30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Quantity Trumped Quality

Last weekend was the first card show of the year for me and I was pretty pleased with the number of card dealers and the variety of stuff they brought out.  The plan was to stay away from cheap cards I didn't really need and focus on quality over quantity.  Ideally, I would have discovered an affordable 1973 Topps baseball set or a reasonably priced lot of 1970 Kellogg's baseball cards.  Unfortunately none of those things popped up on my radar.

Being the card addict that I am... I wasn't able to walk away without spending some of the money I brought to the show.  After hanging out a little over eight hours at the show, I ended up making five purchases from four different dealers.

In an effort to keep this post a reasonable length and to conserve a little time, today I'll be showing off my first two purchases which came from the same guy.

Purchase #1Dollar Bin  $15

I've seen this dealer before, but I'm not sure if I've ever purchased anything from him.  His setup included a bunch of display cases with higher end cards, a shoebox filled with quarter cards, a pair of monster boxes containing higher end cards marked 75% off, and two super monster boxes filled with dollar cards.

My eyes were originally drawn to the Brett Hull rookie card that was sitting on top of one of the dollar binsAnyone else remember this card selling for $50 back in the early 90's?

2019-20 Panini Prizm Sensational Swatches #SS-ADV

The vendor mostly had 90's stuff in his boxes, but I did pick up a few basketball relics from this past year.  I also found a few 90's parallels and inserts.  Here a pair of hall of fame refractors I couldn't pass up for a dollar:

1997-98 Finest Silver Refractor #275
1997 Finest Silver Refractor #106

The guy also had a few dozen autographs he supposedly acquired in person at Spring Training.  I picked up a pair of signed Sandy Alomar Jr. rookie cards, a cool Bert Campaneris Mother's Cookies card, and this rookie card of Robin Ventura:

1988 Topps Traded #124T

Out of all of the non-certified autographs, this card looks the sketchiest.  None of his 90's pack pulled autographs come even close to looking like this one.  However, I found a similar looking signature that was slabbed by PSA/DNA, so there's a chance it's legit.

1998 Skybox Premium Autographics #NNO

I would have loved to pull any Skybox Autographics card from a pack back in the 90'sJeff George isn't one of the greatest quarterbacks of his era, but he was the first overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft.  There was no way I was passing up this autograph for a buck.

There are a few other cards that I'd like to talk about from this purchase, but I think I'll discuss them in future posts and move along to the 2nd autograph I purchased from the dealer.

Purchase #2Josh Donaldson Autograph  $7

2014 Topps Triple Threads Rookie and Phenom Autographed Relics #103

Donaldson was a huge fan favorite among Oakland A's fans and seeing him on cards featured in Green and Gold stirs up many fond memories.  But it also reminds me of the disappointing trade that shipped him off to Toronto back in 2014.

This card was sitting in the guy's 75% off bin with a $30 price tag.  I stood there going back and forth on whether or not to buy this card.  Ultimately I grabbed it after I noticed that I only have two other autographs of Donaldson sitting in my A's collection.

Well that wraps up the first part of my card show recap.  I'm planning special posts for Saturday and Monday, so I probably won't get around to the second half of my card show pickups until next Tuesday or Thursday.

Until then...

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

State of the Office

Like Billy Ocean once sang... when the going gets tough, the tough get going.  Sadly I'm as soft as a marshmallow.  With each passing day, more stuff continues to pile on my plate and card related items are not exempt.

Last week, I wrapped up sorting the collection I purchased in September and focused on care packages.  Then on Friday, my Sportlots order, which contained set needs started arriving.  So I paused on the care packages for the umpteenth time to get the set situation under control.

On Saturday, I spent the day at the card show... which resulted in a few more stacks of cards that needed to be sorted and cataloged.  Plus standing up and sitting down didn't do my sore back any favors.

Then on Sunday, the news of Kobe Bryant broke and an emotional component was added to the formula.  In short, I'm physically and mentally burnt out.

I know most collectors look forward to sitting down with their cards, but when I came home yesterday from work... the last thing I wanted to do was open the door to my office and see stacks of cards laying all over the place.  My body and mind told me to lay down on the floor and listen to episodes of The Office or a podcast.  And that's exactly what I did for an hour or so.  Then I went upstairs and continued the process of scanning, cataloging, and sorting for another hour or so.

Collecting is suppose to be fun.  My office is suppose to be my Fortress of Solitude.  A place for me to hide out and relax, while being surrounded by sports cards.  It's starting to feel more like an actual office space.

I'm looking forward to reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.  At that point, my desk and office floor will be clear, cards will be sleeved or put into boxes and binders, and care packages will have been shipped.  My plate will finally be clean and I can look forward to some dessert.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, January 27, 2020

No Shame In Crying

When I heard about the helicopter crash that took Kobe Bryant's life, along with the lives of eight others including his 13 year old daughter... I was shocked.  I didn't believe it.  Or maybe... I didn't want to believe it.

1998-99 Topps Autographs #AG2
2009-10 Crown Royale King of the Court Materials #10
1996-97 Skybox EX2000 #30

I went into my office, closed the door, and started scanning cards I purchased at the card show the day before.  It didn't take long for other friends to start texting me the news and checking in to see if I was okay.  Most of my close friends know that once upon a time... I was a longtime Los Angeles Lakers fan and Kobe was my favorite player.

I replied the same thing each timeI'm in shock.  And down inside, I was hoping that it was just a rumor or "fake news".

2002-03 Upper Deck UD Game Jersey Patch Number #KB-P#

After about four hours, my back could no longer take the sitting down, so I went downstairs and decided to see if ESPN had published anything.  They had.  It started to sink in as I read their article.  Simultaneously, I thought about my mom.  I thought about Tony Gwynn who was another favorite athlete of mine taken away way too soon.  And I thought about my students who are about the same age as his daughter.  That's when the eyes started to tear up.

1996-97 Fleer Metal #181
1996-97 Collector's Choice Team Set #LA2

The article led to me to search out the moment of silence before the Denver/Houston game on YouTube.  Then I watched the Raptors and Spurs each run out the 24 second clock to honor The Black Mamba.  And that's when I lost it.

1996-97 Topps #138
1996-97 Bowman's Best #R23
1996-97 Upper Deck #58

I was a complete wreck.  I can't even begin to imagine what Kobe's daughters, wife, family members, and friends are going through during this time of sorrow.  But my heart goes out to all of the families and friends of the victims of yesterday's tragic accident.

1996-97 UD3 #19
1996-97 Hoops #281

Rest in peace Kobe and sayonara.


By the way, my apologies to Adam (ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession) and John (Johnny's Trading Spot).  I've received both of your packages and will try to publish a recap in the very near future.  Very sorry for the delay.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Wounded Yet On The Prowl

This short week was a little crazyYesterday marked the end of the first semester and I've been busy trying to grade those board game projects, help my students figure out next semester's electives, and wrapping up loose ends... while at the same time nursing my decrepit body.

If you know me... then you know I have back issues.  And while sorting cards last weekend, I tweaked it again.  At this point, I've come to accept it.  Unfortunately... the timing is really badToday is the Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show.

I'm still planning on attending, but I'm not sure how long I'll be able to stand hunched over dime boxes.  My goal is to hang out at my friend's table a little, grab lunch, walk the mall once, then head home.

1970 Kellogg's #27
1970 Kellogg's #12
1970 Kellogg's #2
1970 Kellogg's #32

Although I hit up the ATM last weekend, I don't anticipate spending too much money today.  However, I am secretly hoping I stumble across some affordable and clean 1970 Kellogg's baseball singles.

I've been in contact with Matt over at Run-Fore!-Kelloggs Baseball Cards and he's willing to sell me a nice starter set for a reasonable price... which has inspired me to build this dream set.  I normally don't take on projects like these, but I love that year's card design... and I've accepted that this will be one of those slow builds that might take the rest of my life.

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

50% and Forgotten

After seeing Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens fall short again for the eighth time, I decided to see how many MLB players in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame voting have received 50% or more votes at least once and are still waiting for their ticket to get punched.  Any guesses?

If you guessed "5", then you sure know your baseball triviaBarry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, and Omar Vizquel are four of the fiveThe fifth?  Gil Hodges.

2001 SP Legendary Game Jersey #J-GH

Here's a look at the breakdown of how the Baseball Writers Association of America voted during the fifteen years he was on the ballot:

1969  Gil Hodges 24.1%
1970  Gil Hodges 48.3%
1971  Gil Hodges 50.0%
1972  Gil Hodges 40.7%
1973  Gil Hodges 57.4%
1974  Gil Hodges 54.2%
1975  Gil Hodges 51.9%
1976  Gil Hodges 60.1%
1977  Gil Hodges 58.5%
1978  Gil Hodges 59.6%
1979  Gil Hodges 56.0%
1980  Gil Hodges 59.7%
1981  Gil Hodges 60.1%
1982  Gil Hodges 49.4%
1983  Gil Hodges 63.4%

Hodges broke the 50% barrier eleven timesWhat so significant about that percentage?  Well from 1936 to 2015... every player who reached the 50% mark in hall of fame voting at one point or another eventually received the call to the hall.

2005 Donruss Champions Impressions Materials #168

Everyone except Hodges.

I'm not going to sit here and argue whether or not he deserves to be enshrined in CooperstownMy vote doesn't count.  But maybe Night Owl is right.  Gil Hodges has been forgotten by the people whose vote does count.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Winners and Losers

It's one thing to watch your team get blown out in the playoffs, but it's 10x worse when it happens against a team you don't like.  Watching yesterday's NFC Championship Game was an emotional roller coasters.  Things started off with me being pumped, then I quickly became annoyed, and before long it was just disheartening.  I literally was sick to my stomach by the middle of the 2nd quarter.

I'm ashamed to admit this... but after Aaron Rodgers fumbled the ball... I went upstairs and tried to drown myself in something usually brings me happiness: baseball cards.

And it kinda worked.  I used the extra time to open up a contest package I received from Andy over at Stadium Fantasium.  For the past two years, he has held a Rose Bowl Contest on his blog... and for the second year in a row... I have taken home a prize package.

The contest was actually three contests with multiple prize packages.  I won the Gold Contest by predicting the winner of the Rose Bowl and guessing the closest margin of victory without going over.  This allowed me to choose the first three prize packages.  Here's what I went with...

First PickBaseball Prize Lot #11

2017 Topps Museum Collection WBC Patch Relic #WBCPR-DG

Yup.  I'm one of those guys who still appreciates memorabilia cards.  This patch of Didi immediately caught my eye and I'm stoked to add this to my collection.

In addition to the patch relic, there was also a pack of 1989 Donruss Pop-Up cards...

If I can get my act together, maybe I'll open this up and share it over on A Pack To Be Named Later.  It's been way too long since I last wrote a post over there.

Second PickBaseball Prize Pack #10

2018 Topps Dodgers 60th Anniversary SGA The '70s Pack

In 2018, Topps celebrated the Los Angeles Dodgers 60th Anniversary by creating some really cool cards and giving them away to fans who attended specific games.  They broke it down by decades and produced a total of six packsThe '50s and '60s, The '70s, The '80s, The '90, The 2000s, and The 2010s.

Last year, I won Andy's contest and chose three of the packsThe '50s and '60s, The '90s, and The 2000s.  This year I'm excited to add The '70s.  Now I just need The '80s and The 2010s packs to complete my set.

Third PickBaseball Prize Lot #6

2008 Prime Cuts #36 (#'d 01/25)

This Joe Jackson card was the key to choosing this prize lot.  No I haven't started super collecting Shoeless Joe, but I was excited to see that this card is serial #'d 01/25 on the back:

This is a very nice addition to my Prime #'s PC.  The other card included in the prize lot was this shiny refractor of a Kyle Hendricks...

2019 Topps Chrome Green Wave Refractor #185 (#'d 35/99)

If you look at the background, you'll see Chicago Cubs fans are seated, but the Green Wave Refractor sort of creates an ivy feel to this card and I like it.

I was also very fortunate to be chosen co-winner of the Silver Contest along with Jon over at A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts.  He picked a pair of Football Prize Lots for his winnings.  I went with more baseball...

Fourth PickBaseball Prize Lot #8

2019 Topps Update 1984 Box Topper Pack
1989 Pacific Legends 2nd Series Pack
1988 Topps Yearbook Sticker Pack

Someone has already cracked a pack of the yearbook stickers over on APTBNL, but I don't see any reviews on the first two packsPossibly more writing material?  We shall see.

Fifth PickBaseball Prize Lot #9

2019 Topps Finest Pack
1989 Donruss Value Pack (w/Nolan Ryan showing)

I wrapped up my prize selections with two more packs of baseball.  I'm really excited to see if I can pull a Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie card from that pack.  As for the 1989 Donruss rack pack... I'll be shipping it off to SumoMenkoMan... who collects the Ryan Express.

Thank you Andy for hosting another generous contest.  I'm super excited to sit down and tear into these packs.  And now that I'm a little less distraught... congratulations to San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs fans.

And one more thing...

A huge shout out to all of the civil rights leaders who have stood up against injustice and fought for equality among humanity.

Each February, I teach a unit on America's Civil Rights Movement and my students design trading cards for their favorite leaders.  This Martin Luther King Jr. was based on the 2015/16 Panini Excalibur basketball design.

Well that's it for now.  Happy Monday and sayonara!