Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Selling Cards, Buying Cards - More 2019 Sales

Last year, as I began seriously working to whittle down the overall size of my collection, I dabbled in eBay sales for the first time.  I featured the results of my first half dozen sales here on the blog in July, then another batch of sales was reviewed here in September.  Well, although I got busy and never made the time to post about it, I enjoyed quite a few more sales over the course of the year.

Here's most of the rest of what I parted with...

This Reggie Jackson autograph from 1995 Upper Deck, while a fantastic card for an autograph lover like myself, just doesn't fit my more streamlined collection.  I had a feeling this one would go quickly, and it did for the sum of $32.00.

Collecting an entire run of Yaz's Topps/Donruss/Fleer cards in graded format was a goal I had at one time, but long ago abandoned.  So, I combined some of the less valuable cards from the '80s into batches figuring they'd do better that way at auction.  I unloaded this group of four '81s for $30.00...

...and this group of four '82/'83s for $45.00.  I was more than happy to unload these singles at a price point that worked out to nearly $10 per card.

Many years ago I flirted with the idea of completing a graded 1954-55 Topps hockey set, since it was the first Topps hockey release and is a manageable 60 cards deep.  Not going to happen though, and after years of sitting on just three of them I parted with this pair for $32.00.  The one I kept?  My Milt Schmidt, the last card on the checklist and one I'm just not willing to part with yet.

I let my 1989 Topps Traded Griffey RC go, mainly because the old-style PSA label was driving me nuts.  $15.00 for this one, a card I could absolutely see myself picking up another copy of down the line.

I think I grabbed this 1960 Topps Yankees team card many, many years ago because it was my cheap way of in some small sense owning a vintage Mickey Mantle.  Well, now that I have a few proper vintage Topps Mantle cards I had no qualms at all about letting this one go, especially not for the $50.00 it netted me!

See previous comments about completing a run of graded Yaz cards.  Honestly, I probably would have hung onto this one a bit longer, but again that old PSA label was driving my OCD insane.  Since I was on the fence about it that made the difference in the end, and I sold it for $30.00.

I'm not the autographed card hound that I used to be in the earlier days of this blog.  Nowadays I just want fewer, more significant cards, period.  That includes autographs.  Someone got what is in my opinion one of the better steals of this post when they grabbed this lot of two Rollie Fingers autos for $14.00.  The mustache on that Brewers card is worth $14 alone, am I right?

I figured this 1970 Banks would do well, since it's a relatively high number.  In the end it resulted in an $85.00 sale.  I could see myself picking up another copy of this one someday, but in a much lower grade and at less than half that price.

I was going to throw this '74 Bob Gibson into a lot, but was surprised to find it merited listing on its own, and I got $21.00 out of it.  Typically I don't want to list anything on eBay unless it's going to result in a sale of at least $15.  Just not worth the time and effort to list and ship if it isn't going to return at least that much.

I love Nolan Ryan and all, and this is a great card as well.  The thing is, I'd like to focus on completing his run of standard Topps cards before I go focusing on subsets like this one.  For $40.00 I reluctantly let this one go.  Doesn't hold a candle to the Ryan RC I featured last weekend!

A couple of superstars on 1979 Topps cards.  No idea what I was thinking when I purchased these two long ago, but was happy to let them go for a little more than the cost of a blaster at $20.25.

The most significant sale in today's post, and the only one to net me triple figures in return, was this 1960 Topps Early Wynn at exactly $100.00.  Why so much?  It's card #1 in the 1960 set, so condition can be tough and buyers pay a premium.

Couple of Red Sox stars here, that I have in raw format and just never really felt right in my collection slabbed.  Happy to let this pair go for an even $20.00.

Many years back I flirted with the idea of trying a low-grade Mars Attacks set.  Having given up on that I accepted $12.00 for this PSA 3 single (violating my own $15 or more rule).

Another card here that I almost included in a lot, but then listed solo and ended up $20.00 richer for it.

My only other graded Mars Attacks card (yeah, I bailed on that idea pretty quickly), this one brought in $15.00.

Finally, the hit king on a mint 1980 Topps card, slabbed a PSA 9.  Accepted a $25.00 offer for this guy.  Still have the Ozzie Smith from this set in a PSA 9 listed as well, and hoping to get at least $20.00 for that one someday.

So, there are a bunch more sales from last year.  With these now featured, I'm sort of reaching the end of the low-hanging fruit that's both easy to list/ship, but also carries some value.  Some quick math reveals that the cards in today's post resulted in me pulling in over $600.  Take a little bit away for fees and I'd still say I did well here, especially since these weren't really being appreciated by me anyway.

What did I use the proceeds on?  Well, I'm outta time for today, so you'll just have to check back later to see some of the spoils from this, as well as the remaining funds from the sale of my 1953 Topps partial set.  Until then, thanks as always for stopping by!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Signature Sundays - Bob Sadowski

Spending the day with family today, so just a quick autograph post for Signature Sundays this week...

Pretty nice Bob Sadowski on-card autograph courtesy of 2015 Topps Heritage.  I enjoy the "Real One" autographs in the Heritage line, featuring hard signed autos of some of the lesser-remembered players of yesteryear.  This is a great, obscure autograph for my Red Sox collection, as Bob played just a single season with Boston in 1966, the final season of his 4-year MLB career in fact.

Because these autographs are based on actual vintage Topps cards, they include the full back from the originals as well.  Much nicer than the generic "Congratulations, you've pulled an authentic autograph of..." backs we get so often these days.

I picked this card up on eBay all the way back in 2015 when this Heritage set was just out (yes, it takes me that long to get to featuring cards here sometimes).  I appreciate it even more nowadays than I did back then, given that Sadowski passed away back in 2018 at age 80.  Not a player the average Red Sox fan is familiar with most likely, but a solid autograph nonetheless!

That's a wrap for today, thanks for stopping by and enjoy your Sunday everyone!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Dream Card Acquired!

Growing up as a kid baseball fan in the late '80s/early '90s, Nolan Ryan was my absolute favorite baseball player.  As silly as it sounds, I think much of this was initially based on the fact that he had a 5-card tribute subset to lead off the 1990 Topps set checklist.  These were the first baseball cards I ever opened in packs, and my 7-year-old self knew right away based on these cards that Nolan Ryan was something special.  Over the years I came to appreciate the amazing career the man had, and I've remained a fan to this day.

With that background being set, one of my big gifts this holiday season was an extremely generous $100 eBay gift card, which I was specifically told was to spend on baseball cards (twist my arm why don't you?!).  Any time I get an eBay gift card from family I try to spend it acquiring a very significant or special card, since in the end I tend to see what I pick up as the gift they ultimately gave me.

Well, this year I combined the gift card with a smaller one I'd been sitting on for months since my birthday, plus a few bucks of my own thrown in, and picked up one of the most significant cards in my entire collection to date....





Exactly 30 years after my grubby kid hands first pried open the wax wrapper on a 1990 Topps baseball pack, I have Nolan Ryan's rookie card at last!  It's hard for me to convey just how ecstatic I am about this particular pick-up.  I'm really happy that I was able to not only land this card at long last, but that I was able to do it with the assistance of my awesome parents, which will always give it added significance to me.

Not much more that I can say about the card itself that hasn't been said many times before.  One of the most iconic baseball cards from the 1960s, or from any era really, if you ask me.  Especially since Jerry Koosman was no slouch either.

As for this specific card, here's a look from a slightly different angle than the first.  I'm experimenting with photographing my graded cards with my iPhone as they seem to come out clearer than when I attempt to scan them.

I searched long and hard through many different examples of this card before settling on this one.  It's got everything that I care most about when picking up vintage cards; bright, vibrant color, good centering, and great overall visual appeal (meaning no huge creases, stains, holes, etc).  This was the finest example that fit my personal preferences within my budget.  It received a 2.5 "Good +" from PSA, mostly because the top corners are a little soft, but again I don't feel they detract much if at all from the beauty of this one.

Here's a look at the back, which is slightly off-centered left to right.  This doesn't really bother me much on the backs of cards for some odd reason.  What can I say?  I can't really explain my OCD, it just is what it is.

So, there it is, by far the most significant card I've added to my collection and featured here on the blog as of late.  We're still in the first month of 2020, and there's a strong chance this card ends up being my card of the year in my annual year-end countdown come December.  Just awesome, I'm still smiling when I look at it.  Huge thanks to my Mom and Dad for making this dream card a possibility!

Thanks as always for stopping by.  I'll be back tomorrow with a Signature Sundays autograph post...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Dumb Card Purchases - Dale Long

As baseball card bloggers, many of us understandably tend to gravitate towards showing off our best or most interesting purchases and pick-ups.  It's human nature.  However, I'm willing to bet that most of us have made at least a few truly dumb purchases over the years that don't make a lot of sense.  I know I certainly have, and today's post will cover one such purchase.

The card in question?

A 1957 Topps Dale Long, a nice enough card in and of itself, slabbed a PSA 6.  This could be considered an upgrade I suppose to the well-worn raw copy of this card that also sits in my collection:

Yeah, this one's seen better days.  Honestly though, I think it's a better fit for the way I collect nowadays than that clean, graded copy is.  I spent $10 and change on the graded Long, despite already having this well-worn copy.  There was one reason and only one reason that I did so.  It allowed me to do this...
Card #1...

...card #2...

...and card #3 from the 1957 Topps set, all in a PSA 6 grade that pleased my OCD at the time.

While I'm thrilled to have both the Ted Williams and the Yogi Berra cards, the only reason I picked up the Long is because I thought it would be cool to just pluck the next card number from the set, one at a time over time, in the same grade to see how far I could progress with it.

This was extremely short-sighted on my part.  I mean, following that logic through to conclusion, it doesn't take long to realize this was way too lofty a goal for me to shoot for.  Looking at what a Mantle or Brooks Robinson RC alone go for in that grade should have helped me to realize what a fool's quest that idea was from the outset.

Unlike many collectors, I do enjoy graded cards, specifically PSA-graded cards.  I've learned though that attempting an entire set in graded format is simply not for me.  If someone offered me the $10.75 that I shelled out for this Dale Long for it today, I'd hand it over in a heartbeat and use those funds on something much more satisfying for my collection.  Oh well, at least I came to this realization before I got any further than card #3!

How about you?  What are some of the worst card pick-ups that you can recall from your own collecting experience?

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cardboard Keepers - Super Mario

Time for the next installment of Cardboard Keepers, a thought experiment in which I theoretically whittle my entire collection down to just 2,000 cards; 1,000 baseball keepers, and 1,000 "other" keepers.

Tonight I'll induct a new card into the non-baseball collection for the first time in months.  We're in the throes of winter here in New England, and so a hockey card just seemed appropriate.  As for which one to go with, tonight's entry represents one of the best hockey cards of the '80s, and one I had in mind from the outset of this project...

Yes, it's the rookie card of the great Mario Lemieux!  Aside from being one of the most talented players ever to stick-handle a puck, he's also one of the most inspiring stories in hockey history for the way he battled through illness to return to top form.  If Wayne Gretzky's rookie card is the most iconic hockey card of the 1970s, then I submit that this card may hold that title for the following decade?

Growing up as a kid hockey fan I always wanted a copy of this card, but it was out of my "raise money by raking leaves and doing other chores" price range.  I finally scored one as an adult when, back in 2011, I unloaded a few David Krejci cards to a super collector.  The proceeds from that sale funded this card, as well as a Steven Stamkos Young Guns RC.  Coming up on 10 years in the rear-view mirror and I'm liking how that trade looks in retrospect!

I've got the Topps version, which is just fine as I was pursuing (and have since completed!) an '85-86 Topps hockey set, and this is by far the toughest card on the checklist.  I'd love to add an O-Pee-Chee version of Le Magnifique's RC to my collection someday, but it's not all that high on my hobby priority list, and given the prices they command that means I may well never see one.  Fine by me, I'm still so excited to have this copy nearly a decade after acquiring it.

This iconic card is a worthy choice for this project indeed!  Whittling down my collection or not, there's no chance I'd part with it.  Easily a top 20, and maybe even top 10, hockey card in my entire collection.

The "other" Cardboard Keepers collection is up to a full 15 cards now, and can be viewed here.  I've still got a long way to go, 985 non-baseball cards remaining to be exact.  I'll be back soon with the next card, but until then thanks as always for stopping by! 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Buybacks on Ice - Kevin Dineen

This season, Upper Deck hopped on the buyback bandwagon big-time on the hockey side of the house, with an entire release dedicated to the concept.  I don't really keep tabs on new releases these days, but I found out about these because some of the cards starting turning up in my saved eBay search results for "Upper Deck buyback" that I use to track down some of the older buyback inserts they've put out in years' past.

I was intrigued enough to look into the product to see how these were produced, and found this:

This is not my box, just a picture I grabbed from the internet.  The reason it's not my box is that these are currently selling for $189.95...for two cards?!?!  Don't hold me to this since I'm not going to be buying any of these to open myself, but I believe one card is from the base set for the product, which is a new release Upper Deck printed up, and the other card is an "amazing" buyback, as indicated by the box.

Now, that "amazing" buyback could be a Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews Young Guns rookie, autographed and encased in a one-touch holder much like the Archives Signatures baseball releases of recent years.  On the flip side, it could be something slightly further down the sliding scale of amazing, like this:

This is the lone card I've picked up from the product so far, which longtime hockey collectors will probably recognize as Kevin Dineen's base card from the '96-97 Upper Deck flagship hockey release. 

What differentiates this as an amazing buyback?  Well, these buybacks are foil-stamped with a 30th anniversary logo, which you can see in the lower right corner of this card.  Aside from that, the gimmick is that these standard, non-autographed/encapsulated buybacks are all "1/1's".  It's a bit hard to make out in the scan, but if you look closely you'll see the foil 1/1 designation just below the Upper Deck logo in the upper right corner of the card.

The back of the card has not been modified in any way, typical of most buybacks.

As an admitted lover of buyback cards in general, I'd like to applaud Upper Deck for creating this release.  I'd like to, but I just can't.  To me, this seems like the gamble of buying a one-card box of Archives Signatures baseball from Topps, but magnified.  If I'd shelled out $189.95 for this box, and received this card as my "amazing" buyback, I'd be pretty disappointed.  And that's coming from an absolute die-hard Whalers card collector who bothered to seek this one out on the secondary market!

So, how much did I shell out for this card?  $7.99.  Even at that price point I'm sure some folks would find this a silly purchase.  I thought it was a fun pick-up for my ever-expanding team collection though, and to land a "1/1" of the great Kevin Dineen (regardless of how gimmicky) it seemed like a reasonable enough price.  Imagine being the poor soul who opened this, listed it on eBay, and received my lone $7.99 opening bid.  Ouch!

To me, the way to release buybacks is on the lower end of the collecting cost spectrum, as cool or unique inserts in other products.  I can't imagine these boxes are selling all that well, and I'd guess that they'll be a good deal cheaper a few months out from now when something newer has captured the fancy of high-end collectors.  Then again, I've been wrong before.

Regardless of how you feel about this concept, if you're a hockey team or player collector these are kind of a cool pick-up if you can find them cheap on the secondary market, but that's about the extent of it in my opinion.  I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for any other sub-$10 Whalers 1/1 cards like this one, and maybe I'll go slightly higher than that price point if I can find a 1/1 of a HOFer I collect, but there's a snowball's chance in hell that I ever plop down close to $200 for a box of this stuff.

How about you?  Have you heard of this set prior to reading this post?  What's your opinion on what Upper Deck has done here?  I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments.  Thanks as always for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

1950 Bowman Project - Pete Suder

Quick post today, as I'm traveling yet again for work this week and am relying on the schedule function to keep this blog on life support.  One of my goals at the outset of the year was to make progress on a set from each year of the 1950s on the baseball side.  Today let's do just that with my 1950 selection, Bowman!

The next subject to fall in my quest to someday complete this beautiful set is infielder Pete Suder of the Philadelphia A's.  Suder was a utility infielder who was most known for his uncanny ability to ground into double plays.  What's funny to me, no offense intended, is that he looks like a utility infielder prone to grounding into double plays!  Am I wrong?

There are some true pieces of art in terms of the cards that make up this set, but I wouldn't necessarily say this is one of them.  It's a perfectly fine card, just a standard portrait and with one of the blander backgrounds that the checklist has to offer.  Not bad, but not great either.

As the back of the card indicates, Pete (like so many in his generation) sacrificed years of his career for military service during WWII.  A true Shoebox Legend, to be sure!

Just another example of a card that can be had from this set in really good shape for less than $5 delivered.  That about sums up my reasoning for picking this one up.  15 of these down, 237 to go!

Set Progress:  15 of 252 (5% Complete)

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Perfect Blaster for Christmas

Waiting for me under the Christmas tree this year at my parents' house was a blaster box of 2019 Topps Series 1 baseball.  The tag said the gift was from Santa, but I'm pretty sure it was my Mom that provided this one!

I don't get a chance to rip many packs these days, given that I tend to focus my hobby spending on singles for my collection for the most part, so it was awesome to be able to tear into some wax (or foil, more accurately) for a change.

The blaster contained 7 packs, 14 cards per pack (Is that standard?  Bravo, Topps!), and one commemorative patch card.  While I'm not actively trying to build the 2019 Topps set, this turned out to be the perfect blaster for me!  Red Sox cards seemed to abound, and I even ended up with a few non-Red Sox keepers for my collection as well.

I didn't do a pack-by-pack scan or anything like that, opting instead to simply highlight some of my favorite cards overall.  Here we go...

As you'll see, the number of Red Sox cards I pulled from just 7 packs was rather incredible, starting with this David Price World Series Highlights card.  Obviously the fact that Boston won it all in 2018 resulted in a large number of Red Sox cards sprinkled throughout the 2019 checklist.

While it's tiring to see Topps reprint the same iconic cards to death year after year, at least in this case I landed one of my absolute favorite cards from childhood.  The '87 Bo Jackson Future Stars card, while not his true and proper RC, is cardboard gold if you ask me.  Easily one of my favorite cards from the '80s, period.

I think just about every baseball card collector can agree that the team stadium cards in this year's flagship set were a complete success.  Everyone seems to adore these, and it's easy to see why.

I'll be hanging onto this pair, especially since SunTrust Park is one of the stadiums I've actually caught an MLB game at.  My wife and I were able to see Bryce Harper and the Nationals play here not long after it opened while I was down in Atlanta at a conference for work.

More Red Sox content, with Mitch Moreland's base card.

Thought this one was pretty cool.  I don't recall having seen these "Grapefruit League Greats" inserts before.  Although it does seem that Topps shoves the same retired stars down our collective throats year after year, it's hard for me not to get excited about pulling a Babe Ruth card (though I would've preferred a Ruth Red Sox card).  Also, unlike a lot of Topps' mindless insert sets from recent years, I think this one is just quirky enough to kind of work.

The Sox love continues with a League Leaders card of the man Boston just secured for at least one more season, to the tune of $27M dollars.  Money aside, as a fan I'm excited to know that I can enjoy watching Mookie play for another season at minimum.  Didn't have this one for my team set, either.

The two stadium cards above weren't the only ones I pulled, and this one was obviously my favorite of the handful that I landed in the blaster.  I've got quite a few cards of Fenway Park now, and I'll always welcome more.  I've experienced so many fun times in this ballpark with family, friends, and co-workers over the years, at both sporting events and concerts alike.  I would have eventually picked this one up on my own, happy to have pulled it here instead!

Just one more Red Sox base card from the box, this Steve Pearce World Series Highlights.  Pearce is a guy who's under-represented in my collection, especially given the key role he played in the 2018 championship, so this was a cool pull.

That marks the end of the Red Sox base cards, but not the inserts.  Also pulled this '84 Topps-inspired Andrew Benintendi.  I'm telling you, my Mom picked the best blaster she possibly could have off the shelf here!

Oh and how about another Grapefruit League Greats insert, this time featuring Big Papi?

Held onto this Phillies Citizens Bank Park card as well, just because I'm accumulating all of these despite not collecting them that actively.  This is one park I have not been to, though I hear it can be a tough crowd!

We'll close out the standard cards with yet another Red Sox insert, this time from the '150 Years' insert set that contains so many great photographs.  I remarked above that it was cool to get a Ruth insert, but would have been better had he been in a Sox uniform, and before the blaster was through that exact thing happened.  Like I said, hard to imagine a better blaster than this for a Boston fan.

Closing it out is my one-per-blaster commemorative patch card.  I don't hang onto these typically, but it was kind of cool to pull a guy who I looked up to in the early '90s.  "Juan-Gone" could really mash the ball.  If any of my regular trading partners would like this one just leave a comment and I'll toss it in your next package.

So, that's a wrap on what was a very satisfying blaster of 2019 Topps.  Just a few weeks until the 2020 set hits shelves.  I don't think my Mom reads this blog, but I know my Dad does, so a big thank you to both of my parents for this really fun gift!

This post does not mark the end of my holiday season spoils however, as a big gift from my parents was a $100 eBay gift card.  I put that together with another one I had, and a little cash, to land one of my most-desired cards since ever since I began collecting as a young boy!  I'll be back with that card soon, in the meantime thanks as always for stopping by!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...