Tuesday, December 31, 2019

End of an Era

The past three years, P-town Tom over at Waiting 'til Next Year... has held a Favorite Card of the Year Contest... which was pretty awesome, because it motivated me to dig through my collection and look at cards.

In 2016, I went with this Rickey Henderson autograph:

2016 Topps Strata Signature Patch #SSP-RH

This card reminded me of those cool shadow box cards that Upper Deck produced, which utilized multiple layers to provide depth to the cardThree years later, this is still one of my favorite Henderson autographs in the collection.

The following year, I was super excited when I heard that Topps inserted autographs of Krazy George into packs of Allen and Ginter:

2017 Allen and Ginter Autograph #MA-KG

This guy is a Bay Area legend.  I vividly remember him back when I was a kid... standing on the dugout banging his drum and getting people fired up.

Last year, I went with another autograph as my favorite card of the year:

2018 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-BJ

My love for baseball and baseball cards have always been based on my fascination for statistics.  And when it comes to baseball statisticians, Bill James is one of the most famous.  At the time of his contest, I hadn't actually found a copy for my collection.  However I did manage to grab the card you see above at the very end of the year on eBay for $11.50 (+ $3.50 shipping).

Well this year, P-town Tom decided against holding his Favorite Card of the Year Contest... which I completely understandRunning contests can be a lot of work and when blogging isn't as enjoyable as it once was... it could even become a burden.

I'm not saying that's the reason he stopped running this contest, but it is why I stopped running my Olympic style contest from back in the day.

Anyways... in spirit of his contest... I thought I'd share three cards that really stood out to me in 2019.  But this year... to honor the end of an era... I'm going to switch gears and focus on cards that aren't autographed.

2019 Topps Allen and Ginter Collectible Canines #CC-18

I love dogs and Bernese Mountain Dogs are hands down my favorite breed.  Here's a photo of my best friend's Berner:

That's Mika.  She's super happy laying on the brand new bed she received for Christmas.

Next up is another Ginter insert card...

2019 Topps Allen and Ginter History of Flight #HOF-12

I've been fascinated with the SR-71 Blackbird since I was a little kid when I discovered that my father worked on the top secret project back in the 60's.

And finally there's this beautiful base card of the Oakland Coliseum...

2019 Topps #126

Topps has struck out a lot with me in regards to the excessive parallels and overproduced inserts they've been flooding our hobby with the past few years.  But they absolutely hit a home run with their 2019 Topps team cards.

I realize that this place is the laughing stock of MLB stadiums, but it's the setting of many fond memories from my childhood.

Before I wrap up this post, I wanted to do a quick response to our blogosphere's latest Blog Bat-AroundBilly over at Cardboard History has asked his readers to write about their favorite set of the decade.

My response?  2015 Topps.

In an effort to kill two birds with one stone... I decided to use the Derek Jeter card from that set to demonstrate the beauty of that year's flagship design as well as show of my favorite card of 2015.

2015 Topps Chrome Refractor #1

Unfortunately, my 2015 Topps set is buried in a box somewhere, so Jeter's Chrome refractor will have to suffice.

Okay... I can't have an end of the year post, without a question of the day.  Here's yours...

What is you favorite animal?

What is you favorite stadium to attend a sporting event?

Well that wraps up another year of bloggingThank you Tom for inspiring this post... and for hosting that contest the past three yearsThank you Billy for starting another interesting Blog Bat-Around.  And thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read any of my blog posts over the years.

I hope all of you enjoy a safe New Year's EveHappy New Years and sayonara!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Weekend Recap

Last week's adventures sure drained the batteries... so I made the executive decision to skip a weekend post for the first time in a very long time.  Instead I...

Finished sorting and scanning my COMC order that was waiting for me when I got back from Vegas.

The order contained around fifty cards.  If I were to guess, I'd say half were for me... and half were for care packages I'm currently building.  I thought about writing a recap post, but figured I'd milk the order and write individual posts whenever the inspiration well runs dry.

Here's one of the cards I picked up for myself...

2019 Topps Chrome Sepia Refractor #203

I grabbed this copy about a week after his season ending injury and paid $13.08Tatis is the most exciting Padre to collect and follow in a long time.  Hopefully he continues to blossom and stays in San Diego for years to come.

On Saturday, I woke up and started binge watching Lost in Space on Netflix.  Hey Kenny... you'll be happy to hear that I also watched the first two episodes of Star Wars Resistance on Disney+.

Yesterday both of my football teams played very important games.  And both games came down to the wire.

2005 Leaf Rookies and Stars #201
2012 Crown Royale #280

One team won.  The other lost.

Not gonna lie... the Seahawks loss to the 49ers was a heartbreaker.  It felt like a punch to the gut.  Hopefully their paths will cross again in a few weeks and there will be a different outcome.

2019 Lego Harry Potter Advent Calendar (75964)
2018 Lego Brick Headz Mr. and Mrs. Claus (40274)

I ended up sitting down after the game and building a pair of holiday Lego sets to take my mind off of things.  Here's how they turned out:

It's a little too late to display them this year, but I plan on taking them into my classroom and putting them on display next December.

Oh and before I forget, I did receive one collectible for Christmas.  There weren't any baseball cards sitting under the Christmas tree this year, but my best friend bought me this for my Yoda collection:

2018 Funko Pop #277

Well that recaps my weekend.  Tomorrow I'll be sharing some of my favorite cards of 2019.  Until then...

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Winter Wonderland

It's 3:29 PM on Thursday afternoon  My brother and I are currently parked in my car about three miles away from California City on Highway 58.  We've moved about a quarter mile in 7 hours.  The highway is closed due to snow in the Tehachapi Mountain Range and who knows how long it'll be before it opens up.  

Anyways... I figured this would be an interesting spot to blog.  I searched for scans on my laptop featuring snow and didn't find any, so I've decided to do the next best thing.

Here's the latest Clayton Kershaw card I've picked up for my collection:

2018 Topps Holiday Relic #R-CK

No snow... so printed snowflakes and CK's open fly will have to do.

Mad respect to all of you who live in areas that receive heavy snowfall each winter.  Even more respect to those who have been caught in the middle of a snowstorm away from your home.  Anyone remember that crazy storm in Atlanta a few years ago where people literally abandoned their cars in the middle of the highway?  That was super scary.

It's now 3:53pm, we're freezing our butts off, and we're starving and thirsty.  We have plenty of food and drinks, but we're afraid to eat or drink, because we're not looking forward to pooping on the side of the road.  And yes, we've filled up multiple bottles with yellow stuff in the 7 hours we've been stranded.  It sounds like our plan is to try and make it to California City, grab a room, some food, and wait for the pass to open up.

I'll try to have an update for you by tomorrow when this post is scheduled to be published.  In a perfect world, I'll be writing it from home while laying in my warm bed.

In the meantime, here's a nice song my students introduced me to last week:

Happy Friday and sayonara!


We left off at 3:53pm on Thursday afternoon.  About 30 minutes later, my friend texted me that CHP had reopened the highway and were escorting caravans through the passWithin minutes of her text, we were movingStop and go, but moving.

We spent nearly four hours traveling another mile or two before actually making our way up the mountain passA little before 9pm we grabbed our first meal of the day at McDonald's in Bakersfield.  Normally it'd take around four hours to get from Las Vegas to BakersfieldYesterday, it took us over 15 hours.

We thought about grabbing a hotel in Bakersfield, but a lot of places were fully booked.  So we hopped in the car, pushed on, and walked through my front door safely at a little past 1am.

Although the drive home was pretty miserable... I wouldn't have changed this trip for anything.  It was really nice to hang out with my father for the holidays and it was so obvious how much he appreciated our visit.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Ho! Ho! Ho!

For as long as I can remember... Christmas has always been a holiday associated with family, joy, and generosity for the Fujimoto clanThis year will be a little different, because we'll be celebrating our first one without my mother.

Sorry... I'm not trying to ruin the Christmas mood for you.  But I wanted to dedicate this post to her, because she always tried her best to make the holiday season extra special for my father, my brothers, my sister, and her grandchildren.  I miss you Mama!

Okay, let's make things a little merrier with some Christmas cards...

2007 Topps Santa Claus Autograph #SCA-SC

2007 Topps Santa Claus Relic #SCR-SC

1995 NFL Santa #NNO

2000 Upper Deck Holiday Season #NNO

Collecting Cutch Custom Merry Cutchmas Cards

Baseball Card Breakdown Custom Ho Ho Hoyt

Merry Christmas to all of youEnjoy this special day with your loved ones... and hopefully Santa brought you some cool items for your collection.  But just in case you were on Santa's "naughty" list, here's something to help cheer you up:

2011 7-11 AKB48 Tomomi Itano (Courtesy of Zippy Zappy)

Merry Christmas and sayonara!

Mike Cramer Card Giveaway Results

Congratulations Rod and StephenRod I already have your addressStephen please email me (at sanjosefuji at yahoo dot com) your mailing address and I'll get your copy shipped out in early January.