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’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

Contest Time – ‘6th Annual Pick The Award Winners Contest’

Contest Time – ‘6th Annual Pick The Award Winners Contest’

Finally!  Another fun contest being held by your good friend at ’30-Year Old Cardboard’.

I have hosted this contest for the last 5 seasons, so why not go for six in a row…

The rules – To qualify for the contest all you have to do is select who you think will win the Rookie Of The Year awards, Cy Young Awards, and Most Valuable Player award in both leagues.  Each correct answer will earn you 2 points.  To make things interesting, I will also award an additional point if you correctly name the second place player for the 2 MVP awards.  In total you have to submit 8 players and designate who will finish in first and second place in the MVP race.

A correct entry ballot will look something like this:



AL Cy –

NL Cy –

AL MVP Winner –

AL MVP 2nd

NL MVP Winner –

NL MVP 2nd

Entries are due by 10:00PM EST on Sunday so get your homework done and submit your picks quickly so you’re eligible to win.

And what is the prize, you ask?

How about this?


6 packs of 1988 Score baseball cards for the winner!!

Great prize, huh??   Yeah, I thought you would like it!!!

Sound like fun?  Then submit your picks into the comments section of this post.  Good Luck!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #1 – Lot Of 3 Billy Hamilton Rookie Cards!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #1 – Lot Of 3 Billy Hamilton Rookie Cards!!

While not purposely seeking out these cards, there was no way that I was going to pass them up either.

Billy Hamilton is one of the most exciting young stars in the game and I have watched him become an even better player as the season has progressed.  His skills on offense always revolved around his ability to run, but now he has become a good hitter.  Not yet great, but definitely good.  And from there, he uses his wheels to make things happen and put runs on the board for the Reds.

I hope to see even more improvement from him in 2015 as he gets more comfortable at the plate and with his role as the leadoff hitter and offense generator.

I picked up each of these cards for just $0.25 each.



And if I can find more cards of Hamilton in that price range, I will do it again.

He’s got my vote for the NL ROY.  Does he have yours too?

Manny Machado 2014 Bowman Platinum

Manny Machado 2014 Bowman Platinum

I picked up this card of Manny Machado for just $0.18 on Sportlots two weeks ago when shopping for modern cards from the new 2014 Bowman Platinum release.

The set is really starting to grow on me and may take the crown as the ‘Best Looking Baseball Card Product of 2014’.

I picked up a decent stack of cards from the set for my PC’s and Marlins team set, and all look just as good as this!




I Am Re-Committing Myself To The Roots Of ’30-Year Old Cardboard’

I Am Re-Committing Myself To The Roots Of ’30-Year Old Cardboard’

On Sunday night, I eluded to the fact that I was really starting to miss my favorite players from my youth – the ones that shaped my love for the game that has carried me, my collection, and this blog for many years.

I specifically detailed how I wish that I paid a little more attention to the guys that have left us early – like Tony Gwynn, Gary Carter, and Kirby Puckett.

Well, I am now ready to do something about it.  And in a major way.  I am going back to the roots of ’30-Year Old Cardboard!

After publishing that post on Sunday, I spent a few hours organizing my cards even deeper than I had before.  And for a very small handful of players, I expanded on my detailed player collection Excel spreadsheets to include every single card of them I own, just like I have done with my Dawson, Jenkins, Palmer, etc. collections.

This process confirmed to me that I can go after quite a bit more.  So, that is my plan.

I am digging deeper on some of the original player collections I built when I got back into collecting in 2008.  And in many cases, I am going back after the guys I originally built player collections of when I first got back into the hobby.  Absence certainly does make the heart grow fonder…

Have I added more cards of these guys since?  Sure, I have.  And they are now documented and accounted for.  But, in many cases, I limited my original collections of them to specific brands, years, and teams.  As an example, I restricted my collection of Dave Winfield to all major-brand baseball cards up to 1989.

Well, now I am opening the flood-gates.  I am going BIG!!

Get ready for a lot of vintage oddballs, limited edition cards, and super stuff from the 1980’s.

As for the player that I intend to highlight and showcase – the list is baseball royalty:  Rickey Henderson, Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Wade Boggs, and Eddie Murray.

Here is a picture of my collection of these five HOF’ers as it stands tonight:

PC 1

And in the very near future, I am hoping that each of these rows will look a lot more full.

Buckle up everybody, it is going to be a fun, fun ride!!

Thanks for reading.


The Death Of Tony Gwynn Has Left Me Feeling A Bit Empty…

The Death Of Tony Gwynn Has Left Me Feeling A Bit Empty…

It has been two months since one of my baseball heroes, Tony Gwynn, died.

And since his passing, I have spent more time reading articles written about him, watching videos about him, and learning more about him.  I was sad the day that he passed.  And I am still sad about it today.  Lately it seems like more and more of the players I enjoyed as a kid are gone.  Gary Carter blew me away a few years ago, and then back in July, Tony Gwynn left us too.

As I watch modern-day baseball, I crave for the legends that shaped my love for the game.  I miss watching them play.  I miss cheering for them.  I miss impersonating their batting stance and swing with my buddies at the park.

Do I love the modern game?  Of course I do.

But my true passion is the baseball and the players that starred during my youth – Pete Rose and 4,192, Mookie Wilson’s error, Canseco’s 40/40, Bo Jackson breaking bats over his knee, Andre Dawson throwing out runners going to third, Rickey Henderson cruising around the base paths, Dwight Gooden striking out dozens during each appearance, Kirk Gibson’s World Series home run, and the list goes on.  These are the players and moments that made me fall in love with the game.

So, as I always tend to do, I am going to go back to enjoy the sport and hobby from my youth.

’30-Year Old Cardboard’ is heading back to the 1980’s!!!

Will I still follow modern players and teams?  Without a doubt.  Will I still collect modern cards?  Of course I will.  But, I will once again be paying more attention to the players and teams and cards that made me fall in love with this great sport and hobby during my childhood.  If I can learn more now, great.  And if I can conjure up more memories of those great times, I am all for it.

I think that this will be a lot of fun.  And I hope that you are ready to go back to the 1980’s with me.

Let’s Go!!

Boys Collecting Baseball Cards

Celebrating The Blog Today. Happy 6th Birthday To ’30-Year Old Cardboard’

Celebrating The Blog Today.  Happy 6th Birthday To ’30-Year Old Cardboard’

Yep, the blog has reached another milestone – 6 years!

What started as a journey in 2008 that I did not know where it would go or how it would get anywhere, ’30-Year Old Cardboard’ has become a part of my life, a very enjoyable part.

Since August 8, 2008, this blog has been chugging right along.  No Baby steps with this thing – right to walking, jogging, running, and now a marathon.

In existence for 2,191 days, I have missed just one day since 8/8/2008 in which I did not submit a post for your enjoyment.  And that missed day came during the first two weeks – so, you could say that I have a 5 year, 11 month streak going.  Look out Cal, I am coming for you!!!

In all seriousness, this blog the world to me.  It has allowed me the opportunity to enjoy the baseball stars I enjoyed during my youth while also getting the opportunity to learn even more about the great history of the game and engrossing myself in the action of today.

I have met some great people over the years as a result of ’30-YOC’ – some I have not talked to in years, others I speak with on occasion, and some I talk to almost daily.  And I love all of it.

From me to you and from you to me, Happy Birthday ’30-Year Old Cardboard’.  I may run the blog, but this blog is for all of us.

Thanks for the great times and memories.  I look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of us!!

baseball fireworks


Reader Jared Fires Over A Huge Lot Of Cards, Perfectly Crafted For A Collector Like Myself!!!

Reader Jared Fires Over A Huge Lot Of Cards, Perfectly Crafted For A Collector Like Myself!!!

I’m like a kid in a candy store tonight as I had a HUGE bubble mailer waiting for me when I got home from work.

And as soon as I had time to rip it open, I did.

And the treasures inside are plentiful and super.

I won’t even start showing them off to you now.  I’ve got to sort.  I’ve got to organize.  I’ve got to drop them into penny sleeves.  I’ve got to say ‘THANK YOU’ to Jared again for the great gift.

And, since I am such a nice guy, I will give you a little treat too:




And get ready to see a lot of new cardboard being shown off at ’30-YOC’!  Stay tuned.