Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Post About Post

I've been killing it on my Johnny Antonelli player collection lately.  I recently won this on EBay.

It is a 1961 Post card.  There is actually two versions of this card.  This is 142A, which is considered a company card.  There is a 142B version with Antonelli listed as a SF Giant, that is called a box card.  The box cards came, as you might guess, on the box panel of one of several different Post brand breakfast cereals.  The company cards were available through the mail in sheets of 10. I do not have the box card yet.

What I am listening to: She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Vintage Fleer Set Progress

I have on a couple of occasions bid, and won, items at the bigger, more famous auction houses that specialize in sports cards and other sports memorabilia. However, for the most part, those auction houses are targeted to a different type of bidder.  When many of the lots start at $100 or more, it is out of my league.

There is one auction site (not called EBay) that does offer auctions targeted at collectors in my economic strata. That site is Kevin Savage Cards.  To be sure, they often have lots that sell for large sums of money. But, overall, they do offer a wide selection of affordable lots from both vintage and modern sets (including T206 and it's contemporaries), along with other memorabilia like game used items, autographs, and old programs and magazines. I have even won an 1974-75 Acme/Loblaws Hockey sticker album from them. I would encourage you to go check it out.  It is one of my favorite places to go to look to supplement my collection.

With that introduction, you have probably guessed that I am about to show off a couple of my recent winnings. If you did, you guessed correctly.

I won a recent auction of 6 cards from the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set.  I needed the four shown above.  These cards push me over the halfway mark on this set. I now have 43 out of the 80 card set.
This isn't a priority set for me, as card 68 is ungodly expensive.  The card was pulled from circulation early in the release due to a licensing issue.  The card shows Williams signing a contract for the 1959 season. The problem was that the other person on the card, Bosox GM Bucky Harris, was under contract to Topps.  Thus, few of these cards made it into circulation.  Even low quality copies can sell for hundreds of dollars.  So, my expectation is I will get to 79 out of 80, fill the 68 slot with a more readily available reprint and wait until that rare time in the future where I have some mad money to play with and go after the original.

I also won an auction, at a price I didn't think would win, for 20 1961 Fleer cards. I bid low, because I only needed 7 of the 20 cards (when bidding on lots, I set my bid based only on the cards I need and assume zero resale value on the balance of the lot.)  But, I won this one and now I only need 16 more cards to complete 154 card set.  Among those 16, though, are cards 75 (Babe Ruth) and 152 (Ted Williams.) Both cards have high book values of $120.  I will likely target trying to find decent copies in the $30-$40 range, which may take some time.

That is all for now, I do have a couple of posts planned for the weeks ahead.  But with the work week coming, they may not be worked on until next weekend.  In the mean time, I do urge you to visit Kevin Savage Cards.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fleer Autograph Project - Part 46

I got this card off of EBay, but it represents something of a challenge.  I originally submitted a card to a recent Chris Potter signing with Spangler, however they misplaced my card and it didn't turn up until after the signing was over.  I have been planning to send a card out TTM for signature, but have been terribly busy and haven't gotten around to it. I may do so yet, as I have a preference for blue Sharpie over ballpoint pen, but I am excited about getting this anyways.

This is, as the title states, the 46th card from the 66 card 1963 Fleer set that I have autographed.  I have another one out TTM and a second out to a private signing, but I am pretty sure neither will end up happening.

When I send out TTMs I always enclose a hand written letter talking about things I find interesting about the player's career.  What caught my eye about Spangler was that he was not a power hitter, having only 21 taters across 2616 career plate appearances, but he did collect a good portion of his career homers off of Hall of Fame pitchers.  He tallied 5 homers total (1 each) off of Jim Bunning, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn, and Don Sutton.  That isn't alot, to be sure. But, it does represent 24% of his career totals.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

More PC Additions - And an Ending

My set building has been slow recently, but I have added a few more cards to my player collections.

This is a 2011 Topps Black Diamond Wrapper redemption.  Back in 2011, Topps offered a special 5 card pack to collectors who redeemed 36 Hobby packs.  There were 60 cards (of modern players ) in the Black Diamond set and a separate 34 card autograph set, which featured players found in the 1952 set.  The autograph cards were serial numbered to 60.  I was quite pleased to get such a low numbered, exclusive card for a mere $18.

These are 2012 Prime Cuts Legendary Bats cards of Paul and Lloyd Waner.  I was able to get both cards for a little over $20 delivered, which is probably just about right.  I mostly saw these listed on EBay as BINs for $20 or more each.   That is really close to high book and I wasn't interested in paying that much, even if they are serialized to 99.  But, this has raised an issue in my mind.

Previously, I said I was going to focus my Waner PCs on base cards from modern sets and vintage, eschewing the low serial numbered cut autos and bat cards in modern sets that command a price premium.  As I set out with that focus, I found that the vintage Waner cards were also exceedingly expensive. Considering that the Waner brothers played from the late 20s through 1945, I probably should have expected that.  When one card could cost more than several months of hobby budget, it was time to re-evaluate whether this was a collecting goal I was passionate enough about to keep moving forward.  The answer was I was not.

I am a set collector at heart and I was faced with a choice:  effectively stop set building to work on the Waner collection or continue to set build and do a poor job with the Waner PC.  As you may guess I chose the former and am stopping the Waner PC. I hate admitting defeat, but in the end this was a poorly thought out idea and I hate doubling down on bad decisions worse.  My work requires me to approach situations dispassionately and not get too emotionally invested in a position.  My collecting needs to be the same way. Not to say that I need to get all Vulcan-like about collecting, but there are times it is appropriate and this is one of them.

I have made some progress in the last few days on a couple of sets I am workign on.  I look forward to renewing that focus and sharing that with you few who read my humble blog.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Player Collection Additions

I'll start this post out with another lament as to how my collecting activity has ground to a halt.  Real life is still dragging me down.  We finally had a long enough dry spell that we could get a bulldozer in to repair storm damage in my east pasture (We received 24" of rain in may and 45" year to date. Mind you, typical rainfall here is 32" a year.)  We are also about to do some home improvement projects.  See? Real life.

That said, I have managed to add two cards to my player collections in recent weeks.

I have been looking for this card for a couple of years. I'd missed out on a couple of auctions in the past and there was a long spell where no copies came up for sale. Then, all of a sudden, a veritable avalanche of this card has appeared on EBay.  Without looking, I would estimate about 4-5 have popped up in a matter of a few weeks. I was finally able to snag one.

This card is part of a 59 card set of similar cards issued by the New York Journal American in 1954.  The actually covers all three New York Teams of the time (Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants.)  It looks like it would be a fun set to collect, save the fact that there are a number of cards with book values over $100 including Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, and Mickey Mantle (of course.) Mantle is the most expensive at $600 BV, followed by Mays and Robinson at $300 and $250 respectively.

This is a 1941 Double Play card. It is from a 75 card set, each with 2 subjects. I was able to snag this one for around $13.  Now I need to track down a similarly affordable version of card 119/120, which features Lloyd Waner.  I was going to talk more about this set, but as usual someone else has done it better.  See here for a good description.

Other than that, I have been on the sidelines hobbywise recently and expect it to stay that way for a while.

What I am listening to:  The Letter by The Box Tops

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Things have been quiet here lately. With regard to my collection anyways.  In the last two weeks I have had to replace the AC compressor on two different cars, leaving a fairly big hole in my pocket.  I have picked up a few things here and there, and have managed to complete two sets.

These were the last two unnumbered checklists I needed to complete my 1973 Topps set. So, at the moment, the only "flagship" sets I am working on are 1956, 1975, and 1979.  I'd like to finish at least one of the latter two prior to the end of this year.  Depending on how you look at it, it took me almost three and half years to finish this set. I got my first '73s in a trade with Ted at the now defunct Crinkly Wrappers in January of 2012, although I didn't start working it in earnest until about a year later.

These were the two cards I needed to achieve my definition of complete for the 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game set. This was over 4 years in the making, as I really started on this set in April of 2011.  It isn't a master set, as there is the serial numbered blue parallels, the autographed subset, game used memorabilia parallels to various insert sets, and the uber-expensive Yankee clippings insert set.  But the cost to complete any one of those is beyond what I willing to pay and would only distract from my core vintage set collecting.  So, this one is done also!

Lastly, this is the one card I have added to my Paul and Lloyd Waner player collections. I bought it on a whim and probably shouldn't have.  It cost $46 delivered and is typical of most modern Waner releases: bat cards issued in low numbers. I like the card real well, but I am discouraged by the prices these modern cards get.  I am not sure what I am going to do with this collection. I may just limit it to vintage (which are also expensive) and non-exclusive modern cards.  At least for the moment, the need for car air conditioning in the Oklahoma summer has forced that decision into the future.

Friday, July 3, 2015

June Card Show Haul

There was a show at the end of June I attended. My hope was to make progress on my 1975 and 1979 Topps sets. I made no progress on either, but I consider it a success anyways, as I made progress on several other sets I am working on. I got to the show and headed over to say hello to the two sellers I get most of my cards from and to take a quick scan of their tables. I didn't see anything that immediately grabbed my attention, so I decided to walk around the room and see what else was there. Imagine my surprise when, after almost completing the circuit of the room that I came across Roger Neufeldt of Sports Memories of Oklahoma. Roger is the best source for high quality vintage around here, but he hasn't done a local show in well over a year. He mostly does shows in MLB cities and the National. However, the local show is now being organized by a new group and he decided to give it another shot. So, I ended up spending most of my money with him. So, what did I get?

One card from the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set. This is the 39th card I have from that 80 card set.  Interestingly, one of the other sellers told me that he recently sold a PSA 7 version of card 68 from the set for $1000. That is the one card that I think I may never acquire from this set.  Card 68, titled "Ted Signs for 1959" was pulled out of distribution very early in production since it featured a picture of Ted Williams signing a contract next to Boston GM Bucky Harris who was under contract with rival Topps.  Consequently, few made it into the wild.  Even mid grade versions sell for over $400.  I may just end up filling in my set with a reprint, which do seem generally available.

I added a total of 21 cards to my 1961 Fleer set, leaving me with only 23 cards to go to complete the 154 card set.  Among those remaining 23, though, are the Babe Ruth and Ted Williams cards which have book values of $120.   I am going to set a budget of $25 to $30 each, but it will probably take some time and luck to make that happen.

Additionally, I also picked up additional copies of the two Waner brothers cards from this set for my PC.

Finally, I managed to locate another 11 modestly priced cards for my 1956 set, bring me to a total of 219 cards from this 340 card set.

I've got a few other things brewing for future posts, including a call out to the blogging community to find me the single card I need to complete a set.  I was also hoping to have a new addition to my 1963 Fleer autograph project, but the consigner I sent a card to has apparently lost it and is not responding to my requests for information. Hopefully that will resolve itself shortly.

What I am listening to: A Feather's Not a Bird bu Rosanne Cash