’30-Year Old Cardboard’ – The Curtain Call

’30-Year Old Cardboard’ – The Curtain Call

Tonight, I say good-bye.  My blogging days are done and my ride of 12,268 articles written will come to an end.  I have not skipped a day of posting an article to this blog since August 17, 2008.  Tomorrow, my streak ends at 2,281.

The sport of baseball is one of my true loves.  And when I was introduced to baseball cards in 1985, that love was able to be shared through cardboard rectangles that featured images of my favorite players.

In August of 2008, I created ’30-Year Old Cardboard’.  The blog was created as a way for me to reconnect with the hobby that I grew up loving while also bringing me closer to the players that I cherished as a kid.  Both missions were a success as my passion for the game and for the hobby of baseball card collecting have never been higher.

To anyone that I have connected with over the last six years, you have my respect and admiration.  It is not always easy to be a fan of this sport.  And it is very hard to be a dedicated collector.

Many of the people I have connected with through ’30-YOC’ have become friends as well.  For that, I say ‘Thank You’.  I will still be around – just in other formats.  We can still text, and tweet , and chat through Facebook.

Personally, I look forward to what the next chapter of my life brings…

I have a large stack of baseball-related books that are waiting for me to be read.


Both of my sons are extremely active in Little League baseball and the community soccer programs in our city and I am signed up to be their coach throughout.


I have also been working out a lot lately – mostly running.  Since the middle August of this year, I have lost 27 pounds with a complete diet overhaul and vigorous running regimen.  I am in the best shape that I have been in in quite some time and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.  I am registered for my first ever 5k race in a few weeks and I already have my eyes set on another event in January.

Life continues to be full of thrills and I am eager to enjoy every single one of them that comes my way.

Again, my sincerest ‘Thanks’ to each and every reader that has ever stumbled across this blog.

It has been a blast.  And now, it is time to go.

With respect and admiration, Thank you!

Brian Applebaum

Hat Tip


Saying Good-Bye To ’30-YOC’. Tying Up A Few Loose Ends…

Saying Good-Bye To ’30-YOC’.  Tying Up A Few Loose Ends…

As I prepare to end my days of writing this blog, it would not be right for me to simply walk away without addressing a few things about my love for the game, the hobby, and ’30-Year Old Cardboard’.

So, please allow me one final time to vent and get it all out.

First, let me say that my love for the hobby of collecting baseball cards has not vanished.  I am, and will always be, a collector.  It is in my blood.  Will my habits change after the blog is shut down?  Sure they will, just as they have multiple times  over the last six years while writing 30-YOC.

But, my hobby will go on.

I still have plans to complete the 1975 Topps baseball card set.  Currently, I am up to card #415 and am almost 2/3 of the way home.  And as you can see, I have scored some of the very tough cards from the set that I have yet to feature:


I also have every intention of continuing to expand on my ‘Ultimate Dawson’ collection.  I have another baseball in the mail for Andre as we speak and I have a few more little projects that I plan on attacking once my signed baseball collection is complete (21 balls in total, 1 for each MLB season in which he played).  For me, this collection I have put together defines my love for the sport and hobby – blending old with new, collecting during my youth and then now as an adult.

My love and passion for my team is at an all-time high.  The ability to watch the blossoming careers of Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, and Christian Yelich is a thrill for me.  And I am already planning my trip to Spring Training to check them out as they prepare for the 2015 baseball season.  Both of my boys have become pretty big Marlins fans as well and I am eager to get them out to the ballpark multiple times again in 2015.  I also plan on doing a lot to commemorate the 1997 and 2003 World Series Marlins teams – a new extension to my Marlins team set collection.  Think signed balls, World Series mementos, and more.

My autograph collection will continue to grow as well.  Along with the baseball that I have out for Andre Dawson, I also sent in a ball for a Billy Williams signing – it will be a nice complement to the oldest ball in my collection (one that I got way back in 1989).

And I still plan on collecting the heroes of my youth.  After all, those players are the ones that crafted my love of the game and the hobby.  Paying tribute to them always feels right and I look forward to continuing to build on those collections as I love to go back to the 1980’s as frequently as I can.


There are so many things that I wanted to bring to ’30-YOC’ over the years, that I never got around to doing.

I never got around to debuting ’27 Outs’ or ‘Ultimate Palmer’ or ‘My Marlins’.

And I never brought back ‘Now That’s A Book I’d Read’ or ‘Million Dollar Question’ or ‘HOF Debate’.

But, I did put in a lot of work…

Each year, I have started a new spiral notebook that has allowed for me to keep a schedule of all posts for the blog.  It also allows me the opportunity to quickly write down any ideas that I come up with or that are presented to me.  For more than six years, I have carried these notebooks around with me – to work, in the car, and on family vacations.


I feel as if I have put together some really great pieces at ’30-YOC’ over the last few years.  I will miss crafting new ideas and taking them all they way through to being published and talked about by the readers.

But for me, I know that now is the right time for me to step away.  The ride has been immense and I have loved every minute of it.  I’d rather step away now, with my head held high, and before the quality and devotion to this hobby of mine takes a hit.

Tomorrow night will be the last time that I publish with ’30-YOC’.

I hope to see you one more time tomorrow.  Good night.

30-Year Old Cardboard – The End Is In Sight

30-Year Old Cardboard – The End Is In Sight

My heart is a little heavy tonight.  I have decided to stop blogging at ’30-Year Old Cardboard’.

For more than six years, this blog has been a big part of my life.  And in that time, I have interacted with hundreds of great people who share common interests with me and dozens of people interested in taking their love for the hobby and the sport of baseball to the blogging world.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, ‘How do you do so much’? My answer is always the same – ‘This is my passion.  This is my hobby.  For me, baseball card collecting and blogging are linked.  And the moment that blogging about my hobby feels like a chore and less like a hobby is when I will stop’.

Well, that time has come.  As my personal life has gotten more and more busy with two kids in elementary school while also being very active in sports, my available time has been diminished.  The task of logging in a huge stack of cards, then scanning them all, and then creating drafts for all of them, is something I used to tackle with energy and vigor.  Lately, that same task  has become one that I no longer have time to attack with the same energy.

Could I trim down my workload at ’30-YOC’ and post less frequently?  Sure, I could.  And I thought about it.  But, that is not who I am nor what this blog has become.

So, I will simply hang it all up and walk away.  If Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter can do it, so can I.

In the coming days, I will have a few more posts – just a few thoughts before I go.  Consider it my final ‘State Of The Blog’.

In the meantime, I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to each and every reader out there that has stopped by one time or one thousand times over the last 6+ years and read something I have posted about.  My love for the hobby and the great sport of baseball remains in my blood and in my soul – I will simply be finding a new way to share it (most likely with my two sons at my side).

’30-Year Old Cardboard’ is not dead.  The blog will remain active and in tact.  I am simply closing the laptop and writing the final chapter.


Brian Applebaum
creator and author of ’30-YOC’

thank you note

Giancarlo Stanton 2014 Topps Sticker

Giancarlo Stanton 2014 Topps Sticker

I’ve mentioned before that both of my boys are piecing together the 2014 Topps sticker sets.

Each one is doing very well with their albums and I imagine that they are both down to needing less than 20 stickers to complete the full set.

We’ve gone through a ton of packs of these stickers.  and we have even started buying singles from Sportlots.com.

As for the extras, I have been selling them on Ebay in larger bulk lots.  And I also kept a few for myself.

Like this one of my favorite current major league player…



Hey, I can have a few too, can’t I….

Rickey Henderson 1987 O-Pee-Chee

Rickey Henderson 1987 O-Pee-Chee

A few weeks ago I showed off my Wade Boggs card from the 1987 O-Pee-Chee baseball card set.

Well, I have scored another card from that same set for another PC that I am working on.

This time around, the featured payer is Rickey Henderson of the New York Yankees.



And just like that Boggs card from a few weeks ago, the lone difference on the front of the card is that the Topps logo in the lower-left corner has been replaced by the logo of O-Pee-Chee.

Great action image of Rickey here.  He definitely connected on this one!

Wade Boggs 2005 Topps Turkey Red

Wade Boggs 2005 Topps Turkey Red

Another card of Wade Boggs playing defense…

But, with the vintage Topps Turkey design, I think that I would have preferred he be hitting.  For me, this style of card is better suited for a player holding a bat in a posed position rather than in an action, defensive spot.



Still, another nice card for my collection.  I really like the attention to detail on this card, from the shoe brand to the lacing on Boggs’ glove – VERY NICELY DONE!!!

1975 Topps Set Card 318/660 – #489 – Cecil Cooper, Red Sox

1975 Topps Set Card 318/660 – #489 – Cecil Cooper, Red Sox

Progress: 318/660

Card Number:  489

Player Name:  Cecil Cooper

Team:  Boston Red Sox

Position:  First Base

Image Style:  Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues: 17 seasons, 1971-87

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Cooper hit .311 for the Red Sox in 1975 as he connected for 95 hits in 305 at-bats.  Of his 95 hits, Cooper collected 17 doubles, 6 triples, and 14 home runs.  He drove in 49 runs during the season while also scoring 44 times.

Notes From Career:  Cecil Cooper is a career .298 hitter with 5 All-Star selections, 3 Silver Slugger Awards, and 2 Gold Gloves on his resume.  Copper connected for 2,192 hits in 1,896 games played.  He is a 2-time league leader in doubles and RBI and also a former MVP candidate.


1975 Topps Set Card 317/660 – #208 – 1970 Most Valuable Players

1975 Topps Set Card 317/660 – #208 – 1970 Most Valuable Players

Progress: 317/660

Player Name:  Boog Powell, Johnny Bench

Card Number:  208

Team:  Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds

Image Style: reprint baseball cards

How they got there:

Boog Powell hit .297 during the 1970 baseball season.  He connected for 156 hits that year including 28 doubles and 35 home runs.  Boog drove in 114 runs for the Orioles during the year while also scoring 82 times.

Johnny Bench hit .293 for the Reds in 1970.  He collected 177 hits in 158 games including 35 doubles and a league-leading 45 home runs.  Bench also paced the NL in RBI with 148 while scoring 98 runs.  He also won the Gold Glove in the NL for catchers.


1981 HEADLINE: Fernando Valenzuela Becomes 1st Rookie To Capture Cy Young and ROY Awards!!!

1981 HEADLINE: Fernando Valenzuela Becomes 1st Rookie To Capture Cy Young and ROY Awards!!!

On this day in 1981, Fernando Valenzuela won the National League’s Cy Young Award.

The week prior, he was named as the Rookie Of The Year, becoming the first player in major league history to earn both the ROY and the Cy Young Award in the same season.

The numbers?  Let’s take a closer look, shall we??

13-7 record with 11 complete games and 8 shutouts.  180 strikeouts with just 61 walks and an ERA of 2.48.

Not too bad for a 20-year old hurler, huh??

Happy Anniversary Mr. Valenzuela!!!

Bryce Harper 2014 Bowman – Orange Border Parallel

Bryce Harper 2014 Bowman – Orange Border Parallel

I’ve already got the base and the state version of this card, so it was very, very nice to be able to add another one – especially one that is serial numbered to just 250 copies.

This is the Orange border parallel version of the card.  Mine is serial numbered as 199/250.



I’m digging the Orange border, but it does not really work well with the Washington Nationals color scheme.

But, I bet it looks great with a Marlins card.  I’m gonna have to see if I can seek any of them out…  Wish me luck.