Sunday, October 4, 2015

Temporary Fandom

The MLB playoffs are set to begin in two days and surprise... surprise... neither of my teams will be participating.  Oh well... I've had the past two months to prepare myself for this predicament.  But I'm a baseball fan, so I will unequivocally be cheering for someone.  The question is... who?

Tonight... I'll be ranking the seven playoff teams who will be receiving my support and temporary fandom in some capacity.  To help clarify... I'll add percentages next to the team's name to represent how much of my heart beats for each specific team.

#1  Chicago Cubs 73%

1965 Topps Embossed #58

There's a soft spot in my heart for the Cubbies.  It's been seventy years since they've gone to the World Series and 107 years since they've won it.  Plus... who doesn't want to see the Back to the Future prediction come true?

#2:  Pittsburgh Pirates 11%

1976 Topps #112

Here's another team who has been through a World Series drought and if the Cubs can't beat them on Wednesday, I'll be pulling for the Pirates to win it all.

#3:  Houston Astros 9%

1979 Topps #68

The Astros have history on their side when it comes to these rankings.  I'm a huge fan of their retro "rainbow" uniforms... and they've never won a World Series title.

#4:  Kansas City Royals 3% 

1977 Topps #580

I really disliked the Royals when I was a kid.  They were such a dominating force from the mid 70's to the mid 80's... and that bugged me.  But that's in the past.  George Brett is long gone and it's been thirty years since they've won a World Series title.  And if the Astros can't make it past the Yankees on Tuesday... I'm hoping they'll represent the American League this year.

#5:  New York Mets 2%

1985 Topps #620

When I think of the Mets, the first person who comes to mind is Dwight Gooden... and back in the 80's, one of my favorite sports debates was Gooden vs. Clemens.  Clemens ultimately triumphed, but I'll always be a Gooden guy.  With that being said... it wouldn't kill me to see them win the World Series.

#7t:  Toronto Blue Jays 1%

1980 Topps #77

Growing up... I was a huge fan of Dave Stieb... so I'd quietly pull for the American League team from Canada when he took the mound.  However... ever since they won back to back World Series in the 90's, the Blue Jays have lost their luster.  The only reason they make this list is because there's no way I'd pull for the Texas Rangers.

#7t:  St. Louis Cardinals 1%

1968 Topps #408

There's a small piece of me that wants to see the Cardinals win and it comes down to supporting my buddy Brady over at St. Louis Cardinals' Cardboard.  Damn you Brady!  Why do you have to be such a cool dude?

As for the rest of the pack... I have no desire at all to see the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, or Texas Rangers go on to win the 2015 World Series.  But with my luck... there's a good chance one of them will.

It's your turn...

Who has your support this postseason?

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday Night Five: Card Show Carepackages

Two familiar faces dropped by my table at last weekend's Serramonte Mall Sports Cards, Toys, and Collectibles Show.

Early in the day, Brady from St. Louis Cardinals' Cardboard walked up.  We hung out and talked about baseball and baseball cards.  He pulled out of his bag a 100ct. slider box and a handful of sleeved singles and handed them over.

Brady definitely covered all of the bases.  He included singles for just about every PC I have and tonight I'm going to share a few of them.

#1:  1997 Bowman Chrome International Refractor #163

This might just be my favorite refractor set of all-time.  This card is so beautiful and shiny.  

#2:  1992 Hot Wheels Pro Circuit #4 Kenny Bernstein

I've never been into funny cars... and to be honest, I never really dove into collecting Hot Wheels either.  But you take the two and put them on cardboard and you have an oddball that's fit for my PC.

#3:  1991 Fleer Ultra Stickers

I love Fleer stickers and have actually saved every one I've come across over the past seven years.  During that time, I have never seen one of these.  After a little research, I figured out that they were included in every pack of 1991 Fleer Ultra Baseball.  The funny thing is... I busted a ton of this stuff back in the day.  I guess twenty-four years was just enough time for me to forget.

#4:  Baseball Corner Business Card

This has to be the coolest business card I've ever held.  I tried to look up the card shop, but can't seem to find any information on it.  Oh well... the memory of this guy's card shop will live forever on this blog.

#5:  1973 Topps #322

Last month, I showed off my Garry Maddox rookie card in my birthday post.  My original copy was the furthest thing from mint.  It has been taped, trimmed, peeled, stained, and off-centered.  But thanks to Mr. Haverkamp, I'm now the proud owner of a clean, autographed copy.

Thanks you guys!  Look forward to seeing the both of you in January at the next show.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Flea Market Finds #95: Bringin' on the Heartache

Depending on the time of year, I average anywhere from two to five trips to the flea market each month... and I've certainly had my fair share of cool finds over the years.  But I assure you that the Bay Area isn't exactly the flea market mecca of the world.

For every Flea Market Find post published, there are at least one or two trips where I leave empty-handed or walk away with only non-collectible related items.

Sunday was one of those days.  I walked around the Capitol Flea Market twice and came home with only one item...

Purchase #1:  Def Leppard High 'n' Dry CD $1

Def Leppard was one of my favorite groups back in the 80's.  I still remember writing their name all over my Pee-Chee folders.  Pyromania is hands down their greatest album, but for the past thirty years I've wanted to add High 'n' Dry to my CD collection too.  And Sunday I finally found a copy for a reasonable price.

Unfortunately... that was the only deal worth purchasing and to prove to everyone that my local flea markets aren't loaded with '52 Mantles, here are a few Flea Market Flops I found...

Flea Market Flop #1:  1990 Donruss Wax Box $10

Fuji's Fair Market Value: $2 to $6

Is this the worst deal ever?  No.  But I honestly wouldn't have bought it for five dollars.  I'm not a huge fan of this design and this might be one of the most overproduced products of all-time.  And to make matters worse... Donruss completely dropped the ball and left The Big Hurt off their checklist.

Flea Market Flop #2:  Matt Millen Display $150

Fuji's Fair Market Value: $20 to $40

I'm sure this custom display wasn't cheap to build.  It features an autographed photo and football of 4x Super Bowl Champion and would be a nice addition to any Matt Millen fan's collection.  However this is the flea market, not a memorabilia store... and $150 seems a little steep for any 49er not named Montana or Rice.

Flea Market Flop #3:  1989 Topps Factory Set $10

Fuji's Fair Market Value: $1 to $2

On eBay, these factory sets seem to sell in the $10 to $20 range.  Unfortunately this particular set was missing about a third of its cards and the box was torn up.  And due to the fact that it's 1989 Topps, I didn't even bother to sift through the remains.

Flea Market Flop #4:  Binder Full of Pogs $25

Fuji's Fair Market Value: $1 to $3

Believe it or not... I actually wanted to buy this binder.  It was filled with at least 200 pogs and 50 slammers, plus some of them were pretty cool looking.  However... who in their right mind would spend $25 on pogs?

Well that's it for now.  This weekend I'll be heading to the De Anza Flea Market... where I hope to find more treasures than flops.  Until then...

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Brink of Extinction

Card shows are slowly disappearing in my area... and to make matters worse, the quality and quantity of the ones that actually transpire aren't what they used to be.  I'm not even talking about the plethora of card shows in the 90's.  I'm comparing them to ones that have taken place in the past five years.

The number of mall shows and larger, convention shows have literally been cut in half in the Bay Area.  But that's only part of the issue.  The number of card vendors is dwindling too.

This past weekend I went to the Serramonte Mall Sports Cards, Toys, and Collectibles Show and was shocked at the number of vendors set up.  This show is usually packed with tons of cool items and even when I don't intend on purchasing stuff, it's fun just to walk around and see unique, out of the ordinary collectibles.  If I were to guess, I'd say that there were 10 to 20% less vendors set up than back in January.

My buddy thinks it has to do with the construction going on.  Hopefully he's right, because if this pattern continues then I'm not sure if it's worth me making the hour drive each way. 

Okay... enough of me being a Negative Nancy.  Let's talk about cards and collectibles.  My buddy gave me half of his table space, so I set up at my very first card show.

It was like killing two birds with one stone.  I was able to clean out my garage of stuff I have accumulated over the years at the flea market, while putting a few dollars in my pocket.  At the end of the day, I made just enough money to pay for my food and cover the cost of my show purchases.  Oh... and my leftovers?  I traded it.

Since I had no intentions of coming back on Sunday, my buddy traded me a signed Tom Glavine baseball and an Anderson Silva signed glove for all of my remaining inventory.

He definitely got the better end of the deal in terms of value, but that's okay.  He needed to restock his inventory and the bottom line is I didn't have to pack up my items and store them in my garage.

As for my purchases, I didn't find a lot of stuff to buy.  I was hoping to pick up a few cheap 80's oddball boxes, maybe some discounted sets from the 80's and 90's, and possibly dig through a few dime boxes.

Unfortunately I didn't find any of those items, but I managed to find some quarter bins that were loaded with 90's inserts and parallels.

Purchase #1:  Ninety-Two Sports Cards $23

Here's a closer look at some of my favorites...

Tony Gwynn Inserts and Parallels

Greg Maddux Inserts and Parallels

Frank Thomas Inserts and Parallels

Baseball Inserts and Parallels

Football Inserts and Parallels

There were a bunch of hidden gems in the stack, including a few that sell in the twenty dollar range on eBay.  I'll probably just hold onto them though... since life is way too busy to list things right now.

My only other purchase came from another buddy who set up at the show...

Purchase #2:  Handful of Autographs $25

Ron Ferdinand Signed Sketch

I didn't really intend on spending anymore money, but I noticed this cool Dennis the Menace sketch sitting on my friend's table.  It's drawn on one of those first day of issue caches.  Ferdinand was one of the two guys who took over the comic strip in the mid 90's when the creator, Hank Ketcham retired.

My friend also had this sketch sitting in a frame...

I was definitely interested in both, so I told him to set them aside.  He proceeded to show me a bunch of TTM's that he has received over the past few months.  Most of them were TV stars I hadn't heard of, but I was intrigued by this...

Jeb Bush Signed Cache

It's another one of those first day covers signed by Barbara's son.  The problem with TTM's is that you never know who really signed it.  However he offered to throw it in if I picked up the two Ferdinands, so I took him up on the deal.

We settled on $25, which I considered to be fair since I'm taking a chance on the Bush.  Next year, I'll take it and have PSA take a look at it.  Hopefully it will pass.

Being a dealer at a show kinda sucks if you're by yourself, because you don't want to leave your stuff unattended while buying food or using the restroom.  In this case, my buddy was craving Starbucks.  He offered to buy, if I went and picked them up.  When I got back, he threw in this cool figure signed by David Foox.

Who's David Foox?  I hadn't heard of the guy, but thanks to the internet I discovered that he's an artist and film producer.  This figure was part of a toy line called Organ Donors he created a few years ago.

At the end of the day, I walked away feeling pretty good.  The dwindling number of dealers and card shows as a whole kind of bummed me out, but the fact that I was able to dump all of the stuff I brought definitely made up for it.  

And as soon as my buddy delivers my ball and glove... I'll be even happier.

What about you guys?  Compared to a few years ago...

Are the number of card shows in your are on the rise, decline, or have they stayed the same over the past few years?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!