Thursday, August 21, 2014

Honor Thy Father


It took awhile... but I finally obtained an autograph of Sy Berger.  Who the heck is Sy Berger?  Well... he's often referred to as the Father of the Modern Day Baseball Card and is credited for helping design the iconic 1952 Topps baseball card.  Berger was a Topps employee for a staggering fifty years.


Unfortunately... the authenticity of this autograph has come into question, since it doesn't have the official Topps authenticity sticker that's usually affixed to the back.  In other words this card isn't one of the pack pulled versions from 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites.

When I first noticed this, I was pretty disappointed.  But since then... I have spoken to two collectors who received these cards from Sy himself... and neither of theirs had stickers on the back.

So maybe... just maybe Sy Berger did actually autograph this card after all.  MAYBE.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cleaning Out My Closet


How did I spend my Sunday afternoon on my final weekend of summer?  Surfing in Santa Cruz?  No.  Hiking in Half Moon Bay?  Nope.  Sailing in San Francisco?  Not even close.

Try cleaning out and organizing my "incomplete set" cubby.  It's actually pretty amazing how much stuff you can fit inside one of those Ikea cubbies.

Here's what everything looks like when it's all laid out:


What you're feasting your eyes on are thirty-plus sets that I'm currently working on.  This list of sets includes sports ranging from baseball to hockey and covers everything from base sets to oddball sets. It was actually a little disheartening to come to terms with the sheer number of incomplete sets I'm currently attempting to build.

I considered breaking some of them down, but after much deliberation... I decided to persevere and start targeting one set at a time.

Some sets are only one card short, like these:








On the other hand, I'm over fifty cards short of completing this set:


I have plenty of player and team lots that I'd be willing to trade if anyone out there can help me finish off any of these sets.

If you don't have any singles from the sets above... how about these?

















Wait.  Those are just the baseball sets I'm building.  Here are the wantlists for my other sports sets:












And believe it or not... I'm even working on a few non-sports sets:





Okay.  Now I'm done.  Actually there are a few other sets that I haven't added to my website yet.  But as of right now, there are thirty-nine sets listed above, which should keep me busy.  

What about you guys?  Anyone else a little overwhelmed with set building projects?

Feel free to list some (or all) of the sets you're building in the comments below and maybe someone else will see it and be able to help you out.

That's a wrap for now.  Thanks for taking the time to read this post.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rock n' Roll & Miller Lite Ladies

My summer has officially reached the end of the tunnel.  Tomorrow morning I'm walking out my front door and reporting back to work, where I'll be greeted with two days worth of staff development, classroom decoration, and lesson plan preparation.  On Wednesday, the students arrive as I kick off my 17th year of teaching.

Outside of my first few years of teaching, this year will probably prove to be the most challenging as I inherit two new curriculums to go along with the class I usually teach.  But you didn't come to my blog to read about work.

You're here for cards.  So let's wrap up my 2014 summer with some classic rock n' roll and some fine lookin' ladies.


On Saturday, I walked around the Branham Flea Market and found a bunch of packs of 1985 Rock Star Concert Cards.  I ended up buying everything the lady had, which was one full box of 24 packs and a partial box containing 19 packs.  She offered everything to me for $40, but I countered with $30 and she accepted.

If you love 80's rock, then this set is for you.  It contains everything from The Police to The Rolling Stones.

If you're interested in seeing some singles, please check out Nick's post over at Dime Boxes.  He blogged about some card his father game him a couple of months ago.

I also opened up a pack of these this afternoon and posted it up on A Pack To Be Named Later.

I set aside a few of the packs for my non-sports unopened pack collection:


I'm going to keep the full box and probably sell the remaining packs on eBay to recover some of the money.

There were a bunch of other vendors with sports cards...


But I kept my wallet in my pocket and held onto my money for a few Five Star autographs I'm targeting on eBay.

Speaking of autographs... I thought I'd wrap up my final summer post with the 1998 San Diego Pad Squad:


My former boss hooked me up with this poster when she found out I was a Padres fan.  Her daughter was a member of the team and was kind enough to autograph it for me:


For those who may not be familiar with The Pad Squad, they're a dance team and part of the San Diego Padres outreach program.  Here's a video of them in action...


Is there anything finer than the Swinging Friar, the Pad Squad, and some Gangnam Style?

I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend.  Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Flea Market Finds #68: Nothin' But 90's

The 90's were the Sports Card Industrial Revolution.  During the decade, card companies produced more creative ideas than all of the other decades combined and if you're anything like me... you ate it up.  Unfortunately all good things must come to an end.

Eventually creative cardboard ideas began to dry up and so was my credit.  By the late 90's, I had maxed out several credit cards with sports cards shouldering most of the load.

It's during this period of my life when I dove into adulthood headfirst.  I became a teacher and started making better, more responsible choices.  I cut up my credit cards and slowly paid off my debts.  I sold off the bulk of my collection and bought my townhouse.  Last, but not least... I promised myself I'd never travel down that road again.

Obviously that was short lived.  I'm collecting again and still drawn to the innovative and ingenious pieces of cardboard produced in the 90's.  But this time around I'm being more responsible with my money.  It also helps that most of the cards produced during that era are worth much less these days.  Yesterday's flea market purchase is the perfect example.

When:  Thursday, August 14th
Where:  Capitol Flea Market
What:  Three Sports Cards 
How Much?: $3

There were probably four or five guys with sports memorabilia, but I fought the urges and walked away with only one purchase.  One guy had several boxes filled with top loaders priced at a buck a card.  It was filled with a little bit of everything:  vintage, inserts, autographs, memorabilia cards, rookie cards, base cards, and parallels.  I pulled out ten cards.  Unfortunately he wasn't willing to give a bulk discount, so I narrowed the stack down to three.

Purchase #1:  Two Inserts and a Rookie Card $3

1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Crusade #103

Yesterday was the first time I've ever seen one of these inserts in person and now I know what all the hype is about.  This card is absolutely stunning.  The "refractorish" foil really helps the Medieval "coat of arms" card design stand out.  It's even cooler that this "green" version goes perfectly with the Oakland Athletics' colors.  One day I hope to add the Tony Gwynn and Greg Maddux to my collection.

1997 Pinnacle Certified Epix Purple Season #E10

I never figured out this multi-tiered, cross product insert set, but I've always liked them.  For a buck, this card will make a nice addition to my Brett Favre PC.

1998 Bowman #1

The final card I grabbed is this Peyton Manning rookie card.  I've always admired the Manning's work ethic and the way he's approached the game.  Even though values have dropped a lot over the years, I was still surprised to find his rookie card available for a dollar.

Well that's it for now.  This is my last weekend before I report back to my classroom.  I'm hoping to make it out to at least one more flea market, but if not... at least I ended things on a solid note.

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rebel Without A Cause

Back in January, I decided to avoid creating hobby resolutions for myself in 2014.  This year I just wanted to have fun and avoid the pressure of completing goals that in all likelihood wouldn't be met.

On the other hand, I have been trying to collect within a specific set of rules this year.  One of the rules I established was to limit my spending on relic cards to five dollars or less.  Although I'm a huge fan of owning a piece of game used memorabilia, the fact is you never can truly know if it's legit.

I usually keep my relic card purchases in the $1.00 to $2.50 range.  Every now and then, I'll spend a little more for a Rickey or Ichiro, but rarely do I break the five dollar limit.  But in the past two weeks, I've suddenly become a hobby hooligan who's starting to break his own rules on a regular basis.

It started with this 2001 SP Game Used jersey card of Ken Griffey Jr., which I picked up off of eBay for $10 ($7.51 + $2.49 shipping):


This card completes my Griffey sports card trifecta.  I actually own a couple of memorabilia cards of The Kid, but both feature him in his Cincinnati Reds uniform.  I really wanted to have all three cards of his trifecta picture him as a Mariner.

At first I didn't feel comfortable breaking my own rule.  However... at least I had a specific reason for buying the card.

Then things escalated.  My second purchase took things to the next monetary level and I officially became a rebel without a cause.  I stumbled across this card last week at one of my favorite online shops...


Now I'm not a Cleveland Indians fan, nor can I claim to be a Tris Speaker collector.  Heck... for all I know the pieces of wood embedded in the card are from some kid's t-ball bat.  Nevertheless, I was immediately drawn towards this card for a couple of reasons:

#1.  It's Tris Speaker... one of the greatest hitters of all-time.
#2.  It cost me only $21.95 (free shipping).

There have been three recent completed sales on eBay and all of them have gone for $49 or more.  That was enough to make me look the other way, ignore my five dollar rule, and lure me to the Dark Side.  Who knows what my anarchistic future looks like.

My new theme song should be....


Or how about this...


Wait.  I'm not cool enough to have a theme song.  Maybe after a few more high priced relic card purchases, I'll qualify for one.

Until then... let's hear your thoughts:

Are there any hobby rules that you've created for yourself?  How often do you break them?

Happy Hump Day and sayonara!