30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, February 1, 2021

One Door Closes, Three More Appear

My card collecting timeline has two major gaps in it.  The largest was from 2001 to 2007 when I sold the bulk of my collection and focused on settling my finances and purchasing a home.  The other took place after the card shop I worked at closed its doors.

1992 Fleer Ultra #277

I'm not exactly sure when this took place, but it was after I finished building my 1992 Fleer Ultra baseball set.  My guess is the fall of 1992.  I'm about 98% sure that above photo is the location of the card shop I worked at... although I had to doctor the sign.  These days people go there for another type of wax... that doesn't involve trading cards.

1994-95 SP #2

I returned to the hobby two years later in the fall of 1994 when I was at San Jose State.  There was a card shop on the way from light rail station to the campus.  It probably didn't take too long for me to check it out and I just remember purchasing packs of 1994-95 SP basketball in search of a Jason Kidd rookie card.

1994-95 SP Premium Collection #PC3

That's probably the first time I laid eyes on one of the SP Premium Collection inserts.  After being away from the hobby for a couple of years, I was instantly sucked back in by these holographic inserts.  Eventually I also discovered other beautiful insert sets produced by Upper Deck... including the 1994 SP All-Pro Holoviews (photo down below).

Back then, I never dreamed of owning or trying to build the entire insert set.  Due to the attractive design, they were pretty popular among collectors.  Plus this was before I had really dove into online trading, so trying to complete the 40 card set on a college student's budget wasn't very realistic.

Then back in January of 2013, I purchased a huge collection at the De Anza Flea Market that I'm still sorting after eight years.  The collection is one of those purchases that really helped boost my collection for a very reasonable price.  Inside one of the boxes was a starter set of 1994 SP All-Pro Holoviews.

1994 SP Holoviews #PB40

I've been slowly chipping away at this set over the years and thanks to Sportlots, I managed to narrow it down to one card last year: Heath Shuler.

Shuler wasn't only the last card I needed... he's also the final card in the set.

Dennis over at Too Many Verlanders generously sent me the Shuler two weeks ago... along with this very cool Kurt Suzuki card:

2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom #TS-53 (#'d 59/110)

This card is proof that Topps employed creative people as late as 2009.

It has a piece of a ticket stub from the 2008 Oakland A's season embedded into it and although many of you might not want some random, chopped up ticket stub... I think it's cooler than some plain white jersey swatch that may or may not have been game-worn.

Getting back to the 1994 SP All-Pro Holoviews, here's a look at some of the bigger names from the set:

By the way... I recently sat down and sifted through more of the inserts I purchased back in 2013 and discovered a few more starter sets:

The beauty of that flea market find is that it's providing entertainment eight years after the fact.  That purchase actually came two days after I purchased arguably my favorite flea market find.

Thank you Dennis for helping me complete that beautiful insert set... and for the nice addition to my Kurt Suzuki PC.

And thank you to all of you for taking a few minutes out of your day to read this blog post.  Happy Monday and sayonara!


Last week... Matt over at Matt's Wonderful Blog of Hobbies show off some snow pics.  I figured I'd join the party and share a photo my father took:

Last Tuesday he woke up and went outside to this.  He said most of it had melted by midday, but it's still pretty cool to see snow in Las Vegas.


  1. snow on a palm tree sure looks strange! i have a couple of those ticket to stardom ticket cards in my collection. i will show them off at some point in the future, i am sure.

  2. A few years ago I was in Virginia Beach in the winter during a storm. Outside the hotel, there were palm trees that had their fronds whipped horizontally by the wind, and the ice had frozen them that way. Very weird sight.

  3. We've gotten about two feet yesterday and today, so this may not be the best time for me to appreciate a snow photo, but that's quite nice.

  4. I love the Tickets to Stardom card of Kurt Suzuki. That is a low-key really cool set that not many people talk about. It was a really cool concept that I wish Topps would re-visit at some point. Given the dubious reputation of "game-used", I would almost prefer a ticket stub from the game over some jersey that the player wore for half an hour.

  5. Snow in Vegas? That's awesome! So is that Suzuki ticket card.

    I loved the SP Holoview inserts, in baseball and football. Had a Reggie White die-cut but I sold it :/

  6. Great set and beautiful picture. Never thought I could see that lol

  7. Last card you needed and the last card in the set. That’s awesome!

  8. I zone out when I see cards from the mid-1990s, but that snow photo woke me up!

  9. I love those holoviews,congrats on finishing off the set.

  10. Who would have thigh snow in Vegas. Pretty cool. Love the Holoviews!

  11. The card shop that I worked at (in fact, my dad's card shop) closed just after yours (June of 1993) and that photo of yours kind of reminds me of ours too - I sometimes wonder if all bubble era card shops were located in the same type of suburban strip mall.

    Nice snow on palm tree pic by your dad. We had snow here last week too, and there are palm trees in our neighborhood but I didn't think to take a picture!

  12. The shade pitched towards Topps there made me snerk a little bit. That would be a good question. When did Topps stop being creative? I'd say probably their 2008 flagship set with the team names in bubbles was the last baseball card design that was interesting.

  13. johnnys trading spot - my dad love his photography

    gcrl - can't wait to see them. i really liked the concept and the fact that they haven't flooded the market with them every year

    the diamond king - very cool. sounds like something from the movies.

    brett alan - stay warm and safe. two feet in two days is a lot. i like the snow, but i don't like shoveling it or driving in it.

    the snorting bull - i think they should come back to ticket stub cards too... but only once every 15 years or so.

    chris - this is at least the second (maybe third or fourth) time it's happened in the twenty-three years he's lived there. did you pull the reggie white? those were pretty tough pulls. i've picked up a few over the years, but never actually pulled one myself.

    matt - snow on the valley floor in vegas more often than it does on the valley floor of the bay area

    the lost collector - i'm not sure if that's the one i pulled or not, but probably not. i'm glad i own it though.

    daniel wilson - i'm glad to finally cross it off my list

    night owl - i feel the same way about 80% of early 90's cards. different strokes for different folks.

    steve at 1975baseballcards.com - hope my dad reads your comment

    sg488 - yeah... it's a great set. i just wish i had built the baseball one.

    sumomenkoman - i'll have to see if i have any extra bengals from the set. if i do... i'll send them your way

    sean - i feel like back in the early 90's there were a lot of card shops (in my area) that were located in strip malls. sadly... these days i can only think of one.

    jongudmund - i'm just that guy who enjoys poking the bear. it's not like i hate everything that topps produces. i'm actually a big topps guy. i just feel like they release so many different products that are average or below average... and wish they'd slow down and put out a higher quality and more creative product. as for 2008 topps... i love that design. since then... the 2015 design is really the only other one that stands out to me.