Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Treating Myself to a Hammerin' Hank

Last year I celebrated (celebrated?) my 15th anniversary at my place of employment.  They take pretty good care of us - I guess I wouldn't stick around somewhere for a decade and a half if they didn't - and one of the little perks that we get is Amex gift cards for significant work anniversaries.  When I hit my 15-year mark in May, I received $150 in gift cards.

I'll confess that I'm one of those people who seems to take forever to spend gift cards for whatever reason.  Maybe it's the same trait that allows me to keep dozens of unopened packs on the shelf for a rainy day without blinking an eye.  Anyway, I sat on these in much the same way, until I finally got off my butt and associated them with my PayPal account last month.  I figured a year where I'm trying to cut down on hobby related spending was the perfect time to bust these out and get some essentially free cards.

There were actually two gift cards, one with a value of $100 and one with a value of $50.  The reason that matters is that I found out the one caveat with using pre-paid gift cards through PayPal like this is that you have to cover the entire purchase with one single gift card.  There wasn't going to be any combining of these to bring home a single, $150 card or anything like that (foiling my original plan).  Instead, I'd need to charge as close to $100 worth of cards as I could manage to one card, and as close to $50 worth of cards to the other.

I started with the larger card first, and I couldn't be happier with my haul:

This beauty is now my oldest Hank Aaron card.  His '54 Topps rookie is on my short list of "I just won the lottery" dream cards, but I'd be worried about a counterfeit copy with a card of that magnitude, and just about any even poorly graded version is going to run you four figures.  For now, this card will more than suffice as a beautiful '50s representation of one of my all-time favorite ballplayers.

Hank had a typical beast of a year in '58, with a .326/.386/.546 slash line accompanied by just shy of 200 hits, 34 doubles, an even 30 home runs and 95 RBI.  He finished 3rd in NL MVP voting behind winner Ernie Banks, and Willie Mays.  Not bad for your age 24 season!

Here's a closer look at the front.  PSA graded this one a "VG-3", which seems a bit harsh, but is totally fine with me as it made the card affordable.  I think it looks fantastic, in as good a condition as I'd ever hope to attain anyway.  Slightly off-center from left to right but bright, vibrant colors and great overall visual appeal.  I mentioned this only a few days ago, but the more I collect from '58 Topps the more I like the set.

My scanner struggles with PSA-slabbed backs, but I wanted to post this to show that, despite the low grade, this back is basically pristine with no paper loss, glue, creases, gum stains or any of that nonsense.

Yeah, January was a pretty good month for my collection, that's for sure.  I think I got a decent deal on this card too, as the seller accepted my best offer of $61.50.  Throw in $3.50 for shipping and I used an even $65 from the first gift card to bring this card home.

With a nice prize like this coming out of the gift cards, and more still to come, I certainly hope I hit the 25-year mark at this company!

1959 Topps Hank Aaron - $65.00 ($61.50 + $3.50 shipping) Amex Gift Card!
2019 Running Total - $17.06


Section 36 said...

That's a great looking card, especially for that grade!

JediJeff said...

I hit 15 years at my job next year. Not so much my choice. But I assure you I will not get $150 as a bonus. I think I will get to spend $30 at the "company store". Yeah - a company polo - I am sooooooooooooooooooooo excited about that prospect.

kirk said...

that'a great card.58 is a cool set

Nick said...

Too cool!

Fuji said...

Man. I'm working for the wrong employer. Last year marked my 20th year in the district... and all I got was a pin, a certificate, and a courtesy clap from my co-workers at a staff meeting.

P.S. Nice Aaron.

Billy Kingsley said...

The grading game cares more about centering than actual condition- that's why it's a three. Great card.

Matt said...

Congrats on 15 years and a beautiful Hank card!

gregory said...

At a previous place of employment, 10 years got you the ugliest pair of silver candleholders in history. I sold them for about $75 on eBay though, so it's alright. Anyhow, great Aaron card at an excellent price. Nicely done, and congratulations on the milestone at work!

Bulldog said...

Congratulations and that's a great card to celebrate with.

defgav said...

A beauty for sure! Congrats!

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