30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Living in the Past

As an Oakland A's fan, there haven't been a lot of exciting baseball memories in recent years regarding my beloved team.  Ever since they fell flat on their face in 2014, they've traded away most of their big names and have gone on to have back to back losing seasons.  And by the looks of it, this year won't be any different.

But that's okay.  It just makes me appreciate the happier times.  One of those eras was in the late 80's when Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco were smashing balls and bashing forearms in celebration.

Were they using PED's?  Sure.  But let's not ruin the mood.  We can always travel down that road another day.  Let's just bask in the beauty of these 2016 Topps Legacies of Baseball on-card autographs that I added to my collection a while back.

Last Friday marked the 30th Anniversary of The Bash Brothers hitting home runs in the same game for the first time.  On May 19th, 1987... Jose Canseco hit a home run off of Dennis Rasmussen in the bottom of the first inning.  Two innings later, Mark McGwire hit one too.  They'd go on to accomplish this feat forty more times as teammates and once more as opponents.

Six weeks later on America's 211th birthday, The Bash Brothers hit back to back home runs in the bottom of the fifth inning off of Bruce Hurst for the first time ever.  They would go on to accomplish this feat ten more times during their careers.  Athletics fans wouldn't need to wait long... as the duo would do it again the next day off of Dennis Oil Can Boyd in the bottom of the fourth.

It's been almost twenty years since The Bash Brothers were teammates.  Since then, a lot has happened and these days they have little to do with each other.  Maybe one day McGwire will find it in his heart to forgive Canseco for opening his mouth.

Heck... Paul patched things up with Yoko.  Anything can happen, right?  In the meantime... as long as the Athletics continue to fight for last place, I guess I'll have to be content with living in the past.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fell On Black Days

This morning I woke up, opened my laptop, and started catching up on everyone's blog posts.  Two or three blogs in... I read the tragic news of Chris Cornell's death on Cardboard Jones' blog: Collating Cards.

Like millions of other people across the country, I jumped on the bandwagon and filled my CD collection with Seattle Sound bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Cornell's Sound Garden.  And just like sports cards play a big role on my personal timeline... so does music.

The "Grunge" Era was during the heart of my college years which means there are many great memories tied to it.  Hearing about Cornell instantly saddened me.

I think part of it has to do with things going on in my personal life.  In a few weeks, my 8th graders will be graduating and moving on to high school.  Plus... one of my closest friends will be moving to Oregon with her family... which means I won't get to see my two nieces on a weekly basis anymore.

Anyways... one of the best ways to get myself out of a funk is to dive into my favorite hobby.  And wouldn't you know it... I had a generous care package sent by Kin over at Bean's Ballcard Blog and I Feel Like A Collector Again that has been sitting on my desk for almost two weeks waiting to be opened.

Inside he sent me a nice selection of Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres for my collection, along with some San Francisco Giants for my students.

The card that immediately stood out was this beautiful black parallel of Matt Holliday:

2009 Topps Walmart Black #446

Seriously... these parallels were made for the Oakland Athletics and I couldn't wait to scan this card, then add it to my A's insert binder.

And within a fifteen to twenty second period, I remembered the Holliday trades.  The one where the Athletics gave up Carlos Gonzalez to acquire him from the Colorado Rockies.  And the other trade where they shipped him off to St. Louis (where he'd go on and win a World Series title in 2011) for practically nothing.

No worries.  Kin sent me plenty of other awesome cards to cheer me up... like this Yoenis Cespedes rookie card:

2012 Topps Update #US42

Wait.  This card reminds me of the epic collapse that many A's fans believe occurred after the trade that sent Cespedes to Boston for Jon Lester.  Lester wasn't terrible for the A's, but he didn't help them get to the Promised Land either.  What's worse is he left them at the end of the season where he'd sign with the Chicago Cubs and win a World Series.

Maybe I'll move on to the Padres cards he sent me.  Here's a shiny card of The Crime Dog:

1992 Upper Deck Team MVP #35

Now that's what I'm talking about.  I miss the days of Upper Deck and their holograms.  And McGriff was a beast for the Padres for a few seasons.  I wonder why he didn't stick around longer.  Oh that's right.  The Padres traded him to the Atlanta Braves for three guys many fans have never heard of.  And guess what... he went on to win a World Series title with the Braves in 1995.

Let's move along to this shiny refractor of Ryan Ludwick:

2011 Topps Chrome Refractor #119

Few things can brighten this collector's day more than some refractor shine.  The good news is I don't remember when or how the Padres acquired Ludwick or what they may have gotten in return for him when he left.

Maybe we received a top pick in the draft for him?  Let's find out on Baseball Reference.

Nope.  Not a top pick.  Just cash money.  It gets worse.  Ludwick was part of that three team trade where the Padres sent Corey Kluber to the Cleveland Indians.

At least Kluber hasn't won a World Series title yet.

In all seriousness... I kinda chuckled at all of these terrible trades my beloved Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres have made over the years.  And on this somber Saturday, I'll honestly take whatever I can get.

1998 Flair Showcase Row 2 #36

Thank you very much for these awesome cards Kin.  My students will appreciate the Giants you sent their way... although there's a chance the Barry will stay with me.  It's just too cool of a card.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Friday, May 19, 2017

One Sweet Buyback and Way Too Much

Back in March, I made a two card purchase at my local flea market which involved a 2005 Playoff Prestige Red Foil parallel of Steve Garvey that was serial numbered to 25.  I grew up being a fan of Garvey... especially during his years with the San Diego Padres in the mid 80's.  Unfortunately Garvey wasn't representing the Padres on this particular card.

Fortunately for Jim over at Cards As I See Them, this happened to be a card he needed for his Garvey collection.

So I packaged Mr. Clean up and shipped him off in a PWE to a loving home that would take care and appreciate him.

A few weeks later, I received a fat package of cards from Jim that was completely unnecessary... and way too much compensation for a single card I found for a buck at the flea market.

Let's kick things off with this sweet 1972 Topps buyback card of Vida Blue:

This card combines four things I love:  1972 Topps baseball cards, Vida Blue, the Oakland A's, and a great action shot.  By itself, this card would have been a fair trade.

Throw in these two cards and I officially feel guilty:

Both of these cards are new additions to the collection.  On the left is the 20th Nomo relic in my collection, while the one on the right is a 2009 Topps Tribute Gwynn card numbered to only 99.

These three cards were only the tip of the iceberg though.  Here's the other cards he included in the package:

Thanks Jim for this awesome package!  Guess the ball is back in my yard.  I'll be throwing something your way soon.

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Greatest Set?

What is the greatest baseball card set ever produced?  I'm sure there are some collectors who came up with their response immediately, while others struggle with the question.  I fall into the second group.

I mean, what are we talking about here?  Best design?  Strength of the checklist?  What about individual sentimentality?

If I were forced to give a quick response, my Pavlovian response would probably be "the 1956 Topps baseball set".

However two weeks ago, I purchased the 1972 Kellogg's All-Time Greats set and was floored by its beauty when I actually held it in my hands.

If you've read my blog long enough, you know that I hate scanning cards.  It's the worst part of blogging.  But I love this set so much, I had to share it with all of you.  Here are scans of every card front and back:

My favorite thing about Kellogg's baseball card sets of the 70's and 80's are seeing the flashy and colorful borders popping off of these lenticular oddballs... especially when they're featuring ballplayers like Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, and Reggie Jackson.

But I feel the plain light blue borders works for this particular set, because it's filled with baseball legends who at the time had already been retired for decades.

Plus the yellow shield and banner that house the player's position and name, along with the facsimile signature across the player's photo compliment the blue borders enough to make the card attractive.

The card backs are packed with information that include the player biography, career highlights, a secondary photo, career totals, and World Series totals.

If that weren't enough... this set has additional meaning to me, because it was distributed the same year I was born.  Yup.  A Kellogg's lenticular birth year set.

My only complaint is Kellogg's decision to use such a small font size.  It's difficult for these aging eyes to read without major squinting.

The $64,000 question is... 

Do I think this is the greatest set of all-time?  

Well... no.  Off the top of my head, I can think of at least ten sets that would rank higher than this set.  But for less than $45, it's still offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Okay... it's your turn:

What is the greatest baseball card set ever produced?

If you can't pick one, I totally understand.  Feel free to list a few sets you feel are "great".

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!