Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Smörgåsbord

First Course:  Black Friday Purchases

The older I get... the less attracted I am to the gambling aspect of card collecting.  A few years ago, I enjoyed the thrill of busting boxes in hopes of pulling "the big hit".  These days... I'd rather spend my hard earned money on hand picked singles for my collection.

However... Dave & Adam's lured me back to the dark side with two items I have wanted for a few years.  The first item is an autographed baseball that I'll share in a future post.  The second item is this black San Jose Earthquakes soccer jersey with their old logo:

With those two items sitting in my shopping cart, I decided to pick up a few boxes to take advantage of the free shipping.

The bulk of my money was spent on this 10 blaster box lot of 2011 Panini Americana:

I also grabbed a box of 2005 NECA Napoleon Dynamite Flippin' Sweet trading cards:

And of course, I had to have at least one box of baseball to break.  I considered picking up a few different 2016 Topps baseball products, but settled for a pair of logoless Panini boxes:

These two boxes are obviously "low risk/low reward" options, but for under $24... it provided me with about 30 minutes of entertainment last night.  Which brings us to the second course of today's smörgåsbord.

Second Course:  Last Night's Box Breaks

I debated on busting all thirteen boxes in one sitting, but ultimately... I set aside the Panini Americana blasters and the Napoleon Dynamite box for another day.  Then I grabbed the 2014 Panini Draft box and went to work.  Here are the highlights:

I'm not a big prospect guy, so I was hoping I'd pull an autograph of at least one guy I recognize.  I did.  But it wasn't any of these three guys.  I might have seen Cole Tucker's name in a Bob Walk the Plank post.  And I'm sure I've heard Zimmer's name at some point, since he's the Tribe's top prospect. Unfortunately if you asked me about either of these guys before the box break, I wouldn't be able to tell you anything.

On the other hand, I do know who Michael Conforto is... and I pulled a redemption card for his autograph in the last pack I opened:

Unfortunately... it's expired.  I still attempted to redeem it.  Only time will tell if Panini takes care of me.  For all of the prospectors out there... here are the other hits from the box:

The only other guy I recognize is Rusney Castillo, but he hasn't really lived up to the expectations many people had for him.

Overall... this box was okay.  At least I pulled something I can eventually send over to Woody (@ CCW) and Matthew (@ Bob Walk the Plank).

The other box I busted was 2013 Panini Triple Play.  In my humble opinion... this product is garbage. I guess if you're a five year old kid, it'd be okay.

I was able to build the 90 card short set:

I found an Altuve insert I didn't own (he's hiding under Adrian Gonzalez):

I also pulled an Ichiro insert I needed:

The rest of the box is a bunch of blah...



Luckily for me... the entire 24 pack box was only $3.50.  I guess for that price, I can accept a few "blahs".

Third and Final Course:  University of Washington Huskies

These days, I pretty much root for any Bay Area college team.  But in the early 80's... I was a big Washington Huskies football fan... thanks to my cousin Keith who attended UW at the time.  I'm sure he's probably celebrating today after finding out they'll be headed to Atlanta to face Alabama in the Peach Bowl.  Go Huskies!

I have an important post regarding the Super Trader's group set for Tuesday.  Until then...

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fanny Packs and Secret Powers

Back in the early 90's... before I made the decision to become a teacher... I worked at a card shop called National Pastime near my house.  At the time... it was my "dream job".  I mean... who wouldn't enjoy going into work, sorting cards, and talking shop with other people who enjoy collecting?

One of the regulars was Bob whose trademark was a fanny pack that held his wallet and his weekly trade bait.  After the own ran National Pastime into the ground, I never saw Bob again.

Then last weekendI was flipping through some scans looking for something to write about... when I came across the 1969 Topps card of Joe Schultz.

For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Schultz, he was the first and only manager in Seattle Pilot's history.  Technically Dave Bristol was hired as the second manager in the team's history, but by the time he managed his first game, the team had switched cities and names.

Anyways... getting back to Card Shop Bob... as soon as I turned over the Schultz and saw the awesome caricature staring back at me... I instantly thought of Bob and his famous fanny pack... which proves that baseball cards truly hold secret powers.

All jokes aside... I was blown away that a drawing on a trading card was able to stir up memories of a fellow collector I hadn't thought of in over two decades.

By the way... this card also inspired me to purchase Ball Four yesterday by Jim Bouton.  I just downloaded the Kindle version onto my iPad and look forward to reading about his relationship with Joe Schultz and other coaches, teammates, and players from that era.

Well that's it for now.  I hope you're all enjoying your week.  Happy Thursday and sayonara!

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!