30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, February 13, 2021

TWiB: Retired Numbers, Rookie Cups, Black Gold, Draft Busts, and Funko Pops

It's that time of the year again.  No... I'm not referring to the release of 2021 Topps baseball.  That's all fine and dandy, but honestly it's hobby news that has little impact on me and my collectionWill I want some cards from the set Sure.  But I'm not too worried about getting my hands on an A's and Padres team set eventually.

Right now... my focus is with my allergies.  The past two nights have been miserable.  I've woken up way more than usual with a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, and the standard headache.  But I'm not going to let that ruin my February Break.  I've got some big plans for this upcoming week... and one of them is to sort through a few more 5,000ct. boxes that are currently cluttering my office.  The only thing that will keep me from reaching this goal will be a sore back and a little laziness.  The solution is to stay motivated and avoid sitting on the floor for long periods of time.  We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime... let's check out another This Week in Blogging post...

#1Retired Oakland Athletics Numbers

The Oakland A's don't receive a lot of hobby love on the blogosphere, so I always get a little excited when someone writes a post about them.  Last Saturday, CinciCuse Bill wrote about the jersey numbers they've retired over the years.

1974 Topps #478

He also asked his readers which former A's player will have his number retired next.  I'm not sure if it'll happen, but my best guess is Bert Campaneris (#19).  He's the A's all-time leader in games played, hits, and dWAR, while representing Oakland at the Midsummer Classic five times.  He also was a key member of The Swingin' A's teams that brought three consecutive World Series Championships to the Bay Area in the 70's.  Just not sure if that's enough to have your jersey retired.

#2Rookie Cup Cards

Topps Rookie Cup cards have carved out a nice niche in our hobby.  And if you are a fan of them, then you're in luck... because hiflew over at Cards from the Quarry wrote a pair of posts on them this week.

1976 Topps #50

In the first post, he created his version of the Rookie Cup dream team.  A few years ago, I started listing out my favorite Rookie Cup cards (that's still sitting in my blog drafts).  The Fred Lynn was the only player that made both of our lists.

1974 Topps #173

The second post focused on the 1974 Topps set, which didn't have any Rookie Cup cards.  However he reveals where he found the list of Rookie All-Stars Topps created back in 1973.

1987 Topps #80

I haven't figured out my all-time favorite Rookie Cup card... but this Wally Joyner is in the running.  1987 was the first time I ever pulled a Rookie Cup card from a pack.  That was also the year I discovered boxes of baseball cards at Costco/Price Club which transformed the way I collected.


2020 was a bad year as a whole.  Obviously I don't speak for anyone other than myself... but in a nutshell... hopefully things bounce back in 2021.  There's still plenty of time to see if that will happen.

1960 Topps #80

In the meantime, it's nice to read blog posts that focus on the positive.  And last week, John over at Johnny's Trading Spot did just that when he wrote an informative post about the good stuff that happened in 1966.  I wasn't around yet... but I enjoyed learning some interesting facts.

1990 Leaf #297

I don't want to spoil things for you, but did you know that David Justice was born on the exact same day as a hall of fame teammate of his?  If you want to find out who it was... click the link above.

#4Bust Out the Champagne

1991 Topps #333

It's no secret that Greg over at Night Owl Cards is a talented writer.  His blog posts are always well written... which is why Beckett hired him.  I can still remember running out and grabbing the February 2019 issue of Beckett Vintage Collector in order to read his article on the 1976 SSPC setTwo years later, his article on the 1991 Topps baseball set is the cover story for the March issue of Beckett BaseballCongratulations Greg!

And AJ over at The Lost Collector just celebrated his 10th Anniversary this past Wednesday.  He's known for being the #1 Tino Martinez collector among our blogosphere.  He's also quite the artist.  A few years ago, he sent me this Kurt Suzuki sketch card for my collectionCongratulations AJ!

#5A Super Strata Collection

Brian's Andrew McCutchen collection is insane.  Seriously.  It's like something you'd see featured in Beckett BaseballMaybe it has?  Anyways... earlier in the week he showed off his collection of 2015 Strata Cutch cards and it left me speechless.  Please.  Click here and check it out.

2015 Strata Clearly Authentic Autographed Relic #CAAR-CKW

I only have a handful of 2015 Strata cards... which is headlined by this Kershaw autograph that features a sliver of red patch on it.

#6A First for Topps

1993 Topps Black Gold #8

Two days ago, Crazie Joe showed off some 1993 Topps Black Gold inserts on his blog.  It made me start wondering if they were the company's first randomly inserted "inserts".  I'm not talking about the Topps Posters or Game cards they produced in the 60's.  I'm pretty sure they were included in all packs or packs from specific series of cards... sort of like the Glossy All-Star inserts from the 80's found in rack packs.

Does anyone know of any earlier randomly inserted inserts produced by Topps?

Okay... I'm approaching the three hour mark and don't really want to spend the entire morning of my first day on break writing this blog post.  But I still have a few more blogs I'd like to highlight from this past week...

#7Sunset Cards

2015 Topps Gold #177

Do you enjoy "sunset cards"?  If so, click hereNick over at Dime Box Cards has been building teams of his favorite "sunset cards" based on the divisions in baseball.  This week he targeted the AL Central

#8Top 5 Quarterbacks

On Super Bowl Sunday, John over at John's Big League Baseball Blog ranked his Top 5 QB's.  I wasn't sure if he meant his favorite quarterbacks or the best of the best, but you can check out his list by clicking here.

1996 Topps Chrome Refractor #145

My original plan was to list out my Top 5 today... but I'm a little short on time.  So for right now... I'll just show off my favorite QB of all-time: Brett Favre.

#9A Friendly Reminder

Chris over at The 1993 wrote another fantastic post where he discussed the 1993 #2 draft picks from each of the major sports.

1996 Pinnacle Laser View Inscriptions #NNO
1994-95 UD Be A Player Die-Cut Autograph #S188

Two of the athletes mentioned in his post (Rick Mirer and Alexandre Daigle) reminded me of a time when I enjoyed collecting draft busts.

#10Other Collectibles

Although 99.5% of the blogs I subscribe to are card related, I actually really enjoy reading posts that venture outside of our hobby.  On Tuesday, Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown wrote about the glow-in-the-dark Spider-Man Funko Pop he purchased.  He also showed off a pair of action figures too.

I went through a Funko Pop phase a few years ago, but have cut down my acquisitions due to lack of storage space.  That being said... I still will buy action figures every now and then.

Well... that wraps up another This Week in Blogging post.  Here are a few questions for you to ponder:

Do you have a favorite Topps Rookie Cup card?

Do you have a favorite "sunset card"?

Who do you think is the greatest quarterback of all-time?

Do you have a favorite quarterback?

When you think of draft bust... what names pop into your head?

Do you own any Funko Pops or action figures?  If so, do you have any favorites?

In the meantime, I'm gonna dive back into my office and start digging through boxes and look for some cards to blog about.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. 1) My favorite cup card is the 1999 Topps Todd Helton (for obvious reasons), which is weird because the 99 Topps set is among my least favorite flagship designs ever.

    2)I have mentioned this several times, but it's worth saying again. The 1994 Topps George Brett is my favorite. Although if we are going past Topps, the 5 card subset of Reggie Jackson in 1988 Score is way up there too.

    3) Dan Marino. He is not the winningest QB of all time, but I believe he is the best from a purely skills-based point of view.

    4) Jim McMahon. The 85 Super Bowl Shuffling Bears is what brought me to football as a fan for 30 years before other things drove me away from the game for good.

    5) Great question. I would probably have to separate them into all 3 main sports (sorry hockey, but I don't know you that well). In baseball, I would probably say Brien Taylor has to be #1 just because of the Yankees hype factor. In the NFL, it begins and ends with Ryan Leaf. There were bigger busts, but none quite as spectacular. In the NBA, there are so many. From a purely skill level, Anthony Bennett has to be the worst. Although a case could be made for Darko Milicic as well based on the strength of his draft class. I think I will have to make a few posts on this topic, because it is so fantastic.

    6) I had virtually the entire Master of the Universe collection as a kid along with several GI Joes and Star Wars figures. I had action figures as a teen in the early 90s, but they weren't for collecting. They were put in a box unpoened and were to serve as my retirement account. I still have them, but the soon after explosion of the internet just drove up the supply so much that prices are lower today than they were then. As far as Funkos go, I cannot stand them. They only vaguely like what they are supposed to be and just aren't my style at all.

    PS - thanks for the plugs.

  2. 1. 71 Munson 2.73 Clemente 3.Tom Brady 4.Fran Tarkenton 5.Ryan Leaf 6.Adrian Peterson is my only funko ,don't like them because they fall down to much.

  3. I kind of like the old Rookie Cup cards from the 1960s with the huge trophy. None really jump out in my head though.

    I like the concept of sunset cards but never really pay them much special attention.

    given that I grew up in the Bay Area in the 1980s, it's going to be hard for me to not say that Montana is the greatest ever. At the same time, I think I enjoyed Steve Young more.

    As a Giants fan who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, my first instinct on "draft bust" is "all of them." As a baseball fan though my brain goes to David Clyde and Brien Taylor.

    No funkos here. The kids like the Lego Brickheadz though so we've got a fair number of those around the house. If Lego ever got an MLB license they'd be very happy.

    1. Oh and regarding the Topps random inserts. All I can think of are the 1992 Golds.

  4. 1. Probably the '76 Topps Fred Lynn.
    2. No. It's only a casual thing I periodically notice.
    3. John Elway
    4. No. The NFL doesn't mean enough to me for me to have an individual favorite.
    5. Darren Dreifort
    6. I don't get Funkos. They're dolls. I don't collect dolls.

  5. I've always collected Starting Lineup figures. My Spring Break plan is to go get them out of the attic and see what I've got.

  6. 1. I don't know them enough.
    2. I don't know them enough.
    3. I used to say Unitas, but Brady's been making it tough to vote against him lately.
    4. Not really. Jaworski, Elway, Cunningham, and McNabb have all been my favorite at some point.
    5. So many busts. Tony Mandarich, Brian Bosworth, JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Johnny Manziel, twenty other Browns quarterbacks.
    6. I had a few Star Wars action figures. They should be at my childhood home still.

    Hope your allergies get better.

  7. 1) I only like the Cup cards that appear on the Flagship base cards, not any of the others including update, heritage etc. No particular favorite, and I still need a few of them to complete them. 2) no fave on sunsets 3) Elway/Brady 4) no inflating Elway :), 5 no funkos

  8. Thanks for featuring the sunset post! The '73 Clemente remains my all-time favorite sunset card (actually my favorite baseball card, period). The '94 Topps Brett and '15 Topps Konerko are a couple runners-up that come to mind.

    I don't own any Funko Pops, and don't plan to in the future. I have, however, opened enough boxes of them for several lifetimes -- one of the big parts of my old job at Barnes & Noble was restocking the massive Funko display on a regular basis.

  9. Glad you liked the A’s retired no. post!
    That Collecting Cutch linked post was very cool.
    Hope your allergies pass so you can enjoy your break.

  10. hiflew - marino was one of my favorite qb's when i was a kid. always bummed that he didn't get a sb ring. taylor and leaf are in the draft bust collection. gotta look into milicic

    sg488 - munson is on my list too. and i feel like clemente is going to get a lot of votes. as for the funkos... i guess most of mine are in boxes, so i don't have that issue.

    nick vossbrink - i'm pretty sure i've picked up a clyde autograph for the collection. and i feel like lego was smart to produce brickheadz to compete with funkos. i have a few of those as well. as for the 1992 topps golds... you're totally right, but i was keeping parallels and inserts separated. but i see how parallels are inserts themselves.

    night owl - was thinking you'd say jim kelly. and do you classify action figures as dolls too?

    runforekelloggs - sure hope you write a post on all of those slu's. i have a bunch too. although the only ones on display are my a's, padres, seahawks, packers, lakers, and sharks.

    the lost collector - no problem. here's to another ten years

    elliptical man - love the list of busts. i feel like most of them are guys i have autographs of (except manziel). i slept a little better last night, but my eyes are definitely itchy right now.

    johnnys trading spot - i think elway has received the same number of votes as brady... but only one montana. as for the cup cards... i really only focus on flagship as well.

    nick - the clemente is a classic as well. and i don't blame you on the funkos. they take up way too much space.

    cincicuse bill - thanks. they're better already.

  11. 1. 1992 Topps Ray Lankford
    2. 1998 Upper Deck or Collector's Choice Fernando Valenzuela
    3. Brad Smith
    4. I like that NC State second baseman Russell Wilson transitioned into being the Seahawks quarterback.
    5. Trung Candidate
    6. No Funko Pops.

  12. Rookie Cup: I love the design of the 1963 Topps where they replace the inset photo with a big ol' trophy
    Sunset Card: I'll go with Shoebox Nick and say 73 Clemente
    Greatest QB: I'm not one for GOAT arguments
    Favorite QB: Loved Fran Tarkenton as a kid, thinking about collecting him
    Draft Bust: Steve Chilcott - #1 overall (Mets) in 1966
    Funko Pops: The appeal of Funko Pops eludes me, TBH. My favorite action figure is a Star Wars toy that was a Kellogg's mail-in offer years ago... The toy was describe as "Han Solo disguised as a Stormtrooper" and I thought this was hilarious because in my mind you could just mail out a Stormtrooper figure and say "Yep, it's Han in there!". Just for grins I sent away for it, but I think I knew that the helmet comes off to reveal Han underneath.

    1. Argh, I got my buddies confused! DIMEBOX Nick (not Shoebox Shane)

    2. Most of those 1987 Topps Rookie cup cards are memorable. Certainly the Joyner. Nice selection there. Seeing that while going through packs and rack packs was instant happiness. A different kind of joy to seeing Future Stars.

  13. Ironically, my wife bought me my very first Funko Pop for Valentine's Day - Michael Scott from The Office.

  14. I have a few, mostly christmas vacation related. Those things can become addicting

  15. I think the main reason I haven’t collected funkos is the storage issue. They have so many different kinds and licenses they are pretty interesting.

  16. the snorting bull - lol. your response just reminded me that i must have ask the sunset card question recently, because i remember the fernando response and looking the card up. and i remember pulling trung's rookie cards out of packs back in the day.

    shlabotnik report - i had to look up one of those 1963 rookie cup cards. not sure i've ever seen them before. very cool. i'd love to add an autograph of chilcott to my collection, but i couldn't even find a baseball card of him. it would have been funny if that's what they did with the solo figure. and then a year later, they could do a luke figure... and just hand out the exact same stormtroopers.

    peter k steinberg - a different kind of joy indeed. pulling both were very memorable

    matt - they have the office funkos? that's pretty cool. i'd probably go out and grab creed

    matt - i probably own twenty... maybe 30. but most are tucked away in boxes, because i only have so much space to display them

    sumomenkoman - i think the fact that they have so many different licenses is one of the reasons they are so popular (well... at least they were at the last card show i attended). it gives the average person, something to collect.