Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Elite Company

One of my favorite things to collect are autographed rookie cards.  No... not the Topps or Bowman Chrome autographs that seem to be the current hobby craze.  I'm talking about old school rookie cards of guys who played in the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's.

Back in April of 2019, an eBay seller accepted my best offer on this signed copy of Tony Oliva's 1963 Topps rookie card:

1963 Topps #228

A few years earlier... I read an article about him in Baseball Digest that opened my eyes to his career and instantly made me a fan.  He's one of those classic Hall of Very Good guys whose career was hindered by injuries.

Here's a snippet from a post I wrote a few years ago that summarizes his accomplishments:

In 1964, he led the American League in batting average (.323), hits (217), doubles (43), runs scored (109), and total bases (374) and won the AL ROY Award.  Talk about a fantastic rookie season.

Did you know that Oliva and Ichiro Suzuki are the only two players to win the batting title during their rookie season since the 1800's?

Now that's some elite company.

Unfortunately... I don't have an autographed copy of Ichiro's Topps rookie card, but I do have a signed copy of his first BBM card:

1993 BBM #239

Well that's it for today.  Time to switch gears and get ready for the postseason... where my beloved Oakland Athletics will take on the young and very talented Chicago White Sox today.

Today's questions of the day... 

Who are you rooting for?  And who do you think takes how the Commissioner's Trophy this October?

I'm going with the favorite... and predicting the Los Angeles Dodgers end their thirty-two year World Series Championship drought.

1988 World Series Program

But I'm crossing my fingers that somehow the A's find a way to represent the American League this yearHow cool would it be to see a role reversal from the 1988 World Series... where the underdog takes down the heavily favored juggernaut?

Even better would be a San Diego Padres vs. Oakland Athletics World SeriesLet's go Padres!  Let's go A's!

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Better Than A Card Shop

The blogosphere is filled with generous bloggers who send cards across the country unconditionally in an effort to help other collectors and brings smiles to their faces.

Three weeks ago, I opened up a pack of 1989 Donruss Pop-Ups and mentioned how I would have rather pulled a few other cards instead of a Tom Kelly Pop-Up.  Well last week all of the cards I mentioned arrived in two PWE's from Daniel over at It's like having my own Card Shop.

First up are all three Oakland A's Pop-Ups included on the checklist:

As you can see, he also threw in the Dwight Gooden and Cal Ripken Jr. cards... which have each been added to my binder collections.

Next up are the All-Star cards that were part of that product:

There were five Oakland Athletics on the 1988 American League All-Star roster and the three cards on the top row represent the startersCanseco received a second card, because he lead the American League in All-Star votes.

The final card Daniel sent was my latest addition to my Golden Gate Bridge collection:

2015 Allen and Ginter Keys to the City #KTC-7

This card brings the collection up to five cards.

The back states that the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 and is the most photographed bridge in the world.  If you've ever had the opportunity to see it in person, you would understand why.

He showed off this card on his blog a few weeks ago in an effort to find someone with an extra 1976 Topps Dennis Eckersley or 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas rookie card.  If anyone out there has either of these cards, he has a very generous offer laying on the table.  Click here to see it.

Thanks Daniel for taking the time to read my blog and send me specific cards for my collection.  Unfortunately, I don't have an extra copy of either of those cards... but I will dig up some Barry Bonds cards for your project.  Hopefully you'll be able to use them.  If not... maybe you can use them for trade bait to land you some cards you can use.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

TWIB: Boxed Sets from the 80's and Holograms from the 90's

Baseball, BBQ, and baked potatoes.  That's what is on the agenda this afternoon.  But before I can sit down and enjoy the A's doubleheader, I've gotta get the This Week in Blogging post published, so here we go...

#1Fleer Box Sets

If you collected back in the 80's, then you're probably familiar with the Fleer 44-card box sets.  Last Sunday, Jongudmund wrote about his 1986 Fleer Limited Edition Tony Gwynn and reminded me that I'd love to collect every one of these box set Gwynns that Fleer produced during that era.  I currently have fourteen different ones ranging from 1985 to 1990.  Here's nine of them:

1985 Fleer Limited Edition #11
1986 Fleer Baseball's Best #15
1986 Fleer Limited Edition #22

1987 Fleer Baseball All-Stars #20
1987 Fleer Award Winner #19
1988 Fleer Record Setters #17

1988 Fleer Kay Bee Toys Team Leaders #11
1989 Fleer Heroes of Baseball #20
1990 Fleer Baseball MVP #16

A vendor on eBay has twenty-seven different sets listed in an auction with a starting bid of $25 (+ $20 shipping), but I'm not sure if I'll actually place a bid.  There's plenty of time left.  If there are no bids next Friday, maybe I'll go for it.

#2Goodbye Gale

1971 Topps #150

On Wednesday afternoon, I read about Gale Sayers passing away over on Bob's blogThe Five Tool Collector.

1971 Topps Pin-Ups #12

Sayers played his final professional football game the year before I was born, but I've heard plenty of stories and watched a few highlight films, so I'm very familiar with his legacy.

1972 Topps #110

As of right now... three cards make up my entire Kansas Comet collection, but he's officially on my radar.

#3One Autograph Per Pack

On Thursday... Kerry from Cards on Cards showed off a Signature Rookies autograph that Bob from The Best Bubble sent him.

1994 Signature Rookies Autographs #3
1994 Signature Rookies Autographs #10
1994 Signature Rookies Autographs #61

It instantly took me back to the mid 90's when I bought a few boxes of 1994 Signature Rookie Draft which guaranteed an autograph in every pack.  This stuff paved the way for products like Be A Player and Leaf Signatures Series.

There was a time when I had over fifty of these signatures sitting in my collection.  These were the only three I could find this afternoon.

#4Three Dimensional Cards

Another weekAnother giveaway over at Collecting Cutch.  This week he's asking you to show off your favorite 3D cards.  I'm sure most of you realize 70's and 80's Kellogg's lenticular cards are some of my favorite oddball issues of all-time.  

However... I thought I'd go in a different direction for this contest...

1985 Topps 3D #10

Back in 1985, Topps released a product called Topps 3D... which featured a 4" x 6" embossed card molded from some kind of plastic.  This is the kind of product that caters to guys like me.  However... they're bulky and are a pain in the bottom to store.

Moving ahead to the early 90's, the hobby went through a phase where holograms were one of the hottest things around.

1991 Kayo #235

I've written about plenty of holograms over the years... but this hologram of Muhammad Ali stands out as one of my favorites.

Holograms didn't just invade the card collecting community.  Even the comic book industry profited off them:

1992 Spider-Man #26
1992 Web of Spider-Man #90
1992 The Spectacular Spider-Man #189
1992 The Amazing Spider-Man #365

Almost three decades later... I'm sure these four comic books are floating in dollar bins across our country's comic book stores.

Well that wraps up another week of This Week in Blogging.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend... and may all of your professional teams do well unless they're the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Mariners, or San Francisco Giants.  I don't dislike the Giants, Saints, or Mariners... but they're playing my teams this weekend.  As for the Cowboys... I can't stand them.  The fact that they're playing the Seahawks tomorrow only makes me dislike them a little more than usual.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Move Over Monet

La Japonaise (1876)

I'm not an expert on art, but I've been familiar with Claude Monet's art since I was a little kidThe Houses of Parliament series stands out... as well as his Haystacks and Water Lilies series.  But after look up a bunch of his paintings for this post, I decided to lure all of you in with La Japonaise.  I had never seen it before, but it's an oil on canvas painting of his wife wearing a kimono surrounded by Japanese fans.  He painted it in 1876, but it has since crossed the Atlantic and is now at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Another French artist is Ermsy.  Actually, he was born in England... but he's based out of Paris... so I'm guessing that makes him more of an English artist who works in ParisOh well.  Too late.  I already invested too much time and energy in this post and I don't know any famous English painters off the top of my head... so I'm moving forward with my comparison to Monet.

Okay.  I just realized how stupid that sounds.  Monet is one of the most renowned painters of all-time... while Ermsy is one of the Topps Project 2020 artists.  There is no comparison.

And from what I've read and seen on blogs people are pretty divided on Ermsy's artwork.  It seems like people either enjoy it... or don't.  Considering I purchased two of his cards on the Topps website within a span of six days back in July... it's pretty obvious where I stand.

I've been a fan of his work from the very beginning.  It reminds me of Topps Kids from the early 90's... along with street graffiti from the 80's.  I just couldn't get myself to pull $20 out of my pocket for a rookie card redux of Mike Trout.

But when Topps released the Tony Gwynn, I decided to join the club and purchase my first Project 2020 cardA few days later, I picked up the Rickey as well.  It took a little under two months, but they arrived last week:

2020 Topps Project 2020 #161
2020 Topps Project 2020 #168

I'm not exactly sure why he chopped off Gwynn's head, but the Rickey is about as Ermsy as you can get.  Like I said... you probably like his style or you don't.

Here's are side by side comparisons to the actual rookie cards:

1983 Topps #482

1980 Topps #482

And for those who enjoy back scans, Merry Christmas...

I'll wrap things up with another piece of art...

One of my former students created this and was nice enough to share it with me.  It was her interpretation of this famous woodblock print:

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai is one of the most recognizable pieces of Japanese art and has been a personal favorite of mine for as long as I can remember.

What about you?

What are some of your favorite pieces of art?

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