posted it here on the blog around this time of year back in 2008, just as I was wrapping up the first year here at Shoebox Legends.
It's a beautiful card for sure, and one that I'll always cherish, but being an All-Star subset card still left me longing for a plain ol' base card of The Mick.
A few years later I picked up another sweet Mantle, seen here. I've professed my love for the combo cards in the '50s and '60s Topps sets many a time, so I'll spare you that here. Let's just say that even years later this remains one of my absolute favorite cards from the '60s, period.
That's two beautiful Mantle cards in hand, but even after all these years I never managed to land one of his Topps base cards. I guess I just never made it a priority, at a time when I had the funds available anyway, to grab one. For whatever reason this year, I hadn't spent a dime on cards at all since a very small batch of pick-ups on COMC during their Black Friday promotion. That meant that I had the entirety of my monthly allocated hobby budget available to me for December. On top of that, eBay offered up a 15% off promotional code a while back, and in the end I scored this:
When I look for vintage cards these days, I typically have three criteria:
- PSA-graded (I truly don't care about the grade, this is purely for authenticity since I'm typically buying sight-unseen via eBay or another website).
- Decent centering - unless the card is so rare that this makes a decently centered copy impossible and/or out of my price range, I prefer a card that's at least halfway centered. Each collector who is into vintage has their preference it seems on which qualities matter most, but to me centering is typically more important than "sharp corners", for example.
- Does not look like it was run over by a Mack truck - I want something that presents well and that, regardless of the grade it was assigned, looks appealing. I'm not a guy who's chasing the best copy of a card, and I'm certainly not that guy when it comes to someone like Mickey Mantle who I can barely afford in the first place, but I don't want a card that's so beat up that it's going to nag at me to upgrade it someday either.
Best of all, the "lowly" grade of "VG - 3" resulted in a price tag below $100, and that was before the 15% off promotion, which made my take-home cost closer to $80.
Were you able to secure any major or significant additions of note to your collection this past year? Looking back over the past twelve months, if there are one or two acquisitions that stand out in particular I'd love to hear about them in the comments.
Thanks as always for stopping by!