Monday, January 16, 2017

I Have a Dream...

I have a dream that one day the Oakland Athletics will actually hold onto their homegrown talent and players like Sonny Gray will one day lead the franchise back to the World Series.

I have a dream that one day there will be card shows every weekend in communities all over the country for collectors to attend and enjoy.

I have a dream that one day card companies will figure out a way to draw more kids into our hobby, so that sports cards can avoid the same fate that Pogs and Beanie Babies suffered.


I have a dream that one day Major League Baseball comes to their senses and gives Upper Deck back their license so that they can begin producing UD Masterpieces cards of Tony Gwynn again.

I have a dream that one day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream will come true.

Happy belated birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!  Although my parents will always be my personal role models and heroes, I have always held a deep admiration for you and the role you played in fighting for equal rights for America's minorities.  Thank you.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day and sayonara!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Guaranteed Ridiculous

There's an old saying, "those who can't do... teach and those who can't teach... become administrators".  

Back in October, I took over our school's Leadership class because the administrator who runs the class went out on maternity leave.  Over the course of these three months, I have discovered a newfound respect for her and her job.

Between managing the Leadership kids, my own classes, and trying my damnedest to stay mentally sane... my life right now is straight up "ridiculous".  With that being said...

Last night's CFP National Championship was ridiculously long.  I love watching football and last night's game ended up being one for the ages, but four plus hours is way too long for this fan.  I passed out early in the third quarter and missed all of the excitement, but I'm grateful to be watching the replay right now as I pound out this post.

While we're focusing on the ridiculous, I figured I'd show off the latest addition to my Rickey Henderson collection:

The card itself is ridiculously awesome.  However you'd have to be ridiculously rich or brave to bust Topps Dynasty.  One card boxes sell for around $300 to $350.  Talk about a high risk/high reward product.  You can hit the jackpot and pull a Babe Ruth or Roberto Clemente cut signature.  However there are plenty of guys like Freddie Freeman and Sonny Gray too, which sell in the $50 range.  I can't imagine dropping three bills on a box and pulling a $50 card out of it.  I'd be ridiculously disappointed in myself for taking such a ridiculous risk.

Wanna hear another ridiculous thing about this Rickey?  I picked up this card for $120 (+ $5 shipping), which is a ridiculous amount of money for me to spend on a single card.  But what's even more ridiculous is the fact that I'm too scared to crack the seal and free Rickey from his plastic cell.  Yeah.  I admit that I'm ridiculous.

Need some more ridiculousness in your life?  Check out this lot of 2016 Topps Archives 65th Anniversary autographs I recently purchased off of eBay:

Last week, I picked up these seven autographs for $13.50 (+ $3 shipping), which is a little over half of the suggested retail price for a sealed box of this product.  The ridiculous thing about this purchase is the lack of resale value Topps is offering its customers.

The day after I bought this lot of autographs, another collector won this auction:

A complete set of this product with 16 autographs for just over the cost of two unopened boxes.  That's flippin' ridiculous.

Okay... I'm starting to get a little ridiculous myself with the amount of times I'm using the word "ridiculous", so I'll wrap up this ridiculous post with this card...

1997 Genuine Article #19

At first glance, there isn't anything too ridiculous about this card.  However... what if I told you that the guy pictured on this card is Roy Rogers, not Roy Rodgers?

Is it possible that Mr. Rogers purposely added a "D" to his signature to be ridiculous?  Of course.  Or maybe Andrew Havens, the president of The Genuine Article was ridiculously stupid and didn't catch the spelling error before he forged all 7,500 signatures.

Whatever the case is... I'm getting ridiculously tired.  So do me a favor and leave a ridiculous comment down below.  Today's topic...

What's something you find ridiculous?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Narrowing Things Down

When it comes to blogging and collecting in general... one of my least favorite things to do is scan cards.  That's why I admire and respect guys like Night Owl and Dime Box Nick.  Both of these guys aren't strangers to twenty scan posts.  Me?  My readers are lucky if I have one twenty scan post per year.  And today isn't going to be it.

Sadly... I have more than enough material from my latest COMC shipment to accomplish this feat... but I'm back in the classroom, so time is a factor, and to be brutally honest... I'm way too lazy.  That's why I'm narrowing my 133 card order down and showing off only a handful to save both of us a lot of time.

So let's the scanning begin...

The Biggest Card:  1999 Crown Royale Cramer's Choice Award #9

This card is a box topper and the latest oversized card for my Gwynn collection.  Back in the 90's, I always wanted one of these for my collection.  These days they're a lot more affordable and easy to find.  I ended up paying $3.60 for this card.

The Most Expensive Card:  2016 Topps Strata Signatures #SS-RCL

I'm surprised you can find on-card autographs of one of the greatest pitchers of the modern era for only $38.95.  However... that's what happens when less and less people are collecting cards and Topps continues to flood the market with autographs.

The Cheapest Card:  2002 Fleer Box Score Debuts #11BSD

I have never had any luck finding dime or quarter cards on COMC, so it didn't surprise me to see only five cards with a price tag of 50¢ or less in my shipment.  This card was the cheapest at 38¢, but it's well worth the money, because it contains an actual newspaper clipping from Javon Walker's debut game.

The Quintessential Village Idiot:  2014 Topps Tek Auto #HT-JC

It's really hard for me to watch a person embarrass themselves.  Seriously... it makes me feel uncomfortable and I have to turn away.  That's how I would describe a bunch of Canseco's life choices.  But when it comes to collecting, I tend to make an exception for him, because I loved watching him during his time with the A's... when he brought a lot of excitement to the East Bay.

A Top 10 Card:  1996 Leaf Signatures Bronze #TRHO

I'm building the autographed team set and ever since I started this project... Hoffman's silver parallel has been holding his place.  I paid more than I would have liked ($15.50), but it feels good to cross this card off of my list.

The Oldest Card:  1990 Fleer Update #U97

Sorry no vintage this time around.  I picked this card up back in July for $7.50, because it was cheap and Butler was one of my favorite Green Bay Packers back in the day.  Side note... this card was the only graded card in the shipment.

The Thickest Card:  1997 Excalibur Game Helmets #12

How thick is this card?  Well... take a look:

That's a side by side comparison with a stack of 15 regular base cards out of 2016 Topps Update baseball.  The TD is so thick that I couldn't find a top loader to fit it.  I have it sitting in a 25ct. slider box.

The Bargain Bin Card1999 Topps Autographs #A15

$1.83 may not sounds like a bargain to you, but I remember this card back in the day.  Topps inserted autographs into their 2nd Series packs at a rate 1:501 hobby packs.  That's a lot of packs!  Plus Chavez isn't exactly a scrub.  I know he wasn't a perennial all-star, but he was an Oakland Athletic fan favorite and the winner of 6 consecutive Gold Glove Awards $1.83?  Yeah, that's a bargain in my book.

Well... there you have it... my 133 COMC card shipment in a nutshell.  There are a few other cards that I might share in individual posts, but the rest were either shipped out in holiday care packages before Christmas or just weren't worthy of being scanned.  I told you... I'm not a fan of scanning cards. 

Believe it or not, I haven't added any new cards since that Black Friday weekend.  That's over a month, which I think is a personal record.  However, I was lucky enough to win $50 in store credit from one of their scratchers.  Plus I won some shipping credit on another scratcher.  Maybe this upcoming weekend, I'll look for a card or two for my collection.

Did anyone else win any store credit from their COMC scratchers?

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Quality Over Quantity

Over the past few years... I have accumulated tens of thousands of cards.  In fact, it's gotten to the point where I don't even know what I actually have, which is pretty ridiculous when you actually think about it.  What is the point of owning something, if you don't even know it's there?

That's why... I've slowly been trying to transition my collection from quantity to quality and this past year was monumental for me and my collection, because I actually stuck to my game plan.

Yeah... I still picked up nickel and dime cards at the card shows I attended.  And yes... I picked up more than a handful of cheap bobble heads at my local flea market runs.  But overall... I managed to save up my money and purchase specific cards, sets, and pieces of sports memorabilia for very specific collections.

And as we kick off 2017, I thought it would be cool to look back at some of my favorite purchases from 2016 that demonstrates that as a collector, I have evolved.

#1:  2014 Topps Tier One Acetate Tony Gwynn Autograph

I have over twenty different Tony Gwynn autographs that I have accumulated over the years and some have more sentimental value than others.  This card is one of them.

On June 16th2014... Mr. Padre passed away after battling parotid cancer for four years.  As a fan of his since the mid 80's, it was truly devastating news.  It was eventually revealed to the baseball world that Gwynn knew his days were numbered, but wanted to go out on his terms... which meant turning down radiation treatments, yet continuing to coach his players at San Diego State.

He also continued to sign trading cards for card companies like Topps.  I can't say for sure... but I'm convinced he did it for his fans... and not for the money.

I'm not sure when Gwynn signed the card you see pictured above, but it's from a 2014 product that was release just ten days prior to his passing.  He has several autographs in 2014 products... many of which are on stickers.  I avoided those and specifically targeted this card, because it's hard signed.  And it will always have a special place in my collection.

#2:  1977 Topps Baseball Card Set

A few years ago, I decided to collect every Topps baseball card set from my birth year until 1986, which was the year I transitioned from child collector to investor.  I entered 2016 with only three sets left on my wantlist and was able to cross this one off for only $80.  1973 and 1974 Topps... here I come.

#3:  Plethora of Rickey Henderson Autographs

Topps has literally flooded the market with Rickey's signature, which has been a blessing in disguise, because prices have plummeted over the past three years.  In 2014, I paid close to $100 for the first autographed card I ever purchased of The Man of Steal.

In 2016 I picked up nine new autographed Rickey Henderson cards for my collection and seven of them cost me less than $44.  Here's a look at the two big dollar Henderson additions:

I've already written about both of these cards, so I won't bore you again.  However if you missed the posts, feel free to click on the links:  2016 Topps Strata and 1980 Topps rookie card.

#4:  Greg Maddux Autographs

I'm lucky if I add one Maddux autograph to my collection each year.  In 2016, I was extremely happy to add four.  Like Rickey... his autograph values have started to fall as he signs more and more cards.  I don't look at that as a bad thing.  I look at it as an opportunity.

#5:  Autographed Rookie Cards

I'm not really sure if I want to call this a collection or not, because I'm not really actively looking for PSA slabbed signed rookie cards.  Do I have a few names targeted?  Yeah.  But I won't really buy one unless I'm getting a really good price.

#6:  Mel Allen Signed Baseball

I grew up watching This Week in Baseball and listening to Allen's iconic voice, which stirs up fond memories of my childhood every time I hear it.  That's why I've been trying to add a Mel Allen autograph to my collection for a few years now.  Back in September, I haggled with an eBay vendor and eventually settled on a price both of us were content with.

#7:  1956 Topps Ted Williams

This was my first major purchase of 2016.  I picked it up off of eBay nine days into the year and was hoping to pick up a few more 1956 hall of famers over the next twelve months.  Unfortunately I didn't.

But I'll definitely be targeting either a Mays or Koufax in 2017.

#8:  Jose Altuve Collection

Back in August, I wrote about guys I enjoy rooting for that play for the opposition.  That's right about the same time I dove head first into my Jose Altuve PC.  I'm a big fan of Altuve for three major reasons.  He can hit.  He plays second base (the position I played as a kid).  And he's one of the shortest guys in the league.

Plus... it doesn't hurt that his cards are very affordable for being one of the best hitters in the game.

#9:  Albert Pujols Autographs

Patience pays.  I waited over a decade to add an autograph of Mr. Pujols to my collection.  In August, that wait finally came to an end when I picked up his 2003 Topps on card autograph for a little less than $75 on eBay.  Two months later, I won the auction for the Sweet Spot Signatures card featuring two future hall of famers.  I'm pretty sure it was my most expensive single card purchase of the year, but it was 100% worth it.

#10:  1964 Topps Giants Set

I'll wrap up this post with one of my favorite vintage oddball sets sitting in my collection: the 1964 Topps Giants.  I love the simple design and the great card backs which feature major highlights from the player's career.  And after checking out recent eBay sales... this might have been my best bargains of the year.  I picked it up from the same guy at the card show who sold me the 1977 Topps set.  No... I didn't pay $175 for the set.  If you want to see what I actually paid... click here.

Well that's all for now.  I still have one or two posts revolving around 2016 that I'd like to publish, so please bear with me.  In the meantime...

What were some of your favorite cardboard additions in 2016?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!