30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, December 31, 2020

A New Year and a Simple Request

In a few hours, we'll be ringing in the new year.  Well... I'll be sleeping, but you know what I mean.  Whether or not your 2020 was good or bad, I hope you and your loved ones have a brighter 2021.

I've been thinking about how to wrap up this year for a few weeks now.  The original plan was to review the year as a way to document it for myself... but when I started going through my older posts I discovered there was just too much to write about.  Hobby goals were another topic I explored for this post, but I'll cover those in Saturday's This Week in Blogging post.

Instead... I decided to close out the year with my favorite 2020 baseball card sitting within the collection.  Sorry I'm not able to create a Top 10 list like Night Owl and Dime Box Nick.  Heck even a Top 5 list would be a struggle.

Compared to previous years, I just don't have the selection of cards to choose from, because I've only opened a handful of 2020 packs and I've significantly cut back on spending this year.  Thankfully a bunch of you have generously sent me 2020 singles for various collections and after sifting through a few boxes, I found one card that stood out from the rest:

2020 Topps #179

Although I won't claim to be a huge fan of the 2020 Topps flagship design... I love the overall look of this card.

Obviously the well-cropped action shot is the main reason I chose this card.  I've loved this image since I saw it used last year on a Topps Now card.  The photographer captured this awesome catch by Laureano against the Toronto Blue Jays on 4/21/19.

The icing on the cake is that Laureano happens to be my favorite "current" Oakland Athletic.  He struggled after his suspension this season, but I'm confident he'll bounce back in 2021.  Hopefully lots of things will bounce back in 2021.

So that's how I'll wrap up another year on this blog.  However before I go, I've been thinking about some future ideas for this blog and one of them requires a little assistance from my readers.  It's pretty simple...

Over the past decade, I've asked you all hundreds of questions.  Sometimes they're hobby related.  Other times they're not.  In the comment section below... please write down some questions for me.  It might be a question about my collection, a hobby opinion, or just something you're curious about.

How will I use these questions?  Well... it's not set in stone.  I'd like turn this into a new series on this blog if I can get enough responses.

So please don't be afraid to ask multiple questionsThe more... the merrier.

Well that's it for another year.  Thank you to all of you who have written articles and provided me and others entertainment on your blog.  And thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read and comment on my posts.  Overall this year was far from being awesome, but the card blogosphere definitely brightened up my life on some of the gloomiest days.  I'm sure I wasn't alone.

Happy New Year's Eve and sayonara!


  1. 1. A meteor is heading towards your house, which one card or binder do you grab?
    2. Who was one of the first players you remember seeing in person?
    3. If you could go back in time, what game, or what player, would you like to see live?
    3. If you could pick any baseball relic, but no bigger than a van, what would it be?

  2. 1. Who is your favorite of the Bash Brothers?
    2. If you could have gone to any game in the history of the A's franchise, what would you choose?
    3. Approximately, how many cards do you have in your A's collection?

  3. 1. Any advice for people younger than you, say someone my age (37)?
    2. Have you always been a teacher and how did you get into the field?
    3. Which is better, stick shift or automatic transmission?
    4. Any favorite foods?
    5. What was it like working in a card shop? Could you separate your love of cards and having your own collection with having to run a business and make money? Did you just take your paycheck with store credit?
    6. How much sleep do you get a night on average?
    7. Is it nice being on the West coast and getting to see a full slate of East and West coast games and get to bed before 11, or is it more of a trade off where you miss many of the East coast games anyways because of work/dinner?

  4. 1. Are there any cards under say $5 "book value" that you would keep as many copies as you could get? Which ones?

    2. What player would you most like to be able to go back and grant good health to? Meaning, say you want to know what player x could have done if they could only have stayed healthy.

    3. If the Padres had traded Tony Gwynn to the Expos for Tim Raines before Gwynn's rookie year, how would your life have changed?

  5. 1. Since I'm not doing any coaching and you mentioned getting in your steps, what specifically are you doing for fitness during this pandemic?
    2. How many MLB stadiums have you been to so far? Do you plan to go to others?
    3. What is your favorite place to sit at a ballgame? Does it vary depending on the ballpark?
    4. What sports did you play as a youngster? Did you continue any after college?
    5. What is your favorite US state to go to for a vacation? Least favorite?
    6. What is the warmest/hottest weather that you've experienced for a considerable amount of time?
    7. Best/worst New Year's Eve?
    8. You run into someone you haven't seen since grade school/jr. high/high school/college. What about you surprises them the most?
    9. If teaching is going to be online for the next five years do you continue as a teacher?
    10. Do you plan to add any new hobbies in retirement? Have you identified any yet?

    Happy New Year.

    1. Oh, I like #9 on this list. It's one I've been struggling to answer myself recently.

      Here's my questions:
      1. What are your Top 5 favorites ways to consume potatoes? Tots are at the top of my list with Curly Fries a close second.
      2. Do you feel what one drives helps to define them as a person?
      3. If you couldn't teach, and you could have any job in baseball you wanted, what position would you take?
      4. What are your favorite beverages of the non-alcoholic variety?
      5. ... already mentioned by Jafronius below and Jeremy above, but more card store tales!
      Happy 2021, Fuji!

  6. Happy New Year Fuji!

    My question is why are you sleeping so early on New Year's Eve?

    And I agree with Jeremy...regale us with tales from working at the card store!

  7. Happy New Year!

    What are some cold ting trends you’re seeing with students you teach?

    What do you miss most about flea markets?

    1. Cold ting = collecting. Sorry autocorrect got me and I didn’t proof read.

  8. Happy New Year to you my friend! So many questions here already. I'll also be in bed by 10pm EST - 7 for you! Hope you're not in bed that early!
    1. If you could eat only three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
    2. If you could listen to only one song, and it was played on repeat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    3. If you could live anywhere outside of CA, where would it be?
    4. If someone offered you a nice copy of high-end rookie that you must keep in your collection with a choice from the following - which one would you pick: Babe Ruth, Mantle or Trout, and why?

  9. Oh, come on, stay up until midnight! Maybe you'll be able to think of nine more cards for the list!

    I ask questions for a living so it's kind of like work asking me to do this, but: "Why do people root for two MLB teams instead of just one." I've never been able to figure that out.

  10. Happy New Year my friend! Looking forward to catching up in 2021.

    Here’s a question (and I may have missed the answer to this somewhere) but what inspired you to start blogging about cards and collecting?

  11. Hehehe.....

    When are you coming to Florida?

  12. 1. The starting 9 for your all-time baseball team?
    2. A celebrity you would sleep with, a celebrity you would hang out with, and a celebrity you would cancel?
    3. City you would live in if employment / money wasn't an issue?
    4. Pick a team and give it a a better name.
    5. What happened to D.B. Cooper?
    6. Favorite U.S. President?
    7. Favorite authors?
    8. Favorite films?
    9. Favorite TV shows?
    10. Marvin Gaye's What's Going On was recently named the best album of all-time by Rolling Stone. Thoughts?
    11. Is golf a real sport?
    12. Sexiest female athlete?

  13. Sports/card-related: What's one thing you'd fix about the current hobby?

    (Possibly) Non-sports related: What's your favorite book?

  14. What "unloved, unappreciated, under-rated, or overlooked" card design is your favorite?

  15. Happy New Year Fuji!

    What player do you like from your teams biggest rival?
    What’s your favorite stadium/arena/field/park?
    What card shops have you been to outside of your town?

  16. What are your favorite Beastie Boys songs?

  17. 1. Ever met or been in the presence of any professional athletes or celebrities?

    2. Have you ever taught a student who was related to professional athletes or celebrities?

    3. Have any of your students ever gone on to be professional athletes or celebrities?

    4. Have any personal friends/family from your youth ever gone on to become professional athletes or celebrities? (I do remember you mentioning Evelyn Kawamoto.)

    Happy New Year, Mark!

  18. Happy New Year! I'll make an effort to think of a couple questions...sometime.

  19. happy new year fuji! lots of good questions already.
    the main question i thought of has already been proposed - i'm on board for more tales from the card store - what products or cards did you see on display while you worked there that you wish you had purchased for yourself?
    another one may be a series on bay area native athletes that you either collect or followed or thought about collecting?

  20. Happy New Year!

    1. Are you fluent in Japanese?
    2. Have you ever been to Japan?
    3. Which is your favorite subject to teach?

  21. I thought about asking how you can afford such an incredible collection on an educator's salary, but that's not really any of our business lol.

    Instead I'll ask you two basic questions and a hypothetical:

    How many blogs are in your regular visiting/commenting rotation?

    What is your favorite (non sports-related) leisure activity?

    What if I told you that one of your favorite teams (either the A's or Sharks) will win a championship in the next ten years *but* the other one will be forced to move across the country - and that you have the power to decide their fate.

    Do you choose a) Sharks win, A's move to Charlotte?
    b) A's win, Sharks move to Houston?
    or c) neither team moves, but neither team wins?

  22. Happy New Year Fuji! Here are a few questions:

    What is one TV show that needs to have a trading card set?
    How do we get kids involved in sports trading cards again?
    What’s the next big card thing? Graded, Breaking....what’s next?

  23. Are you interested in any non sports cards?

  24. 1) What is your all-time favorite tv show?
    2) What is something about the hobby that you miss?

  25. Happy New Year!

    1) What makes you really laugh out loud?
    2) Have you attended a World Series and if not, will you? If you could attend one (any year what would you pick)?
    3) Who's the oldest student/s you still hear from and what are some interesting stories they've told you about?
    4) Top 5 places you'd like to travel to and why?
    5) What will your "retirement" mean (go do some other job at least part time, look at cards all day, etc.)?
    6) How much time does it take you to color code the text in your posts (or is that automatic somehow)?

    Card shop stories already mentioned, but I'll double down on that.

  26. Do you have a yearly budget for what you spend on sports memorabilia?Assuming you keep track of all transactions how much do you spend each year?(if that is not to personal)

  27. I had thought about writing about this topic, so I will drop it here too: How does your work with kids influence your collecting and blogging?

  28. Glad you are getting such great questions and feedback on this. I tried this once and had none lol

  29. Happy New Year Fuji!

    Here's a few questions:

    1.) Would you be pissed if I borrowed this idea?
    2.) Would you ever wear gloves opening cards?
    3.) First baseball game you can remember watching?
    4.) First music concert?

  30. From what I gather, you have a vast interest in many types of collectibles. My question: If you had to get rid of everything except for one thing, be it a card, or set of a particular item, what would you keep?

    Peace, and Happy New Year!

  31. Which pack pull surprised you the most?

    e.g. not a Mike Trout relic from Museum Collection, because you expect something pretty much along those lines. More like a printing plate in a Topps Base hanger pack.

  32. Well, I can't think of anything to ask that hasn't already been asked. I will probably nodding along with what you say in your stories about working in the card store.

  33. Thank you for helping me out with these questions. I essentially broke them down into the following categories:

    Card Related Questions (13)
    Hobby/Collectibe (But Not Card) Related Questions (4)
    Card Shop Related Questions (4)
    Athlete/Team/Sports Related Questions (23)
    Blogging Related Questions (4)
    Teaching Related Questions (10)
    Pop Culture Related Questions (9)
    Getting to Know You Questions (24)
    Pure Opinion Questions (that don't fall into the above categories) (2)

    Although some of these will be challenging for me to answer... I think I'll be able to address all of these. And it's not too late to jump in and add more questions.