Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Flea Market Finds #107: Dollar Deals

One of my favorite kinds of flea market vendors is a person who is cleaning out their garage, because if you find the right one... they're just happy to get something in return for what they deem to be junk.

That's what happened when I stumbled across a family a few weekends ago at the Capitol Flea Market.  They had a couple of tables and a giant blue tarp laid out on the ground with a ton of sports memorabilia and kids toys from the late 90's/early 2000's.  There were a few things that I thought were cool, but since I'm limited on storage... I didn't bother asking for prices.

Purchase #1:  Rawlings Ken Griffey Jr. Miniature Glove $1


Then I saw this miniature replica of Griffey's glove.  It looked pretty cool and for the right price, I would be interested.

One dollar was definitely the right price.  I probably would have given him up to three bucks.  It'll look good in my office and it's the perfect size to display an autographed Griffey ball.  

Now I just need the ball.


Purchase #2:  1999 White Rose Collectibles Padres Diecast Car $1


I immediately pulled my dollar out of my pocket when the guy said he'd take a buck for the glove.


Have any of you been in a situation where you just want to hurry up and make the cash transaction, before the vendor changes their mind on the price?

That was one of those moments.  As soon as I threw the glove into my backpack, I stayed and looked at the rest of the stuff they had for sale.  The kids were selling Pokemon cards , some McDonalds toys, and old clothes.  The wife seemed to be in charge of the household items like the blender and vase she sold while I was standing around.


The father and I started talking about baseball and the Oakland A's.  He told me I could have this seat cushion celebrating the 1972, 1973, and 1974 World Series Championships.  The valve stem is broken, so it can't be blown up anymore.  Normally, I wouldn't take someone's broken garbage, but it's a cool piece of memorabilia and I figured I could hang it up in my office or something.

Anyways... I kinda felt like obligated to make another purchase since this guy was being so cool.  That's when I saw this Tony Gwynn card with a San Diego Padres die cast truck.  The front of the card is identical to the pack pulled Fleer Tradition card.  However the backs are slightly different:


The White Rose version features a different card number and if you look at the bottom left corner, they included their company's logo.  For that reason alone... this purchase was well worth the one dollar asking price.


Purchase #3:  Hey Jude LP $1


The final item I purchased from the family was this Beatles album.  The cover is kind of beat up and the record has some scratches, but for a dollar I felt it was worth it.  Actually the guy told me I could take two albums for a buck, but there really wasn't anything else I wanted.

The rest of the flea market was pretty uneventful.  The Capitol Flea Market has been getting progressively worse in terms of actually finding quality finds.  I've gone three weeks in a row and outside of a bag of pistachios... these four items are the only thing I've walked away with.

Being the middle of summer, I'll continue going on a weekly basis.  Worst case scenario... I'm getting some exercise.  However... I can already see myself sleeping in on Sunday mornings as soon as it starts getting cold.

Well... that's it for now.  It's the final week of summer school... which means I'll have some time to finally work on blogger care packages.  Stay tuned... I'll post an update as soon as they're built.  Have a great week.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sports Card Trifecta #23: Ken Griffey Jr.

I can't believe it's been over two years since I've shown off a Sports Card Trifecta.  I actually have a few that have been sitting in a folder waiting to be blogged about, but honestly card scans are constantly being buried in folders on my hard drive.

However considering today is Ken Griffey Jr.'s special day, I figured I'd dig into that folder and pull up a trifecta I built a while back.

Autographed Card:  1999 Century Legends Epic Signatures #JR


Yeah.  I know.  I've shown this card off before.  Technically I've shown off a few of the cards in this post at some point.  But when a card looks this good... it has earned the right to be blogged about on multiple occasions.


Rookie Card:  1989 Upper Deck #1



I had a difficult time deciding on which rookie card I'd add to the trifecta.  I was able to narrow things down to the following:  1989 Topps Traded, 1989 Mother's Cookies, and his 1989 Upper Deck.


Over the years... the 1989 Topps design has gradually become one of my favorite 80's designs.  I'm sure there have been times when I've actually preferred his Topps rookie card over his Upper Deck.  I'm also a huge fan of the Mother's Cookies stadium giveaway card.  I grew up attending Giants and A's games at Candlestick Park and the Oakland Coliseum... especially when they were giving out free baseball cards, so I came close to using this oddball issue.  Unfortunately there would be those who would argue and not call this card a true rookie card.

I ended up going with his Upper Deck rookie card, because it's one of the most iconic baseball cards ever printed and easily his most popular.  It's definitely features an amazing design and will always be one of the most recognized trading cards in our hobby.


Memorabilia Card:  2001 SP Game Used Authentic Fabric #KGM



I own seven Ken Griffey Jr. memorabilia cards, but this is the only one where he's featured as a Seattle Mariner.  That might not matter to others, but seeing him in a Cincinnati Reds uniform is like seeing Rickey Henderson or Wade Boggs in Yankees Pinstripes.

That's why I specifically went out and targeted a few of his older relic cards, but in the end this card was the most affordable.

Since he only gets enshrined into Cooperstown once... I figured I'd dig deeper into the archives and pull out all of my favorite Griffeys in the collection.  Let's start with my two other autographs of the The Kid:



Griffey's autographs have come down in price over the years, but they still aren't exactly cheap.  That's why I only pick up specific signatures that I've targeted over the years.  There are still two other autographs I'm looking to add to my collection, but neither have dropped into my price range.

Here's one of my favorite and priciest memorabilia cards in my collection:


Normally I'd refrain from spending $20 on a bat card, but this particular one has two of my favorite players of all-time plus the home run king and today's man of the hour.

The other five memorabilia cards in my collection are low-end run of the mill, supposedly game used pieces of Griffey's bat or jersey:



I have a ton of inserts and oddballs featuring Griffey, but nothing super rare or high end.  Here's a few of the ones that I thought were unique or extra shiny:





The 1990 Fleer Soaring Stars is quite possibly the first Griffey insert card I ever pulled.  I'm not sure if I pulled any of the other cards, but I've always enjoyed my fair share of 90's inserts.


I'll wrap things up with the other four rookie cards that I own...



I didn't realize until now just how many "bat on the shoulder" rookie cards Griffey has.  This has to be a record, right?

As I wrap up this post, I'm watching Griffey's induction speech and kinda regret not jumping on the bandwagon back in the early 90's.  Griffey always took a back seat to guys like Frank Thomas, Bo Jackson, Rickey Henderson, and of course Tony Gwynn.  But after listening to him honor his father, mother, children, and wife... I couldn't help thinking the whole time that I need to call my parents and thank them for all that they've done for me.

Congratulations Junior!  Thank you for entertaining baseball fans for over two decades.  I'm always jealous when I hear people talking about growing up watching guys like Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays.  But the next time I feel that way, I'll stop and remember that I had the privilege of watching Ken Griffey Jr. and his hall of fame career.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Good Old Days

Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days...
-Twenty One Pilots

Love it or hate it... the 90's were arguably our beloved hobby's Industrial Revolution.  Card companies had plenty of competition, which forced them to try and outdo each other.  This led to collectors being treated to a new era of sports cards.


Inserts and parallels might have been around for years... but they were now being made out of plastic, wood, and metal.  Manufacturers started serial numbering every other parallel and insert.  Refractors, Mirror Golds, printing plates, 1 of 1's, and memorabilia cards were being inserted into packs of trading cards.


And let's not forget... one of my favorite things to collect... autographed cards.  In 1990 Upper Deck inserted 2,500 Reggie Jackson signed cards into their high series packs.  Star Pics was immediately behind them with their 1990 Draft set... although technically they were inserted into factory sets... not packs.  That opened the floodgates for Donruss, Front Row, Fleer, Pinnacle, Action Packed, Traks, Maxx, Arena, Topps, Press Pass, Classic, Pro Line, Pankhurst, Courtside, Collector's Edge, All World, Score, and just about every other card company out there to follow suit.


Then in 1994 Signature Rookies and Be A Player (Upper Deck) started selling packs that were guaranteed to have at least one autograph in it.  At the time, I was one year away from becoming a die-hard hockey card collector.  But I did bust a bunch of Signature Rookies packs in both baseball and football.  Unfortunately they were draft products, so the athletes weren't featured in their professional uniforms.


1996 Leaf Signature remedied this issue when it became the first MLB set to include at least one autograph per pack.  In fact, the 1996 Leaf Signature Extended packs included two or more autographs per pack and all for the suggested retail price of $9.99.


Sadly... the checklist is filled with lesser known starters and utility players, because Leaf short printed most of the big names.  The good news is that many of these on-card autographs are the only certified MLB pack pulled signatures for these players and most of them can be had for a buck or two.


A few months ago, I was motivated by these two things and decided to build the Oakland A's and San Diego Padres autographed team sets.  I already owned a handful of the signatures from care packages and eBay purchases over the years.  A recent COMC order recently filled in a bunch of the gaps.


Here's what I have so far...








I've used multiple websites to try and narrow down that two team checklists.  Based on my research, I still need seven signatures for my A's set:  29 Mike Bordick, 36 Scott Brosius, 183 Phil Plantier, 56E Mike Gallego, 58E Jason Giambi, 113E Torey Lovullo, and 191E Matt Stairs.


Giambi signed cards for both series and is probably the only card I'll eventually have to pay a premium for.


There weren't as many Padres on their checklist...







Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman are the two biggest names on the checklist.  I already have the Gwynn, but I still need a Hoffman along with these three signatures:  12 Brad Ausmus, 41 Andujar Cedeno, and 53E Bryce Florie.


You probably already figured out that Leaf slightly altered the design for their extended series...



As you can see... the card backs are a little different as well.


Judging by the values of most of these signatures, most collectors aren't really into this set.  However for me... it's a piece of cardboard history.  I miss the days when all pack pulled autographs were on-card.  And seriously... what other MLB set out there features eighteen different San Diego Padres players signatures?




Sometimes I really wish that... I could turn back time, to the good old days.


What about you...



What are some hobby related items that you miss from the 90's?

Look forward to reading your comments.  Happy Friday and sayonara!