30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, January 31, 2022

Once in a Generation

Although I collect baseball cards more than all of the other sports combined... I still enjoy watching and collecting other sportsFootball has always been a big part of my family.  I grew up in a San Francisco 49er household where we watched football every weekend during the season.  And my fanfare for the sport has never waned.  I just don't really write about it on this blog, because football posts don't receive a lot of views and I'd rather write about something my readers are interested in.

That being said... sometimes an event takes place and it's so monumental... I feel like I need to document it on my blog.

This weekend while sitting at the Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, & Collectibles Show... one of the nearby dealers broke the news of Tom Brady retiring.  The news might not have been shocking, but anytime a once in a generation caliber player hangs up his cleats... it's a pretty big deal.  It also explained why several people asked about his cards.  I actually sold three cards at a fraction of the going rate, but that's a story for another day.

Today I figured I'd just showcase a few of my favorite Brady cards...

2004 Topps Chrome #125

This card is my favorite base card of Brady.  I really like the design and it features a great action shot.

I took a break from the hobby in 2001, so I missed out on a lot of Brady's early year cards.  Thankfully I purchased a huge collection at the De Anza Flea Market in 2013 that landed me a few 2002 singles that are pretty cool:

2002 Topps Chrome #150
2002 Bowman Chrome #99
2002 Topps Finest #50

2002 SPx #6
2002 Topps Heritage #50

That flea market find is probably where I landed these rookie cards:

2000 Bowman #236

2000 Fleer Traditions #352

These days Brady rookie cards sell at ridiculous prices, so I won't be adding any new ones to my collection.

I'll round out the scans with the only two memorabilia cards I found in my box:

2004 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics #AF-TB

2008 UD Masterpieces Captured on Canvas #CC1

UD Masterpieces has always been one of my favorite product lines... and this relic card is stunning.

Side note... back in the late 2000's and early 2010's, I was into buying cheap boxes and cases.  In 2011, I bought a sixteen box case of this product for $625 from DA Cardworld which motivated me to build the entire 2008 UD Masterpieces Captured on Canvas set.  If you're a football fan and would like to see the complete set, click here.

Well that's it for today.

Sayonara Mr. Brady!  I was always more of a Peyton Manning guy, but I'm the kind of fan that respects greatness.  And a quick peek at your career achievements reveals you're the greatest quarterback of all-time (at least in my eyes).  In fact, it's highly unlikely I'll see anyone unseat you from this title in my lifetime.

What about you?

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

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Celebrating Ten Years

There was a time when I wanted to stand out in a crowd.  I wanted to be an all-star in Little League.  I wanted to be known as the kid who could consistently nail a baseline jumper.  I wanted to be the classmate who would deliver you a good grade on your research paper (for the right price).  I wanted to be every kids' favorite teacher.  I wanted to collect every card of every favorite player in my collectionThose days are in the past.

I haven't played baseball or basketball in over a decade.  These days... I'd much rather write blog posts than research papers... and I'm content with not getting paid.  And sure... I'd love it if every student loved my class and the way I teach... but I've accepted that there's no pleasing everyone.

As for the super collector thing... I just don't have the finances to collect every card of every player I collect.  But I'll happily add new cards to my collection if the price is right or if people want to send them my way.

Last week, AJ over at The Lost Collector sent me a PWE that included this card:

2008 Upper Deck Farmers Oakland A's SGA #OA17

I don't show off Kurt Suzuki cards very often on my blog anymore, but ten years ago... I was trying my hardest to be a super collector of his cards.  I'd pay top dollar for autographs I needed and would actively trade for any card of him I didn't have.  That's why I figured I already had this card.  But a quick peek into my binder revealed that this card was nowhere to be found.

Thank you AJ for filling another slot in my Suzuki collection.

This isn't the first time AJ has sent me a Suzuki card I needed.    Ten years ago, he drew this sketch card of my favorite player and generously donated it to my collection:

It's crazy that AJ and I have been exchanging care packages all these years.  I might not have turned out to be the Kurt Suzuki super collector I thought I'd become, but at least I've kept in touch with fellow collectors like AJ... who remember when I tried.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

It's Show Time

I've never met a teacher in my district who wasn't looking forward to Thanksgiving Break.  After two and a half months, we get a chance to set aside our laptops, put down our dry erase markers, and relax.

This year was extra special, because I had the opportunity to kick off my vacation with a card show at the Solano Town Center in Fairfield, Ca.  This isn't one of those 50 or 100 table shows.  No.  This one was advertised as having over 300 tables and after walking around it, I'd say it was a pretty fair description.

Although most of the dealers had your standard display cases stocked with graded cards.  There were also plenty of dealers who had unopened wax, complete sets, and of course the much anticipated dime boxes.  In fact, that's pretty much where I was parked 90% of the time.  But before I get to those purchases, there were a couple of other dealers I purchased cards from.

Purchase #1Five for a Buck  $8 

Back in November, I started seeing people post videos on YouTube opening up boxes of 2021 Topps x Mickey Mantle.  It's obviously just another money grab product by Topps that I've learned to accept as part of our hobby.  I didn't think I'd ever actually own any of these, but for 20¢ each... I decided to grab all of the ones this vendor had.

These cards will be affordable additions to my small Mantle collection and will blend in nicely with the 1996 Topps reprints I've collected over the years.

There was even a green bordered parallel sitting in the box:

2021 Topps x Mickey Mantle Green  #7 (#'d 81/99)

This dealer's quarter box (or 5/$1) contained everything from baseball to soccer cards.  Although I don't actively seek basketball cards, I did grab some Rui Hachimura cards for my Japanese athlete collection:

The one hidden treasure in this guy's box was this Ronnie Lott rookie card:

1982 Topps #486

The rest of the cards I purchased were mostly cheap baseball rookies and inserts which I'm too lazy to scan.

Purchase #2Pocket Schedules  $1

About five minutes and ten dealers later, I ran into a guy who had a bunch of sports books, programs, and magazines.  He started to ask me about my collecting interests, so I mentioned that I've been an A's fan for most of my life.

He proceeded to pull out the 1976 Oakland A's pocket schedule out of a box and told me any schedule was only a quarter or five for a dollar.  I don't usually go out of my way to pick up pocket schedules, but the price was right and the advertisements and designs gave off that nostalgic vibe.

Maybe one of these days I'll show off one or two of these in a little more detail.

Side NoteBy the way... back in December, I showed off a collection of leftovers I purchased from my buddy.  This was the vendor he bought the collection from.

Purchase #32003 Upper Deck Opening Series Sheet $1

The pocket schedule guy also had this uncut sheet of cards produced by Upper Deck to promote the 2003 Opening Series in Japan.  The sheet is highlighted by Ichiro, but it also fits into my Oakland A's collection as well.

The back is actually the coolest part about this sheet:

Unfortunately, I can't read Japanese, so I have no idea what's written on the back.  I'm thinking it's some form of directory, because there are a bunch of telephone numbers listed.

This series was actually cancelled by MLB due to the impending war in Iraq.  The A's and Mariners ended up opening their seasons against each other in Oakland on April 1, 2003.

Okay, it's time for the dime box purchases...

Purchase #4The 1st Dime Box  $8

The first dime box was by far the best dime box.  That's because it was really a box.  I've actually purchased from this dealer a few times over the years.  He's the one that sold me the Fernando Tatis Topps Chrome Negative Refractor rookie card back in 2019 for $20.  I didn't make any big purchases this time around, but I did almost fill up the 200ct. box with 120 cards from his table.

The bulk of this purchase were low-end inserts, parallels, and rookie cards.  Here are some of my favorites:

I was also able to cross five cards off of my 2020 A&G set build, including one short print:

I also found two more Digging Deep inserts for that set build.

There was even a lone relic sitting in the guy's box:

2021 Panini Select Swatches #SS-RB (#'d 086/150)

Never heard of Mr. Bolanos, but I just couldn't leave this shiny, serial numbered card behind.

Purchase #5The Final Two Dime Boxes  $24

Editor's Note:  This post was originally scheduled to be published back in November.  Unfortunately, the draft sat partially completed for two months and by the time I came back to wrap it up... most of the cards from the final purchase of the day had been sorted and put away.

This dealer had his boxes spread out, so I didn't realize it was the same guy until I paid the second time around.  The gentleman had ten to fifteen monster boxes filled with cards of just about every sport you can imagine.

Although I don't remember specific cards, I do remember finding a bunch of Mother's Cookies singles, a stack of SI for Kids cards, and some 2019 Topps Chrome refractors for the binder.

Mental Note:  This is exactly why I need to take photos and scan cards immediately after I purchase them.

Well that wraps up my November card show haul.  This Saturday I will be headed to the Serramonte Mall Sports Cards and Collectibles Show.  My goal is to publish a recap next week... instead of waiting around two months.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, January 24, 2022

The Power of Cardboard and Panning for Gold

When I was little... my parents took me on a trip to the American River where we panned for gold.  That's when I learned about the California Gold Rush and how it essentially motivated hundreds of thousands of people to move here.  I don't remember all of the small excursions my parents took me back in the day, but I vaguely remember receiving a little bottle to put the gold (or maybe it was pyrite) in.

Forty years later, that bottle is long gone.  No idea where it's at.  Honestly I might not have ever given any thought to that little trip had I not seen this card pop out of a PWE sent from Jon over at A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts:

1994 Score Gold Rush #660

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to finally sit down and open up some care packages and this shiny gold parallel was the first card I noticed.  It immediately made me think of that trip with my parents and the bottle of gold flakes.

Upon further examination, this card also took me back to Candlestick Park where I'd go watch Will Clark and Robby Thompson play a few times each season.

That's just one more reason I appreciate this hobby.  When a piece of cardboard can take you back in time to your childhood and adolescence... that's pretty darn powerful.

Jon also sent me these four Oakland A's cards...

Each of these guys represent a different era of Oakland A's baseball... which come along with their own set of memories.

And finally four new additions to my Japanese Athlete PC:

Although none of these guys made me think of my childhood, I will say that seeing that Action Packed card of Makoto Suzuki took me back to the 90's.  That's when that card company delivered some pretty awesome embossed cards to collectors.

I'm sure most collectors remember them for their football cards, but that Suzuki is proof that they also produced baseball cards.  In fact... I recently discovered a few others during that multi-month card collection sort in my garage:

Sadly... I don't remember acquiring these cards or their released back in the early 90's... nor do I remember seeing any of these guys play for the A's back in the 70's.  But they do remind of an era when the A's were winning (the 70's) and when card companies still took the time to think outside of the box (the 90's).

Thank you Jon for the thoughtful PWE and inspiring this trip down memory lane.  I'm sorry it took so long for me to open it up and write this post.  I actually finished it over the Christmas Break, but postponed publishing it so it would coincide with the 174th Anniversary of Marshall discovering gold at Sutter's Mill.

Happy Monday and sayonara!