30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Games People Play

Life just keeps getting more and more interestingWait.  There's no need to sugar coat things here.  COVID-19 sucks.  It's taken the lives of over 360,000 people on our planet and over 100,000 of those deaths have occurred in our countryPeople are stressed about money, work, family, friends, food, health, the future of their families and our country, as well as plenty of other things I'm forgetting.

And if things weren't bad enough, the tragic death of George Floyd didn't help.    It's sad that our awesome country just can't find a way to live together in peace.  We're so divided, it's depressing.  It's even sadder that people are still treated differently based on the color of their skin.

It's so disheartening to know that there are police officers who feel like they are above the law.  It's also a shame that there are those who judge all law enforcement officers based on a handful of bad eggs.

Damn.  We've come so far as a country, but obviously we still have a long way to go.

Thankfully, our blogosphere is my safe haven.  It's a place I can hang out and take my mind off of the crap going on around me.

Games are another excellent source of distraction.

On Monday, I turned on my PS4 and started replaying The Last of Us.  The sequel comes out in a few weeks, so I wanted to get reacquainted with the story line.  The game is played from a third person perspective and takes place in the United States after the world has been ravaged by an infectious outbreakSound familiar?

I can't remember the last time I played it, but it's been long enough for me to forget a lot of the small details.  I completed about 75% of the game on Monday... while spending about an hour each day during the week before completing it yesterday afternoon... right before I started playing another gameJohnny's BFG.

I ended up winning some 70's Hostess, but that's a post for another dayHow about I show you the prize package I won from another game I played?

A few weeks ago, The Diamond King started his own version of the Big Fun Game.  He invited people who took the time to comment on his blog to sign up and I was one of the nine participants.

Every participant started off with 100 DK$, which were used to bid on a daily auction.  There were hidden bonuses built in so that contestants could earn more DK$.  The game was very unique and entertaining.  There were a total of twelve different auctions and I ended up winning two of them.

The first auction I won contained six Kirby Puckett cards and a Shawn Green bat relic.  The main card I wanted was this Kirby Puckett rookie card:

1985 Donruss #438

This is my 2nd copy of this card.  The first one is part of my 1985 Donruss set.  This copy was added to my 80's binder.

Out of the five inserts, four were new additions to my Kirby Puckett collection.  The 1987 Fleer All-Star is a duplicate.

2003 Fleer Showcase Thunder Sticks Gold #TS-SG

This Green game used bat card was a nice bonus as it's numbered to only ninety-nine.  If you're interested, Bill's Baseball Card Blog just featured a post on guys who hit four home runs in a single gameGreen is one of those guys.

The second auction I won was a Pete Rose and Ichiro Suzuki lot:

I was happy to find out that all four Ichiros were new additions to the collection.  I have copies of the three Roses, but they're all part of complete sets, so these joined the Puckett rookie card in the 80's binder.

I was also involved in an auction with another blogger, Ryan G from This Card is Cool.  The lot contained four Nolan Ryans and two Roy OswaltsRyan was only interested in the Oswalts, so we worked out a deal and I paid him seven DK$ for the Nolan Ryans.

These three will eventually be passed along to a different Ryan (aka SumoMenkoMan):

The fourth one was added to... you guessed it... my 80's binder:

1981 Topps #240

One of the coolest auctions was one I didn't end up winning.  It was a huge lot of oddballsBut Sport Card Collectors did... and he generously passed along the three cards I really wanted from the lot:

Thank you Sport Card Collectors for hooking me up with these three oddballs... and a huge thank you goes out to The Diamond King for all of these wonderful cards.  More importantly... thank you for distracting me from the crazy stuff going on in the world we live in.  That game was awesome!

I'll wrap things up with a little Games People Play by The Alan Parsons Project:

This song comes off of their fifth studio album, The Turn of a Friendly Card.

A couple of years ago, my brother gave me his LP collection and this was one of the albums.  By the way, when I'm not playing games to distract me from the real world, I'll sometimes lay on my couch, put on a record, and listen to music.

This morning, I read Adam's post over on ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession where he mentioned reading helps take his mind off of thingsI totally agree.  I enjoy reading card blogs.  It's usually how I start and finish my day.

One day, I'll advance to reading booksKenny (better known as Zippy Zappy) recently wrote a Star Wars post centered around Grand Admiral Thrawn.  He mentioned in the comments section that Timothy Zahn had written a new trilogy about the popular character.  I bought Zahn's original trilogy back in the 90's, so I decided to pick up this one as well: 

By the way... I wish I had the solution to the problems mentioned earlier in this post.  I don't.  It's awesome seeing all of the protests... when the people are peaceful.  But just like police officers, it only takes a few rotten apples to spoil the bunch.

I'm not ready to stand in crowds quite yet... but I'll try to do my part and show more compassion and positivity to others, because there's just too much hate and animosity in our world as it is.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy

Three years ago, Tony over at Off Hiatus Baseball Cards created The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge.  It took me over eleven months to complete that challenge.  But it was one of the most enjoyable series of posts I've written for this blog.

I always hoped that Tony would come back and throw down the gauntlet again, but it never happened.  Honestly... trying to come up with thirty new challenges is like asking Topps to come up with interesting insert sets.  The bottom line is neither are easy tasks.

Then out of the blue, Tim B who runs the blog, Cardpocalypse created took a page out of Tony's notebook and created his own version of a blogosphere challenge.  It's called the 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and I'm super stoked to participate.

Now I should preface things by stating that there's no way I'll be able to complete this challenge in seven days.  Like I mentioned earlier... it took me eleven months (342 days to be exact) to complete the other challenge.  I'm hoping to average one post a week, which means this one should take me less than 50 days to complete.

Easy peasylemon squeezy.

So let's get things started and check out Tim's very first challenge, which is to write about your favorite card acquired during the quarantine.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

The 2002 Topps American Pie First Pitch Seat Relic of the 40th President has been sitting atop my most wanted card list for years.  Unfortunately... it'll have to continue to sit there.

But for the time being, I have this card to stare at:

2004 Topps Presidential First Pitch Seat Relic #FPR-RR

Due to things like sales tax and less eBay Buck offers, I've cut back on purchasing cards.  Then two weeks ago, I kicked off a mini shopping spree with the purchase of this card.  I won it in an eBay auction for $11.65 (+ $3.75 shipping and $1.08 tax).  Isn't it awesome?

Both of my parents were huge supporters of the Reagan administration.  So when I discovered that Topps created presidential relic cards like this one back in the 2000's, I was pretty stoked.

This card commemorates President Reagan throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field on 9/30/88 when the Chicago Cubs hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It supposedly contains a piece of seat from Wrigley Field.  Whether or not that's true, these relics were pretty tough pulls.  They were inserted into Series 2 packs of 2004 Topps baseball at a rate of one in every five hundred ninety-two hobby packs, which is approximately one in every sixteen hobby boxes.

Thankfully, my path was much simpler.  I just waited patiently, entered in the max amount I was willing to spend, and clicked the button on my mouse.

Easy peasylemon squeezy.

In addition to this purchase, I also bought a pair of 70's sets (actually one is not quite complete) that I'm excited to add to the collection.  I will write them about as soon as they arrive.

In the meantime, I've gotta start looking for a card from a current release with a unique photo.

Easy peasylemon squeezy.

Wrong.  This challenge is gonna be tough, since I haven't really opened or purchased too many 2020 products.  Stay tuned.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Enjoy The Ride While It Lasts

This blog serves multiple purposes.  It's a place where I can show off new cards in my collection.  It's a place where I can interact and exchange cards with fellow collectors.  It's a place where I can share stories from my past.  And it's a place where I can document the things going on currently in our society... especially in regards to the hobby many of us enjoy.

The state of our society has seen better days.  On the other hand, the hobby's popularity appears to be on the rise.

New blogs have popped upRetired bloggers have returned to their keyboardsFormer collectors are rekindling their love for cardboard.  Plus... a couple of sports documentaries have inspired people to open up their wallets and buy cards.

I can't wait to sit down this summer and watch both of them.  I've already showed off bits and pieces of my Jordan collection.  Today I figured I'd share five of my favorite Big Mac collectibles in anticipation of Long Gone Summer, an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary covering the race to break the single season home run record.

Let's get the ball rolling with one of the most recognizable baseball cards ever collected...

1985 Topps #401

According to Beckett, there are over 8,000 Mark McGwire cards in their database and none are more iconic (in my humble opinion) than his 1985 Topps rookie card.  The days of selling raw copies for $200 might be in the past, but so are the days of finding this card in a dealer's dollar bin.

I think I own two copies of this card.  One resides in my 1985 Topps set.  The other is this signed copy I picked up two years ago.

1999 Finest Split Screen Dual Refractor #SS1

If you're a regular reader, then you know my deep appreciation for 90's inserts... and this card is hands down my favorite McGwire insert.

1987 Topps #366

This unopened cello pack was a gift I received from Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders five years ago.  I enjoy collecting unopened 80's products featuring key rookie cards on the front.  It might not be considered a rookie card by most collectors (including myself), but it is one of the first cards to feature him as an Oakland Athletic.

2016 Topps Team Logo Pin Autograph #TLP-MM

I'm not usually a fan of gold and gaudy... but this card is an exception to the rule.  It's not just a key piece of my Oakland A's PC, it's also a member of my Prime #'s PC, because it's serial #'d 25/25 (the last card in the run as well as his jersey number).

Steiner Certified Signed Ball

I'll wrap things up with this signed ball, which was the first McGwire signature I ever owned.  Now I just need to acquire a Sammy Sosa autographed baseball to go with it.

What about you?

Do you have a favorite Mark McGwire collectible sitting in your collection?

By the way... I totally understand why some of you think this hype is silly and in some ways I completely agree with you.  However there's a bigger part of me that thinks this is great for our hobby.

I've commented my thoughts on the subject on a few of your blogs... but felt like I had to document it on my own to preserve history.

My philosophy when it comes to collecting is the more (collectors out there)... the merrierWill a lot of these people regret overpaying down the road?  Sure.  Will most of them have their fill of this hobby by the time this pandemic is over?  Probably.  But what if 20% stay?  Or even 10%?  I'd call that a win.

It's only natural to have different interests and opinions.  But there's plenty of room for all of usSet builders, team collectors, prospectors, graded card enthusiasts, autograph hounds, and every other type of collector out there all have one thing in common.  We enjoy collecting cards.

So my suggestion for my friends would be to collect what you want to collect, buy what you want to buy, spend what you want to spend, and enjoy this hobby while there are still other people out there who can enjoy it with you.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!