Hey Nineteen

Banner - 2019 Topps Baseball

Hey ’19 indeed! The big week is finally here with the release of 2019 Topps Baseball Series 1 and Super Bowl LXIII featuring my Los Angeles Rams! Woohoo!

In recent years, I’ve tended to spend a bit too much money on Topps flagship baseball and this year is no exception. I’ve already ordered a jumbo box (that I’ll likely pick up on Saturday) and bought spots in four group breaks (in hindsight I’d probably be better off saving that money for 2019 Topps Heritage but I just love group breaks). And like most years, I purchased some new flagship cards at Target before actually getting my jumbo box in hand.

2019 Topps Baseball value pack - Target
2019 Topps Baseball value pack - Target
2019 Topps Baseball hanger box - Target
2019 Topps Baseball hanger box - Target

So this year I got one 34-card value pack and one 67-card hanger box. That’s 101 cards for about $15. And as usual I didn’t get anything great out of retail. Here’s a quick peek at what I did get:

2019 Topps Series 1 cards from a retail value pack
2019 Topps Series 1 cards from a retail value pack

The Jeff McNeil (Mets) RC card is officially my first 2019 Topps card. And in keeping with the ‘Hey Nineteen’ theme, the Martin Perez (Rangers) card is #219 and the Alex Gordon (Royals) card is #319. The Max Scherzer card is a nice example of the League Leaders subset, even though the League Leaders card fronts are very similar to regular base cards. Up next is a 1984 Topps Baseball insert card of Shohei Ohtani and a 2018 Topps Now Review of Juan Soto. I was hoping that at least three insert cards would be packed inside but I guess this is par for the course. Following that are two of the horizontal cards from the set. The stadium cards subset is a welcome innovation for flagship. Stadium cards have been pretty popular in other card sets and I’m so glad to see them appear in this set.

2019 Topps Series 1 cards from a retail value pack
2019 Topps Series 1 cards from a retail hanger box

The hanger box yielded four insert cards: 2018 Topps Now Review Gleyber Torres, 1984 Topps Baseball Matt Carpenter, a rainbow foil parallel of Joey Votto, and a nice-looking Greatness Returns insert featuring Nolan Ryan and Shohei Ohtani. Base cards included in the hanger box included Willson Contreras (which is #119), Rhys Hoskins, Ranger Suarez (he really should be playing for Texas), and Justin Upton. Which brings to the last three cards featured in this post:

A few more 2019 Topps Series 1 cards from a retail value pack
A few more 2019 Topps Series 1 cards from a retail value pack

As seen in the Nick Ahmed card and Jack Flaherty card, the player’s left hand extends out over the border, resulting in a photo that really pops. Not every card does this but it is very effective.

Pop quiz: How many baseball cards were featured in this post?

In general I really like the design of 2019 flagship Topps but I also really think there a couple of things that could have been improved upon. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of 2019 Topps in the near future…

(Blue) Heaven Is A Place On Earth

2019 Dodgers Fanfest logo

I wasn’t really planning on going to this event but I live only about 20-25 minutes away and the admission price was right (free). Besides, I had never been to a Dodgers Fan Fest and this was already the seventh one the Dodgers have had. So sit back and enjoy as Stadium Fantasium visits Blue Heaven On Earth…

Outfield pavilions at 2019 Dodgers Fan Fest
Outfield pavilions at 2019 Dodgers Fan Fest
The outfield at 2019 Dodgers Fan Fest
First hour: The outfield at 2019 Dodgers Fan Fest
Dodgers 3B Justin Turner on the Dodgers Fan Fest stage
Dodgers 3B Justin Turner on the Dodgers Fan Fest stage
Dodgers OF A.J. Pollock exiting the Dodgers Fan Fest stage
Dodgers OF A.J. Pollock exiting the Dodgers Fan Fest stage
Dodgers 1B Max Muncy exiting the Dodgers Fan Fest stage
Dodgers 1B Max Muncy exiting the Dodgers Fan Fest stage
Another view of Dodgers 3B Justin Turner on the Dodgers Fan Fest stage
Another view of Dodgers 3B Justin Turner on the Dodgers Fan Fest stage
New Dodgers OF A.J. Pollock signing autographs at Dodgers Fan Fest
New Dodgers OF A.J. Pollock signing autographs at Dodgers Fan Fest
Justin Turner and Corey Seager being interviewed for Access Sportsnet at Dodgers Fan Fest
Justin Turner and Corey Seager being interviewed for Access Sportsnet at Dodgers Fan Fest

Besides the Dodgers pictured above, other Dodgers who took part in the festivities included Manager Dave Roberts, Cody Bellinger, Kenley Jansen, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Joc Pedersen, newly acquired reliever Joe Kelly, Scott Alexander, Austin Barnes, JT Chargois, Tony Cingrani, Alex Verdugo, David Freese, Ross Stripling, Brock Stewart, Dylan Floro, Keibert Ruiz and others. Also spotted were some former Dodgers (Nomar Garciaparra, Orel Hershiser, Jerry Hairston Jr., Steve Yeager, Tommy Lasorda–who coined the phrase “Blue Heaven on Earth”) and some Dodgers Media (Alanna Rizzo, Ned Colletti, Charley Steiner, Dodger Talk host David Vassegh).

The Dodgers also offered fee-based opportunities for meet & greets, stadium tours, player autographs, selfies with players, single-game and season ticket sales. There were also some free game booths, kiddie activities, freebie picture opportunities (against various Dodgers backdrops). Even the parking was free! It was a very enjoyable family-oriented event.

For late January, it was a beautiful and fairly warm day for a Dodgers Fan Fest. The event was very well organized with half of the Fan Fest taking place in the outfield and half out on the other side of the outfield pavilions. And I have to say it was just a wonderful feeling to actually step out on the actual Dodger Stadium field (even if it was mostly restricted to the outfield). If I had to estimate, I would say there was about 35,000 in attendance. Although tickets were free, they did have to be obtained online and then they were loaded onto my MLB At Bat app on my phone. And so we tip our Stadium Fantasium cap to the Dodgers for showing all of us true blue Dodger fans a really good time at Blue Heaven on Earth.

Shop Around (the Flea Market, Part 2)

1966 Topps Baseball #120, 1971 Topps Football #25, 2008 Topps Baseball Highlights Autographs HA-DB cardbacks
1966 Topps Baseball #120, 1971 Topps Football #25, 2008 Topps Baseball Highlights Autographs HA-DB cardbacks

Stuff I Actually Did Buy

Continuing our shopping adventures at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena CA, we finally came across a few cards that fit into the Stadium Fantasium collection. I even managed to pick up some significant vintage tradebait:

1966 Topps Baseball #120, 1971 Topps Football #25, 2008 Topps Baseball Highlights Autographs HA-DB
1966 Topps Baseball #120, 1971 Topps Football #25, 2008 Topps Baseball Highlights Autographs HA-DB

You may be shocked to learn that the 1966 Harmon Killebrew is now part of Stadium Fantasium’s Trading Block. I don’t collect any sets before 1969 so that’s why (it’s one way I limit the scope of my collection). Hopefully it will help me acquire a comparable post-1969 card. For a 1966 card, the condition is pretty decent.

The 1971 Dick Butkus card is in a bit rougher condition and may also end up on the Trading Block. I do collect 1971 Topps football cards and I do believe I already have this card.

I love the 2008 Topps baseball set and have quite a few of the Highlights Autographs. This Daric Barton auto is definitely staying in the Stadium Fantasium collection. It appears to be in perfect condition.

1992 Donruss Coca-Cola Nolan Ryan #8 & #26, 1993 Star Pics Kellogg’s College Greats Postercards #SCPI Scottie Pippen
1992 Donruss Coca-Cola Nolan Ryan #8 & #26, 1993 Star Pics Kellogg’s College Greats Postercards #SCPI Scottie Pippen

I also picked up a couple of sealed packs of 1992 Donruss that could only be found in Coca-Cola 12-packs with a special Nolan Ryan card. These Ryan cards are most likely keepers as I have only a few other Ryan cards from this set.

The 1993 Pippen card folds down to reveal a larger picture of Scottie Pippen. This card will also go on the Trading Block.

And the last card I picked up is this 1986 Jeno’s Pizza Rolls NFL Action Stickers #12 Walter Payton. This too goes on the Trading Block.

You may be wondering how much I paid for this batch of cards. I think I got a pretty decent deal seeing as I paid $10 for the seven cards. What do you think?

1986 Jeno's Pizza Rolls NFL Action Stickers #12 Walter Payton - $6.50
1986 Jeno's Pizza Rolls NFL Action Stickers #12 Walter Payton - $6.50

Stay tuned for our next post as we check out the 2019 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl to be held Saturday January 19th at the Rose Bowl (and you thought the college football season was over, didn’t you?)…

Shop Around (the Flea Market, Part 1)

"Shop Around" 7" single label
Mashup license plate

Stuff I Didn't Buy (but caught my attention anyway)

Just wanted to share my day at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, CA this past Sunday. I posted on my Twitter account a lot of uncropped pics of cool things that I didn’t buy but I also saw some cards I really wanted and actually did buy. I’ll show those in the next post.

These Grid-Star static-cling stickers/decals apparently were produced between 1988 and 1992 (according to one ebay seller). On the COMC website, one seller had like 38 different NFL players in his portfolio going for $2.95 and up. They’re listed on COMC under 1990 Grid-Star Premier Edition – [Base]. The flea market vendor was asking $1 each but only had multiples of these three players.

Grid-Star 49ers static cling stickers featuring John Taylor, Ronnie Lot and Michael Carter
Grid-Star 49ers static cling stickers featuring John Taylor, Ronnie Lot and Michael Carter
Bobbleheads!
Bobbleheads!

The same flea market seller also had these bobbleheads: former Dodgers pitcher Joe Beimel (a June 2008 stadium giveaway), former Angel Josh Hamilton (a May 2014 stadium giveaway) and former Angels manager Mike Scioscia (an April 2008 stadium giveaway).

He also had a good stack of these 1980’s era Smokey the Bear and the Los Angeles Raiders coloring books. Inside are coloring pages of Marcus Allen, Howie Long, Todd Christiansen and other Raider players.

Coloring book featuring Smokey the Bear and the Los Angeles Raiders
Coloring book featuring Smokey the Bear and the Los Angeles Raiders

There was also this large framed poster of the NFL Hall of Fame.

Poster of the NFL Hall of Fame
Poster of the NFL Hall of Fame

Another seller had this early 2000’s autographed Green Bay Packers helmet. He said Brett Favre’s signature is somewhere on top and was asking $600 although I’m sure the price was negotiable. How many autos can you identify?

Autographed Green Bay Packers helmet - right side
Autographed Green Bay Packers helmet - right side
Packers helmet - left side

Here’s binder of junk-wax era baseball cards. There were a few Topps gold insert cards in this binder that I wanted but the seller was asking in the neighborhood of $1 per card–not exactly a bargain.

Baseball cards in a binder
Baseball cards in a binder

Pins! Another seller had loads of pins and not just sports pins but buttons too. Unfortunately, he did not have a Super Bowl VII pin available. I would have loved to have one of those.

Assorted Super Bowl pins and other pins
Assorted Super Bowl pins and other pins
Assorted pins
Assorted pins...
more assorted pins
...and more assorted pins
Hisashi Iwakuma bobblehead (a July 2014 stadium giveaway)
Hisashi Iwakuma bobblehead (a July 2014 stadium giveaway)
Baseballs with multiple autographs
Baseballs with multiple autographs
Assorted pennants
Assorted pennants
A binder of 1990 Collegiate Collection Notre Dame Football cards
A binder of 1990 Collegiate Collection Notre Dame Football cards
An 8 x 10 photo of Sandy Koufax
An 8 x 10 photo of Sandy Koufax (think the signature is real?)
A couple of hand-painted signs featuring the logos of a couple of our local teams
A couple of hand-painted signs featuring the logos of a couple of our local teams
A binder of cards featuring NASCAR race driver Tony Stewart
A binder of cards featuring NASCAR race driver Tony Stewart
A binder full of cards of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon
A binder full of cards of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon
Raiders neon bar sign
Raiders neon bar sign
Assorted LA Kings hockey pucks
Assorted LA Kings hockey pucks
More pennants
More pennants
Assorted 1977 and/or 1978 RC Cola cans featuring MLB players (and an NFL player)
Assorted 1977 and/or 1978 RC Cola cans featuring MLB players (and an NFL player)
A tin full of assorted autographed NASCAR and country music cards
A tin full of assorted autographed NASCAR and country music cards
Assorted Star Wars cards
Assorted Star Wars cards
Not sure if these are toy USC megahorns or cups
Not sure if these are toy USC megahorns or cups
...and more pennants
...and more pennants
A tin full of assorted sportscards
A tin full of assorted sportscards
Vintage '70's LA Rams glasses
Vintage '70's LA Rams glasses
NFL bedsheets and Star Wars bedsheets!
NFL bedsheets and Star Wars bedsheets!
Starting Lineups figures, a Red Sox book and a box of 1990 Bowman hockey cards
Starting Lineups figures, a Red Sox book and a box of 1990 Bowman hockey cards
Assorted plastic sports cups
Assorted plastic sports cups

That’s wraps up our look at things most of us would love to have if we had the money and the space (or use for tradebait). In the next post, I’ll show off what I did buy and I promise it will be a much shorter post. Stay tuned…

Caribbean Blue (Donruss 1992)

1992 Donruss card element
Screenshot from a 1992 Donruss commercial
Screenshot from a 1992 Donruss commercial

Wow. I can’t believe I actually won a contest prize over at Adam’s ARPSmith’s Sportscard Obsession. It really wasn’t due to due to a correct guess/prediction in one of his minicontests. None of the contestants in a particular mini-contest got the correct answer so the contestants user names were randomized and mine luckily came out on top.

The prize was a complete set of cards, as described in Adam’s original contest post, “The list will certainly include 1986-91 Topps, 1988 & 90-92 Donruss, 1989-91 Score and 1990 Fleer baseball sets and 1990 Score Football”. So as you may have figured by now from the title of this post, I opted for the 1992 Donruss baseball set.

Of all the baseball sets listed on Adam’s prize list, I had the least amount of cards from this set and this was definitely a set I wanted to complete. Although this set may have a bad reputation with some collectors, I’ve always found the design rather attractive, especially for a low-end product. The rather thin bars of light blue with their gradient effect at the top and bottom of most cards and the silver block-lettered names just strike me as pleasingly pleasant. See for yourself:

A sample of 1992 Donruss baseball cards

Adam even included the eight bonus cards, BC-1 through BC-8. The Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies logo cards above are BC-7 and BC-8. The Marlins and Rockies would begin their inaugural season in 1993.

But that was not all Adam sent. He also sent a complete 33-card set of 1987 Topps K-Mart and a complete 33-card set of 1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team. Both of these are sets I did not own. Check ’em out:

1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box front and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box front and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box back and assorted cards
1987 Topps K-Mart Stars of the Decades: Box back and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box front and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box front and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box back and assorted cards
1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team: Box back and assorted cards

And so we give Adam (ARPSmith’s Sportscard Obsession) a well-deserved Stadium Fantasium standing ovation for the contest and the prize! Thanks Adam!

Next for this newly acquired set:

  • Enter these cards in my collection on TCDB (Trading Card Database)
  • Inventory the associated insert cards I have for the 1992 set
  • Create a wantlist of insert cards
  • Put all of the cards Adam sent into a binder

Until then, stay tuned…

Yes, I’m Ready

Segment of 45 rpm "Yes, I'm Ready"

Yes, I’m (sort of) ready to attempt to live up to a few 2019 New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never really had any New Year’s resolutions before (especially hobby resolutions). But for this year, I decided to take baby steps to go out on a limb and set some goals for the new year. In no particular order, here they are:

  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.
    Screenshot of 2018 Topps Heritage insert cards spreadsheet
    Screenshot of 2018 Topps Heritage insert cards spreadsheet
  2. Complete five incomplete smaller, oddball-type baseball sets and put them in a binder. Assorted oddball cardsAssorted oddball baseball cards
    Assorted oddball baseball cards
    Assorted oddball baseball cards
  3. Complete one of my older football sets and put it in a binder (along with a wrapper).
    Assorted 1969-1974 Topps football cards
    Assorted 1969-1974 Topps football cards
    Assorted 1976-1979 Topps and 1989, 1990 Pro Set football cards
    Assorted 1976-1979 Topps and 1989, 1990 Pro Set football cards
  4. List more items on the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block. I’ve got a boatload of cards and non-card items that I would love to trade for wantlist cards. I just gotta sit down and list them and then place them in a physical “Stadium Fantasium Trading Block” box (so that I can find them in case someone actually wants to trade). Here’s a very small sample of what will soon appear in the Trading Block:
    Very small sample of the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block
    Very small sample of the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block
  5. Upgrade Stadium Fantasium. I’ve already started on this project by sprucing up the walls here with 2019 Topps Series 1 and Topps Heritage artwork. And I also added a thumbnail image to most blog links in the Stadium Fantasium blogroll. I’d prefer to have the blogroll formatted like Blogspot blogrolls with some text and a thumbnail image from the blog’s latest post. But alas, I use WordPress and have not found a blogroll widget that’s similar to Blogspot’s. I also recently added a “Blog Contests Lineup” to the right sidebar. It lists the currently active contests of fellow hobby bloggers. Mouse over those links and you can see the contest deadline.

    CONTEST PLUG: By the way, cynicalbuddha of Collector’s Crack fame is running his 9th Annual Almost the Easiest Super Bowl Contest on the Web–I’m definitely in. More blog upgrades to come…

  6. Somehow make the time to inventory/complete sets, maintain Stadium Fantasium, keep up with other blogs, play fantasy baseball, all while satisfying other life obligations. This one goal will be the most difficult to accomplish. I love reading the card blogs and posting to my own blog but those activities also take time away from organizing and growing my collection (I’m sure most of you can relate). But that’s okay. It ensures that I am never bored.

So how many of these goals will I actually accomplish? Will I accomplish half of my goals? Or will I finish all of my goals in half a year? Stay tuned…

My Favorite Mistake (of 2018)

Hobby-wise I was really looking forward to 2018. This would be the first year in ages that I would attempt to build a Topps baseball set that wasn’t flagship. And so when 2018 Topps Heritage was released, I bought two hobby boxes and I’m very happy with my purchase.

You see, the 1969 cards were the first I ever collected and have always been near and dear to my heart (I’m still only five cards away from completing the set along with some of the white letter variations). The 2018 Heritage base cards and deckle edge inserts did a nice job of recreating the look of the original 1969 cards. Sure there were some differences, such as the teams, parallels, relics, autos and insert sets that didn’t exist in 1969. And I was a bit disappointed that the 2018 deckle edge cards weren’t the same size as the 1969 version.

However, I thought it was rather clever that Topps sort of recreated some of the printing imperfections of the 1969 cards. And that brings us to my favorite card of 2018 (drumroll please…)

Ta dah! 2018 Topps Heritage #174

You might have thought that I would have chosen a Dodgers card, but this particular card really hit the nostalgia button for me. Besides some of the colors being out of register (misaligned, as on many of the original ’69 cards), this card also brought to mind an original 1969 card of a White Sox catcher.

Ta dah! 2018 Topps Heritage #174
1969 Topps #222
1969 Topps #222

Thanks to P-town Tom (Waiting ’til Next Year…) for putting on the Favorite Card of 2018 contest.

Love Is A Rose (Bowl Contest Winner)

2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir Cup Design
2019 Rose Bowl Game - Opening drive
2019 Rose Bowl Game - Opening drive
2019 Rose Bowl Game - Final minutes
2019 Rose Bowl Game - Final minutes
2019 Rose Bowl Final Score
2019 Rose Bowl Final Score
2019 Rose Bowl Program
2019 Rose Bowl Program

The 2019 Rose Bowl Game came and went with the Ohio State Buckeyes crowned the 2019 Rose Bowl Champions. Ohio State dominated Washington for most of the game. Washington did score 20 points in the fourth quarter but Ohio State held off the Huskies to win 28-23.

This brings us to the part of the blog post where we declare the winner(s) of the Stadium Fantasium 2019 Rose Bowl Contest (I hope I did the math right–see original contest post here).

Gold Contest Winner: Fuji (The Chronicles of Fuji)! Contestants were to predict which team would win the Rose Bowl and the margin of victory (without going over). Each contestant’s prediction of the margin of victory actually went over but Fuji’s guess was the closest (Fuji guessed 6–nice job!). Fuji will receive four 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (two of each size, pictured in the original contest post), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program (pictured on the right, and his choice of three items of the 42 listed in the original contest post. (Fuji, please list your choices in a comment below.)

Silver Contest Winner: It’s a tie! Both Jon (A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts) and ketchupman (Rekindling the Cardboard Flame) predicted Ohio State to be leading at halftime by 10 points. Ohio State actually led by 18 at halftime. Both Jon and ketchupman will receive two 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (one of each size, pictured at right), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program, and his choice of two items of the 42 listed in the original contest post after the Gold Contest winner has chosen. (since Jon posted his predictions before ketchupman, Jon will choose his items after Fuji.) Way to go guys!

Bronze Contest Winner: ketchupman again! Contestants were to predict how many total points would be scored in this game (without going over). A total of 51 points were scored and ketchupman predicted 48–impressive! In addition to what he won in the Silver Contest, ketchupman will receive two 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (one of each size), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program, and choice of one item from the prize list after the Gold Contest winner and Silver Contest winners have chosen.

Congratulations to all of our winners! I already have email addresses for Fuji and Jon, just need ketchupman’s.

By the way, if anyone else is interested in acquiring their own 2019 Rose Bowl Program or the Souvenir Rose Bowl cups (initially available only to Rose Bowl Game patrons who purchased a beverage at the game) or any of the unclaimed prizes, let’s work out a trade.

Note: It looks like the Rose Bowl programs and cups are pretty hot commodities on ebay.

After the postgame festivities...
After the postgame festivities...
Congratulations to Ohio State!

Above is a picture of the Rose Bowl’s southern scoreboard–notice the number beneath the scoreboard? Stay tuned…

2017 Topps Update US50
2017 Topps Update US50

New Year’s Day

2019 Rose Bowl merchandise signage

Happy New Year!  It’s been a very busy week in Pasadena preparing for the 105th Rose Bowl game. Here’s a glimpse into some of the preparations…

Large Rose Bowl merchandise stand outside the stadium 12/30/18
Large Rose Bowl merchandise stand outside the stadium 12/30/18
Large Rose Bowl merchandise stand on the stadium concourse
Large Rose Bowl merchandise stand on the stadium concourse
In-N-Out Cookout Trailer prepares to feed both teams 12/30/18
In-N-Out Cookout Trailer prepares to feed both teams 12/30/18
Rose Bowl north endzone 12/31/18
Rose Bowl north endzone 12/31/18
2019 Rose Bowl south endzone 12/31/18
2019 Rose Bowl south endzone 12/31/18

As day turned into night here on New Year’s Eve, it got windier and windier.  At home, the lights even dimmed for a second and we almost lost power. Hopefully the wind didn’t affect the stadium and the various crews. Next post, I’ll share more of the happenings at the 2019 Rose Bowl. Stay tuned…

The Rose (Bowl Contest)

Rose Bowl Neon Sign at Dawn
Background

So who’s ready for The Granddaddy of Them All? It appears that the statue of Jackie Robinson (right) is so ready. (Yes, it’s that Jackie Robinson!) In case you didn’t know it, pre-UCLA Jackie was raised in Pasadena and played football at nearby Pasadena City College (known as Pasadena Junior College back then). And recently (November 29, 2017) this statue was unveiled in a ceremony hosted by Vin Scully. It’s really an awesome work. What’s that in his right hand? Is it an old game credential or maybe an old game ticket? And why am I featuring the Rose Bowl in my hobby blog? That’s because the game is being played practically in my backyard and I have more than a casual connection to the venue.

Jackie Robinson statue at the Rose Bowl
Jackie Robinson statue at the Rose Bowl
The Contest

So this will be the 105th Rose Bowl and features the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies (10-3, 7-2 in conference) vs. the Big Ten champion Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1, 8-1 in conference). This is also Stadium Fantasium’s first-ever contest, so please bear with us.

There will be three winners (or more depending on ties).

Gold Contest: Leave a comment below with your prediction of which team will win the Rose Bowl and the margin of victory (without going over). Winner will receive four 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (two of each size, pictured at right), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program, and choice of three items pictured below.

Silver Contest: Leave a comment below with your prediction of which team will be leading at halftime and by how much (without going over). Winner will receive two 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (one of each size, pictured at right), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program, and choice of two items listed below after the Gold Contest winner has chosen.

Bronze Contest: Leave a comment below with your prediction of how many total points will be scored in this game (without going over). For example, if the final score is 50-49 then 99 total points were scored in this game. Winner will receive two 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cups (one of each size, pictured at right), one 2019 Rose Bowl official game program, and choice of one item listed below after the Gold Contest winner and Silver Contest winner has chosen.

Bonus winnings: For each contest above, if you mentioned this contest in your blog before 2:00 pm Pacific Time December 31, I will double your prize! Even if you don’t win one of the three contests, mention this contest in your blog before 2:00 pm Pacific Time December 31 and I’ll still send you one 2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir cup of your choice. (EDIT: These are the cups Rose Bowl customers get when they buy a soda or beer at the game.)

Feel free to enter all three contests. You can even copy other entrants’ predictions without hurting their chances of winning. In the event of a tie, each tied winner will both receive the prized specified. The earlier (tied) comment entry time stamp will get the earlier choice from prize list below.

Deadline to enter is 2:00 pm Pacific on January 1st.

Prize List
  1. One sealed 2-card pack of Solo: A Star Wars Story, (part of a Denny’s 12-card oddball set), 11 packs available
  2. One sealed 21-card pack of 1989 Pro Set Final Update football cards, 1 available
  3. One sealed 14-card pack of 1990 Pro Set NFL Series 2, 2 available
  4. One sealed 14-card pack of 1991 Pro Set NFL, Series 1, 1 available
  5. One sealed 15-card waxpack of 1988 Topps flagship baseball, 2 available
  6. One sealed 15-card cello pack of 1989 Topps flagship baseball, 2 available
  7. One sealed 15-card pack of 1991 Topps baseball, 1 available
  8. One sealed 3-card pack of 1983 Donruss Action All Stars double-size cards, 4 available
  9. One sealed 18-card set of 1992 Score Proctor & Gamble All-Stars (baseball)
  10. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (1965 Topps design including Sandy Koufax), 2 1 available (Won by The Chronicles of Fuji)
  11. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (1977 Topps design including Don Sutton), 8 available
  12. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (1985 Topps design including Tommy Lasorda), 1 available
  13. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (1994 Topps design including Mike Piazza), 1 available (Won by The Chronicles of Fuji)
  14. One 7-card stadium giveaway pack of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary (2001 Topps design including Clayton Kershaw), 2 available (One each won by The Chronicles of Fuji and Rekindling the Cardboard Flame)
  15. One 1969 Topps #456 Bud Harrelson (Mets) worn corners, 1 available
  16. One 1969 Topps #523 Bob Chance (Angels) worn corners, 1 available
  17. One 1969 Topps #505 Bobby Bolin (Giants) worn corner & crease, 1 available
  18. One 1969 Topps #606 Gene Mauch (Expos manager) worn corners & crease, 1 available
  19. One 1969 Topps #633 Harry Walker (Astros Manager) worn corners, 1 available
  20. One 1972 Topps #428 Tito Fuentes (In Action) worn corners, 1 available
  21. One 1979 Topps stamped buyback #633 Rob Wilfong (Twins), 1 available
  22. One 1984 Topps stamped buyback #316 Mark Bradley (Mets), 1 available
  23. One 1991 Upper Deck Denny’s Grand Slam #4 Eric Davis hologram, 1 available
  24. One 1983 Kellogg’s 3-D Super Stars #55 Gary Carter, 1 available
  25. One 1990 Post #25 Rickey Henderson, 1 available
  26. One 1989 Topps Cap’n Crunch #16 Mike Schmidt, 1 available
  27. One 1993 Hostess #22 Tom Glavine, 1 available
  28. One 1993 Hostess #28 Don Mattingly, 1 available
  29. One 2016 Topps Series 2 insert card Hallowed Highlights #HH-6 Mark McGwire, 1 available
  30. One 1995 Upper Deck Denny’s Holograms #11 Ken Griffey Jr., 1 available (won by Rekindling the Cardboard Flame)
  31. One 1995 Upper Deck Denny’s Holograms #12 Tony Gwynn, 1 available
  32. One 1996 Pinnacle Denny’s Holograms #10 Hideo Nomo, 1 available
  33. One 1996 Pinnacle Denny’s Holograms #18 Cecil Fielder, 1 available
  34. One 1997 Pinnacle Denny’s 3D Holographic #4 Frank Thomas, 1 available
  35. One 1997 Pinnacle Denny’s 3D Holographic #12 Juan Gonzalez, 1 available
  36. One sealed 9-card cello pack of 1993 Score Football cards (John Elway showing on the front, Brett Favre in back), 1 available (won by A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts)
  37. One sealed 9-card cello pack of 1993 Score Football cards (Troy Aikman showing on the front, Neil O’Donnell in back), 1 available
  38. One sealed 6-card pack of 1998 Collector’s Edge 1st Place FB, 1 available (won by A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts)
  39. One sealed 3-card cello pack of 1991 Jimmy Dean (Rickey Henderson showing on top), 1 available
  40. One sealed 7-card pack of Panini Triple Play
  41. One 2010 Bowman Prospects BP-1 Stephen Strasburg, 1 available (won by Rekindling the Cardboard Flame)
  42. One 2019 “76 Dodgers” pin, 2 available

And there you have it! Good luck to you!

2019 Souvenir Rose Bowl Cups (front)
2019 Souvenir Rose Bowl Cups (front)
2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir Cups (back)
2019 Rose Bowl Souvenir Cups (back)
Prize List Part 1
Prize List Part 1
Prize List Part 2
Prize List Part 2
Prize List Part 3
Prize List Part 4
Prize List Part 4
Prize List Part 5
Prize List Part 5
Prize List Part 6
Prize List Part 6
Prize List Part 7
Prize List Part 7
Prize List Part 8
Prize List Part 8
Mystery Solved

So what is Jackie’s statue holding in his right hand? Upon closer inspection we see that it is a 2017 Topps Update #US50 Jackie Robinson shortprint card! In fact, it is the actual card that Greg from Night Owl Cards sent to me for his blog’s 10th anniversary. With that, Greg gets a hearty Stadium Fantasium standing ovation! Thank you Greg!

Closeup of Jackie Robinson statue
Closeup of Jackie Robinson statue

Stay tuned…

Here Comes (Secret) Santa Claus

Before we begin, we’re giving a Stadium Fantasium standing ovation to Jon at A Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts for heading up this year’s Secret Santa gift exchange with 30 participants! Well done, Jon!

My Secret Santa was none other than Jim (gcrl) at cards as i see them. Jim also gets a Stadium Fantasium standing ovation for sending these much appreciated 2018 Topps cards and a nice handwritten note…

2018 Topps Heritage Then & Now insert cards
2018 Topps Heritage Then & Now insert cards TN-5, TN-7, TN12, TN-13, TN-15
2018 Topps 1983 insert cards 83-38, 83-46, 83-74, 83-77 and 2018 Topps Archives 214
2018 Topps 1983 insert cards 83-38, 83-46, 83-74, 83-77 and 2018 Topps Archives 214

These cards will put a nice dent in my wantlist. I love the extra touch that Jim (a fellow Dodgers fan) did by adding a terrific Dodgers card of Kenley Jansen from 2018 Topps Archives. Thanks Jim!

Back In the Saddle

Yay! My work schedule finally eased up and now I have an opportunity (for the foreseeable future at least) to bring the blog up to date. With the extra time, I also hope to list more cards on the Trading Block and my Wantlist.

Back in late May, out of the goodness of his heart, P-town Tom of Waiting ’til Next Year… gave away a ton of cards (sorted by teams) to anyone who wanted them. I went ahead and took him up on his generous offer. Of course, I requested Dodger cards and P-town Tom came up big, sending over 400 assorted Dodgers cards! Thanks P-town Tom! I’ll be on the lookout for cards from your player/set wantlists. My apologies for expressing my gratitude to you here so late. You rock!

Oh and before I forget, generous P-town Tom is running a “Favorite Card of 2018” contest (deadline is January 7, 2009 to post a blog article featuring your favorite card of 2018) The prize is exactly the kind of hobby product I live for, so I expect to enter that contest soon.

So here is a somewhat chronological smattering of the cards that P-town Tom was kind enough to send my way (personally, I’m fascinated to see some former Dodgers who are normally associated with other teams):

A few assorted horizontal cards ranging from 1979 to 2001
A few assorted horizontal cards ranging from 1979 to 2001
Assorted 1982-1993 Topps cards
Assorted 1982-1993 Topps cards
Assorted 1998-2011 Topps cards
Assorted 1998-2011 Topps cards
Some 1988-92 Donruss and 1988-91 Score cards
Some 1988-92 Donruss and 1988-91 Score cards
Assorted Score, Fleer, Topps cards
Assorted Score, Fleer, Topps cards
Assorted Upper Deck, Bowman, Leaf and Studio cards
Assorted Upper Deck, Bowman, Leaf and Studio cards
Assorted Fleer Ultra, Pinnacle, Studio, Stadium Club and Metal Universe cards
Assorted Fleer Ultra, Pinnacle, Studio, Stadium Club and Metal Universe cards

A hearty Stadium Fantasium tip o’ the cap to P-town Tom for these cards and more (much appreciated)! Some of these cards may end being duplicates of cards I already have. Some also don’t really fit my collection as they are from sets I don’t collect. Those will eventually be listed on the Stadium Fantasium Trading Block.

On another note, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve added a Twitter widget on the right side of the blog. I created a Twitter account (@bbcardz) at the same time I created this blog mainly to promote the blog. My Twitter timeline is about 95% hobby-related. It’s nice to see that some fellow bloggers also are on Twitter. I don’t really tweet or even retweet a ton but I do “like” a bunch of people’s tweets and, surprisingly, I’m up to 144 followers at the time of this post. Hopefully the Twitter widget will be useful in alerting you to some Twitter giveaways, contests and other hobby happenings.

In the meantime, stay tuned…

At the Game: Dodgers vs. Brewers

Scoreboard

Oh my gosh, what a great time we had at this game (Thursday, August 2). First, we stopped for a pre-game meal at a landmark Los Angeles deli which is also a very popular long-time hangout for Dodgers fans. I’m talking about Philippe’s (open since 1908).

After dining on traditional French-dipped roast beef sandwiches, we headed over to the stadium and entered the gates in time to see the Dodgers taking batting practice. I was pleasantly surprised because normally, the Dodgers players are done with batting practice by the time the gates open for regular fans. I’m pretty sure we got to see the Dodgers batting practice because of the early 6:00 pm game time and the fact that the Brewers did not take BP after the Dodgers (is it possible the Brewers took BP before the Dodgers did?). Plenty of batting practice baseballs were hit into the left field pavilion but amazingly, none were hit into the seats near the left field foul pole where we were standing. C’est la vie

2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary Cards 2000's
Dodgers batting practice

The celebrity first pitch was rather notable with reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian and comedian Kevin Hart pitching to Matt Kemp and Kenley Jansen.

Celebrity First Pitch
Post first pitch picture
Visitors (Brewers) dugout

The game itself was also awesome as Clayton Kershaw was the Dodger’s starting pitcher and pitched a good game giving up two runs over six innings.

First inning

The Dodgers went on to hit seven home runs and win big, 21-5, setting a Dodger Stadium record for most runs scored. One of the big thrills of the game was seeing Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam of the right field foul pole. Even though most of the game’s drama was gone after the fifth inning with the Dodgers leading 10-2, I did stay the entire game (as is my custom). Things were so bad for the Brewers that they brought in IF-OF Hernan Perez to pitch the seventh inning and catcher Eric Kratz to pitch the eighth inning. btw, new Dodger acquisitions Manny Machado and Brian Dozier each had a pretty good day with the bat.

And now for the reason you probably tuned in here…the cards!

2010 Topps Dodgers 60th Anniversary Cards: 2000's
2018toppsdodgers60thanniversarylad35a

This set is the fifth installment of six sets of Dodgers stadium giveaway cards that celebrate the Dodgers 60 years in Los Angeles. And as was hinted at in the Dodgers promotional videos for these cards, Clayton Kershaw is the featured Dodgers legend. These cards look really great although the design here does differ markedly from the original 2001 Topps design below.

2001 Topps #447 Eric Gagne

The original 2001 Topps design had a thin gold foil border around the photo, the player’s name etched in gold foil and a gold foil “Topps 50 Years” logo. No gold foil appears on the stadium giveaway cards. Also note the slight difference in how the Dodgers logo is displayed in the front bottom left corner. The 2018 border is also a bit more green than the 2001 border. Despite these differences, I think Topps did a very nice job here. Again we give a Stadium Fantasium shout-out to the Dodgers, Topps and the sponsors of these great card giveaways.

The sixth set of Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards (the 2010’s) will be distributed on September 4th (Dodgers vs. Mets). Who will be the featured Dodgers legend in the sixth set? Vin Scully perhaps? Stay tuned…

At the Game: Dodgers vs. Rangers

Woo man! I’m so behind here on my blogging, my bad…I’ve been so busy with adjusting to my new work location (same employer, though). I’ve also been putting in some hours at my old work location (but with a new employer). So I’ve been working two jobs lately leaving little time for blogging or the hobby.

But the good new is I was still able to attend the June 12 Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers game at Dodger Stadium and pick up a few packs of the 90’s edition of the Dodger’s 60th Anniversary Collector Cards. These cards feature the 1994 Topps design (a curious choice since 1994 was a strike year for MLB).

So this time I wasn’t able to arrive extra early to watch batting practice near the field (due to working a bit of overtime) but I still got a few shots of the pregame activities including a shot of the cases of giveaway cards and the lineup exchange at home plate.

Cases of 2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary Collector Cards

Here’s a picture from up high behind the Rangers dugout. That’s former Dodger Adrian Beltre high-fiving a Rangers teammate…

Rangers dugout June 12 2018

…and the Dodgers take the field with some lucky kids who each get a baseball autographed right on the field.

Here’s some first-inning action in which Dodgers rookie pitcher Caleb Ferguson is pitching to Shin-Soo Choo. The Rangers’ starting pitcher this night was none other than Bartolo Colon.

Wow, it’s like having 3 1/2 outfielders…

Thanks to a 7-run fourth inning, the Dodgers went on to win the game 12-5.

Dodgers win

And here are the cards!

2018 Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards 21 thru 27
2018toppsdodgers60thlad-28a

Once again as in the previous three 60th Anniversary sets, the same six Dodgers are featured in the first six cards. The seventh card features ’90’s Dodger legend Mike Piazza. Here’s a look at the original 1994 Topps Mike Piazza card. Again Topps did a very nice job of replicating the front and back of the 1994 Topps flagship design. By adding an action photo to the back of the cards, a la the 1994 design, these card backs look much more dynamic and eye-catching than the previous sets of Anniversary cards.

1994topps01a

Just for kicks, here’s a side-by-side comparison of a couple of 2018 Topps Chris Taylor cards. In case you didn’t know, the card on the right is a Series 2 Topps Salute insert card. These cards make me wonder if other images from the Anniversary cards are used in other Topps products.

 

2018toppsct3cards01a

So we give a sincere Stadium Fantasium tip o’ the cap to the Dodgers, Topps and the sponsors for these stadium giveaway cards. Any ideas on who the Dodgers will feature on the 2000’s edition of these 60th Anniversary cards? I think I already know, so stay tuned…

At the Game: Dodgers vs Diamondbacks

Dodger Stadium scoreboard

First off, my apologies for posting late. I should have posted this ten days earlier but my work schedule has really ramped up lately. On the other hand –Woohoo! I’m so glad my work schedule worked out so that I could attend my third Dodger game this season and it’s only May (my work schedule and budget don’t allow me to attend lots of  Dodger games). And being a sucker for baseball cards, I’m also happy that I got to pick up the third installment of the Dodgers 60th Anniversary cards, this time featuring the 1985 Topps design. We also arrived early enough to catch the end of Dodger’s batting practice and all of the Arizona Diamondbacks batting practice. Standing in the field level stands by the left field foul pole, I came really close to catching a batting practice ball. The ball went right over my head as I jumped to catch it but it was just inches out of my reach. Someone behind me ended up getting that ball. D’oh!!

So here are the seven “80’s” Dodgers cards along with a couple of other cards for comparison:

As in the previous two Dodgers card giveaways (featured here and here), the same six current Dodgers are pictured but with a different Dodgers legend–Tommy Lasorda who brought two World Series Championships to Los Angeles in the 80’s. For comparison I also included images of Tommy’s original 1985 Topps card and his 2014 Allen & Ginter card which uses the same photo altered in that special A & G way.

Like the previous two stadium giveaway anniversary card sets, these cards are nicely done if not quite 100% faithful to the original Topps design. Note that most of the photos used for these cards appear to be in-game or in-action as opposed to the posed shots of the previous cards. Again the backs of the cards kind of resemble the backs of the corresponding vintage cards. Once again we’ve got to give props to the Dodgers, Topps and the sponsors for these cards.

So despite my increasingly hectic work schedule, it does look like I will be able to attend the Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers game on Tuesday, June 12. That night’s stadium giveaway is the 90’s set of Dodgers 60th anniversary cards. Anyone want to guess who will be the Dodger legend featured in the 90’s packs? Stay tuned…