Thursday, July 30, 2020

Shine On

One of the reasons I've been content with cutting back on my hobby spending is the plethora of cards I've accumulated over the past twelve years that have been sitting in boxes.  Some have been featured on this blog before being tucked away, while others have sat in darkness unappreciated.

Today's post will showcase one of those hidden treasures that deserves to see the light of day and receive some recognition.

Back in 2010, Topps had a wrapper redemption offer for collectors who opened boxes of Chrome Baseball.  It was simple.  Send in twenty-four wrappers of 2010 Chrome hobby baseball and they'd send you a special three-card pack featuring refractor rookies and legends.  The set featured nine rookie card variations plus a Buster Posey rookie card that wasn't available as part of the original set.  To top things off, they included five of the greatest players in the history of the game.

Here's a look at the nine rookie card variations in the 2010 Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption set:

Each of these guys had a regular rookie card and various parallels in the 2010 Topps Chrome set.  The ones you see here use a different photo from those and since they were part of a redemption program are way easier to find compared to their pack pulled counterparts.

The final six cards in the set consist of the Posey and the legends:

Out of these six players, Mickey Mantle was the only guy who was available in the regular issue Chrome set.

Topps must have printed a ton of these wrapper redemption refractors, because I've seen some of these legends sitting in dollar bins and it wouldn't surprise me if they are littering quarter bins too.

I grabbed the entire 15 card set on eBay back in the Summer of 2016 for $21.25 (+ $2.75 shipping) in an effort to get my hands on this card:

2010 Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption Refractor #221

Posey announced a few weeks ago to opt out of the 2020 season, because it was the right decision for him, his wife, his children, and the twin girls they just adopted.

Out of the other nine rookie refractors, Mike Leake is the only other player who decided to take the 2020 season off.

2010 Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption Refractor #190

Giancarlo Stanton has put a lot of smiles on Yankees fans' faces so far this season.  Jason Heyward, Starlin Castro, and Carlos Santana have stepped into the batter's box this season too.

2010 Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption Refractor #212

Strasburg was scheduled to pitch last Saturday, but was scratched due to a nerve issue in his throwing hand.  Hopefully he'll have made his 2020 season debut by the time this post has been published.  There was a chance he'd pitch this afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The last three rookies each had respectable MLB careers with Austin Jackson still looking for an opportunity to play.  Maybe he'll get his shot with the Marlins.  Right now we're just waiting to see how things play out in Florida.

It'll be interesting to look back on this set in twenty years to see if any of these guys get the call from Cooperstown.

Thankfully there are at least five hall of famers in this set, including one of the greatest to ever play the game:

2010 Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption Refractor #222

Okay, it's time for you to chime in...

Do you think any of the current players in this set make it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame?

I'm pulling for Posey, but he hasn't been the same the past couple of years.  Hopefully spending some quality time with his family will help him bounce back and have a solid second half to an already very successful career.

Well that's it for today.  Here's the song that inspired today's title:

Happy Throwback Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

More 80's Treats

A few weekends ago, I wrote a post about 7-Eleven Slurpee discs.  Today let's check out another 80's treatMother's Cookies stadium giveaway cards.

When Topps released their team cards last year which featured wide angled shots of stadiums, it seemed to be universally liked by collectors.  And rightfully so... because they're beautiful.  I enjoy them so much, that I decided to track down as many copies of the Oakland Coliseum as I could get my hands on.  However I've shown off the 2019 Topps card #126 more than enough times.

1984 Mother's Cookies Athletics #28

While looking for cards for a Rickey Henderson post I wrote last month, I came across the card you see above.  It inspired me to track down as many Mother's Cookies cards featuring stadiums as I could find for a reasonable price.  

Unfortunately COMC's prices didn't fit into my budget, but there are a couple of dealers on Sportlots who have some in the 18¢ to 28¢ price range.  Those are prices I could live with.

Here is what I've accumulated so far...

1984 Mother's Cookies Padres #28

1984 Mother's Cookies Mariners #28

1985 Mother's Cookies Athletics #28

This is my favorite card of the lot.  This was the Oakland Coliseum from my childhood.  The one with the amazing view of the Oakland Hills beyond the outfield scoreboards.

1985 Mother's Cookies Padres #28

1985 Mother's Cookies Giants #28

I really love this card too with the city of San Francisco in the background.

1985 Mother's Cookies Mariners #28

1986 Mother's Cookies Athletics #28

This is probably the worst looking card of the lot... but I went to the game when they handed these cards out.  I also attended the San Francisco Giants Mother Cookies giveaway game that season as well.

1987 Mother's Cookies Astros #28

1987 Mother's Cookies Dodgers #28

1987 Mother's Cookies Giants #28

I've written about these stadium giveaways in the past, but I'll review it for those who may have missed them.  Back in the 80's and 90's, Mother's Cookies created team sets for the Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, California Angels, and Houston Astros that were distributed to fans in a little paper envelope.

There was one catch.  They didn't give fans complete sets.  Each fan received twenty-something (maybe 21, 22, or 23) different cards, plus six or seven duplicates of one player.  The idea was to trade one of your extras to someone who didn't receive that card in their envelope for a card that you needed.  I've gotta say the idea is pretty ingenious.

 1989 Mother's Cookies McGwire Set #4
1989 Mother's Cookies Griffey Rookie Set #3
1992 Mother's Cookies Ryan No-Hitter Set #4

Later in the decade, Mother's Cookies also started creating special sets of cards to honor specific players like Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr., and Nolan Ryan that were inserted into specially marked bags.  But this post is running a little long, so I'll save those for another day.

Here is your question of the day...

What is your favorite cookie, favorite stadium, and/or favorite stadium giveaway?

I love just about any cookie, but if I had to pick one, I'd go with my sister-in-law's "gross" cookie.  Not sure of the exact ingredients (family secret?), but they're similar to a cowboy cookie.  Each year... my Christmas present usually involves a dozen or two of these and they don't last very long.

My favorite stadium will always be the Oakland Coliseum for sentimental reasons... but I also loved Candlestick Park.  And AT&T is definitely the nicest ballpark I've gone to.

Internet Image

As for stadium giveaways, as much as I love my Mother's Cookies team sets... I think the Run TMC bobbleheads are my favorite.  I'm pretty sure the game I received the Mullin was the last Golden State Warriors game I attended.  The following season, the Warriors started winning and ticket prices started soaring.

Okay... this post has dragged on long enough.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Budget Cuts

I've been talking about not teaching summer school for a few years now.  But after being forced to take it off due to COVID-19, I've learned to have a deeper appreciation for those two paychecks I didn't earn this summer.

Luckily I decided back in January to cut back on buying cards, so this change in finances didn't hit me as hard as it could have.  But the days of nonchalantly picking up a new Rickey Henderson autograph or a PSA 10 graded rookie card of Fernando Tatis Jr. are in the past.  

1977 Kellogg's #26

That doesn't mean I haven't bought anything this summer.  I completed a bunch of sets, including the 1977 Kellogg's baseball set that had been sitting on my desk for a couple of years now.  I've also purchased some cards on, which I'll write about as soon as I receive them.

And two weeks ago, I bought a box of 1988 Pacific Baseball Legends off of Dennis who runs the blog... Too Many Verlanders.  He picked up a pair of boxes off of Facebook and offered one up to me.  If you're interested in seeing what he pulled from his box or reading about his cool FB find, click here.

Unfortunately, my box has been added to the unopened box collection... and won't be opened anytime soon.  I currently have forty to fifty thousand cards sitting in my garage that need to be cleared out before I end up opening up anymore boxes.  I would also like to find a 1989 Pacific Baseball Legends Series 2 box to go along with this box and the box of 1990 Pacific Alumni Team Baseball Legends I picked up years ago.  Thought it'd be cool to open up and build all three sets at one time.

In the meantime, I have plenty of cards to keep me entertained.  In addition to the box, Dennis sent me three bricks of cards which I broke down into the following stacks:

The two largest stacks containe Greg Maddux and Oakland A's cards, but there were also some Padres, Sharks, SJSU Spartans, and Japanese baseball players thrown into the mix.

Here are a few of the highlights:

2000 Topps Combos #TC2

At first I was a little baffled by the appearance of Kevin Millwood on this card, but after looking up his 1999 statistics I quickly discovered he had the best season among the four pitchers.  He led the Braves in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and winning percentage.

1995 Donruss Diamond Kings #DK-24

There's already a copy of this card sitting in my Tony Gwynn collection, however I needed another copy for the Diamond King project I recently started working on.

1988 Topps #360

If I had pulled this card out of a pack thirty-two years ago, it would have went into the trash.  Today it's the newest addition to my Damaged Card PC.

1999-00 Fleer Ultra #24

 also sent me three San Jose State SpartansTariq Abdul-Wahad happened to play for both of our teams.  He was a Michigan Wolverine (played there right after Webber left for the NBA) for two years before transferring to SJSU where he led the team in scoring his final two seasons.

1992-93 Fleer Ultra #199

Doug Wilson was the San Jose Sharks first captain and has been their general manager since 2003.  This year he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame primarily for his accomplishments on the ice with the Chicago Blackhawks, but Sharks fans have appreciated his work in the front office.

1993 UD Denny's Grand Slam #3

There was also a nice variety of Oakland A's cards, but this Rickey stood out.  It's such a great looking card.  I thought about treating everyone to a set review, but after some digging... I realized that I already wrote one ten years ago.  If you're interested in seeing the entire set and checking out one of my earlier posts, click here.

And I'll wrap things up with a pair of hits...

2006 SP Authentic By the Letter Autograph #BL-DH
2003 UD Sweet Spot Patches #BZ1

It's always nice to add a pair of patches to the collection.  Once upon a time I was attempting to spell out "SAN JOSE FUJI" with autographed letter patches.  I believe I fell one letter short, but I'll have to double check.  Regardless... now that I'm on a tight budget... it won't be very high on my priority list.

Thank you Dennis for offering to sell me one of your boxes and throwing in some very nice bonuses.  As long as I'm around the blogosphere, I'll be setting aside my extra Tigers for you and Julie.

Here is today's question of the day:

Has COVID-19 made an impact on your hobby budget?

The hobby has really boomed since March with a lot of new money entering our hobby.  Even though some outrageous prices have started to settle, I still feel like it is a seller's market right now.  I know that I've seen plenty of completed listings on my eBay watchlists soar in price, which kind of stinks.  But I'm happy that card collecting popularity has been on the rise.

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