Friday, August 26, 2016

One Lucky Denny's Customer

If you're a fan of oddball issues, then you're probably a fan or at least familiar with Denny's holograms from the 90's.  From 1991 to 1997 hungry collectors were consuming Grand Slam breakfasts and getting their hands on packs of the popular cards.


In 1994, Upper Deck and Denny's teamed up to produce a 28 card set to honor a slugger from each MLB team.  There was also a special limited edition card produced of Reggie Jackson.  Each Denny's location was given a single copy of this card to used in a giveaway at the end of the promotion.

I wasn't able to pinpoint how many Denny's were around in 1994, but according to Wikipedia there are almost 1,600 diners currently in the States.  That means there were probably anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 of them back in the mid 90's.


These days when a card company makes 2,000 copies of one card, collectors treat it as if there were 2,000,000.  However... back in the day... 2,000 was pretty limited.  Maybe not exactly super rare... but definitely limited.


I've been looking for a copy of this card off and on for a few years... and after lots of patience... I found a eBay vendor willing to accept my $9 offer.  I realize that might sound like a lot of money for some Junk Wax Era insert... but when you factor in how long I've waited to add this card to my Oakland A's collection and the prices other vendors typically ask... I think I got a pretty good deal.

Happy Flashback Friday... and sayonara!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cheering for the Opposition

I'm guessing that for most sports fanatics... it's easier to choose favorite players from your favorite teams, than to pick them from teams you don't support.  However I'm in the minority.

Since the Athletics and Padres are both in rebuilding phases, you never know which guys are going to be around after the season.  This makes it really difficult for me to go out and drop money on a Sonny Gray, Stephen Vogt, or Wil Myers jersey.  However... when Matt over at Bob Walk the Plank wrote about his favorite non-Pirates, it only too me a few minutes to come up with my Top 5.

But before I get to them... let's take a look at a few honorable mentions:

Honorable Mention #1:  David Ortiz

2014 Topps Tier One Acclaimed Autographs #DO

Big Papi is a member of the Three C's Club.  He's a solid contact hitter.  He's clutch.  And he's chubby.  I don't get a chance to watch the Red Sox play very often... but when I do, I look forward to seeing what Ortiz does at the plate.

Honorable Mention #2:  Munenori Kawasaki

2013 Topps Supreme Stylings Autographs #MK

I had a really difficult time choosing between Kawasaki and my number 5 selection, because he represents everything I love about this sport.  He's fun, positive, and is a kid at heart.

Honorable Mention #3:  Andrew McCutchen

2011 Topps Lineage Reprint Auto #RA-AM

Cutch's batting average has dropped off this year... but he's still one of baseball's biggest class acts.  And even after winning an MVP Award, representing the National League in numerous all-star games, and becoming one of MLB's biggest names... he seems so down to earth and humble.

Honorable Mention #4:  Josh Donaldson

2010 Topps Chrome #191

This might sound crazy... but I've actually become a bigger fan of Donaldson since he was traded.  I've heard him talk about the trade on several occasions and he's always said he has no animosity towards Oakland and he'll always cherish the great memories.  Plus it doesn't hurt that the guy plays with a lot of heart.  Maybe one day when he's at the tail end of his career, he'll come back to the Athletics.

Okay... now for the unveiling of my favorite non-Athletic/non-Padre...

#5:  Bartolo Colon 

2013 Topps Update All-Star Stitches #BC

Big Sexy has become America's latest folk hero.  But seriously guys.  I've liked him since he signed with the Athletics back in 2012.  It's not everyday I come across a player my age who has weight issues and an entertaining personality.


#4:  Clayton Kershaw

2014 Topps High Tek Auto #CK

Kershaw is a once in a generation kind of pitcher.  The way he dominates hitters is truly something to marvel at.  To top it off... he's a lefty like myself... and that's why he's on this list.


#3:  Jose Altuve 

2016 Museum Collection Archival Autographs #JA

For the better part of my Little League career... I was the shortest guy on the team.  But I could do three things really well... field, make contact with the ball, and get on base.  Those are Mr. Altuve's strengths too... and he's one of the shortest players in the league... which makes him my third favorite player who doesn't play for one of my favorite teams.


#2:  Ichiro Suzuki

2001 Fleer Tradition #452

When I was a kid, I turned my back on my Japanese heritage.  I wanted to fit in with the people around me... and the fact is... there just weren't a lot of Japanese people in my neighborhood.  So I grew up a "banana".  It didn't help that as a kid in the 80's, there weren't many Japanese athletes to cheer for outside of Lenn Sakata and Christian Hosoi.

However eventually I realized the importance of embracing one's culture.  That's why I decided to collect Japanese athletes and one of the greatest of all-time is Ichiro Suzuki.  I've had the privilege of watching him play on multiple occasions and he's one of only a handful of athletes I've cheered for at the Oakland Coliseum.


#1:  Kurt Suzuki

2016 Museum Collection Archival Autographs #KSZ

This pick shouldn't really surprise anyone.  For years, Kurt was my favorite Oakland Athletic and I still root for him whenever I have the opportunity to watch him play.

Well there you have it.  Hopefully the A's and Padres will eventually establish a group of core players they'd like to build their franchises around.  The sooner they do... the easier it will be for me to finally find my next favorite Athletic/Padre.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Flea Market Finds #109: Pair of Wizards

Normally my two week summer vacation involves a lot of laying around and recharging my batteries for the upcoming school year.  However this year I was quite productive.

I was able to attend a pair of baseball games, spend a few days with my parents in Vegas, catch up with several old friends over lunch/dinner, hung out with my friend and her kids at Happy Hollow, and of course... I walked around several flea markets.

On a hot summer day in San Jose, there's a good chance it'll be about twenty to thirty degrees cooler on the coast.  Temperatures in my neck of the woods were approaching triple digits back in July, so my buddy and I decided to head over the hill to Capitola and set up at the Santa Cruz Flea Market.

I was in one of those house cleaning moods and pretty much accepted whatever anyone offered.  After eight hours of being a vendor, I made about thirty bucks and managed to get rid of the majority of the junk I brought.

Unfortunately I spent most of my profits buying stuff from other vendors... including my buddy who brought his usual assortment of sports memorabilia.

When:  Saturday, July 30th
Where:  Santa Cruz Flea Market
What: Bobbleheads and Harry Potter Cards
How Much:  $25

Purchase #1:  2002 Memory Company Padres Bobblehead $5


After an hour or so of sitting around and making a few sales here and there... I decided to walk around.  There wasn't much to look at, but I did find a guy who had some older issues of Sports Illustrated, about ten unopened wax boxes, and five or six bobbleheads.

His prices were pretty inflated, however he accepted my five dollar offer on this San Diego Padres bobblehead.  The box is pretty beat up, but the bobblehead is brand new.

Purchase #2:  Harry Potter TCG Cards $5


Another vendor had tables of toys... mostly old wrestling figures, action figures, and McDonald's Happy Meal toys.  Sitting on one of the tables were a few boxes of Harry Potter TCG cards.  I thought about buying all of them, but ended up grabbing just the box with a bunch of holofoil and rare cards.  Here are a few of my favorites:


Obviously these aren't as popular as Pokemon cards, but several of the ones I looked up on eBay closed in the $3 to $7 range.  I'm thinking about flipping them and using the money to buy new cards for my collection.  We'll see what happens.


Purchase #3:  2002 Ichiro Suzuki SGA Bobblehead $15


The final purchase I made was off of my buddy.  He found this bobblehead at another flea market and gave me first crack at it.  He sold it to me for the same price he originally paid... which after searching eBay seems to be a pretty good deal.

After the flea market we drove over to Gayle's Bakery and Rosticceria... where I ended up spending the remainder of my profits plus much, much more.  But I'm not complaining.  Life doesn't get much better than hanging out with your buddy, selling excess clutter, buying bobbleheads, and eating Gayle's.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Commitment Issues


It took a few weeks longer than I anticipated... but I finally made it down to the post office and shipped out the grocery bag full of care packages that I owed so many of you guys.

I've also been thinking about removing myself from the awesome group of Super Traders.  I'm just not sure if I can continue to pull my weight over the long haul.  When I first reentered the hobby back in the late 2000's, I loved making trades on Sports Card Forum and Card Collector's World.  However something has changed.  I've lost the motivation and at the present time... feel a little burnt out.  


This hobby has always been my personal happy place.  The past eight years, I've always turned to my collectionmy blogyour blogs, and all of your great posts whenever I needed a break from work or other things going on in my life.  I assure you that I have no plans of walking away from any of those things, but I'm considering taking my name out of the Super Traders hat and letting a more responsible... more punctual person take my place.


Are there any other Oakland Athletics bloggers/collectors out there who would be interested?

This doesn't mean that I've sent my final care package out.  I still have plenty of cards to give away... no strings attached.  No trade commitments.  No guaranteed shipping dates.  Just friendly care packages.


Have a good weekend everyone.  Happy Saturday... and sayonara!

Monday, August 15, 2016

End of Summer Box Break


My summer break is officially over.  I reported back to work this morning and spent the day lesson planning and sitting in meetings.  Wednesday is the big day... when I'll meet my 160 seventh graders.

Fun.  Fun.  Fun.


In preparation for my return to the classroom, I went to the wholesaler last week and picked up two boxes that were on sale:  2013 Panini Prizm Draft Picks ($28) and 2013 Topps Supreme ($39).

Normally I'm not a fan of Panini products... especially their draft stuff... but I needed some Yankees prospect cards for Kenny over at Torren' Up Cards.  The wholesaler had 2014 boxes available as well... but the 2013 was more affordable.  In the end... being cheap paid off, because I pulled my very first Kris Bryant autograph.

In addition to the Bryant, I also pulled a Katoh autograph for my Japanese PC and two other guys I've never heard of.


Kenny... the Michael O'Neill is yours.  One problem... I forgot to put it inside of your care package... so you'll need to wait for the next round which will probably ship out during either Thanksgiving or Christmas break.

Here are the rest of the inserts and parallels from that box:


The Topps Supreme box was kind of a bust, but I knew this was one of those high risk kind of breaks going into it.


I was a little disappointed to see Fielder featured in his Yankees pinstripes.  It's like pulling an autograph of Rickey Henderson and seeing him wearing a Dodgers jersey.

Oh well... I can't complain too much.  He was fun to watch back in the 80's and this is my very first autograph of him.

I'll wrap things up by updating everyone on the status of care package construction.  I know I'm a little tardy... but I should have packages shipped out to the following bloggers by the end of the week: The Lost Collector, Cards on Cards, GCRL, Oddball Card, Torren' Up Cards, Dawg Day Cards, 1975 Baseball Cards, The Angels In Order, The Underdog Card Collector, Night Owl, Too Many Verlanders, Jay Barker Fan, Waiting 'Til Next Year, Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary, and KevAlan (CCW).


Packages range from flat rate boxes to PWE's.  I apologize for the delay.  Sorting and organizing took a lot longer than I anticipated.  Plus I needed to go out and restock some of my trade bait.

If by chance I owe you a care package and you don't see your name on this list... please email me or leave a comment below.  The good news is I always pay off my debts.  The bad news is my next round of packages probably won't ship out until my Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks.

Happy Monday and sayonara!