30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Don't Call It A Comeback

I'm still enjoying my vacation.  However a few things have happened over the past month that I wanted documented for personal reasons.  Plus I wanted to make sure I didn't completely drop off the face of the blogging world... so here's a brief life update post.

Back on March 11th my best friend's family said goodbye to their eleven year old Bernese Mountain Dog.  I was fortunate to see Chibi the week before.  I will forever treasure the last time we hung out as she wagged her tail in excitement when she saw me and tunneled between my legs.

She lived a good life, was well loved, produced many great memories, and will always be remembered.  I was truly lucky to have been a small part of her life.  Rest in peace, Chibi.

In other news... I recently received my second vaccination shot.  It's perfect timing, because the school board voted a couple of weeks ago and we'll be returning to our classrooms in the near future.  It'll be nice to be back in front of students for the first time in over a year.

As for hobby news...

I've been taking advantage of this hobby boom and unloading some stuff taking up space.  Plus a few duplicates and singles that don't really fit into my collection.

I'll start off with some old Junk Wax Era basketball boxes I had sitting in my classroom for years.  They were used for a "mean", "median", and "mode" lesson I'd teach during summer schoolA few months ago, I noticed that the 1990-91 Fleer boxes were selling for almost $200 each on eBay.  That's when I went to school, picked them up, and listed them on Craigslist.

Can you believe someone paid me $400 for this lot?  I assure you that I'm not a flipper, but there was no way I could pass up that opportunity.

Moving along to eBay sales...

2018 Topps A&G #83

Thanks to Nick over at Dime Boxes... I discovered that people are going nuts over this Cryptocurrency card.  It inspired me to dig through my Ginter box where I found this lone copy and flipped it within 24 hours.

People have also been paying good money for 1990 Marvel Universe holograms...

1990 Impel Marvel Universe Holograms #MH1

A few years ago I purchased a bunch of these sets for around 25¢ each.  The past few weeks, I've managed to sell two sets ($200 & $220).  It looks like these sets are starting to settle... as I've been forced to lower my asking price, but I hope to move most of these at a huge profit margin to help recoup some of the money I've spent on card purchases over the past 40 years (without digging into my personal collection).

My two largest eBay sales were PSA 10 Shaquille O'Neal rookie cards that I purchased on COMC about a decade ago for under $3.50 each.  Each fetched over $300.  I'm hoping to move a few more, but like the Marvel hologram sets prices have begun to slowly drop.

It would be cool to flip a few more of these, but I'm honestly not in any rush to move them.  It's not like I'm trying to liquidate my collection or anything.  That being said... I have significantly cut back on hobby purchases.

In fact... this Hideo Nomo is the only card I've purchased since the first week of February:

2004 Topps Chrome Refractor #92

I have wanted a refractor version of this card for at least ten years... and a recent post over on Night Owl Cards motivated me to track down this copy on eBay for $3.60 (tax & shipping included).  It's funny... if I saw this sitting at a show in a box with a $3.60 price tag... I probably would have walked away.  But my recent eBay sales have allowed me to splurge a little.

Although I haven't been purchasing cards doesn't mean I haven't added some new stuff to my collection.  I'll round out this post with a trio of PWE's and a couple of care packages from some fellow bloggers and a supporter of the blog.

Let's kick things off with the infamous Menendez Brothers' rookie card:

1990-91 Hoops #205

This is one of those cards that became an overnight sensation a few years ago.  I was hoping to stumble across this card in a dime box when I eventually return to walking around flea markets and card shows.  

But thanks to P-town Tom (Waiting 'til Next Year) I don't have to live in hope.  He's generously donated a copy to my Sports Card Smorgasbord binder.

Next up is an awesome custom card created by Gregory (Nine Pockets):

Back in September, he showed off some of his 1974 Topps All-Star non-sports customs and I had suggested he create a Battlestar Galactica version.  The result was these two beauties on one card.

And another nice addition to my Sports Card Smorgasbord binder.

Gregory also sent along a few wax stained gems:

My Damaged Card PC is starting to get out of hand, so I've had to be much more selective in what I add to the binder.  None of these managed to bump any of the current cards, so if any of you are interested in any of these... just let me know down in the comment section and I'll send them your way.  Just make sure to thank Gregory.

The final PWE was sent to me by Elliptical Man (The View from the Third Floor).  Inside were a variety of cards, but the one that stood out to me the most was this card:

2020 A&G Reach for the Sky #RFTS-2

It was the last card I needed for my Reach for the Sky set:

When it comes to card collecting, there are few things more satisfying than crossing off the last card you need for your set build.

Here are the other six cards he sent in the PWE:

I'm in the process of creating a late 80's binder... and the Carlton will be one of the inaugural additionsAnd who doesn't appreciate a new Ryan Leaf rookie card?

Next up was a 400ct. box sent to me by another Tom, who I'll refer to as Reader Tom.  The box contained 106 cards for my 1984 Topps baseball set build, including these big names:

With Tom's help, I was able go from 76.3% completed to 89.7.  Just look at all of the red:

And rounding out my new card acquisitions is this beautiful hall of fame autograph for my Lefty PC:

2003 Topps Retired Signature Edition Autograph #TA-WS

Gavin (Baseball Card Breakdown) held a contest that involved a little investigative work and the movie The Shining.  If you're interested in reading the details, click here.  Simply put... luck was on my side and I won.

He had three different prize packages to choose from, but to me this card was a no-brainerWarren Spahn is one of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all-time.  Unfortunately... he passed away in 2003... so there aren't a ton of certified, pack pulled autographs oh his out there.  The good news is he was one of those athletes who enjoyed signing for his fans, so there are plenty of autographs out there at very reasonable prices.

As cool as the Spahn is... the highlight of the package was this bonus autograph he included:

I'm not sure of the story behind this card, but it's the latest addition to my Blogger Autograph PC.

It's extra special, because it comes with some of Gavin's artwork.

And rounding out his care package was another one of Gavin's customs:

This is probably the 20th custom created by Gavin that's been added to my Sports Card Smorgasbord binder over the years.  You've gotta admire his creativity... and of course generosity.

Thank you P-town Tom, Gregory, Elliptical Man, Reader Tom, and Gavin for these generous additions to my card collection.  And thank you for all of those who have taken time out of their busy schedules to come back and check out my blog.

I'm not ready to come back on a regular basis, but my plan is to write "life update" posts from time to time.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Taking A Break

Blogging about cards has been one of my go-to hobbies for the past eleven years.  It's been an activity that has provided me a place to document hobby memories, talk about trading cards, and best of all... interact with all of you who take time out of your busy lives to read my posts.

Normally... the act of sitting down in front of my computer and writing about cards is enjoyable, but lately... the passion hasn't been there.  With each passing week, I started fixating more and more on the amount of hours I spend writing and scanning... instead of focusing on quality content for myself and all of you.

That's why it's time for me to take a break from the blog.  I've been contemplating this decision for a few months, but was worried about losing followers.  However this week I've decided mental health needs to come before blog views and comment counts.

Is this the end of the blog?  Probably not.  It's a big part of my life and I don't see myself closing up shop and walking awayDo I have an idea when I'll come back?  No.  Maybe next week or maybe next year.

Will I continue to collect and be a part of the blogging community?  Of course.  Just because I'm burned out on writing posts doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading yours.  Plus the additional free time should allow me to sort a few 5,000ct. monster boxes and finally reorganize my collection.

So a huge thank you to all of you who have supported me and this blog over the years.  This past Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary.  According to Hallmark, I'm suppose to celebrate with some steel:

1996 Leaf Preferred Steel #46

This was the first product I thought of when I saw the word "steel".  Back in 1996, Leaf inserted one of these Steel cards into each pack of Leaf Preferred.

Does the protective peel distract you?  Maybe I'll remove it.  Maybe I won't.

The back reveals Gwynn's Steel Stats.  It's hardly his most iconic 90's card... but it definitely fits the era.

Can't have my final post feature a single card... so here are five athletes who wore/wear #11 on their jersey:

1994 Pinnacle Museum Collection #12

2012-13 Panini Classics Signatures #113

2009 Bowman DP&P WBC Stars Gold #BDPW2

2009-10 Panini R&S Retired Team Patch Signatures #17

2007 UD Artifacts Photo Shoot Flashback Fabrics #PSF-LF

Until I return from this break... happy Thursday and sayonara!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Circled on My Calendar

March 1st will forever be an important date circled on my calendar.

1996 Topps Gallery Mickey Mantle Masterpiece #MP1

Fifty-two years ago, Mickey Mantle announced his retirement.  I'm sure that date is significant to New York Yankees fans, but not me.  I wasn't even born yet.

1993 Classic Four Sport Collection Jumbo (Blank Back) #NNO

Forty-eight years ago, Chris Webber was born.  I was a fan of Webber and the Fab Five back in the early 90's, but he's not the reason March 1st is important to me.

1991-92 Upper Deck #54

Twenty-eight years ago, Pavel Bure scored two goals against the Buffalo Sabres to become the first player in Vancouver Canucks franchise history to score 50 goals in a single season.

2015 Panini Immaculate Collection Collegiate Materials #6

March 1st, 1993 was also the day Mr. Conforto was born.  Both of these guys are cool... but again... not the reason I look forward to March 1st.

Mama Fuji (far right) @ Tahoe

The reason March 1st will forever be one of the most important dates on the calendar is because it's my mom's birthday.  She's no longer with us in person, but her spirit still floats around and watches over her family.  And until I join her... I'll continue to celebrate this special day.  Because I wouldn't exist or be the person I am today without her or my father being born.

Happy Birthday Mom!  Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

TWiB: Scorpions, Saito, Stone Fingers, Soccer, and Storage Boxes

Yee haw.  Baseball is back.  Sure it's only Spring Training... but it's better than basketball or even following my beloved San Jose Sharks who have flirted with .500 the entire season, but haven't been able to hold my attention.  I guess I'm still adjusting to the new and not-improved era of Sharks hockey.  I'll still support them by wearing my jersey and collecting their cards, but I'm ready to focus my attention on baseball.

Okay... let's kick another This Week in Blogging post off with a minor league card of his Airness...

#1An Expensive Minor League Card

1991 Upper Deck #SP1

On Monday, Ryan over at This Card is Cool showed off a really cool jersey card of Michael Jordan from his days with the Scottsdale Scorpions.  Back in the mid 90's, I was one of those collectors who chased his baseball cards.

2001 UD Prospect Premiers Heroes of Baseball Dual Jersey #J-JJ

It took me awhile, but I finally added my first and only memorabilia card of MJ back in 2010 that also happens to have a Scorpions swatch.

#2Super Saito!

Greg over at Night Owl Cards showed off the COMC haul he recently received and included were some Takashi Saito cards.  He mentioned him being a pretty big deal during his two years with the Dodgers and he wasn't kidding.  You should check out his 2007 stats.

2008 Topps Silk #NNO (#'d 44/50)

Saito has gotta be one of only a handful of players who had a lower career ERA in the MLB than across the Pacific in the NPB.

#3Stone Fingers

No idea how or why Toby Harrah received that nickname... but it's an attention grabber.  He was featured in a post I read over on The Shlabotnik Report this morning and it reminded me of when I was a kid.  Back in 1982, Harrah hit .304 with 25 home runs... which made an impression on the ten year old version of me.

2013 Tristar Signa Cuts Bronx Edition Red #NNO (#'d 1/5)

Although I mostly associate him with the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians, I just couldn't pass up this terrible looking cut signature of his.  I found it at a card show back in 2019 for a buck.

Looking back at that card show haul reminded me of another really cool purchase I made:

2019 Chrome Negative Refractor #203

I purchased this card off of a dealer for $20.  These days regular Chrome rookie cards of Tatis sell for $80 to $100 on a regular basis.  This card is over $500 now.  Crazy times people.  Crazy times.

Anyways... getting back to The Shlabotnik Report... if you enjoy learning interesting 70's baseball trivia, please check out his seriesThe 1970's: A to Z.

#4Another Interesting Collection

The Best Bubble has some of the most interesting mini collections around:  Bubble Blowing Cards, Athletes Balancing Bags and Balls, and Marlboro Man Advertisements just to name a few.

2017 Archives Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-BV

On Monday, he showed off some cards from his Fans In The Stands collection.  It's so cool and unique.  Anyways, outside of the famous Mark Jackson Hoops card (which I don't own yet)... this Yankees fan was the only card that came to mind when thinking of fans.

#5Creative Design

I just wanted to give P-Town Tom over at Waiting 'til Next Year a huge shoutout for his custom storage box.  If you haven't seen it, please head over to his blog and check it out.

#6Entertaining Errors

Matt over at Big Blue Cardboard showed off an interesting error card this week... where Panini placed a David Wilson sticker-graph on a Rueben Randle card.

I just happened to be watching a Tony Gwynn Jr. card featuring his father's autograph earlier in the week on eBay.  Due to collecting cutbacks, I let it go.

2006 Exquisite Collection Dual Rookie Signatures #55

However I did grab this one a few years ago off of COMC.  If you're bored, I wrote a post about this goof in further detail five years ago.

#7An Entertaining Soccer Card Post

Are you a soccer card collector?  Head over to A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts to check out his Kaka card.

2013 Topps MLS Kit Relic #KIT-CW

Outside of the occasional San Jose Earthquakes autograph or memorabilia card, I don't really chase soccer cards... but I do enjoy watching them play at Avaya Stadium (when there's not a pandemic).

#8Football Card Blog Bat-Around

1975 Topps #525
1975 Topps #60

Ryan (SumoMenkoMan) is hosting a "Living" Blog Bat-Around over on his blog.  For details, please click either of those links or you can read my response post from Thursday.

#9Leaving Your Collection Behind

Dime Box Nick gave his readers something to think about this week, when he wrote about what would happen to his collection if he had to leave it all behind.  It's something I've thought about on numerous occasions.

And it's one of the reasons, I've started to clear out some of the stuff cluttering my place...

Last week, I threw this collection on Craigslist for $100 and three different people reached out to me within an hour.  The only interaction I had was with the first guy... and I immediately accepted his $70 offer.  He was happy... I was happy.  That's what I call a win/win situation.

Yesterday, I listed some boxes of basketball cards for $400 and sold them this morning.  However I'll hold off on showing the photos until I've actually completed the sale on Monday.

As for the rest of my stuff... I'm going to slowly move duplicates of sets and graded cards I've accumulated over the years.  No... I'm not dumping my collectionBut do I really need ten 1992-93 Fleer Ultra Shaquille O'Neal PSA 10 rookie cards? 

That wraps up another This Week in Blogging post.

Feel free to throw down your thoughts on Spring Training, MJ's baseball cards, custom storage boxes, selling sports cards, or collecting soccer cards down in the comment section below.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!