30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Flea Market Finds #118: Shoebox & Unopened Wax

My first flea market trip of the year didn't prove to be very eventful, but I was pretty happy with my second.

On the third Saturday of every month, Branham High School opens up their parking lot and hosts a flea market to help raise money for their clubs and athletics program.  Although the size of the parking lot limits this flea market to less vendors than the other two flea markets I frequent, there are always two or three guys with sports cards.  Plus it has a lot of cool, nerdy items like toys, comic books, and other collectibles.

One of my personal goals has been to cut down on picking up clutter, but unfortunately I fell off the wagon this month and found a bunch of stuff that I probably don't really need.

That's what happens when you put cheap cards in front of me.

Purchase #1:  Stadium Club First Day Issues  $1

My favorite kind of vendor is a person I've never seen before with sports cards.  This guy's selection sucked, but I was able to find three cards in his 3 for $1 box:

Remember when these sold for big bucks?  I was so excited to see First Day Issue parallels for 33¢ each. I quickly discovered that's pretty much the going rate for these cards.  Oh well... the Clemens goes into my binder (love seeing him wearing a Boston jersey) while the others will be sent off in care packages.

Purchase #2:  Ultraman Beer Mugs  $3

Box Bottom Guy was set up again.  This time he was pretty busy with customers so we didn't really stand around and chit chat, which means I didn't sift through his cards.  However I did notice these two mugs sitting on a table, which took me straight back to my childhood.  I just couldn't pass them up for the price.

I don't really know the story behind these, but they look like they were giveaways at a Japanese bar or something.  Regardless... this might be my favorite pickup of the day.

Purchase #3:  Three for Five  $5

My buddy Tony was out there too.  He's the guy who busts a lot of blaster boxes, pulls out a few of the inserts and hits, then sells them to me for two or three bucks.  He opened up some 2017 Topps, but I avoided the urge to pick up the base cards.  Instead, I grabbed the sweet 1987 Topps Canseco buyback and these two hits:

There was a brief moment when I considered building the Jackie Robinson commemorative patch card set, because they're really cool looking and I love me some #42.  Then I realized that there's 50 cards in the set, which isn't really realistic for me and my budget right now.

Purchase #4:  Shoebox of Cards $15

Tony's buddy had this shoebox partially filled with cards sitting on his table.  About a quarter of the box was filled with refractors and other inserts.

The rest was a bunch of Bowman products, which meant lots and lots of prospects and rookie cards.  Just sitting there sorting through everything was worth part of the price I paid.

Purchase #5:  1983 Donruss All-Star Box  $5

I already own this set and have even featured a pack break on my blog five years ago, which means I don't really need to open anymore of this product.  However... for five bucks... I just couldn't pass it up.

Purchase #6:  The Bad News Bears DVD Set $2

One of my favorite Branham vendors is this elderly gentleman with tons of Americana memorabilia.  His stuff ranges from concert passes to movie scripts to 8-track tapes.  I've purchased items from him a few times in the past.  Remember the Hawaiian Pidgin books I picked up back in December?  Those were from him.

This time around I found this box set of The Bad News Bears for my sports movie collection.  The box and cases are a little worn, but the DVD's are clean.  Maybe next weekend I'll sit down in front of my television, have a BNB marathon, and sort some cards... just like the good old days.

Until then...

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mystery Men

As a player and team collector, I typically buy cards of specific players who I enjoy collecting.  But every now and then, I'll add a card to my collection of a guy I've never seen or heard of.  Ryan over at Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko sent me a package with a few cards featuring guys who are complete mysteries to me.

First up is this die-cut sumo wrestler...

I have no idea who this is, since I don't read Japanese.  But that doesn't matter, because this card is sweet!  If you're a fan of Topps Laser products from the mid 90's, then you'd love this card too.

The next mystery man is this Japanese baseball player that kinda reminded me of the Japanese soldier on Gilligan's Island:

It seems like a lot of Japanese men wore the circular spectacles back in the day.  I wonder if this guy was a coach or something.  And is Chub Nipon the same thing as Chubu Nippon?  It doesn't matter.  This Menko disc is awesome and a welcome addition to my Japanese baseball card collection.

The mystery continues with another Japanese baseball player...

Based on the photo, I can see that it's a Hiroshima Carps player probably from the 60's or 70's.  I tried to find the card on the internet, but couldn't find another copy.  Whoever it is... it's another fantastic vintage Japanese card.

The final mystery man is a boxer...

I'll be honest... I'm having difficulty figuring out if this guy is even Japanese.  Maybe this is a famous American boxer.  Either way I'm happy, because it represent my first Japanese boxing card.

Ryan also sent me a bunch of famous guys too...

Here's a Recollection buyback of The Kid from this year's Topps.  I own a bunch of Carter cards featuring him with the Montreal Expos, so it's kind of nice to add a New York Mets card to the binder.

In addition to the Carter, he sent me four additional buybacks:

I obviously heard of Jerry Reuss and Al Cowens.  I kinda remember Littell or at least I've seen his name on cards before.  Never heard of Nelson Briles, but he's not exactly a mystery man.  Thanks to Wikipedia and Baseball Reference, I discovered he's a 2x World Series Champion and a Santa Clara University alumni.

Here's another guy who's not a mystery.  In fact, he's probably the most recognizable guy in the area of martial arts...

This is the fifth Bruce Lee Japanese card I've added to my collection and all of them were from Ryan.  

And if those cards weren't generous enough... he also threw in a bunch of unopened packs:

2016/17 BBM Fast Break 1st/2nd Half

1997 Takara Basscolle '97

I'll be busting a pack of each of these and showing them off over on A Pack to be Named Later sometime in the near future.  The rest will be added to my unopened Japanese pack collection.

Thank you Ryan for this awesome care package!  I will definitely get something shipped out to you before you head off to Germany this summer.  Until then...

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Eye of the Tiger

It's funny... a fighter is the last thing any of my friends or family would consider me.  In fact, I've only gotten into one physical altercation in my lifetime and it involved me jumping on a guy's back, him throwing me to the ground, and then him sitting on me until the yard duty arrived.  I know... it's not one of my finer moment's.

Anyways...let's get back on track.  Even though I'm not a fighter myself, I've always enjoyed sports like mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and that's what today's post is all about.

However... before we get to the cardboard, let's set the mood with some Survivor...

There are a handful of songs from my childhood that literally get the adrenaline flowing and this song is one of them.  Now that we've got some mood music in the background, let's check out some cards that Chris over at The Raz Card Blog recently sent me...

2016 Topps Slam Attax #259

Two weeks ago, he wrote a post about these WWE gaming cards and I asked him if Topps produced Harry Fujiwara or Ricky Steamboat cards.  Topps dropped the belt and left Mr. Fuji off their checklist, but it was nice to hear that they showed The Dragon some love.  As I've mentioned a few times on this blog, he's one of my favorite wrestlers of all-time.  Raz pulled an extra from his packs and generously sent it my way.

He also sent me another duplicate sitting in his collection:

2016 BBM True Heart Autograph #NNO

I honestly don't follow Japanese women's wrestling, but I always enjoy reading about their trading cards on Raz's blog.  The wrestlers featured in BBM's True Heart sets always seem to have the coolest autographs around and Dash Chisako doesn't disappoint.  I love how she incorporates a face into her signature.  Wouldn't it be cool to see Mike Trout infuse a glove into his autograph?

Last... but certainly not least are these two cards of Daniel Cormier:

2016 UFC Museum Collection Meaningful Material #DCO
2016 Topps UFC Top of the Class Black #TOC7

DC trains right down the street from my place and is one of my favorite UFC fighters.  He's also currently the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and is set to fight Anthony Johnson again in two weeks.  The two fought two years ago for the vacant title after Jon Jones had his title stripped from him.  Johnson has the ability to knock out DC, but hopefully Cormier will wear him down like he did the first time and retain the title.

Thank you Chris for this very generous care package!  Spring Break will be coming up in a few weeks and when it arrives, I'll make sure to ship some cardboard in your direction.

Until then... happy Saturday and sayonara!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I Tried So Hard

Why don't we have more Blog Bat Arounds?  It's a brilliant concept that gives all of us the opportunity to share our thoughts and opinions on a single topic.  

Last week, Nachos Grande asked us...

What's the hardest set that you have ever collected or tried to collect?

Three baseball sets came to mind...

Set #1:  1981 Granny Goose A's

Depending on how you approach this set, it was either very easy or very difficult to build.  On one hand, if you don't consider short prints as part of sets... then I picked up the 14 card set above with one click of a button.

However, I wasn't satisfied with that.  I really, really, really wanted the hard to find Dave Revering short print too.  Call if California dreamin'...

Back in 1981, Revering was traded to the New York Yankees and rumor has it that most of his cards were destroyed.  But a few cards slipped through the cracks and were distributed to collectors which created a pretty rare collectible.

It took a few years and some patience, but I finally added one to my collection for $11.49 (free shipping) off a local guy who posted his copy on eBay and my 1981 Granny Goose set was officially complete.

Set #2: 1988 Kenner Starting Line Up

Back in the 90's, I was 100% into the Kenner Starting Lineup craze.  Remember the crazy people who stood in line waiting for stores to open, so they could get first crack at the new figures?  Well... that wasn't me.  But I would go to Toys R' Us and Kaybee Toys on a regular basis looking for stars I needed.

A few years ago, I came to the realization that the figures took up too much space, so I decided to focus on the cards that came inside of the package instead.  That's when I decided to build the inaugural baseball set, which consists of a whopping 124 cards.

There was a brief two to three month period where I searched eBay on a daily basis in an effort to complete this set.

It proved challenging for two main reasons.  It was hard finding certain guys who were distributed in their local regions only, which led to the second problem... cost.  Smart vendors research what they own, so they price these cards accordingly.

Unfortunately, I refused to pay $5 for a Buddy Bell or Kevin Seitzer card, so I waited and waited and waited.  Then I found a guy who listed reasonable priced lots on eBay with the cards I needed, which meant I only need one more card:

I have no idea the Nolan Ryan is so pricey, but it is.  I refused to pay sellers ridiculous prices, but when I was down to just this card... I bit the bullet and purchase two copies for $20.  It's a little more than I wanted to pay, but it was worth it to complete the set.

Set #3: 1998 Donruss Signatures Significant Signatures

The final set took me seventeen years to build, although to be honest... I didn't originally think I'd ever actually own the entire set.  It started out with me picking up singles I wanted.  But at some point, I realized I have more than half of the set, so why not collect them all?

The Duke Snider was the final piece of the puzzle.

Or was it?  Technically there are still two more cards I'm trying to track down:

#1:  Catfish Hunter (signed in blue ink)

#2:  Billy Williams (non-redeemed)

According to Beckett, Catfish signed some of his cards with blue Sharpie too.  I've seen plenty of black signatures over the years, but the blue signature has eluded me.

Billy's story is a little different.  Donruss chose his autographed card to be the Sandy Koufax redemption card.  Collectors who pulled a Billy Williams autograph could send it in for the Koufax autograph.  Solid trade, right?  When collectors received their Koufax, they also got their Billy Williams autograph too.  Donruss stamped the Williams with the word "redeemed" on the back to prevent collectors from sending it in again.  I'm looking for one of the Williams cards that was never redeemed.

Both of these cards are proof that you can't always get what you want.  I'm actually content with the cards I have now... but if either of these cards pop up with a reasonable price tag, I'll snag them.

Until then... why don't you join the fun and respond to Nacho Grande's question...

What's the hardest set that you have ever collected or tried to collect?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!