Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Hole in your Collection, or a Whole Collection

I recently made a visit to my friendly local baseball card shop to grab a couple more '69 Topps cards. Getting the cards out and updating my checklist made me think about concentrating more on finishing this set. A lot of the cards I have are not in the best condition. Some have pencil marks on them (e.g. the checklist cards). Others have creases. Most have some soft corners. But I recently read something online that another vintage card collector wrote that I thought was very profound. He said, "I'd rather have a hole in a card than a hole in my collection." Now...the honest truth is if I had a card with a hole in it, I would jump on eBay and find one in better condition to replace it, but the sentiment of the collector's statement expresses a collecting philosophy that I find endearing.

It's more than likely, that I'll have to make a decision based on this point of view when it comes to the high profile vintage cards that I'm probably not going to be able to afford ('52 Mantle rookie card graded "PSA 1 Poor" is going for over $5k on eBay). So, if given the opportunity to acquire a rare and otherwise unobtainable card in poor condition, would I take it? The answer is a resounding, YES.

Right now I'm about half way through completing the '69 Topps set. I've got a couple of Hall-of-Famers already (Reggie Jackson, Don Drysdale, Eddie Banks, and some others), and I'm looking forward to getting many more, no matter what their condition.

Of course, I'd love to get my hands on a mint condition Bob Gibson card, but the reality of the matter is that I'll end up with one that's not quite perfect. That's just fine with me. I'd much rather be able to sit down and read the stats on the back of Bob's card than to have to look at a .jpg online from someone else's collection.

That's just my take. Who knows? I may be way off base.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Return of Way-Off-Base

It's been quite a while since I even looked at my old blog. But it's still there, and much to my astonishment, there are still people who haven't deleted my blog from their "Following" list. I'm constantly amazed at the amount of information the internet can contain. It's simply limitless.

Anyway, I was recently paging through some of my binders, trying to figure out what cards I needed to complete a few of the sets I had started collecting when it dawned on me; one of the things I really like about collecting baseball cards is that you can leave them for as long as you need to and they're always there waiting for you to return to them, like a faithful old dog waiting for his master to come home.

I would imagine that most collector's preferences change over time. In my mind, set building turns to player collecting which gives way to team collecting, eventually yielding to vintage cards, and then specializing in pre-war era cards, etc., etc. Personally, I've been all over the map. I've got my sets that I am working on completing. I've got my team that I collect. I also have some vintage cards. Then there's my autographs that I've obtained through the mail. I'm trying to figure out how I can combine all of my interests into one. Maybe if I try to build a set of pre-war era vintage cards concentrating on getting autographs from any living players of my favorite team... Well, maybe that's a little ambitious. I should probably just stick to finishing the sets I've started.

With little in the way of duplicates, I'm strapped for trade bait. So it's off to eBay for me. There's never any shortage of sports card sellers on the old faithful. When I run out of eBay sellers to pick and choose from, I'll probably try to finish things off over at COMC.com. If I still can't complete my set, I'll see if  can find a collector on one of the forums I used to frequent. Well...it looks like I have my work cut out for me. I better get busy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's been a long time coming...

Well...it's been quite a while since I've made a post on here. And for those of you still following my blog, I appreciate you not dumping me.

A lot of things have happened since my last post this past July. The Cardinals had an amazing run in the play-offs and one hell of a World Series! Then, while I was still riding high on the euphoria of the World Series win, Tony LaRussa announces his retirement. I wasn't happy about it, but you can't blame the guy for going out on top. But just when I was getting over the loss of LaRussa, Pujols goes and signs with the Angels. Total disappointment...but what are you gonna do?

So...let's get down to the business at hand. This is, after all, a baseball card blog.

I was recently invited to join an All-Time Greatest fantasy baseball league, and decided to accept since I've never done a league like that before. The draft has forced me to research ball players in order to come up with a respectable roster. That recent research has got my baseball card collecting juices flowing again, and in turn, driven me back to my blog. (See how that chain of events unfolded? Cool, huh?)

So, yesterday I was looking through my cards, trying to find some duplicates for a trade I'm working on, and I found several sets (or more accurately insert sets and parallels) that I made me want to get the whole set.

I tend to go through these "phases" in my collecting preferences. Right now, I'm all about the minis...you know those tobacco-sized little cards that you see in a lot of sets. Allen & Ginter, Gypsy Queen, and Obak all have mini parallels of their base sets, but Kimball Champions is a stand-alone set, meaning they're not a parallel or variation card. They're based on the n184 Kimball Champions 50-card set produced in 1887 that only had 4 baseball players in it. The rest of the original set was made up of everything from a checkers champion to Annie Oakley. The 2011 Kimball Champions set that Topps produced was inserted into the 2011 Topps Series 1, 2, and Updates sets. Overall there are 150 minis spread out over the three sets of the Topps flagship release. (I started to put a link to the checklist here, but you can use Google just as easily as I can.)

I'm thinking these minis are going to look good in my album. Let me know what you think about the Kimball Champions set or minis in general.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Draft Pick That Wasn't

Cardboard Connection Radio had a segment last week on this card, and I thought it was a story worth sharing with those of you who didn't listen to the show.

In the 1974 NHL draft, the Buffalo Sabres' general manager was upset with the draft process and decided to make a fake pick in the 11th round. Punch Imlach, the Sabres GM at the time, picked up a Buffalo phone book, found a Japanese name, and announced that the Sabres were drafting Taro Tsujimoto, the center from the Tokyo Katanas (also a fictitious team...Sabres-Katanas...get it?). To this day, the fans at Buffalo still chant "We want Taro!" at the games.

That's a great story that stands on its own, but 36 years later Panini decides to make Tsujimoto's first rookie card. No, I'm not kidding. The 2010-11 Score Rookies & Traded set includes a short print of the legend himself. Panini even cleared the card with the NHL and the PA.

 2010-11 Score Rookies & Traded #659 Taro Tsujimoto

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baseball Cards Are Keeping Me Busy

Apparently I've reach the point where I've got too many things on my plate. Writing for The Cardboard Connection, posting on my favorite forum, Sports Card Radio Fan Forum, and following the Cardinals with Pujols on the DL and all the bull-pen drama going on, has pushed posting on my blog almost completely off my plate. But today I'm enjoying a rare day off from work and trying to make the most of it.

I'm going to try and catch everyone up on what's been going on in my little corner of the world of baseball card collecting. Since my last post, I've contributed a couple more stories on The Cardboard Connection. You already know about the piece on the Frank Corridon card (1910 T205 Frank Corridon Leads History Lesson). But since then I've also written Baseball’s Changed But the Stats on the Back Haven’t, which is a story about how I believe Topps or any other company that may get a license to produce baseball cards, should get a little innovative and add some new stats to the backs of baseball cards. 

I've also written a piece about my feelings on base cards. Getting Back to Base-ics With Your Collection was a fun article for me to write because I think some of the newer cards with their fancy graphics and shiny surfaces are approaching ridiculous. I'm not opposed to any types of sports cards. But in a world where refractors, memorabilia cards, and sticker autos are kings, I just wanted to highlight that base cards are still relevant. 

I've also got a new article that I have just submitted for editing prior to the writing of this blog post. It's a piece on a book I just finished reading entitled Mint Condition - How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession by Dave Jamieson. I'll be sure to post a link to it as soon as it hits the website.

Well, besides writing for the website, I've also added a few more "ubber-vintage" cards to my collection. (In my world "uber-vintage" is any card that's over 100 years old.) If you scroll down to my previous post, you'll see my 1911 T205 Frank Corridon card. That card got me wondering about the rest of the Cardinals in the T205 set. So I did a little research and found that there were a total of 10 different Cardinals in the set, two of them are Hall of Famers (Roger Bresnahan and Miller Huggins), and there are two Cardinals who have variation cards. Roger Bresnahan has one card with his mouth closed and one with it open, while Robert Harmon has one card with both of his ears visible and one where you can only see one of his ears. You really have to be a collector to appreciate the variation cards. I think most people would just shrug their shoulders at the slight differences in the cards, but to a collector those are little nuggets of gold! Anyway, I was able to get my hands on a few of these historical pieces. Here's the scans of the cards I recently scored...

1911 T205 Arnold Hauser
1911 T205 Edward Konetchy
1911 T205 Edward Phelps
1911 T205 Louis Evans
1911 T205 Rehel Oakes
No Hall of Famers or variation cards. Those are still a little out of my price range at the moment, but maybe Santa might find it in his heart to put a little special something in my Cardinals Christmas stocking next year. (My wife reads this blog, so just humor me.) 

Just a little trivia note that I would like to add...and this 100% baseball related, but more of a personal nature. I recently have been doing a little research into my family history, and I found out that my grandfather was born in 1911. (In fact, if he were alive today, he would be celebrating his 100th birthday tomorrow.) Since I I'm collecting the 1969 Topps set because it was produced the same year I was born, I wanted to at least get all the Cardinals from the year my grandfather was born. 

I'm going to have to do a little more research into the sets produced in 1945 to find a baseball card set that was made the same ear that my father was born. But that's a topic for another blog post.

Thanks for reading. See you next time!