It’s the end of the year, and I have a tremendous backlog of trades that need some posts of recognition. Those aren’t always necessary, but I feel better about receiving cards when I’ve acknowledged the generosity of those who’ve sent cardboard my way.
Today, though, I’m going to talk about a purchase. I follow Nick’s philosophy on refraining from “look what I bought” posts, unless they’re truly spectacular or weird in some way. But I have a few of those from the year that I need to write about, and this one certainly fits both of those categories.
Back in May, I got a hot cardboard tip. Specifically, I saw a tweet from a fellow random collector I followed at some point. He’s not in the Houston area, but has a relative (uncle?) who is, and who works at a Goodwill. Some extra-special cards had arrived: vintage.
Anyhow, I saw the tweet and made a note to check a couple of the stores that were in the area, if I had time. If it wasn’t clear yet, I managed to find them. This glorious 1959 All-Star card of Luis Aparicio was one of the cards visible in the post, and made my heart flutter a bit when I saw it.
This was quite a haul of glorious cardboard. It was a little more than my cardboard budget for the time, but I took a deep breath, vowed to limit my next couple months of buying, and determined that I could cover some of it by selling off a handful of the cards, including a few notable dupes in the pile.
Another thing visible in the shot on Twitter? The 1965 AL Home Run Leaders card featured in the group below. It turned out to be one of several leaders cards in the pile. I netted the triple crown AL batting leaders as well as the NL strikeout and ERA leaders. Look at all of those names!
As it turned out, those weren’t the only 1965s in the stack.
These two big names were waiting for me as well. Roger is less than thrilled about the Bob Gibson, but he’s just going to have to get over it.
But perhaps the biggest surprise here was the small group of Rookie Stars, including a second copy of the Joe Morgan rookie for my collection, and not one but two copies of the Tony Perez. This find shot me over the edge, and made me take the plunge on finally building the 1965 set, one which I’ve loved for a good while. With a few dupes already in the collection, and a few stars pulled from PCs, I had attained critical mass. I’m due for a full post on this quest, but you can find my lengthy list of needs over on the Vintage tab of the want list.
There were many cards in this pile which were fantastic vintage pieces that didn’t fit my collection, per se, but which I couldn’t bear to part with. This Duke Snider “Baseball Thrills” card from ’59 Topps was one such example. Well, I don’t know – I suppose I do have an affinity for action cards such as this, but would I have gone through the effort of hunting it down? No, not until I’d at least finished some other projects. But now it’s here, nestled in my box of vintage goodies.
This excellent Cubs’ Clubbers card fits that description as well. I mean, other than it being nice old cardboard with none other than Ernie freakin’ Banks on it, I have no logical reason to go add this to my collection. But this hobby defies logics sometimes – like the times when it dumps a tremendous find into your lap through none other than sheer fate.
Speaking of the delightful Ernie Banks, he showed up in this pile again, on one of those aforementioned League Leaders cards. These two were true whoppers, as well. Three HOFers apiece – and the names on that 1966 NL Batting Leaders card! WOW!*
*As an aside, I’m going to have to figure out how to store all this stuff now. It seems strange to consider just filing these in my boxes, but I don’t have any real order for which to page them up, aside from the 65’s in their own set binder and the couple cards in here which went to PC pages.
Speaking of 1966 and those names, I wound up with bonafide cards of two of those megastars. The Mays has some loving creases, but I couldn’t care less, honestly. The Clemente is virtually flawless, in my opinion – other than his nameplate, of course.
There was another pair of HOFers awaiting from the 1966 set as well – thanks to this stellar little lot, I came away with rookie cards of Fergie Jenkins and Don Sutton! In fact, there were two copies of the Sutton in there, one of which I sold.
Now, if that Clemente – Mays duo up there didn’t do it for you, then maybe these baby [blues] will. I picked up another pair of whoppers from 1967. The Mantle was one of the cards show in the picture of the lot, and originally I figured I’d flip it to help pay for the lot. I’m certainly not a Yankees man, but the more I looked at this (off-centered but otherwise clean) card and thought about how it was really kind of neat to have an actual vintage Mantle solo card, I grew less and less eager to part with it. So, sure – it’ll stay here. That Mays, though! Two vintage Willie’s in the same batch! I felt particularly blessed when I found those.
The other pair of 1967s were no slouches either. Sure, it’s not the rare Yankees version, but the Maris is nice. There were two of these as well, and I can’t recall if I sold one or still have it – I’ll have to check the box they’re in at the moment.
Oh, so you like vintage HOFers? Well there was a trio of 1968s in the bag as well. The Carew is way off-center, but overall these are nice clean cards, and I’m certainly not about to reject a second-year Seaver if it floats my way.
There was another Mantle visible in the pictures online (I suppose Mantle is the name you’d want to post in order to draw attention to this lot, after all), and that was this 1963 AL Batting Leaders card. It was one of two from the 1963 set, the other being a lovely Jim Gilliam card. Here, once again, we come to the “doesn’t really fit the collection, but can’t part with it,” portion of the stack.
The same could also be said for these two 1956 Yankees (blech, more Yankees!), but I mean, c’mon – who in their right mind would turn away a pair of 1956 Topps cards? If we add in the Eddie Robinson that was one of two surviving cards from my father’s collection, then I have three Yankees from the 1956 set – more than any other team, and possibly all of my 1956 cards. How in the heck did I manage that? Anyhow, these are both stupendous cards, and I wouldn’t dream of letting them go at this point. I wonder who from the Tigers is scoring on that Elston Howard card? That sounds like a SABR Baseball Cards detective post waiting to be written.
It wasn’t all vintage in the stack, however. There was a small bundle of junk wax in the mix. The 1991 Stadium Club Jeff Bagwell was indeed new to my collection, however, and crossed off one of his few remaining rookie cards which I needed. The 93 Upper Decks will go toward my newest set build,* and the Ryans were all nice finds as well.
* Need to post about that, too, and post a list I suppose.
In addition, there was a small handful of basketball cards (and a few football) to boot. I might keep the Shaq rookie, for kicks, but the rest of these are in my trade pile.
Finally, there were two other non-baseball cards which I will certainly keep. The Olajuwon is fan-damn-tastic, and while the Cowboys are essentially the devil, I can’t deny a nice card of a young Emmitt Smith.
Phew! I’ve been meaning to write that find up for a while. I suppose I’m back on the blogging horse, for now. Merry Christmas to you all – or a happy holiday of whatever it is you celebrate, even if that’s just Festivus.