30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, May 30, 2019

I Overpaid and I Liked It

The next two and a half weeks will be a little hectic.  My students are starting to turn in their final projects this week.  Tuesday is our annual honor's field trip to Santa CruzWednesday grades close and special report cards are due to students who are at risk of not graduating.  And report cards need to be finished by next Friday.

After that the focus shifts to graduation practice and the process of cleaning up my classroom.  I'll be in the same room next year, so most of my stuff can stay up.  However there's an outside chance that they may use my room one or two days during the summer for a math summer program.  That means I need to put away all of my collectibles and knickknacks that might be tempting to bored summer school kids.

How will it affect my blog?  Well... the next few mid-week posts will probably be shorter than normal.

Today I wanted to show off a card I've been targeting for quite some time:

1960 Topps #35

I've been interested in purchasing a few vintage Whitey Ford cards for my "lefty" collection.  I established a few key prerequisites to help me stay focused.  First I knew I wanted a 1957 or 1960 Topps regular base card.  I like the photograph of Whitey on his 1957 card and 1960 Topps set happens to be one of my favorite Topps base card designs.  Since it's a vintage hall of famer, I would only consider PSA, BVG, or SGC graded copies.  Finally, it had to be reasonably priced.

Ultimately, I ended up paying a little more than I would have liked ($38 + $4.50 shipping), since PSA 5 copies often sell in the $20 to $25 range.  As a guy who prides himself on finding good bargains, this is truly an out of character purchase.  But I decided to bid on it anyways, because the card looks better than some of the PSA 6's I've seen.

What about you...

Have you ever knowingly overpaid for a card?  What card?  Why were you willing to pay more than the going rate?

Well that's it for now.  Hope all of you are enjoying your week.  Only one more day until the weekend.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

My Parents and Bart Starr

You won't see very many midweek football posts on my blog during the regular NFL season.  You'll see even fewer during the off-season.  However when I heard the news of Bart Starr passing away on Sunday, I knew I couldn't wait until the weekend to publish a post.

Starr holds a special place within my collection.  It's not because he was my favorite player growing up.  He actually threw his final NFL pass nine months before I was born.  It's because he was my mom and dad's favorite player before Joe Montana came along.  My parents met and married in Wisconsin and the Packers were their favorite team until they came to California.  They even cheered for Starr and the Packers at the LA Memorial Coliseum when they played the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I.

So when I think of sports and my parents, Starr will always be one of the first people who comes to mind.  Over the years, I've put together a small collection of his cards.  In honor of #15, here it is:

1971 Topps Pinups #10

2012 Topps Five Star Signatures #FSS-BS (#'d 35/85)

1968 Topps Posters #4

1999 Score Supplemental Inscriptions #BS-15

1962 Topps #63

1971 Topps #200

2001 Topps Heritage Souvenir Seating #S3

2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Autographs #GBA-BS

1968 Topps #1

2001 Topps Gallery Heritage Relics #GRBS

2001 UD Legends Autographs #BST

And rounding out my Bart Star PC is my signed mini helmet:

Mounted Memories COA

Rest in peace, Mr. StarrThank you for all of the great memories you provided for my parents and Green Bay Packers fans out there.  Your legacy will not be forgotten.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Enjoy Your Break

Summer break is less than three weeks away.  Technically it's just a four day weekend, then I start my summer school program.  But teaching fifth graders math is a nice break from my middle schoolers.  It keeps me busy, so I don't spend the summer at home shopping online or traveling on vacations I can't really afford.

That being said... I'm starting to rethink the whole "summer school" thing.  Out of the twenty-one years I've been in my district, I've taught summer school twenty times.  Maybe next year I'll take a much deserved break.

I've taken a few short breaks from my blog over the years.  Sometimes it has to do with lack of writing material.  Other times there are things outside of cards that take precedence.  It's part of blogger life.

Bru over at Remember the Astrodome stepped away from his keyboard last month, but before he did he sent me a PWE full of Oakland A's:

Blaster boxes and blogger packages are usually the only way I add newer (as in current year) base cards to my collection.  I've recently made the decision to stay away from blaster boxes, so care packages like Bru's are much appreciated.

2018 Topps #669

As much as I enjoy collecting on-card autographs, vintage hall of famers, and graded rookie cards... I still have a deep appreciation for cards like this Chapman.  I'm not sure if it's politically correct to pick care package favorites, but there's no denying the facts.  I love this card.

The other card that called out to me was this KD:

2019 Panini Diamond Kings #46

ABCAnother beautiful card.  It's not often I compliment logo-less cards, but it's important to give credit where credit is due.

Next up...

2018 Topps Gallery Hall of Fame Gallery #HOF-27

A new Rickey for my collection.  Topps Gallery is right up there with Stadium Club and Archives as my all-time favorite product lines.

Rounding out Bru's PWE are these parallels, inserts, and game cards...

Thank you for the cards Marc!  Much gratitude...

Stay tuned.  I have a few extended weekends this summer.  I'll be sending you some Astros on one of these breaks.

I hope everything is okay and you're enjoying your break from blogging.  Looking forward to the one day when you're ready to return to the keyboard.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

2001 Fleer Tradition #325

Over one million men and women soldiers have died in battle fighting for our beloved countryToday we honor them.  As a proud American, who has never served in our military, I am forever in debt to anyone... past and present... who has put on that uniform and fought to protect our country.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Much Needed Cardboard Hug

Personal strugglesDeath of loved onesFriends and family member illnesses.  Maybe I'm just projecting, but it just seems like this year has been rough on more than a few of us.

On the bright side, I feel like it's personally brought my family closer together and given me a deeper appreciation of friends and family.

This also applies to the card community.  I mean... there's something truly comforting in receiving a cardboard hug from a fellow blogger

That's exactly what I received recently from Julie over at A Cracked Bat.  She reached out to me last month and asked me if I'd be interested in some Japanese Masahiro Tanaka cards.

I'm pretty sure you can guess my response.  If not, I'll let the cards do the talking:

I usually only take the time to scan card backs on special occasions.  This is a special occasion:

I might not be a fan of the team he plays for, but I'm a Tanaka fan.  In his sixth season with the New York Yankees, Tanaka has already established himself as one of the most successful Japanese born pitchers in MLB historyJulie hit the jackpot when she found someone selling these for each.

These weren't the only treasures she found sitting nickel box.  She also found this Fred McGriff bat card:

If you're new to my blog, you might not know that I offer cardboard asylum to trading cards that have been abused, damaged, or are no longer loved by their owners.

It's hard to see in the scan above, but there's a nice crease to the left of McGriff's head:

2001 SP Game Bat Bound for the Hall #B-FM

I made a promise to Julie that I will care for and love this card unconditionally from here on out.  He is now among other cards who will not judge him for his flawsHe is home.

Here are the final three cards in Julie's care package:

The Ichiro on the left was one of those rookie cards that isn't necessarily recognized as a rookie card by most collectorsConfused?  Yeah.  Me too.  The middle card is a Bazooka insert that highlights Ichiro breaking George Sisler's single season hit record.  And the last card is a low numbered parallel of a guy who will hopefully turn the A's season around when he returns after the MLB All-Star break.

Thank you so much Julie for this much needed and appreciated cardboard hug.  Your timing was perfect.  I know that you said that I didn't need to send anything in return, but that's not how I roll.  You were already on my hit list before you sent these cards.  I'll be headed to a card show in June.  I'll be on the lookout for some Tigers for your PC.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Against All Odds

Remember when pulling a printing plate or a card #'d to ten made you feel like you won the lottery?  They're still pretty cool to pull, but they're definitely not as big of a deal to me as they were twenty years ago.  Heck... over the past few years, I've even pulled five or six and at least two of them were from blasters.

On the bright side, they make me appreciate the days when pulling a rare card was something special.

Today's post centers around one of those cards:

2002 Topps Autographs #TA10

At first glance, this looks like your run-of-the-mill Barry Bonds autographed card.  However after doing a little research, I discovered this card was one heck of a pull back in the day.

2002 Topps baseball utilized a tier system for their signatures and Bonds was in the A1 group, which were inserted into 2001 Topps Series One hobby boxes at a rate of 1:15,402 packs.

Please allow me to rephrase that... that's one A1 signature inserted into every fifteen thousand, four hundred two packs.  In other words... one A1 signature per 35 hobby cases.

Now those are tough odds.  And things get even crazier when you consider that there were three other guys in the A1 groupIvan Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, and Johnny Damon.  Assuming all four guys signed the same amount of cards, a collector might need to open 140 hobby cases to pull the Bonds autograph.

I couldn't find any information on how many Bonds autographs are out there, but this autograph was so tough to pull that after 18 years, it's still listed in Beckett as one of those "no pricing due to scarcity" cards.

These days, I try to spend $50 to $65 for certified, pack pulled, on-card autographs of Bonds.  However I opened my wallet up for this card and dropped $100 (+ $3.94 shipping) a few weeks ago.  When you consider that I only spend triple digits on single card purchases once or twice a year, this purchase is definitely a rare occasion for me.

I probably won't make another $100 purchase anytime soon, but if I do... odds are it's going to involve a vintage Mantle.

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

Have you ever beaten the odds and pulled a really rare card?  If so, what card?

Well that's it for today.  Happy Thursday and sayonara!