Beginnings

I really love this time of year, the time of the year when we can all take a deep breath and smell that new baseball season smell. Mmmm…oh so good! This is the time of the year when all of our baseball teams are at the starting line and beginning that journey to make the playoffs. No team is ahead of any other team in any standings or stat race. All of the teams and their fans can share some degree of optimism. Most teams and their fans feel they have at least a decent chance at making the postseason and perhaps doing well there if some breaks go their way. However, there are some teams and fans who aren’t so optimistic because their teams are in tear-down/rebuild mode. Still, Opening Day is finally here and I think we can agree that we’re all happy that the 2019 baseball season is finally beginning. It’s also the beginning of the fantasy baseball season, woohoo! Speaking of beginning…

2017 Topps binders
2017 Topps binders

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a blog post listing some hobby goals that I want to achieve. Number one on my list was this:

  1. Complete at least three major-release baseball sets (not including chase cards) from my backlogged collection of cards. This means for each set, creating an Excel checklist, checking off the cards I have, making a wantlist of the cards I need and then transferring the cards from a monster box to a D-ring binder (and then add the chase cards and even a wrapper). And then I’ll add the wantlist to this here Stadium Fantasium blog to get the remaining needed cards.

And I’m happy that I’ve actually got my 2017 Topps flagship base set (including Update) finally completed and bindered. Well almost–for some reason I can’t locate 22 Series 2 cards of only Angels and A’s. I know I have those cards somewhere. They can only be on my desk or on my card-sorting table, so I think they’ll turn up as soon as I do a thorough search.

This set set takes two binders. I bought the binders through Topps online store a couple of years ago and I’m glad I’ve finally put the cards in them. I view these sets as a sort of chronicle of the previous MLB season. Thus binder #1 is organized as follows:

  • Wrappers (Series 1, Series 2, Update)
  • World Series subset cards
  • League Leaders, National League
  • League Leaders, American League
  • All-Stars, National League
  • All-Stars, American League
  • Home Run Derby participants
  • National League teams (starting with the Dodgers of course)
  • A few Topps ad cards to fill out the last page
The (2017 Topps) National League binder
The (2017 Topps) National League binder

So the National League binder is filled almost to the max. The American League binder gets only these cards:

  • American League teams
  • A few Topps ad cards to fill out the last page
The (2017 Topps) American League binder
The (2017 Topps) American League binder

Now just to be clear, I don’t have all of the variations but I do have a few of the short-print variety. Some of the pockets are empty waiting to be filled with yet-to-be-obtained short-print variations. I do not plan to go after the super short-print variety. Luckily, I pretty much finished my 2017 Topps spreadsheet/checklist which lists the cards in the order in which they appear in the binder and also tracks my wantlist. I expect to add my wantlist of variations and inserts to be added to Stadium Fantasium soon.

Screenshot: 2017 Topps flagship spreadsheet

So while putting the cards in the binder, I ended up with lots of duplicates. I’ll be putting a list of the 2017 duplicates in the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block soon. Speaking of which, I recently added 44 cards to the list of 1969 Topps cards available for trade on the Trading Block.

Contest Spotlight: Want to win a Cal Ripken relic card? Check out Chavez Ravining‘s “Contest Time: 2016 Topps Baseball Cal Ripken Jr. MLB Debut Medallion“.

So there you have it, I’ve finally begun tackling the enormous task of putting my cards in binders.

…Only the beginning

Only just the start…

Stay tuned…

Good Thing

Congratulatory letter from sportscardinfo.com

Back on February 16th, sportscardinfo.com ran a contest that offered a 2019 Topps 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of former Red Sox 1B/DH David Ortiz. Now I usually don’t enter contests unless the prize is something I can really use, especially if I need it for my set collections. Since I mostly focus on Topps flagship and recent Topps Heritage baseball, this contest definitely fit the bill. This was one contest prize I really wanted.

All contestants had to do to enter was comment on the contest post (limited to one comment/entry per day). The contest deadline was February 22nd and a total of 79 comments/entries were submitted and randomized. And to my surprise, I was the winner of this card!

2019 Topps Series 1 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of David Ortiz
2019 Topps Series 1 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of David Ortiz
Back of 2019 Topps Series 1 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of David Ortiz
Back of 2019 Topps Series 1 150th Anniversary Commemorative Medallion card of David Ortiz

In case you hadn’t noticed, sportscardinfo.com generously runs quite a few contests. As we give sportscardinfo.com a big Stadium Fantasium thank you and standing ovation, make sure you take a look at the right sidebar’s “Blog Contests Lineup”. There you’ll find some of the current contests being held by fellow hobby bloggers.

So are you a frequent participant in hobby contests in the blogosphere and/or on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below. Until then, stay tuned…

(Card)Show and Tell

Stadium Fantasium Marquee: (Card)Show And Tell
2019 West Coast Collectors Expo admission ticket
(Card)Show…

The weekend of February 22-24, we were lucky enough to have a decent-sized cardshow in our area. This cardshow, known as the West Coast Collectors Expo, was put on by Hall of Fame Sports (not to be confused with my local card shop, Hall of Fame Baseball Cards). They used to hold these cardshows at the old Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood until it got torn down to make way for the new Rams stadium (60% complete so far, opening in 2020).

This particular cardshow was at the Pomona Fairgrounds and had a “Raiderfest” theme. They had over 60 autograph guests appearing (for a fee of course) on that Saturday and Sunday. Besides former Raiders, other signers included former Dodgers, Rams, Chargers, celebrities and pro wrestlers. Some of the weekend signers weren’t listed on the flyer below, such as Tom Flores, Melvin Gordon and Dawn Wells (Gilligan’s Island) .

2019 West Coast Collectors Expo flyer
2019 West Coast Collectors Expo flyer

Because I’m not a real autograph hound, I decided to go to this show on Friday night. There would be no signers and the entrance fee would also be a few bucks cheaper. I figured the crowd would also be lighter (which it was). That helps when there’s a bargain box to explore and you don’t want to wait for someone who’s there exploring it before you.

2019 West Coast Collectors Expo, Friday 2/22/19
One of the aisles at the 2019 West Coast Collectors Expo, Friday 2/22/19

Show hours for that Friday was 5:00 to 9:00 but I didn’t get there until 5:30 due to rush hour traffic. Goodie bags were also given out to Friday night attendees. Contents included a Bob Miller (retired LA Kings announcer) mini-statue, basketball documentary DVD, and a few hobby supplies. The mini-statue is a smaller version of the actual Bob Miller statue residing outside Staples Center. These were originally given to fans attending the Kings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning game on January 3rd.

Goody bag contents
Goody bag contents

Although this show was not nearly as huge as a show like the National, four hours was still not enough to thoroughly check out all that the show had to offer.

Dime boxes at the 2019 West Coast Collectors Expo
Dime boxes at the 2019 West Coast Collectors Expo
Assorted sports memorabilia at the 2019 West Coast Collectors Expo
Assorted sports memorabilia at the 2019 West Coast Collectors Expo
Card showcase at the 2019 West Coast Collectors Expo
Card showcase at the 2019 West Coast Collectors Expo

So as always, whenever I go to a cardshow, I focus on trying to find cards to complete my incomplete sets (including insert cards). I ended up with only 37 cards but some of those were vintage baseball. I even picked up a vintage football card I needed. Here are the cards I got:

Some 1970 Topps (not Heritage) baseball cards
Some 1970 Topps (not Heritage) baseball cards
More 1970 Topps (not Heritage) baseball cards
More 1970 Topps (not Heritage) baseball cards
A 1969 Topps #87, 1972 Topps #556, #597, 1984 Fleer #48 and a 1971 Topps Football #61
A 1969 Topps #87, 1972 Topps #556, #597, 1984 Fleer #48 and a 1971 Topps Football #61

The fifteen cards above were all from the same dealer and only cost me $10. Unfortunately, I didn’t see at the time that the 1970 Casey Cox had a crease down the middle of the card. I also didn’t see that the ’72 Ron Santo In Action card had a printing error–the ‘C’ in “ACTION” is missing some of the black ink. This is ok though because I also collect these minor variation cards too. I also picked up some recent Topps Gold parallels and some 2018 Topps Heritage High Number inserts from a quarter box:

Some recent Topps Gold cards
Some recent Topps Gold cards
Some Topps and Topps Heritage High Numbers inserts
Some Topps and Topps Heritage High Numbers inserts
More 2018 Topps Heritage High Number inserts
More 2018 Topps Heritage High Number inserts
A few more 2019 Topps Heritage High Number inserts
A few more 2019 Topps Heritage High Number inserts

The 22 modern cards above cost me $5 with a discount. Notice the slightly miscut “Miracle of ’69” Cleon Jones card. There’s a horizontal yellow strip running along the bottom of the card but I don’t mind. The card is otherwise mint.

I must say too that all of the people I talked to at the show were very, very nice. The ticket sellers, dealers, food vendors and parking personnel were all so nice and helpful. I will definitely be making plans to attend the next one whenever it is planned.

…And Tell (New Contest Links)

And in case you hadn’t noticed, Stadium Fantasium has a sort of “contest-roll” (like a blogroll) in the right sidebar above the blogroll. I call it the “Blog Contests Lineup” and it’s purpose is to let you know of any current contests going on around the hobby blogosphere. If your hobby blog is running a contest, please feel free to let me know and I’ll add it to the Blog Contests Lineup.

Until then, stay tuned…