30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, September 26, 2022

Cropped and Colorful

There is no shortage of awesome looking Nolan Ryan trading cards.  Grab ten of his base cards and there's guaranteed to be at least one card that'll catch your eye.  Today is the 41st anniversary of Ryan's 5th no-hitter... which happened to be the only no-hitter he threw while with the Houston Astros.

I figured today would be the perfect time to show off a card that's been sitting in my draft folder for over a year now...

1982 Topps #90

The rainbow uniform is the first thing that caught my eye.  But it's the well-cropped action shot that sealed the deal for me.  I knew right away that I wanted to add it to my Classic Card Collection.

I ended up landing this card on COMC back in July of 2020 for $11.56.  I know graded cards aren't everyone's cup of tea, but it's a prerequisite for that particular collection.  These days with budget cuts and inflated prices, I don't even bother hunting down new cards for this collection.  Thankfully prices have started to settle, but as a bargain hunter... I don't have any problem waiting a little longer.

Getting back to his 5th no-hitter... he threw it against the Los Angeles Dodgers at the AstrodomeDid you know that the Dodgers have been involved with the most no-hitters in MLB history Their pitchers have thrown 26 no-hitters (an MLB record), while their hitters have been held hitless 20 times (another MLB record)*.

*This is a prescheduled post that was written over Spring Break a few months ago, so the no-hitter facts about the Dodgers may or may not be up to date.

Here is today's question of the day...

What are your favorite Nolan Ryan base cards?

My personal favorite is one of Ryan's classic cards from the 70's...  

1971 Topps #513 

I love the well-cropped action shot with the RC Cola ad in the background.  I don't own too many cards of his, but if I could only keep one... this would probably be it.

Looking forward to hearing about your favorites.  Happy Monday and sayonara!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Tranquility & Calmness

Being an educator has a lot of perks.  One that often gets brought up by friends and family are the numerous breaks and holidays.  I typically use them to recharge the batteries and embrace a little tranquility and calmness.  Unfortunately there's nine week stretch between Labor Day and Veteran's Day where there is all work and no rest.

It's a good thing I have a few hobbies which help take my mind off of things after hours.  Obviously collecting cards is one of those things and we'll get to a couple of those later in this post.  Right now here's another hobby I began playing around with a few years ago:

Lego #10281

When I need it the most... Lego sets have provided me with tranquility and calmness.  This bonsai tree distracted me from the real world for about an hour and a half.  The best part about toying with Legos is they make great display pieces when you finish.  This set sits in my family room right next to my mom's photo.  The pair bring a smile to my face on a daily basis.

I built a few Lego sets over the past few months, but I chose to show this one off because it's related to a postcard I recently received in a care package from Reader X:

Not sure if bonsai trees and black bears have anything in common, but on the back of this postcard there's a really cool Forever stamp:

Here's a closer look:

The USPS released a set of Forever stamps in 2012 that feature five different bonsai treesThanks to Xavier, I'm actively trying to hunt down one of these stamp sheets.

He's actually sent a few different care packages over the past few years.  Last year he sent me several eToppsTwo of them feature Tim Lincecum:

2010 eTopps #6

2011 eTopps 206 #NNO

Timmy has been known to use another type of vegetation in his search for tranquility and calmness.  That's not really my thing... but these shiny cards sure are.

I'll just stick to collecting cards and building Lego sets.  I've also made plans to meet up with my friend's nephew to play 9 holes this afternoon.  Assuming my balls are flying reasonably straight... this will also help me find tranquility and calmness.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

No Logos, No Cry

When it comes to sports cards, I tend to be a logo snob.  But every now and then... a logo-less product comes along that I enjoy.  Actually... obsessed might be better way to describe my interest in 2013 Hometown HeroesAnyone remember me busting several boxes of that stuff?

Two years later... it happened again when I saw someone open a blaster of 2018 Sage Sport Kings on YouTube.  They're logo-less too, but I'll let the scans explain my obsession rather than words:

2018 Sport Kings #1
2018 Sport Kings #1b

There were two players with image variations in 2018Ty Cobb was one of them.  Walter Payton was the other.

2018 Sport Kings #9

2018 Sport Kings #14

No idea who Ross Barnes is, but according to Baseball Reference he was a three time batting champion... so I guess he was a king to some extent.  He's also early evidence that you don't have to be a hall of famer to be a Sport King.

2018 Sport Kings #16

Sage's artists tend to push the boundaries by painting partially exposed logos and team names on jerseys and hats.

2018 Sport Kings #25

2018 Sport Kings #30

2018 Sport Kings #31

You might have noticed that there are a bunch of missing numbers.  That's because this set contains athletes from a variety of sports ranging from bowling to swimming to beach volleyball.  There were 48 athletes representing twenty-five sports in the 2018 setFootball was king with ten different athletes represented.  Technically there are elevenTom Condon also has a card in the set, but he's listed as an agent instead of a football player.

Baseball slid into second place with seven representatives and the only other sport with more than two athletes featured in this set was basketball (4 athletes).

Most of you are baseball fans, so only scanned baseball cards.  Moving along to Volume 2:

2021 Sport Kings #52

Sport Kings returned last year during the pandemic after a two year hiatus.  I must have been distracted by Covid, distance learning, and hoarding toilet paper, because I completely missed the release of this product.  It's a shame it took me so long to get my hands on some, because this Babe Ruth wearing pinstripes is a great looking card and is the first baseball card in the 2021 Sport Kings Volume 2 set.  

2021 Sport Kings #54

Instead of restarting the checklist with card #1, they decided to make this a living set... which means the numbering continued from where they left off in 2018.

2021 Sport Kings #58

Volume 2 was reduced from 48 (50 w/variations) cards to 38 and contains cards #49 to #86.

2021 Sport Kings #61

2021 Sport Kings #69

The card's design is based on the Goudey Sport Kings from 90 years ago.  I'm a big fan of the little icons at the bottom of the card that represent the athlete's sport.  

2021 Sport Kings #76

They tend to stand out on some cards better than others.  The Alston is a good example.

2021 Sport Kings #83

2021 Sport Kings #84

Baseball was king in Volume 2... as it beat out football with 8 players in this set.

Several months ago, Sport Kings released Volume 3.  This time around there were only 36 cards on the checklist, but a whopping 11 featured baseball players.

2022 Sport Kings #89

2022 Sport Kings #93

Volume 3 also featured full body paintings of baseball players in action... which I hope continues into the future.

2022 Sport Kings #102

2022 Sport Kings #104

2022 Sport Kings #106

2022 Sport Kings #110

2022 Sport Kings #112

2022 Sport Kings #114

This Jackie is actually the inspiration for this post.  I saw this card featured on another blog a few months ago which sent me on a mission to track down blasters of this stuff (and Volume 2).

2022 Sport Kings #117

Between eBay and an online store, I was able to find a bunch of 2021 and 2022 blasters in the $17 to $18 shipped price range.

2022 Sport Kings #120

2022 Sport Kings #122

I'm not 100% sure if Sage is still the company producing these cards.  Sadly whoever did has a serious collation issue.  I ended up with a ton of duplicates, but struggled to find a handful of players.

If anyone else out there are building these three sets, hit me up and maybe we can help each other out.  Here's the link to my set needs.

So those are my thoughts on this logo-less living set...

What's yours?

Looking forward to reading and responding to your comments.  Until then...

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

A Pack Fresh Vintage Clemente

Today's post features a monumental purchase in my collecting history.  The card in this post is the most expensive card I have ever purchased over on COMC.  It took place back in the summer of 2011 during a time when I was scouring the site for deals on graded cards.

Unfortunately I knew back then that this card was expensive ($98.57), but I loved how clean this fifty-five year old piece of cardboard looked.  A few years ago, I met a guy who specifically seeks vintage cards that look like they've been freshly pulled from a pack.  He's one of those collectors who values edges, corners, and lack of creasing over centering and staining.

I'm sure he'd appreciate this card:

1967 Topps #400

I was blown away by the overall condition of this card... and the fact that it featured one of the most popular baseball players of that era only made the card more desirable.  As for the poor centering and the OC qualifier... that's what kept the price of this card under triple digits.

Assuming this card was pulled from a pack back in 1967, the lucky collector would have added a card of the reigning National League Most Valuable Player.  That year he finished third behind Orlando Cepeda and Tim McCarver in NL MVP voting after having another stellar year highlighted by 103 runs scored, 209 hits, 110 runs batted in, a .357 batting average, a .554 slugging percentage, and the highest offensive WAR in the National League.  He also won his seventh consecutive Gold Glove Award that year.  Dude was a stud.

Exactly fifty-five years ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates were in Cincinnati to face the RedsClemente had a career day at the plate going 5 for 6 with a double, a home run, and four RBI's.  On Thursday, MLB will celebrate Roberto Clemente Day and pay homage to the 50th anniversary of his tragic passing.

I was only a few months old when he died in the plane crash while attempting to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.  However I'm grateful that his legacy continues to be passed on to fans.  He will forever be remembered for being a humanitarian as well as a hall of famer.

When it comes to our hobby, I can't imagine there are many collectors who don't appreciate his cardboard.  I know that the card featured today is considered a cornerstone card to my 60's collection.

Okay... here are your questions of the day...

Do you have a favorite Roberto Clemente card in your collection?

When it comes to card condition, what's most important to you?  Nice centering, clean edges, sharp corners, lack of creasing or staining?

As much as I love the featured card, my favorite is actually his 1956 Topps card.  And when it comes to condition, I think it depends on the individual card.  Most of the time an extremely off-centered card would bug me, but when the rest of the card looks this good... I'm able to over look the issue.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!