30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, November 25, 2016

Back in Black

1971 Topps #118

In the spirit of Black Friday... this post is dedicated to fans of black bordered sports cards.  I'm a little tired after attending my first San Jose Sharks game of the season, but to make up for the lack of words... I have provided you guys with some of my favorite songs that contain the word "black" in the title.

So pick a song, press play, and check out some chipped borders:

1985 Donruss Box Bottom #PC-1

1985 Topps #389

2007 Topps #40

1987 Donruss #36
1993 Diamond Marks #47

2000 Topps Gallery Gallery of Heroes #GH7

2013 Topps Archives Gallery of Heroes #GH-JR

1991 Fleer Pro-Vision #6
1991 Fleer All-Star Team #5

1992 Fleer Ultra All-Star #9
1993 Fleer Major League Prospects #13

1989 Kenner SLU Baseball Greats #10

1989 Kenner SLU #85

There are plenty of other black bordered sets out there... especially since Topps insists on creating black bordered parallels for almost every set they produce.  I made the decision to leave them out... because there were just too many to scan.  And there are a few that I just don't have any examples of... most notably the 1962 Topps football and 1986/1991 Toys 'R Us Rookies baseball sets.  I'm a huge fan of both of these designs, but couldn't find any laying around.

I'm sure I also have some black bordered memorabilia cards or autographs, but most of that stuff is stored at my parent's house.  I do have this scan saved on my hard drive:

2002 UD Vintage Timeless Teams Bat Quads #2

Okay... time to head to bed.  I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving with their loved ones.  And...  

Did anyone hit the stores and take advantage of the Black Friday deals out there?

As I mentioned earlier in the post, I decided to surround myself with thousands of people... but it wasn't at any malls or shopping centers.  I was at the San Jose Arena watching this:

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Right Place at the Right Time

There aren't a lot of things I like about the 1990 Topps baseball card set.  I've never been a fan of the design and if I can be brutally honest... I get tired of finding these cards in every baseball card bin I stumble across while wandering around the flea market.

However... there's one card in the set I'll never get tired of looking at.  It's the Craig Biggio card, which is hands down my favorite card in the set.  The photographer was in the right place at the right time and captured him in a pose that could be featured as the next MLB logo.

I was really excited to hear that Topps included this card in their 2016 Topps Archives Signature Series.  I love, love, love this product... because you're able to pick up autographs of guys like Rollie Fingers, Steve Garvey, and Kent Tekulve for very reasonable prices and all of them are hard-signed.

Unfortunately... Biggio's signatures are a little pricier than those three guys and unfortunately I spent a lot more money on this card than I had originally anticipated.  Back in early October a copy sold on eBay for under $20 (delivered).  A few weeks later, I put in a bid of $25 (+ $3.25 shipping), but somebody outbid me.

So when I found another copy up for auction, I decided to enter a max bid of $30 (+ $3.45 shipping) and that's exactly what I ended up paying.  Not exactly a bargain.  But in hindsight... I have no regrets.  In fact had someone outbid me, I probably would have been upset that I didn't put a higher max bid.

The card arrived two weeks ago, but I didn't get a chance to open up the package until last weekend.  It was everything I had expected.  However after holding the magnetic in my hand, I started feeling guilty that Biggio was locked up in a protective cell.

That's when I made the executive decision to cut the seal and let Biggio breathe.  Here's a better look at the card without the plastic getting in the way:

Here's a scan of the backside for those of you who are into card backs:

And if you're wondering how I typically store my autographs, I use the same method I've used since I reentered the hobby 8 years ago:

Penny sleeve.  Top loader.  Team bag.

Eventually... I hope to add signed versions of some of my other favorite "catchers in action" cards:

1973 Topps #380

1984 Topps #450

1977 Topps #640

1971 Topps #5

1986 Topps #260

The Munson isn't realistic... but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to add the others at some point.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss

If you had access to Doc Brown's DeLorean, Doctor Who's Tardis or any other cool time machine and traveled back twenty-five years, you would discover...

P.M. Dawn's Set Adrift on Memory Bliss is currently climbing the charts and will reach #1 on November 30th.

Beauty and the Beast will be shown for the first time in its entirety at the El Capitan Theatre tomorrow night.

Two weeks ago, Magic Johnson shocked the sports world when he announced that he had tested positive for HIV and would retire from basketball immediately.

Mike Trout is exactly three months, two weeks, and one day old.

And hundred of thousands of United States troops are starting to return back to The States after serving in The Gulf War.

Some of them are carrying back specially stamped 1991 Topps baseball cards, which are considered very rare compared to the regular issue released back in The States.

How rare?  Well consider this...

It's been estimated that Topps produced around four million copies of each card in the flagship set.  Yeah... that's right.  Four million copies.

On the other hand, (based on two internet sources, which weren't around in 1991) Topps produced only 6,500 to 7,000 of their specially stamped Desert Shield cards.  If you bust out the calculators... that's 1/500th of the production.

Anyways... getting back to the time travel thingy... a few of those soldiers were fortunate enough to pull this:

Damn... this card is sexy.  Even without that special gold stamp in the upper right-hand corner... Topps did an amazing job with this card which appears to have captured Rickey diving back into first base.

Okay... it's time to jump back into our time machine and head back to the present time where...

You'd discover that Prince Be, one of P.M. Dawn's members had passed away a few months ago at the age of 46.

Beauty and the Beast has gone on to be a classic that has been enjoyed by millions and millions of people all over the world.

Magic Johnson is still around and is a minority owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Mike Trout recently won his second American League MVP Award.

There are still millions of 1991 Topps baseball cards flooding our hobby.

And there's one super happy collector who finally gets to cross off the 1991 Topps Desert Shield Rickey Henderson card from his wantlist... after dreaming about it for twenty-five years.

Thank you Jim... aka Mr. GCRL... for this awesome card!  It has to go down as one of the coolest one-card PWE packages in my collecting history.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sports Card Trifecta #24: Barry Bonds

First off... congratulations Kris Bryant and Mike Trout for taking home this year's National League and American League MVP Awards.  Bryant's plaque will go nicely with his 2015 NL ROY Award and the 2016 World Series ring he'll receive sometime next season.  Trout's has plenty of accolades himself as his 2014 AL MVP Award and 2012 AL ROY Award will need to make room in his ever growing trophy case.

With two under his belt at the tender age of twenty-five, Trout is already on pace to break Barry Bonds' record of seven MVP Awards.

Will he actually break the record?

It's easy to bet against him, but it's not impossible.  In his first five full seasons, he's won the award twice and has been the runner-up the other three seasons.  Assuming he stays healthy... it wouldn't surprise me if he won the award six more times over the next ten to twelve years.

I guess only time will tell.  Regardless he'll hopefully be entertaining fans with his bat and glove for many years to come.

While we're waiting to see if Trout (or even Bryant) can approach Bonds' record... let's check out the Sports Card Trifecta I built of Barry.

Rookie Card1987 Topps #320

This card is without a doubt my favorite rookie card of Bonds.  The perfectly timed and centered action shot go perfectly with the wood grained border to make a great looking rookie card for one of the best hitters I've had the privilege to watch.

Autographed Card2001 Topps Gallery Autographs #GABB

The second cog of the trifecta is an on-card autograph from one of my favorite products:  Topps Gallery.  I had been looking for a Bonds autograph for years, but they were always a little too pricey for me.  Then two years ago, I ended up snagging this card for less than the price of an unopened wax box.  The insane thing is... this card was an insanely tough pull back in the day.  Topps inserted the Group A signatures (Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Rodriguez, and Barry Bonds) into packs at a rate of 1 per 1,066 packs.  That's one of these cards in every 44 boxes.  Gotta love the days when pulling an autograph was something special.

Memorabilia Card2002 Topps 206 Relics #BB2

I own eight different Barry Bonds memorabilia cards, but to be honest... none of them are that rare or unique.  I decided to use this one for my trifecta, because I do have a soft spot for framed relics.  The downside?  It's a piece of game-used uniform... which means it's likely a piece of his pants instead of his jersey.

Well there you have it.  This is officially the twelfth baseball Sports Card Trifecta in my collection.  If you'd like to check out the other eleven, click here.

Okay... now that the election hype has died down... let's get controversial:

If you had a Hall of Fame vote, would Barry have your support?

Whatever my response is... there's gonna be people who don't agree.  That's what makes this such a great topic to discuss.  With that being said... I'd let him in.  Plenty of players used PED's during that era and if Cooperstown allows guys who used greenies or doctored balls into their club then I feel that they should let one of the greatest hitters of all-time in as well.

As usual... I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.  I hope all of you are having a great week.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Flea Market Finds #114: Junk Wax Era

The first weekend of every month is my favorite weekend, because that means it's time for the De Anza Flea Market.  Imagine an art and wine festival version of a swap meet.  There are a lot of crafts, antiques, and collectibles with a handful of sports memorabilia sprinkled in here and there.

Unfortunately... you don't find a lot of hidden treasures since the vendors typically know what they have.  But every now and then, you'll find people who are trying to clean out their garages.  This month's flea market didn't disappoint.

Purchase #1:  1991 Topps and 1994 Score Wax Boxes $10

If you're a fan of unopened wax boxes and factory sets from the late 80's and early 90's, then you would have been in Cardboard Heaven on Saturday.  I ran across a couple who had four bins filled with the stuff.

After I handed over the ten bucks, I immediately started having buyer's remorse.  Do I really need more overproduced Junk Wax Era cards cluttering my office?  Not really.  But... $10 is a small price to pay for an hour's worth of entertainment.

Preview:  Another Junk Wax Era purchase down below.

Purchase #2:  Venom Figures $5

Crowds usually mean something of interest.  And that's exactly what gathered around an elderly couple with a ton of comic books and comic book action figures.

Normally these kind of vendors don't command a lot of attention.  But they were selling comic books for 10¢ each and figures for $2.50 each.  Unfortunately most of the stuff had been picked through, but I did manage to secure these two Venom figures which will end up being displayed in my classroom.

Purchase #3:  Basketball Binder $10

I rarely pick up basketball cards anymore... but when I do, it usually involves Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.  This binder has both.  There's a complete 1996/97 Fleer Metal set which contains two Kobe Bryant rookie cards and a rookie year insert:

Plus there are a bunch of other inserts thrown into pages.

The Magic Johnson refractor and the Bird/Magic rookie reprint were the two cards that sealed the deal for me.

Purchase #4:  1990, 1991, and 1992 Upper Deck Factory Sets $5

Remember the guy with $5 wax boxes?  I went back a few hours later and he dropped his prices even more.  He told me I could have any box/set for $4 each or 3 for $10.  When I didn't bite, he said make me an offer.  I jokingly told him I'd buy 3 more items for $5... thinking he'd never accept the offer.  He said "okay" before I could finish my sentence.

I picked out these three sets, because it fills the gap between my 1989 and 1993 Upper Deck factory sets.

Purchase #5:  1978 Donruss Sgt. Peppers Wax Box $15

If there was one purchase I made this month at De Anza that could be considered a hidden treasure... this would be it.  I have never seen the movie... nor have I had the desire to watch it.  But it's still an unopened wax box from the late 70's that cost me about the same price as a modern day blaster.

The next day I also walked around the Capitol Flea Market, which is the exact opposite of De Anza.  It's dirty... but it has tons of vendors with piles of garbage.  The good news is that every now and then, you'll hit the jackpot and find something of use among the trash.

Purchase #1:  2003 Oakland A's Babushka Dolls $3

This isn't exactly worth tons of money.  But when I discovered it, it kinda felt like I had found a hidden treasure.

It was sitting in the original plain white box handed out at the Oakland Coliseum on Father's Day back in 2003.  I'm sure most people could care less about Oakland A's Russian nesting dolls, but even if there was someone out there looking for these, they'd have a helluva time finding them.  They were sitting at the bottom of a Rubbermaid bin with a bunch of random items like picture frames and photo albums.

Three dollars seemed like a fair price for a unique stadium giveaway featuring The Big Three and Ramon Hernandez.  Not exactly sure where I'll end up displaying these guys since there's no room left on my Oakland A's shelf in my office.  I might need to bring them into my classroom and give the students another reason to tease me for being an A's fan.

Well that's it for now.  I didn't go out to flea market last weekend.  It was too cold and I wanted to sleep in.  Next Saturday is the Branham Flea Market.  Hopefully the "box bottom" guy is there.  He always has at least a few pieces of cardboard I'm interested in.

Until then... Happy Tuesday and sayonara!