30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Breaking the Rules

Advent calendars have been around since the 19th century... possibly even earlier.  My first experience with them was back in the late 70's or early 80's when one of my friends had one that gave him a piece of chocolate every day.  I thought... twenty-five pieces of chocolate... that's awesome!

Not sure if my parents ever granted my wish and gave me one, but I've purchased a few Lego advent calendars for myself over the years and have been receiving one from my buddy Ryan (SumoMenkoMan) every year since 2021.

If you've never seen them, I recommend you grab yourself some hot chocolate or a cup of eggnog... and click here or here.  You won't be disappointed.

The thing that separates this advent calendar from others I've experienced is this one has been tailor-made for me... which makes them that much more special and appreciated.  Not only that... but he packages them individually and writes a note for each day.

Just like your traditional advent calendar, Ryan has designed it for me to open one present each day leading up to Christmas.  Unfortunately December is typically crazier than your average month... so it wasn't meant to be.

So I broke the advent calendar rules and started opening the presents up the day after Christmas.  The plan was to open up all twenty-five presents and show them off in one post, but the documenting process took much longer than anticipated.

This year... I'm breaking the rules... and  to breaking up this calendar into four or five posts.

But before we get into the first round of daily presents, let's discuss the two cans of Popfuji that Ryan tossed in as box toppers.  I'm not a beer guy, but the next time I'm in Southern California I'm going to track down some of these for my brother and his wife.

As for these cans... I'm going to cut up one of these cans and somehow display the logo.  The other can will go on my Papa Fuji shelf next to his golf balls, business card, and other little knickknacks I've collected of his.  Thank you Ryan... for thinking of my father... and for building this awesome advent calendar.

Okay... without further ado, here are December 1st through December 6th's presents...

December 1st

Undated Diecut & Embossed Santa

1994 Star Wars Galaxy Series 2 #148

Ryan kicked things off with some Santa cards... one old and one new to start the holiday season!

December 2nd

Let's go!  Batter Up!  Top of the order... and 23 more days to go.  

1995 Donruss Top of the Order Starter Deck

I'm looking forward to the day when I can sit down, open this starter deck up, and write a post about what's inside.  But right now, it's on to the third present...

December 3rd

On the third day of December... my buddy gave to me.  Three packs of YoYoExpert trading cards:

2017 YoYoExpert Trading Card Packs

Never even knew there were professional yo-yo players... or trading cards of them.  I opened up one of these packs.  The plan is to write my first post over on A Pack to Be Named Later in over six years, so stay tuned.

December 4th

More packs!  This time it's Chinese Marvel cards.  

I opened up one of these to check them out.  Not sure if I'll have a chance to document it over on APTBNL, so I'll just share my results here:

Not sure if anyone cares... but the Hulk in the middle has some gold foil added to it.  Maybe something special?  Maybe not.

December 5th

Even more packs!  

You're looking at five packs of Cul (pronounced "cool") Heroes... which are Irish trading cards.  Looks like I have more APTBNL post material in 2024.  But if you don't want to wait... and are curious about these cards, Ryan posted a review of them over on YouTube.  If you're interested in watching it, click here.

December 6th

Heck yeah!  More packs.  

1995 Sport Flix Packs

Looks like someone already wrote a review of this product on APTBNL, but these will be heading into the rainy day pack stash.  Sure hope the Bay Area has another wet winter, because I've got a lot of stuff to open.

Well that wraps up the first six days of December.  I've already opened up the December 7th envelope... and it contained some pretty special packsRyan's original plan was to make this an unopened pack advent calendar.  I told him that he should market a wax pack advent calendar.  My guess is there are plenty of collectors out there who would be interested in ripping open twenty-five packs in December.  And I'm guessing most collectors would stick to the rules and open them up one per day.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Truly Priceless

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of the word "priceless" is too valuable to have a price or not to be bought at any price.

Today's post focuses on some truly priceless collectibles... at least to me.  In fact when my parents started to ask my siblings and I about what we wanted to be passed down to them, the only things that came to mind were my father's hole-in-one golf balls.

My father always said he was too small to play sports like baseball, basketball, and football... so he stuck to sports like boxing, bowling, skiing, and golf.  And out of those four... I think most people will remember him for his love of golf.

I'm sure it played a part in my parent's decision to retire in Las Vegas.  They bought a house in Summerlin and although it wasn't located right on the golf course... it was literally a stone's throw away.

Now I won't presume that every golfer's dream is to hit a hole-in-one, but I know I hope I do one day.  I've come three inches away... but I'm still waiting for my day in the sun.  My father waited decades, but exactly twenty-two years ago... on December 27th, 2001... he finally sunk his first hole-in-one.  It happened on the 12th hole at the Eagle Crest Golf Course... which happens to be less than 1,000 feet from their doorstep.

Last summer, it was obvious that my father wasn't going to be going back there to live... so we took a family vacation with all of his children and grandchildren.  I showed off some of the items I brought back in a post back in July, but I intentionally left the golf balls out of it.

That's because they deserve a post of their own.  Here is Papa Fuji's first hole-in-one ball:

Less than a year later on August 24, 2002... he shot his second and final hole-in-one at another local golf courseHighland Falls Golf Club.  Here's that ball:

What's cool about this one is he had all of his buddies who were there sign it.  This is a little out of the ordinary, since my father never understood my obsession with autographs.  But he was thoughtful enough to sign this photo years ago for me:

Yup.  Priceless.

What's funny is what's priceless to me... is meaningless to others... since outside of me and possibly a few family members... none of the items in this post hold any monetary or sentimental value.  But that's okay, because the aren't for sale anyways.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, December 25, 2023

Damaged Santa & a Pair of Trees

Hope all of you are enjoying yourselves on the merriest day of the year.  By the time you're reading this, I'll be hanging out over at my brother's eating fried rice for breakfast.  It's a family tradition started by my parents a long time ago.

Anyways... here's a card I purchased back in October:

1998 Upper Deck Holiday Worn Jersey #NNO

I've been looking for this card for a few years, but they never seem to fall within my price range.  Well due to the poor condition, I was able to win it in an eBay auction for $6.05 (+ $5.82 tax & shipping).

If you look closely above the Kris Kringle facsimile signature, there's a heavy crease which the seller pointed out in the auction description.  Truth be told... I was hoping the crease was the only issue.  But when I opened up the package, the card's corners, surface, and some of the edges are worn.

I knew the risk when I bid on the auction, so I can't complain.  On the bright side... the Island of Misfit Toys (also known as my Damaged Card PC) has a new family member.

I'll wrap up this very merry Christmas post with two card trees.  The first one is made up with this year's selection of gift cards from my students:

I'm hoping there are still some Topps Archives blasters available on Target's website.  If so, that's what I'll use that gift card on.  Otherwise... I'll use it on a Lego set.

Here's the other tree I made:

These are the thank you cards I hand out to students.  This photo was taken before I handed a few out... so inventory is quickly drying up.  Sadly Topps removed these custom cards from their online store.  Hopefully they bring them back soon... or these will be last autographed cards I pass out to my students.

Well that's a wrap.  Merry Christmas and sayonara!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Straight to the Point

It's been eleven days since my last post... and I've already dropped the ball on my blogger goal of publishing one post a week leading up to the holidays.  Had I taken a few minutes to look over the calendar, I would have been able foreseen this issue.

The week leading up to the holiday break is always a hectic.  There were two holiday parties (both work related)... dinner with some former students... end of the semester projects... and of course some last minute Christmas shopping for friends and family.

Plus my
brother is throwing his annual holiday party this afternoon, but before I head out for that... I'm going to hammer out a post.  That might sound like one of those fifteen minute posts, but anyone familiar with those... knows it's impossible for me to write a post in that timeframe.

That being said... I am going to make it as straight to the point as possible.

Today's post focuses on a pair of PWE's from Chris a.k.a. The Collector.  Both were sent to me earlier in the year.  One was right around the start of the MLB season... and the other during the summer.

Here's quick glance at what Chris packed into these envelopes:

There's a lot of cool stuff sitting in front of me... but since I've got less than two hours until I need to head over to my brother's... I'll focus on these ten:

#12019 Topps Chrome Update 150 Years of Professional Baseball #150C-4

Right out of the page, this card caught my eye.  Topps gave these inserts the "refractor" treatment, so it shines when you tilt it at the right angle.  It also features my second favorite baseball player of all-time... which is a nice bonus.

#21988-89 Fleer #42

Hate the playerLove the card.

#31977 Topps #495

I love me some vintage wax stained cards... especially when the feature a hobby favorite and owner of one of the coolest nicknames in sports history:

The Mad Hungarian

#42021-22 Upper Deck Allure #29

I apologize if this isn't the Yamamoto you were looking for... but I'm still very happy to add this card to my binder.

#51983 Fleer #326

Another hobby favorite... and my favorite relief pitcher from the early 80's.

#62022 Prestige Xtra Points Astral #387

I'm pretty sure I jinxed this guy.  A few months ago... Chris wrote a post featuring his franchise player picks for each NFC team.  I mentioned Mafe who was having a solid season up to that point.  Since then... not so much.

#7: 2022 Bowman #68

If you send me a card of Ohtani... I have to show it off.  I'm pretty sure it's an unwritten rule or something.

#81982 Topps #668

I was never a big Dale Murphy fan... but seeing this card (like the Tekulve) took me back to my childhood.

Plus it's a nice reminder that the 1982 Topps card backs were green and featured cool facts and cartoons.

#92018 Topps Big League Autographs #BLA-MO

Olson is a stud.  As sad as I was to hear that the Oakland A's traded him away... I'm super happy he's continued to grow and find success in Atlanta.

#101989-90 Fleer #78

There was a time when I would have rather owned an autograph of this guy than almost any other athlete in sports.  Back in the 80's... I was a huge fan of the Showtime Lakers... and Mr. Scott was my favorite player on the court.  I spent a lot of hours in middle school and high school, practicing my baseline jumper in an effort to emulate him.

Okay.  It's taken me over an hour just to scan and write this post.  I'm guessing it'll take another thirty minutes to edit, format, and publish.

Now do you understand why my focus in 2024 is to keep things "straight to the point"?

Thank you Chris for the pair of PWE's.  Sorry it took so long to open them up and write about them.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!