Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me - A COMC "Card Show" - Part 1

My birthday was just about a month ago now.  Since I don't typically get anything sports card-related as a gift (though I did receive an eBay gift card from my mother-in-law), I decided to treat myself this year.  I loaded $75 of credit into my COMC account on a Saturday with a couple of hours to kill and treated it like my own virtual card show.

$75 is much more than I'd typically spend on COMC, but I justified this because A) I haven't busted a single wax box of cards all year and have generally been doing a good job sticking to my hobby budget in 2016, and B) I haven't made the regularly scheduled card show in my area in over 6 months now.

I really wanted above all else to land a few significant vintage baseball cards.  My timing was perfect that weekend, as one particular seller was offering some pretty amazing sales on some "slightly loved" vintage baseball cards.  Some of the best sales I can ever recall seeing on COMC in fact!  I ended up with just 8 cards in total, which I admit doesn't sound like a lot.  One of them took up 1/3 of my allotted budget though, and the other 7 came to $50 combined.  I've got the first four to show off today, and will follow up with the rest in part 2 tomorrow...

Batting lead-off, a nice '63 Topps Yogi Berra, complete with some surface wrinkles.  At #340 on the checklist, this is a "middle series" card from the '63 release.  While the 6th and 7th series cards (#447 and up) are generally thought of as the toughest to acquire, the 4th and 5th series (#284 - #446) were printed in much smaller quantities in 1963 than the middle series releases from previous years.

I was drawn to this one because despite the surface wrinkles it is centered fairly well, which is probably the thing I look for most in a vintage card.  Of course, the ultimate reason I decided to go with this card is that it was priced at an insanely low $6.44.  Can you believe that?  Condition aside, I figured I wouldn't get too many chances to own this card at less than $10.  To put it in perspective, the current lowest price example of this Berra on COMC is listed at $25 and change, and it looks like this:

All of the sudden those surface wrinkles don't look so bad, do they?  With all due respect to Charles Manson, I'd rather have the copy I ended up with.

Nice, clean back too!  This is the third vintage Berra card I've been able to acquire now, which is certainly more than I thought I'd ever get my hands on.

The second card I picked out was another "somewhat" high series card.  With card #505, Juan Marichal is a series 6 (out of 7) card in the 1962 Topps set.  The corners on this one are a little rougher than the Berra, but again the centering is pretty good.  This now gives me Juan's '62, '63 and '64 Topps releases, so I've got the beginnings of a nice little player collecting forming almost by accident.

While it's probably my least favorite of the 8 cards I picked up, it was also the least expensive at just $2.19.  Absolutely no way I could leave this one out of my cart at that bargain basement price.

Next up, Ed Mathews' '57 Topps release.  This one was obviously heavily discounted based on the crease that runs through the middle of the card.  It looks worse in the scan than it does in hand for some reason.  Once again, pretty decent centering though, and like the Berra that I led off with I spent just $6.44 to acquire this card.

It may not be perfect, but if I ever decide to take a stab at the '57 Topps set this will certainly suffice.  Adding to the allure of this one is the fact that the Braves won the World Series in 1957!

Final card of the day is actually the most recent of the 8 that I purchased that weekend.  I love Hoyt Wilhelm because he has some really interesting looking cards (this one included), but you can also pick most of them up for extremely low prices compared to many other HOFers.  I'd seen this one, featuring Hoyt standing in front of an empty grandstand, on a couple of other blogs and I'm happy to have my own copy.

Again I paid $6.44 for this card, but it's in really fantastic shape with hardly a flaw to be noticed.  I also didn't mind shelling out over $6 for a 1972 Topps card because this is a high number.  At card #777, it's from the sixth and final series and is now the highest number '72 Topps card that I own.

A nice start to a birthday treat to myself there!  These four cards combined added up to what a lowly blaster would cost me at my local Target, but feel so much more significant than that in terms of adding to my collection.

Tomorrow I'll show the other group of four, which I think puts even these to shame!


Chris said...

COMC is the only "card show" I can go to and I always enjoy seeing how other collectors spend their COMC cash. You did really well with these vintage HOFers! Cant wait to read part 2.

Hackenbush said...

Ditto what Cris said. I'm not wild about posed shots of today's players but they look "right" for vintage cards. Great quartet!

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