Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out With The New, In With The Old - Ryne Sandberg Edition

This past year I started a new, recurring series of posts called "Out With The New, In With The Old". Basically, whenever I end up with a somewhat valuable modern card that I'm not interested in keeping, I flip it and use the money to pick up some vintage. So far I've done this three times:
For today's Out With The New post, I sold a baseball card for the first time:

This is a 2004 Donruss Studio - Studio Proofs Platinum parallel of Ryne Sandberg. I was fortunate enough to land this card in a group break just about 2 years ago now. Not the world's most impressive card in my opinion, but as you can see on the back it is serial numbered 10/10:

I figured with numbering this low it would probably attract the attention of some Sandberg collectors out there, so after it accumulated dust for close to 2 years I finally listed it on eBay earlier this month. I went with a 99 cent auction with no reserve just to see how it would do. To my surprise there was quite a bit of bidding activity and the card ended up selling for $27.50, which was better than I had expected.

The PayPal funds from this sale went to the purchase of 5 new vintage hockey cards from one of my favorite eBay sellers. Here are all 5, from least favorite to favorite:

1979-80 Topps - #150 - Ken Dryden

I'm still plugging away at one of the most, if not the most, iconic hockey card sets ever made, 1979-80 Topps/O-Pee-Chee (just working on the Topps version for now). Dryden's is one of the top cards in the set book value-wise, so crossing this one off the want list felt pretty good.

Of course, one of the things that made this set so great was the card backs. I think I can safely say they are my favorite hockey card backs of all time. The skate design is absolute genius and many of the cartoons are quite creative. Ken's, featuring the Dryden brothers waving at each other from opposing goals, is no exception.

1973-74 Topps - #1 - NHL Goal Leaders - Phil Esposito/Rick MacLeish

1973-74 Topps has only appeared on my radar recently, after I picked up a decent chunk of the set from the quarter box at the local hobby shop. This card features a couple of the decade's greats, plus it's always nice picking up card #1 from any vintage set.

If I told you that 3 players surpassed the 50 goal mark in the 1972-73 season, you might be able to guess at Phil Esposito and Rick MacLeish, but would you have known Mickey Redmond was the third? If so, give yourself a pat on the back. I for one certainly did not know that. Continuing with the theme of first cards in a set...

1979-80 Topps - #1 - NHL Goal Leaders

Like the 1973-74 set, the 1979-80 Topps set also led off with a card featuring the NHL's goal leaders. Mike Bossy was still at the beginning of his amazing stretch of 50+ goal seasons, having recorded 69 in his second year in the league, 10 more than the next closest player.

This card is a great addition to my collection for another reason though:

The joy of a completed page! While I still need around 70 cards to finish this set off, at least the first page in my binder is now complete. Now for the best two cards in the lot...

1979-80 Topps - #185 - Bobby Hull

The 1979-80 Topps Hull isn't exactly his toughest card to track down. This copy is flat out mint though, and it's the third most valuable card in the set behind the Gretzky rookie and the Gordie Howe, both of which I already have. It was the first time Bobby had been featured on a Topps card since the 1971-72 set, since he had been playing in the WHA for the bulk of the decade. It was also the final Topps card of Hull.

Another great back featuring two of my favorite things...hockey and beer! Finally, my favorite card of the 5:

1974-75 Topps - #261 - Scotty Bowman

I believe this card is the most expensive in the 74-75 Topps set in terms of book value, along with the Bobby Orr, both of which book at $30. The coach cards are one of my favorite elements in the set, and this is not only one of the greatest coaches in hockey history, but one of the greatest coaches in the history of sports period. Scotty won more games and more Stanley Cups than anyone before him (and anyone after him to date). He had already won a Cup with Montreal when this card was produced, and he'd go on to win four more (consecutive) Cups with the Canadiens from 1975-76 through 1978-79. He reached the playoffs in all 8 years that he coached the Habs, winning the cup an amazing 5 times!

That alone would have been enough to earn Bowman a place in hockey history, but he would also bring Lord Stanley's cup to Pittsburgh at the helm of the 1991-92 Penguins team. He then moved on to coaching the Red Wings where he would coach his teams to 3 more championships before retiring. Between the 1970's Montreal teams, the stacked Pittsburgh squad of the early 90's, and the powerhouse Red Wings, Scotty stood behind the bench of some of the best teams in the history of the sport.

Well, that's what a serial numbered Ryne Sandberg card can net you on eBay I guess. I was really happy with this flip, I don't miss the Sandberg at all and I've made significant dents in the 1970's Topps hockey run with these 5 cards. Best of all they are all in really good shape, and were all previously on the want list. I'm now just 22 cards away from a complete 1974-75 Topps set...I wonder what else I have kicking around to sell?

4 comments:

Hackenbush said...

Very inspirational. Now if I can only get off my butt ...

Jeff said...

Baseball cards have made a quantum leap in quality of production since the 70's.... and yet all those cards from back in the day with the actual cardboard backs are so much more appealing somehow huh?

1967ers said...

Nice haul! '79-80 is such a cool set.

1967ers said...

It's interesting, too, to see the Hull listed with Chicago. He got a 'now with Jets' card in OPC.

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