30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, November 29, 2018

One Step Closer

When it comes to collecting sports cards, there's truly no shortage of ways to collect.  A few years ago, I started a collection of autographs featuring famous left-handed athletes since I'm a proud lefty myself.  Then about a year ago... I took this project one step further when I began targeting an autograph of every left-handed Cy Young Award winner.

Named after the winningest pitcher in MLB history, the award was originally given to the best pitcher in baseball.

Warren Spahn was the second pitcher to win the award in 1957, but was the first left-handed pitcher to accomplish the feat.

Four years later, Whitey Ford became the second lefty to win the award.

Sandy Koufax was the first pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards when he took home the award in 1963, 1965, and 1966.

Since then, only five other lefties have won multiple Cy Young Awards: Randy Johnson (5), Steve Carlton (4), Clayton Kershaw (3), Tom Glavine (2), and Johan Santana (2).





Unfortunately there are six left-handed Cy Young Award winners signatures that I'm currently missing and Johan Santana happens to be one of them.  He has a few signatures out there, but I'm not ready to spend $20+ on an on-card signatureMaybe one day.

In 1967, Major League Baseball decided to honor two pitchers with the award... one from each leagueMike McCormick, a San Francisco Giant southpaw became the first National League Cy Young Award winner.  He's another autograph I'm still currently trying to track down, along with Frank Viola, Mark Davis,and CC Sabathia.

Some of these guys are a little easier to find than others, but I'm confident that I'll be able to eventually add them to the rest of these guys:

Mike Cuellar1969 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Vida Blue1971 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Randy Jones1976 NL Cy Young Award Winner

Sparky Lyle1977 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Ron Guidry1978 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Mike Flanagan 1979 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Fernando Valenzuela1981 NL Cy Young Award Winner

Willie Hernandez1984 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Barry Zito2002 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Cliff Lee2008 AL Cy Young Award Winner

David Price:  2012 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Dallas Keuchel2015 AL Cy Young Award Winner

And the newest addition to my collection...

Blake Snell2018 AL Cy Young Award Winner

Okay, it's your turn to chime in...

Who will be the next southpaw to win the Cy Young Award?

Do you think it'll finally be Chris Sale?  How about Kyle Freeland (who was gosh darn good at Coors Field)?  Or maybe Kershaw and/or Snell will bring home another one?

I realize it's not very likely... but I'd love to see Madison Bumgarner (unless he's traded to the Yankees) bounce back and win the National League Cy Young Award at least once during his career.

By the way, if you're interested... I found a really cool website that's dedicated to left-handed baseball players.  It has some pretty interesting stuff if that's your cup of tea.

Well... that's it for today.  Only one more day and one step closer until the weekend.

Until then... happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

For Entertainment Purposes Only

Gambling and card collecting are like two peas in a pod.  Well... at least that's the way I see it.  

They're both forms of entertainment that I approach with the exact same attitude in regards to paying for itOnly spend what you can afford to lose.  The good news is I spend way more on card collecting than I do in the casinos, because at least I walk away holding something in my hand.

In fact, if my mother didn't enjoy playing penny poker as much as she does, I'd probably never go to the casinos.  But I view my annual contributions to them as a way for me and my mother to bond, so it's worth every cent.

Every now and then, the roles get reversed and the casinos actually pay me moneyLast year, I walked away with enough money to cover the expenses for one of my trips.  And last week, within ten minutes of sitting down at the machines, I hit the biggest slot machine jackpot of my life.

It wasn't the kind of jackpot where they take your picture and hang it up on their walls, but it was large enough that I'll have to claim it on my taxes.  It also paid for a few nice additions to my collection as well as a DA Card World Black Friday purchase that I'll share in future posts.

In the meantime, since I'm talking about gambling and card collecting, I figured I share a different kind of jackpot I recently discovered.

After Mookie Betts took home his first AL MVP Award two weeks ago, I wanted to pick up another autograph of his for my collection.  That's when I discovered that his signature no longer fits into my everyday budget.  If I'm planning on purchasing one, I'll definitely need to save up.

Luckily... two and half years ago... I went out on a limb and purchased a pair of his signatures from my favorite online card shop:

2015 National Treasures Player's Choice Signature Die-cuts #37

I'm not a big fan of logo-less trading cards, nor do I enjoy collecting sticker-graphs anymore.  But I'm so glad neither of these things kept me from pulling the $14.49 out of my pocket for this card back in May of 2016.

That same day, I also purchased this card:

2014 Five Star Autographs #FSA-MBE

I dropped a little more cash on this card, since it's on-card, fully licensed rookie cardThe damage?  $17.65.

These days... people can expect to pay at least $100 to $120 on a good day for either of these.  Some collectors have spent more than $150 each in recent weeks.

I considered flipping these on eBay for a brief moment... but quickly came to my senses and realized that I didn't buy them for financial gain.  They're purely for entertainment purposes only.

Speaking of entertainment...

Did anyone take advantage of any Black Friday card deals?

Well... that's it for today.  Thanksgiving break sure flew by, but thankfully Christmas is right around the corner.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Something a Little Different

You probably think that baseball cards are one of the most important things in my life.  And you wouldn't be wrong.  Card collecting is my favorite hobby and it's not even close.  But there are a few things in my life that are more important.

#1Family and Friends

This is a no-brainer, right?

#2My Career

My dream job was to do something I enjoy and get paid for it.  I'm living the dream.

#3Running Water

I've been watching videos about people who have retired and moved outside of the country.  Some of these places have truly given me a deep appreciation for running water, flushing toilets, and hot showers.

#4My Home

I haven't treated baseball cards as an investment in years.  My townhouse is definitely an investment.  And if that weren't enough... it provides me with shelter day in and day out.

#5Computers and the Internet

2015 Allen and Ginter Great Scott #GS-8

There are pro's and con's to both of these things.  But the bottom line is that outside of my bed, I can't think of anything I utilize more on a daily basis than these two things.

Ever since my father built our family's first Apple IIe, I've been a total computer geek.

2012 Goodwin Champions Autographs #A-SW

And yes... I'm one of those guys who have stayed loyal to Apple ever since.  But in my defense... my high school used Apple computers.  One of my high school graduation presents was a Macintosh IIsi, which I used throughout college.  And the district I work for has used Macs the entire twenty-one years I've been there.  Plus Apple has always offered educators a discount.

So in the spirit of Cyber-Monday, I bring you something a little different... yet still related to my favorite hobby.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Black Friday Building and Busting

Oh man... a lot of stuff has gone down this week.  My brother and I went down to visit my parents in Vegas for a few days.  This was my fifth or sixth trip down there since my mother broke her hip last Christmas and it was really nice to see her moving around with her walker.  After nearly a year, her doctor finally signed her up for physical therapy and it has truly worked wonders for her morale and energy level.  It has also made life a little easier for my father who has been her righthand man.

The trip down to Vegas gave my father a chance to catch his breathe and recharge his batteries, while allowing my brother and I the opportunity to bond and take care of the woman who has always been there for us.

When I came home on Thursday night, there were three packages waiting for me on my dining room table.

One of them contained contained this Lego set:

Lego Architecture #21047

When I first heard about this set, I knew I wanted itFrom what I had seen in reviews, Lego did a really great job of capturing the Las Vegas skyline.  Then Amazon had this set on sale a few weeks ago for 20% off ($31.99), so I snatched it up.

It took me a little over two hours to build, but I'm not exactly an expert builder.  The building process involved a lot of repetition and tons of tiny pieces, but overall I thought it was very therapeutic.

Here's a look at the finished product:

Starting from the left, you'll notice the iconic Las Vegas sign, Bellagio and their famous water fountains, Luxor's pyramid and Sphinx, Wynn Casino and Resort, Stratosphere, and finally... the Fremont Street Experience.

The second package contained a new card for my left-handed Cy Young Award winners collection, but I'm going to save that for another post.

Last, but certainly not least was a package from Marc over at Remember the Astrodome.  He had reached out to me and mentioned he had built a nice stack of A's for my collection.  He wasn't lying.

He sent a bunch of base cards:

Outside of few blasters here and there, I don't really open too many new products like Topps Fire.  It's care packages like these that allow me to add singles I probably wouldn't acquire otherwise.

There was also a nice stack of parallels, inserts, and oddballs mixed in:

I will never turn down mid 90's Stadium Club parallels or album stickers.  And the final card in Marc's package was this autographed rookie card of Dustin Fowler:

Fowler might be the future centerfielder and leadoff man for the Athletics.  Only time will tell.

Thank you Marc for this generous care package.  I'll definitely hit you back with some Astros for your collection.  My goal is to ship out care packages in time for the holidays.

In the meantime... you've been added to the hit list.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!