30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, November 19, 2018

Our Actions Impact Others

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Parent/teacher conferences are over and my weeklong Thanksgiving break is officially here.  Unfortunately... I've spent the majority of this past weekend indoors due to the really poor air quality caused by the Butte County's Camp Fire.  The smoke has been so thick that I'm unable to see the hills that are less than a mile away from my house.

Obviously this inconvenience is nothing compared to the 70+ lives that have been lost and over 1,300 people who are still unaccounted for.  The entire town of Paradise has been destroyed in what is considered the most destructive wildfire in California history.  Outside of the poor air quality, I don't know anyone personally who has been affected by the fires, however I've seen a few people on Facebook write about their friends and family members.

My thoughts go out to everyone affected by the fire.

Part of the curriculum I've designed focuses on building character and having the students see that their actions can have an impact on their surroundings.  That's why my number one priority when I return to my classroom next week is to see how the students, teachers, and administration at my site can help out our neighbors to the north.  In the meantime, I'll be doing a little research to determine the best way our school can help.

I'll also be taking the time to recharge my batteries, catching up with friends and family, and definitely spending some time with my #1 hobby.

To help get the ball rolling... Ryan over at Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko sent me another very generous care package earlier in the week.  When I finally got around to opening it last night, I discovered that it was jam packed with variety.

I'm going to use Ryan's own words to describe the contents of the package, since he took time out of his busy schedule to hand write an amazing and much appreciated letter.

So without further ado...

Ritter Sport is one of my favorite brands of chocolate.  I've never tried these three flavors, but I'm sure they won't disappoint.

Last year, Ryan hooked me up with some 2016-17 packs of BBM Fast Break.  This year he sent me two 1st Half packs and two 2nd Half packs.  I'll be opening up one of each, while keeping the other two sealed for my unopened Japanese pack collection.

There's always at least one oddball item in Ryan's care packages.  This one happens to be animal related.

I'm not exactly fluent in French, but thankfully I don't need to be to appreciate the really cool vintage animal stickers in this album.

I'm sure some of you know that outside of collecting trading cards, I also enjoy building Lego setsStar Wars is by far my favorite genre.  This collecting kit is awesome!  I immediately looked online to see if Lego offers this magazine in the States, but it looks like it might be exclusive to Europe and possibly Russia.

Ryan introduced me to these airport trading cards a few years ago.

Looks like he wants me to start my own collection.  Sadly I've tried to find copies of SJC for both of our collections on multiple occasions and have come up short.  Hopefully our luck will change sooner than later.

Another pack for my unopened Japanese pack collection.  I haven't counted, but I'm guessing he has contributed at least 20 to 30 packs over the past few years.

Here's a sampling of what he included in this Topps Baseball Card Collector's Kit:

There was a nice mixture of Oakland A's, Japanese athletes, and the really cool Heritage moon shot insert.  But the bulk of the binder was made up of...

We've all seen puzzle backs before, but this is the first time I've seen them create a hand printThese are so awesome!

The best part about them is they fit perfectly into a 9-pocket page.  It'd be nice if Topps did something like this.

This isn't the first time Ryan has sent me one of these chocolate oddball issues.  This past summer, I opened the pack.  That means that I'll be able to keep this one intact for my unopened pack collection.  I realize it's not a Japanese pack, but that's okay.  I have no problem calling it an unopened international pack collection.

This 13" x 20" piece of kimono cloth is gorgeous.  I'm actually thinking about framing it and hanging it up in my family room.

Last, but certainly not least were ten singles from the Stranger Things set Topps recently released.  It's perfect timing, because I just purchased two blaster boxes a few days ago that I plan on busting this week in hopes of building a set.  He also included two unopened packs to help the cause.

Thank you so much Ryan for this awesome care package!  It really helped brighten my day.  I know you said didn't expect anything in return... but that's not how I roll.  I actually have two things already set aside for you.

Well that's it for today.  I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable week with your loved ones.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Gratifying Grotesqueness

When ugly Christmas sweaters started making a comeback a few years ago... I went all in and purchased several to wear for the holidays.  They're just one more way to make the holiday season more festive and they're usually good for one or two conversation starters.

Right now... Peter over at Baseball Every Night is using them for a contest over on his blog.  

The challenge?  Show off your favorite ugliest baseball card.  Maybe it's the ugliest card design you've ever seen.  Perhaps there's a card in you collection that's in such poor condition that you feel it's literally disgusting.  Or maybe you have a card featuring one of those hideous futuristic "Turn Ahead the Clock" jerseys from 1999.  It's up to you to define "ugly".

I had a few different ideas pop into my head, but I settled on this card:

Not sure what the heck this is?  Here, let me rotate it and give you a different view:

Still unsure?  Well it's a headless Kurt Suzuki Vancouver Canadians autographed card that's been chopped up and turned into a one of a kind cut signature by a company that may or may not have conducted business in their parent's garage.

This card is seriously an eye sore just like one of the ugly Christmas sweaters sitting in my closet waiting to be worn in a few weeks.  And just like those Christmas sweaters... this card is treasured and loved.

It's hands down the ugliest Kurt Suzuki card in my collection, but I still love it.  In fact in three days, it'll mark the 5 year anniversary of me spending $3.98 (99¢ + $2.99 shipping) of my hard earned money to add this card to my collection.

Happy Anniversary Headless Kurt!  I love ya!

What about you...

Do you have a favorite ugly card?

If so, head over to Baseball Every Night and enter Peter's contestThe prize will be partially dependent on the number of entries he receives, however he guarantees that he'll spend at least $35.

Honestly... the true prize will be reading everyone's response posts.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Two Oddballs Hooked Up and Had a Baby

There are few things in life that I enjoy more than collecting cardsFood is one of them.  And when it comes to food, one of my favorite things to eat is cereal.  In the past week or so, I've eaten it for breakfast two or three times and dinner once.  There's always a box sitting in my classroom when I'm in need of a quick snack.

Now if you're a regular to this blog, then I'm sure you know my infatuation with Kellogg's lenticular cards.  I've professed my love for them on numerous occasions.  Anyways a few days ago, I started thinking about which Kellogg's cereals I enjoy the most and surprisingly... I couldn't think of a single one I buy on a regular basis.

Do I enjoy Frosted Flakes?  Sure.  But if I'm going to buy something sugary, it's going to be Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which is made by General MillsGeneral Mills also produces Cheerios, which has been a household staple of mine for decades.  The only other cereal that I'll buy every once in awhile is Life.  That's produced by Quaker Oats.

I guess it's a good thing that we're not required to collect cereal oddball issues based on the cereal that we actually consume.  If that were the case, I wouldn't have purchased this 1970 Kellogg's Clemente for my collection:

This card has been on my wantlist for years.  1970 Kellogg's is by far my favorite set Kellogg's design.  It's as if the 1964 Topps Giants and 1968 Topps 3D hooked up and had a baby.  It's beautiful.

As for Clemente... do I really need to explain why I targeted him?  The guy is a hero.

His legacy was built on a hall of fame career, but personally I admire him more for his charity work and selfless contributions to societyAthletes have never been my role models, but if I were forced to pick one, Clemente would be on a very short list of names.

Well that's it for today.  Here are your questions of the day...

What's you favorite cereal?

Did you look up to any athletes growing up?  If so who and why?

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Flea Market Finds #135: Haul of the Year?

Everyone enjoys finding a good bargain, right?  Over the past eight years, I've been sharing my card show hauls, eBay purchases, and flea market finds here on this blog.  Sadly there hasn't really been anything too special on the flea market front in a few years.  The days of purchasing collections for pennies on the dollar or finding $400 Tiger Woods cards for a few bucks are long gone and I've completely accepted it.

Well two Saturdays ago was like a blast from the past, when I stumbled across a vendor who had three giant tubs filled with sports cards at the De Anza Flea Market in Cupertino.  Inside was a collection from the mid 90's and believe it or not... I wouldn't exactly classify the stuff as junk.

However... I'll go ahead and let you be the judge.

#11997 Topps Screen Plays Box $15

This unopened box was the first thing that caught my attention, because it's so big.  It was also the litmus test to see whether or not the dealer's prices were reasonable.  I immediately asked him for a price, he mentioned $25.  I countered with $15.  He accepted and the digging for bargains began.

#21995 Topps Archives Brooklyn Dodgers Factory Set $5

Right under the box of Topps Screenplays were a bunch of different sets.  The guy definitely based his prices on size.  That sucked because there was an 800ct. box filled with 1995 Flair baseball that I really wanted.  Unfortunately he wouldn't let it go for less than $15.

The good news is this set of Archives Dodgers is about the same size as one of those 80's Topps Traded sets, so his asking price was only five bucks.  Considering completed sales range from $20 to $50 on eBay, I consider this a solid find.

If you're unfamiliar with this set... it contains 165 cards that feature 1952 Topps, 1953 Topps, 1954 Topps, 1955 Topps, 1955 Bowman, and 1956 Topps Brooklyn Dodgers reprints... as well as a bunch of cards that were never made back in the 50's.

I was obviously pretty excited to add five new Jackie Robinson cards to my collection, but the card that stood out the most was this Robert Clemente cardClemente was signed by the Dodgers?  How did this escape my knowledge?

#31996 Stadium Club Member's Only Set $30

Binder Contents: 450 Card Parallel Set, 19 Card Mickey Mantle Set, 9 Card Metalists Set, 10 Card Midsummer Matchup Set, 9 Card Prime Cuts Set, 10 Card Mega Heroes Set, 15 Card Power Packed Set, 10 Card Bash and Burn Set, 10 Card Metalists Set, and 15 Card Power Streak Set

This set along with the 1997 Stadium Club Member's Only set were the two biggest purchases of the dayEach of these binders include a complete Member's Only parallel version of the base set and most of the insert sets produced that year.

I've gotta admit the Member's Only stamp makes the cards less attractive, but for the price I can live with it.

#41997 Stadium Club Member's Only Set $30

Binder Contents: 390 Card Parallel Set, 12 Card Firebrand Set, 22 Card Instavision Set, 40 Card Millenium Set, 20 Card Pure Gold Set, and 13 Card Patent Leather Set.

Topps did a much better job with the 1997 set.  They omitted the Member's Only stamp on the front and used sort of a watermark thing on the card backs to differentiate this set from the regular base set.  And in regards to the insert sets, they replaced quantity with quality.

The Instavision and Patent Leather inserts are amazing!  They also limited the print run of this set to only 750 copies.  That might sound like a lot, but back in 1997 that was still considered pretty rare.

One of these days, I'll take a closer look at some of these insert sets.

Let me know down below if there are any insert sets in particular you'd like me to write about.

There were still plenty of cool things sitting in these tubs like unopened wax boxes, various sets, and around 10 more binders.  After purchasing these four items, I realized that I need to drop all of this stuff off at the car before purchasing more.

Unfortunately... by the time I got back someone had picked through the bins.

#5Wilson Official NFL Game Ball $10

While walking down another row, I saw that a family had some 80's CorningWare.  My friend had told me to keep an eye out for that stuff, so I took some pictures and sent it her way.  Sitting next to the blue cornflower casserole dishes was this Wilson official football.  It's not the current model, but considering that these once sold for $80 in stores, I couldn't pass it up for $10.

The next time my buddy does a signing with Jerry Rice or Joe Montana, I'll probably have him get it signed.

#6Baseball Cards Price Guide (April 1990) $1

My final purchase of the day isn't going to win any Haul of the Year awards, but it only set me back a buck.  On the second to last row, I ran across a guy who was selling off his brother's Bay Area sports collection.  He had a bunch of newspapers, magazines, sports figures, and some trading cards.  Unfortunately he said a few early birds had picked through most of his cards.

This 1990 Baseball Cards magazine was the only thing that really caught my eye.  I offered him a dollar and he accepted.  The cover has what appears to be a fake Will Clark signature, but that's not why I bought it.

It was all about these 2 three-card sheets:

What can I say?  I'm a sucker for magazine oddballs.

Well there you have it.  This year's flea market finds haven't been that great, but I was pretty excited to find these two Stadium Club Member's Only sets.  I'd say they're a strong candidate for my flea market haul of the year.  Hopefully I'll find something this upcoming Saturday at the Branham High School Flea Market that'll be in the same league.

Until then...

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

2002 FilmCardz Spider-Man Autograph

Rest in peace Mr. Lee.