30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Where have all the card shows gone?

There are a lot of things I miss about the 90's.  One of the things at the top of the list is the plethora of card shows.  Collectors in my area had so many to choose from, I never had time to attend them all.  There were the hotel shows at the Le Baron and Holiday Inn in downtown San Jose.  You had bi-monthly weekend shows at Branham High School.  If big shows were your cup of tea, you had the stamp, coin, and card show at the Santa Clara Convention Center, the antique collectibles show at the Santa Clara County Fair Grounds, and of course the annual show at the Moscone Center.  There were even shows during the week.  Arena Showcase had card shows at their shop on game nights and on the weekends too.  And to top it off... there were a bunch of different card shows at various shopping malls.

Good times.  Good times, indeed.

These days there are only a handful of shows for me to choose from.  There are five or six mall shows each year, along with the semi-annual vintage show in San Leandro, the two GTSM shows, and of course the annual TriStar show which I happened to attend last weekend.

I had a great time checking out vintage cards I'll never be able to afford, as well as hanging with friends who share my passion for the hobby.  And of course I picked up a few pieces of cardboard for my collection... plus a huge addition to my Tony Gwynn collection.

Here's a quick rundown of my purchases:

Purchase #1:  1981 Donruss Baseball Card Set $10

I already own the 1981 Fleer and Topps baseball card sets, so I figured I'd round out the trifecta with this one.  There aren't any high end cards in this set, but for the price I just couldn't pass it up.

Purchase #2:  Stack of Dollar Cards $16

This stack of cards was actually made from three separate purchases, but it was easier for me to combine them for the purpose of this post.  I was pretty disappointed at the lack of deals at this show.  Dime boxes were nearly non-existent, but at least I found a few cards for my PC in some dollar bins.  My favorite is this oversized Ken Griffey Jr. card from the mid 90's:

1997 Bleachers #MVP1

Purchase #3:  More Expensive Cardboard $16

This lot was purchased from three different vendors as well.  The Dave Stieb autograph set me back three bucks, the McBride cost me two bucks, and the other six cards I purchased off of my friend for eleven dollars.

Purchase #4:  Five Autographed 8x10's $22

I typically avoid purchasing autographs that aren't certified by a major authenticator or signed by the athlete in front of me or my buddy.  But after speaking with a couple of my friends who deal with autographs for a living, they assured me that the two vendors I purchased these from are legit.

The first four photos were purchased from Hall of Fame Sports and Collectibles who are known for their signing sessions at the Frank and Son Shows in Southern California.  They were blowing out some of their inventory, so I grabbed these four for $20.

I also picked up this Douglas Murray for two dollars:

The guy who sold it to me is a "regular" at Sharks practices and a friend of a friend.  Murray hasn't played with San Jose for a couple of seasons, but once upon a time... he was my favorite Shark.

Purchase #5:  2004 Topps Originals Signature #BM11 $5

Bill Madlock is one of my favorite third basemen of all-time and there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to grab a hard signed autographed of him for the mere price of five bucks.  This is a huge addition to my collection... but not quite as big as the final purchase I made on Saturday.

Purchase #6:  Tony Gwynn Autographed Bat $70

One of my friends had Gwynn sign a bat before one of the SJSU vs. SDSU games last season, so I bought it off of him.  Unfortunately... the bat currently isn't in my possession.  Part of the purchase involved him getting it authenticated by PSA since they were at the show.  It passed.  Now I just need to wait until the next time I see him to pick it up.

In terms of card shows... that's it for now.  Not exactly sure when or where the next card show hits my area.  I'd love to make it out to Cleveland this summer for the National Sports Collectors Convention, but that's probably not going to happen.  I'm way too cheap to drop that kind of cash on airfare and a hotel room... and that's not even counting admission and spending money.

What about you?

Anyone planning on going to the NSCC this summer?  Have you ever attended the National?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chronicles of Cardfoolery #9: Panini Employee Autographs

Today I'm having one of those bi-polar moments.  On one hand, I'm happy to be back in the classroom with my students after enjoying a nice week off.  However... there's also a part of me that's not so excited about being back in the classroom with my students after enjoying a nice week off.

That's sort of how I feel about some cards that I recently purchased off of eBay.  Now prepare yourself, because what I'm about to show isn't suitable for everyone.

There's no sense delaying the inevitable.  Feast your eyes on this bad boy...

How addicted to cardboard am I?  I'm so addicted that I went out and purchased an autographed memorabilia card of Tracy Hackler.  Yup... you read it correctly.  I've officially lowered my cardboard standards to the point where I'm collecting cards of Panini employees.

This card eventually led me to chasing down three of his co-workers:

How much can you expect to pay for autographs of Panini employees?  I'm embarrassed to admit this... but I spent a total of $15.43 (shipping included).

In my defense... it's important to remember that these purchases were made during one of those bi-polar moments.

On one hand, I'm excited to own a quartet of Panini employee autographed memorabilia cards, because they're something different and unique.  However part of me thinks that this quartet of Panini employee autographed memorabilia cards are silly and the epitome of "cardfoolery".

Oh well... that's who I am as a person, teacher, and as a collector.  And while we're on the topic of bi-polar collecting, here is today's question of the day:

Are there any cards that you love and hate at the same time?

Happy Monday and sayonara!

P.S.  If you're interested in free cards, please check out my contest by clicking here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Flea Market Finds #62: Tequila Flavored Pistachios

Spring Break is over.  Tomorrow I'm back in the classroom.  That means going to bed early tonight and allowing my body to adjust to my work schedule.  So I apologize in advance for this short post, but I'm hoping to be in bed within the next hour or two.

When: Sunday, April 27th
Where: Capitol Flea Market
What: Pistachios and a Baseball Card Set
How Much?: $9

Purchase #1:  8oz. Bag of Tequila Pistachios $5

Not sure what the deal was... but there were a bunch of empty spaces at the flea market this morning.  And since there were only a fraction of vendors... that resulted in a lot less collectibles to attract my attention.

But thankfully... tequila flavored pistachios saved the day.  They were delicious and provided me with something to do while I walked around.  Sort of like popping sunflower seeds into your mouth while waiting in the dugout for your at bat.

Purchase #2:  1992 Topps Traded Baseball Card Set $4

There were two people with sports cards this morning.  One guy had a binder full of random cards I didn't want.  The other had a tub of cards... most of which I didn't want.  I did however find this traded set, which contains a Nomah rookie card, so I asked the gentleman how much he wanted.

He replied $15 to $20.  I didn't bother finding out the exact price, because we weren't even in the same ballpark.  On my second run through the flea market, I stopped by again.  This time he offered it to me for $7.  I told him I'd think about it as I popped a pistachio in my mouth.

On my way out, I remembered the set and went back to the guy.  I offered him $4 and he accepted.  Makes me wonder if he would have accepted that price the first time I talked to him.

Today's question of the day...

Which would you rather have?  Tequila flavored pistachios?  Or a 1992 Topps Traded set?

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

1000 Posts 4 Me = Free Cards 4 U

Yesterday, I published the thousandth post on this blog and figured the best way to celebrate would be to hold a contest and give away some cards.  It's my way of saying "thank you" to all of you who have supported this blog over the years.

There will be four prize packages totaling 1,000 cards... given away to four contest winners.  Each package will contain a sports card lot catered to the winner's favorite team(s).  I will try to include autographs, memorabilia cards, oddballs, inserts, rookie cards, and of course base cards in each prize package.

First Place:  400 Card Lot
Second Place:  300 Card Lot
Third Place:  200 Card Lot
Fourth Place:  100 Card Lot

Okay... now that we've established the prizes, it's time to address the contest details:

How long will I run the contest?  The contest will last 1,000 hours, which is equivalent to 41 days and 16 hours.  In other words, the contest will officially close on Saturday, June 7th at 7am.

How do you enter and participate in the contest?  If you're familiar with my past contests, then you know it's all about earning contest entries by responding to my blog posts.  Confused?  I'll break it down for you...

There are three ways for you to enter.

#1 - Leave a comment below for one entry.
#2 - Plug this contest on your blog for THREE bonus entries.
#3 - Leave comments on my posts between now and June 7th.

On June 7th, I'll enter everyone's names from this post into the list randomizer at www.random.org.

If you plug this contest on your blog, I will add your name three additional times.

And as a final bonus, I will randomly select four posts during the contest time frame (excludes today's posts) using www.random.org.  Anyone who leaves a comment on any of those posts will have their name added to the randomizer two additional times.

That means if the stars are aligned for you, you technically could receive a total of twelve contest entries.

Let's kick things off with today's question of the day:

What sports teams/players do you collect?

I pretty much collect anything related to sports, but my primary focuses are on these teams/players:  Oakland A's (especially Kurt Suzuki), San Diego Padres (Tony Gwynn), Steve Carlton, Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Ichiro Suzuki, Jackie Robinson, Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre), Seattle Seahawks (Steve Largent), Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, San Jose Sharks (Devin Setoguchi), Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, San Jose State Spartans, Stanford Cardinals, and Cal Bears.

I look forward to reading your responses over the next 1,000 hours.  Happy Saturday and sayonara!