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. This is a rant for another day, but more and more as this hobby has "evolved" over the course of the past 12 months, I'm starting to believe that it is never going to be the same again.
I'm more committed than ever to reducing the size of my collection overall, and am more and more leaning towards making this Cardboard Keepers thought experiment a reality. Part of this is my desire for more space and less clutter, another part is frustration with parts of the hobby.
Recently, I tallied up all of my graded cards for the first time ever, and I ended up with a total that exceeded 800 slabs. Pretty shocking number, even to the guy who purchased them all. Now, those were accumulated over 13 years back in this hobby, but still, that's entirely too many slabs to have around here. I've been selling on eBay like crazy while this market is hot, and have been making multiple trips to the post office weekly just to keep up with the sales heading out the door.
Like I said, more about all that stuff soon, but for today's entry into this project we have a card that survived even this most recent and more aggressive phase of purging, a true Cardboard Keeper...
This is one of my absolute favorite pre-war baseball cards. I love it for a couple of reasons, most notably that absolutely fantastic Red Sox jersey! I am an absolute and total sucker for any pre-war cards that feature that particular uniform, and there are precious few of them (this is the only one that I actually own). Secondly, I love the concept that this card is so old that it actually features a young Ed Cicotte, a full decade before his reputation would forever be tarnished for his participation in the 1919 Black Sox World Series scandal.
I purchased this card all the way back in 2014, and even though it wasn't exactly a jaw-dropping sum in the grand scheme of things (<$250), it was still something that as a 31-year-old I had to give serious consideration to before picking up, and one of my more expensive pick-ups in this hobby at that time. I'd be hard pressed to find one that looks this nice for less than twice that amount today.
For those that collect slabbed cards, this is a primo example of why you should buy the card and not the grade on the top (known as the "flip"). This card presents amazingly well for a piece of cardboard that is well over 100 years old now, yet received a "FAIR 1.5" from the folks at PSA for two reasons. First, there's a crease in the upper right corner, very hard to make out but if you look closely you'll see it there. Secondly...
...there's just a bit of paper loss on the back, at about the mid-way point there. Does not bother me in the least, given that the back is just a checklist of the 25 subjects in this set, and overall still looks good despite the paper loss.
Besides, just look at this front! It's absolutely glorious. This card is, and will forever be, one of my favorite Red Sox cards in my entire collection. With 100+ years in the rear view I think the fact that Cicotte was involved in the Black Sox scandal actually makes this card even cooler, if anything. Some of my other pre-war Red Sox are already listed on eBay, and others will be joining them soon, but this is one card I simply could not bring myself to part with.
For that reason, this one was an easy choice for my Cardboard Keepers baseball collection, which is now up to 39 cards and counting, and can be viewed here if you're interested. I'll be back with more keepers soon, in the meantime thanks as always for stopping by!