Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Garter Belts and Groupies

While doing a little homework for my Roy Hobbs card last week, I stumbled across a great article over on Cardboard Connection.  The article showcased a great collection of cards based on baseball movies.  If you're interested in checking it out... click here.

Anyways... that's where I discovered the 1988 Gatorade Bull Durham set...


Bull Durham might not be my favorite sports movie.  Heck.  It's not even my favorite baseball movie.  But it's definitely a classic and when I saw these oddballs, I knew I wanted a set for my collection.


I'm a huge fan of the dual photos.  Let's face it... two photos of the lovely Millie is better than one.


Or if you're into older women, than there's the sensational Susan Sarandon card.

The one thing that might bother some collectors is their size.  Each card measures 4" x 5", which could cause some storage issues.  Personally, I love cards in all shapes and sizes... so these oversized beauties don't bother me at all.  Plus I like how the overall design is reminiscent of the 1975 Topps baseball card set.


Rounding out the four card set is this epic card of Ebby "Nuke" LaLoosh, Bull Durham's rookie sensation.  How often do you see grown men wearing garter belts on trading cards?  This card alone was worth the three bucks I paid for this set.

Well that's it for now.  I'm hoping my 20th Anniversary version of The Sandlot arrives soon.  It's suppose to come with a special card set that includes cards of Smalls, Squints, and even The Beast.

Until then...

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Case of the Mysterious Missing Parcel

Two weeks ago, I thought I hit the lottery when I won this auction...


When the auction closed, I was so excited about this purchase.  The price was right.  The eBay Bucks I had saved up were expiring that day, so it felt like I was hitting one out of the park during the bottom of the ninth.  And best of all... I was finally going to cross the 1999 UD Century Legends Epic Signatures Ken Griffey Jr. off of my wantlist.

I've been in love with this set for years and although I have accepted the fact that I'll never actually build the set due to some very expensive cards... this Griffey was going to be one of the highlights of my autograph collection and the final piece to this partial set I was building.

The only thing I had to do was sit back and wait.  So I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  Then finally after thirteen days, I contacted the seller to let him know I hadn't received the card.  He replied with a tracking number, which showed this:


What the heck?  So the package has been delivered... but unfortunately it was delivered to someone else.  I'm currently stuck standing at the crossroads not quite sure of what to do.  Do I suck it up and take the hit?  Do I open a claim and attempt to get my money back?  I sure wish Encyclopedia Brown lived in my neck of the woods.

Ironically this is the second time this year that I've purchased this card and I still have yet to hold it in my hands.  The first time took place back in March.  I picked it up with a BIN from Burbank Sportscards' eBay store, but they later contacted me and told me that it had been sold in their store and they no longer had the card in their inventory.

I'm starting to think that this card and I aren't meant to be together... which totally sucks, because you know how it goes.  The more you can't have something... the more you want it.

Hopefully things are going better for you guys and your collections.  Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cardboard Clutter

I think working with kids over the past two decades has taught me to be patient.  When I was a kid, if someone gave me a present I'd tear into them immediately.

But thirty years can change a person.  These days I model a little more self-control.  I'm currently sitting on three care packages sent from:  Nick @ Dime Boxes, Matthew @ Bob Walk the Plank, and Woody @ CCW.


Unfortunately... I've made myself a deal to keep them sealed until I finish cleaning up the cardboard clutter that currently resides on my desk.  Most of the mess consists of cards from my recent flea market purchase.  But there are a few eBay purchases thrown into the mix as well:


Nick, Matt, and Woody... I just wanted to let you know that your packages have arrived safely and I'm eager to see what you've sent.  As soon as I bust them open, I promise to write up a "thank you" post.

I've got parent/teacher conferences this week, but I should have plenty of time to sort through cards over my Thanksgiving Break.

Thanks in advance for the packages and have a happy Sunday.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Flea Market Finds #74: Build-A-Box

By now I'm sure most of you have seen Collector Crate: a monthly subscription box containing sports cards and other pieces of sports memorabilia.  If you haven't... feel free to click here, here, or here for detailed descriptions and a sampling of the products people have received.

I have to admit, I came close to purchasing one last month.  Thankfully I had enough willpower to hold off, because two weeks ago I had the opportunity of a lifetime fall into my lap at the De Anza Flea Market.

When: Saturday, November 1st
Where: De Anza Flea Market
What: Dime Box Cards and Dollar Sets/Packs
How Much?:  $31

Imagine being able to build your own box and fill it with vintage, oddballs, inserts, rookie cards, memorabilia cards, and autographs for the bargain price of 10¢ per item.  Yeah that's right... a dime box Build-A-Box.


I'm not going to lie... it was pretty awesome and a week later, I was still digging into the box of goodies.

Let's kick things off with some vintage baseball...


I added thirteen new cards to my vintage baseball card binder.  Most of them were 70's hall of famers, but two of my favorites featured guys without plaques in Cooperstown.

Anyone remember Renata Galasso cards from the 80's?  How about SSPC sets from the 70's?  The vendor had a whole 5,000ct. box dedicated to them.




I ended up grabbing close to fifty different cards... including this early issue Gary Carter card and this oversized Johnny Bench.

On the other hand... there weren't a lot of inserts in the boxes.  In fact out of the handful that I saw, these were the only two I picked up:


The bulk of the 5,000ct. boxes were filled with rookie cards.  The vendor had bulk lots of both football and baseball rookies.


Who the heck needs twenty-five copies of a 2010 Donruss Dez Bryant?  How about sixty-five copies of Fernando's 1981 Fleer rookie card?  I guess for 10¢ each, I do.

Heck... I even grabbed some Broder rookie cards too...


At first I thought the Griffey was legit... but my buddy pointed out that this version was a fake.  And while this Darvish Broder is pretty cool... I'll take my super hot Sharapova OMR rookie card any day of the week.

The final single I'll share with you guys is a card I almost picked up a few months ago for $3 on eBay.


Six months ago, The Natural celebrated its 30th Anniversary.  I remembered seeing this card in a Larry Fritsch catalog and immediately wanting to add it to my collection.  For being a prop card, I've actually seen several copies sell for $5 to $7.

Outside of dime box cards, he also had a bunch of sets and packs for a dollar each:

1989 Topps UK Minis Set

I'm pretty sure I already own the factory set of these baseball cards from across the Atlantic... but for a buck, I figured I'd grab a second set.  

1984 Galasso Reggie Jackson Mini Set

This is a nice 30 card set from the 80's featuring Mr. October throughout his career... including a few photos of him as an Oriole.  Renata Galasso issued two versions of this set: standard (2.5" x 3.5") and mini (same size as the 75T minis).  

1988 Conlon 1933 American Allstars Set

If you're a fan of old school hall of famers, then this set is for you.  It contains everyone from Babe Ruth to Lefty Grove and they feature the photography of Charles Conlon.  I should have grabbed a few of these, but it started to rain and I was in a rush.

The last thing I added to my Build-A-Box was this cello pack of 1988 Donruss:


Now I'd normally avoid this product like the plague... but I enjoy collecting cello and rack packs with rookie cards of stars on top.  This was a nice addition to both that collection and my Padres PC.

There were a bunch of other cards I threw in... like 10¢ autographs and jersey cards... but they were mostly minor stars and commons.  Did you ever think we'd see the day where we'd see autographs and memorabilia cards in dime boxes?

In the end... this entire
shoe box filled with cards cost me $31 (box not included)... which is about a dollar more than the bronze level Collector Crate.  But I'm okay with paying an extra buck to be able to pick stuff I actually want.

By the way... sorry about the infrequent posts.  I hope to catch up on some scanning and publishing over the Thanksgiving break.  I also apologize to all of the bloggers on my reading list.  I know it's been awhile since I've visited some of your blogs, but I hope to catch up on your posts over the break as well.

Until then... happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Real American Heroes

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of the word "hero" is a person who is greatly admired.

The word came up in one of my classes yesterday after a student asked why they had tomorrow off.  We discussed how Veterans Day is a special day where we honor those how have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  A few students shared names of their family members and friends who are currently in the military, which eventually led to the conversation of "heroes".

When asked who my "hero" is... the first person that popped into my head was my father.  I actually consider both of my parents to be my heroes, but for different reasons.

While I was growing up, Mama Fuji stayed at home, took care of the family when we were sick, helped me with my homework, and played catch with me in the front yard... whereas Papa Fuji supported his family, instilled character into his children, motivated us to try our best and be honorable human beings.

When I was older, I found out that my father served in the Korean War and that's when it hit me.  Papa Fuji was a real American hero.


A few weeks ago, I purchased a Whitey Ford autograph for my left-handed pitcher project and after reading up on him, I discovered that he too served stateside for the U.S. Army in 1951 and 1952 during the Korean War.

Well kicked off a chain reaction and before I knew it, I was reading up on a bunch of MLB players who served in the military during the war.

Teddy Ballgame Flew 39 Combat Missions in Korea

The Colonel Flew 63 Combat Missions in Korea

The Say Hey Kid was Drafted in 1952: Served Stateside

Mr. Cub was Drafted in 1951: Served in Germany

Mr. Neighbors was a Pilot with 13th Bomb Squadron
Missing in Action: August 8th, 1952

Now in the past, I've often told my students that parents, family members, police officers, fire fighters, doctors, teachers, and other people who are good role models in their immediate lives make excellent "heroes"... while encouraging to rethink famous people they've never met.

But after reading about all of these gentlemen and other great Americans who made sacrifices for our country... I'm starting to reevaluate my definition of "hero".

Thank you Dad.  Thank you Whitey.  Thank you Mr. Neighbors.  Thank you Ernie.  Thank you Willie.  Thank you Jerry.  Thank you Ted.  And thank you to all of our military veterans who have served your country.  You're all real American heroes in my book.

Happy Veterans Day!