Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just Another Piece of Paper

The 1984 All-Star Program Inserts have haunted me for years.  Every time I browse the Tony Gwynn checklist over on Beckett, it's the seventh card listed.  The thing that has bothered me the most about this card was the fact that I had never seen one in person and (outside of what's written on Beckett) I knew nothing about it.  Finally I broke down and found a cheap copy of the program on eBay and added it to my collection.

1984 All-Star Game Program Inserts #52

The good news is I'm able to cross off this mysterious Tony Gwynn card.  The bad news is that it's not really a card.  It's part of an insert page (hence the name) in the program that includes other MLB players on the all-star ballot.  I decided to put the entire set of uncut sheets in my Gwynn binder, instead of taking my chances with my sub-par scissor skills.

Now this set isn't for everyone.  There's nothing special about the design.  The uncut sheets pose a storage issue.  And should you decide to cut them up, you risk damaging the cards... or should I say "pieces of paper".

However fans of oddballs might be able to appreciate that it's not your everyday set.  And if you collect rookie cards, the checklist includes a pair of famous Mets:

#77 and #69

Donnie Baseball was also featured on a separate sheet that included write-in candidates:


Now remember... it's an all-star game program, so the set is loaded with some of the biggest names from the 1984 season:

#143, #113, and #86

And I'll wrap things up with my personal favorite (outside of the Gwynn):


I absolutely love seeing Pete representing Montreal and hope to one day own every card of him featured in his Expos uniform.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Card Collecting = Excellent Workout

This weekend I met up with Father Time at the Serramonte Sports Cards, Toys, & Collectibles Show in Daly City.  He reminded me that I'm not getting any younger and that mixing a pair of yoga classes with a handful of dime box dealers will leave you with very, very, very sore muscles.  

Who knew that standing around and sifting through cards are such effective forms of exercise?

Anyways I ended up spending a little more than I originally budgeted, but that's because there were so many amazing dime box gems.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

I couldn't believe my eyes when I stumbled across a stack of vintage stars in one guy's dime box.  I ended up buying everything he had:

Vintage collectors should be able to spot the good stuff in my box of dime box purchases above.

One of the dime box dealers, had some really cool cards in his dollar bin.  I ended grabbing thirty-two cards from him.

Some of them were for a few blogger care packages.  I don't want to ruin the surprise, so I'll refrain from showing them off.  But here are a few of the ones for my own collection:

I honestly never thought I'd see the day when I'd see rookie cards of Jeter, Clemens, and Puckett for a buck.  I even found a pair of Gwynns:

The Fleer rookie has a big crease in the bottom left corner, but the 1984 Topps Tiffany and 1997 Bowman's Best Refractor made up for that.

I have a few friends who set up at the show and one of them had a bunch of wax boxes from the 90's.  They're kind of hard to see, but if you look closely in the above photo they're next to the Superman poster.  I grabbed this box for $5:

1990 Pacific Legends

Sure it's from the Junk Wax Era, but at least it's not 1991 Score or 1992 Fleer.  I'm looking forward to busting this box the next time I get the wax pack itch.

Another buddy of mine had a dollar table, so I picked up a handful of memorabilia cards.  Yeah... I'm one of those guys who still buys relic cards.  Well... if the price is right at least.

And finally... I'll wrap things up with the handful of higher priced singles I purchased from yet another friend.

In the spirit of Super Bowl week, I picked up a five card rookie card lot of Russell Wilson and a beautiful on-card autograph of Eddie Lacy:

2013 Strata Clear Cut Rookie Relic Auto #CCAREL

The six card lot was pretty pricey... $40.  But my buddy usually hooks me up with some great deals and it's important to give back every now and then.  I'm especially excited to add the Lacy to my collection.  It's my very first autograph of his.

Overall I was happy with the show.  I'm not sure what the deal is... but the dime boxes were loaded with amazing value this time around.  Nick... you would have been in Cardboard Heaven.  Had my legs not given out on me... I probably could have found another $10 to $20 more worth of dime cards.

Well that's all for now.  Have a great week everyone.  Happy Monday and sayonara.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

More Card Show Camaraderie

Yesterday I attended my first card show of the year and had the opportunity to hang out with two familiar names in the cardboard blogosphere:  Brady (Yadier Molina Baseball Cards) & Mr. Haverkamp (cardboard blog supporter).

This is the second time I've had the opportunity to talk shop with Brady and there's a chance we'll both be going to the De Anza Flea Market in a couple of weeks.  

At the show we exchanged boxes to help each other's collections.  Unfortunately, I had no idea he'd fill up a 400ct. box.  I had a blast digging through it and checking out the variety of cardboard contents.

The box included cards from four of my PC's:  Oakland A's, San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos, and Japanese Athletes.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

There was a little bit of everything in this box:  inserts, rookie cards, parallels, vintage, and even a few memorabilia cards:

Thanks Brady for this awesome box of cards.  Hopefully you were able to use a few of the Cardinals I brought.  If we meet up at De Anza, I'll have some more for you.  I picked up some stuff with your collection in mind later on in the day at the show.

After I saw Brady, I ran into Mr. Haverkamp.  We've hung out a few times at the Serramonte Show.  One time he sold me some cool A's memorabilia.  Another time, he traded me a 1975 Topps Mini of Thurman Munson.

This time around, he brought five unmarked checklists for my 1975 Topps Mini set:

I mentioned awhile back that I purchased a complete 1975 Topps Mini set, but discovered that a bunch of the checklists had pencil markings.  Earlier in the week, he graciously offered to help me out.

Thanks Mr. Haverkamp.  Let me know which sets you're working on and I'll try to return the favor.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Night Five: Mr. Cub

Ernest Banks played his final MLB game on September 26th, 1971... almost a full year before I was born, so I never had the opportunity to personally watch him play.  However thanks to his legacy, I've had the opportunity to hear amazing stories and look up his insane statistics during his 19 years with the Chicago Cubs.

1999 Century Legends Epic Signatures #EB

He ranks among the top 5 in almost every offensive statistical category for the Chicago Cubs, including: Offensive WAR, Slugging Percentage, Games Played, Runs Scored, Hits, Total Bases, Doubles, Triples, RBI's, and Base on Balls.

1998 Donruss Significant Signatures #1

In 1959, Ernie became the first National League player to win back to back MVP Awards.  In 1967, he took home the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award which is handed out annually to the player who best exhibits the character and integrity of The Iron Horse.  And in 2013, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Mr. Banks was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.  Five years later, his jersey number was retired by the Chicago Cubs... the team he dedicated his entire MLB career to.

In fact, that's the thing that I admire about Mr. Banks the most.  Even though I grew up watching superstars like Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace, Greg Maddux, and Sammy Sosa wearing the red, white, and blue uniforms... Ernie is the first person that pops into my head when I think of the Cubs.

Sadly... last night my friend texted me at 8:17pm and told me that Mr. Cub had passed away.  The news reminded me of several other losses that have recently occurred both in the sports world and my personal life.

But the good news is I can always go back and read all of the amazing tributes that have been posted on websites and blogs around the internet, as well as look back on the great memories I've accumulated over the years regarding one of the greatest baseball players of all-time.

Rest in peace, Mr. Banks.  You will be missed.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Flea Market Finds #76: Better Than A Blaster

Like most bargain shoppers out there, my focus is getting the most bang for my buck.  And honestly, I can't remember the last time I broke even on a box break.  That's why in 2015, I'm hoping I can refrain from buying any wax boxes... especially blasters.

It's not going to be easy.  I've been addicted to busting wax packs for over three decades and I've told myself that I'd quit on numerous occasions.  But in the end... the 2.5" x 3.5" pieces of cardboard always lures me back.

In fact, last week I caught myself checking out blaster boxes at Target.  There were a few priced in the $12 range, but most of the decent stuff was $19.99.  Thankfully I had enough will power to walk away, because I turned around and used the $20 on my latest flea market find.

When:  Sunday, January 18th
Where:  Capitol Flea Market
What:  A Small Collection of Cards
How Much?:  $20

My favorite type of vendor are the people who are cleaning out their homes and trying to make a few bucks at the same time.  Since they're not "regulars", their stuff hasn't been picked through and if you come across the right person... they're willing to give you some great deals as long as you're willing to give their possessions a good home.

This past Sunday, I stumbled across a guy who fit the above description.

He had a bunch of boxes filled with sports cards ranging from 80's rookie cards to 90's inserts.  If I were to guess, he probably had around 1,000 singles spread out among eight to ten boxes.

I asked him how much he wanted for this 1997 Pinnacle Museum Collection Artist's Proof of Frank Thomas:

He flipped the card over... saw the $25 label... and said $5.  Before I could counteroffer, he told me he'd give me a good deal if I bought more.  I immediately started sifting though the boxes and after fifteen minutes or so, I had created a nice stack of singles plus a box full of Greg Maddux cards that I was interested in.

By this time, his booth was packed and he was selling things left and right.  Trying to save both of us time, I asked him how much he'd want for the full collection.  He got excited and asked me if I'd be willing to wait until things slowed down.  After fifteen minutes or so, he apologized and asked if I could come back in 30 minutes.

He set aside the collection and promised to hold them for me.  I went back after the 30 minutes had passed and he was still busy, so I continued to check in with him a few more times.  Finally after a couple of hours had passed things we had a chance to talk about his collection.

Each of us briefly described our collecting timelines and eventually got down to business.  He had no idea what he wanted for the collection, so I asked him if it was easier for me to just pick out cards I really wanted.  He liked the idea and I started looking for the stack I created earlier.

The stack contained about 15 top loaders filled with some baseball inserts, rookie cards, and parallels for my binders.  It included some pretty cool cards like these:

I mentally added everything up in my head and was prepared to offer him $10.  But before I had the chance, he told me to take the stack for $5.  He told me he was trying to wrap things up and just wanted to get out of there.

I handed over the five bucks, threw the cards in my backpack, and was getting ready to leave.  That's when he asked... "did you see anything else you wanted?".  I told him I saw a few things, but didn't want to keep him waiting.  He told me I had a few minutes, so I went to work.

Ten minutes later and fifteen dollars poorer, I found a bunch of football and hockey cards for my binders:

In hindsight, I'm glad I didn't walk away with the whole collection.  I probably would have spent too much money on cards I didn't need.  Instead I spent $20 on 192 hand picked cards... which is a lot more value than you'd find in your average blaster.

Best of all... this purchase allows me to have a few extra dollars to spend on dime box purchases at this weekend's card show at Serramonte Mall... where I'll hopefully have a chance to hang out and talk sports cards with Mr. Haverkamp and Brady (over @ Yadier Molina Baseball Cards).

Happy Thursday and sayonara!