Time for the latest installment of Cheap Slabs, where I do my best to dispel the myth that graded cards have to be expensive. The rules for this recurring series of posts are simple, the card shown has to have cost me less than $25 before shipping and taxes.
In this latest installment, we have a card that I wasn't specifically seeking out, but that I could not possibly resist when I stumbled upon it with less than an hour to go:
I never knew it was possible to land PSA-slabbed cards of HOF baseball players from the 1930s for roughly the cost of a retail blaster, but it turns out it can be done. Even during the bat-shit crazy year that 2020 was on the sports card market front, deals could still be found with a lot of patience and a careful eye. I picked up the above card, an absolute beauty from the 1934-1936 Diamond Stars release, for a mere $21.05, and this was not even three months ago.
What I liked about this card, aside from the fact that it will likely always be my only playing-era card of a guy in Cooperstown who was missing from my collection previously, is that it's in truly amazing shape for a card from the 1930s. In fact, at a quick glance you may be asking yourself how on this planet the card received a grade of "1/Poor" from PSA.
Well, if you look closely, there is a pin hole right at the apex of Kiki's ballcap there. It's sort of easy to look past since it occurs right along a fold in his cap, and in the darkest part of the card as well. I did see this before bidding, but do not care about it in the least. In fact, I'm thrilled that some kid stuck a thumb tack through this thing 80 years ago, because it made this gorgeous copy of the card affordable to me. Bright, vibrant colors, and even pretty amazing corners given the age. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe with PSA the pin hole reduces the card to a 1 regardless of all other attributes, so if you can get past a small hole in your card you can get a real gem for cheap coin.
Cuyler was a slash-hitting speedster, known for his batting average and swiped bags. A lifetime .321 hitter, he led the league in steals four times, and won a World Series with the Pirates in 1925. Though he never lived to witness his own HOF induction (he died at just 51 years of age, in 1950), the Veterans Committee inducted him in 1968.
I think the Diamond Stars release is a really fantastic and under-rated set. When it comes to the 1930s most collectors seem to prefer Goudey of the limited options that are out there, but to me Diamond Stars is every bit as interesting. I finished the Red Sox team set years ago, and while I don't pick these up often or search them out specifically, I'm hoping I run across a few more like this in my collecting lifetime.
That's about all I've got to say regarding this card. Honestly, this was one of my better bargains of all of last year on the card front, still pretty surprised to have hauled this one in at the price point that I did. A good reminder to myself that not finding any blasters in the retail world for the past 10 months or so really may not be as big an inconvenience as it seems...
Thanks as always for stopping by!