30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

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!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Defense Wins Championships

During the 70's, no MLB team had more wins than the Cincinnati Reds.  They made the playoffs six times, participated in the World Series four times, and won it twice.

1975 Topps #260

One of those seasons was 1975.

Anyone familiar with the Big Red Machine knows that Sparky's lineup was stacked with guys like Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, and Ken Griffey.  The starting rotation might have lacked notable names, but it did manage to have six starters with 10 or more wins.

1975 Topps #17

Part of their success on the mound has to do with having several guys around them who were defensive gems.  Manning the corners... Rose and Perez both finished within the Top 10 in regards to fielding percentage.  While up the middle... Bench, Morgan, Dave Concepcion, and César Gerónimo won Gold Glove Awards for the Reds that season.

Talk about defense winning championships.  Wait.  That's a football quote.

Well... I just so happen to have another pair of 1975 Topps cards for you that feature two gentlemen known for their defensive play on the gridiron:

1975 Topps #60

1975 Topps #525

Much like the Cincinnati Reds, the 1975 Los Angeles Rams were pretty solid in regards to defense.  They had five defensive players make it to the Pro Bowl that season.  Jack Youngblood and Merlin Olsen were two of them.

If you're wondering why I would try to compare apples to oranges with this post... it's because I love me a good old-fashioned Blog Bat-Around.  They're always fun and encourage interaction among fellow bloggers.  Plus they provides me with one less blog post idea to come up with.

Two weeks ago, Ryan over at Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko kicked off a "Living" Blog Bat-Around.  The premise is simple, a PWE with two 1975 Topps football cards (see above) is passed around the blogosphere.   When you receive it, write a post incorporating the two cards, sign the Card Savers, then place the cards in a new PWE, and ship it off to the next participant.

Worried about postage?  Ryan has you covered.  He included a bunch of Forever stamps.  All you need to do is provide a new PWE and:

1Sign up on his blog.
2Wait until the cards are shipped to you.
3Write a post.

4Sign the Card Savers.
5.  Toss them into a new PWE and ship them out to the next blogger.

When everyone has had the opportunity to write their post, the last blogger will ship the cards and the signed Card Savers back to Ryan.  At that point, he'll summarize the BBA and has even tossed around the idea of auctioning off the cards and donating the proceeds to a charity.

So... who's interested?  I know Jon (A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts) and Adam (Infield Fly Rule) have both signed upLet me know who wants to be next and I'll ship them out this week.

The rest of you should head over to Ryan's blog and sign up by clicking here and leaving a comment on his post.

Well that's it for today.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

2019 Topps Chrome Refractor #46
2019 Topps Chrome Refractor #66

My original idea was to somehow compare Merlin Olsen and Jack Youngblood to Matt Chapman and Matt Olsen... but I trouble making the pieces fit.  However... I didn't want to waste these two scans from the year they both won Gold Glove Awards.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Passing Down Knowledge

Ted Williams might have been one of the greatest hitters of all-time, but his managerial career wasn't quite as stellar.  That being said... he definitely made an impact on his players.

1969 Topps #539

Mike Epstein entered the 1969 season with a career .229 batting average, but his first year under Williams tutelage, he hit a career high .278 and 30 home runs.

Another player that significantly improved was Frank Howard.  Last year I read a very interesting tidbit over on Horizontal Heroes about how Williams told him to lay off bad pitches which impacted his walks:strikeouts ratio.

Howard went from leading the league in strikeouts (in 1967) to leading the league in walks (in 1970).  Before The Commish's post, I was familiar with Howard's career... but hadn't heard his nicknameThe Capitol PunisherHow sweet is that?  It's definitely one of the coolest nicknames in baseball.

I loved it so much, after reading his post I immediately headed over to COMC and picked up this autograph:

2019 Topps Heritage High Number Real One Autographs #ROA-FH

The card back mentions that Howard broke Babe Ruth's record by hitting 10 home runs in one week during the 1968 season.

According to The Guinness Book of World Records, he still holds the record.

Like Epstein, Howard hit the most home runs of his career in 1969 and matched his career high in batting average as well.

1972 Topps #510

Why this post, right now?  Well... this past Sunday was the anniversary of Williams signing a five year contract to manage the Washington Senators.  He only fulfilled four of those five years before quitting at the end of the 1972 season.

1970 Topps #211

But he left behind a legacy as being the only Senators manager to have a winning season (1969).  That year, he won the AL Manager of the Year Award.  Unfortunately it's easy for this piece of hardware to get lost in the shuffle when it's sitting in the trophy case of one of the greatest hitters of all-time.

Today's question of the day:

Who do you think has the coolest nickname in MLB history?

In addition to The Capitol Punisher and The Splendid Splinter... I really love these nicknames:

The Human Rain Delay:

2019 Topps Archives Signature Series
1992 Topps #609

The Sultan of Swat:

1995 JSW All-Stars #3

Man of Steal:

2017 Topps Fire Monikers Blue Chip #M-4

The Chairman of the Board:

1977 TCMA Renata Galasso #25

But I think if I had to pick a personal favorite, it would be:

2006 Fleer Greats of the Game Nickname Greats #NG-AH

If you don't believe in mind over matter or the power of facial hair, then you're not familiar with Al Hrabosky.  This guy would psyche himself out and mentally become the biggest, baddest, beard yielding guy on the mound.

Well that wraps another post.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!