 91/99)

Solid looking card.  I actually think the silver border goes really well with the sky blue on this card.  I'm always happy to add a new Ripken parallel to my collection.

#2:  1981 Topps Future Stars Trio Los Angeles Angels

I was really hoping to pull an Ohtani rookie card from one of these boxes.  Guess I'll have to settle for this insert.

#3:  Miguel Andujar Rookie Card

Andujar represents the best rookie card pulled from these two boxes and my third favorite card from the bunch.  Considering he's a Yankee... that should summarize how I feel about the stuff I pulled.

Oh well... at least I had fun opening packs.  That has to be worth something, right?

Happy Sunday and sayonara!