Saturday, October 20, 2018

Meh Vintage

I am primarily a vintage set builder. You  know this.  Now, not all vintage sets appeal to me.  1955 Bowman, the TV set, doesn't. Neither does it's wood-grained cousin, 1962 Topps.  But, for the most part, I love vintage.

I am one card away from completing 1956 Topps and three cards from finishing 1972 Topps. While I have 1965 and 1968 Topps underway, I've been casting about looking for a new pre-Topps vintage set to start. So, recently I saw a 1936 National Chicle Fine Pen Premium (R313) that really appealed to me. Specifically, this one, with Lloyd Waner and Gabby Harnett.  I bid on it, but didn't win.  On a lark, I threw a low ball bid at a lot of 5 low grade R313s and won.  So, for $12 delivered, I received:

Not a fan. 

To be clear, I really like the pictures here,  Where I fall off the wagon is that the material is basically heavy magazine stock. My expectation was something more along the lines of the 1947-1966 Exhibits or 1954-55 Redman.  Looking at online resources about this set, it is clear what stock the cards were made from.  I should have known better, but lesson learned.  Don't make emotional bids.

So, back to the drawing board on some other vintage set to work on.  While I still really like 1949 Bowman, the hugely expensive Robinson and Paige cards really turn me off.  Red Man or the Exhibits are possibilities, although both have one card that is really expensive (I'm looking at you, Mickey Mantle!)  I am not sure what to do to find a nice vintage option that doesn't break the bank.  Suggestions?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

October Mini-Show

There is a local LCS here in the Greater OKC Area that has a small show on the first Saturday of every month..  Al's Sports Cards and Gaming is up in Edmond, which, being a 50 mile drive, isn't local for me. But, I had to buy horse feed and wormer at the farm store near the Remington Park race track. That got me over half the way there, so I decided to roll on up and see what was going on.

As usual, the show had about 6 sellers, only one of which had any vintage.  I was probably only at the show about 45 minutes, and didn't spend much at all, but I did buy a few things.

I found 5 more cards for my 1972 set, including the three above.  This leaves me with three cards left to complete the set.  Of those three, two are semi-high commons, 537 (Bob Locker) and 645 (Jim Maloney.)  The third card is 695 (Rod Carew), which I rarely see selling at what I consider a reasonable price ($20-$25). Getting this late in the set building process, I will probably weaken and spend more than I want just to get the set done, but I am going to try and avoid that fate.

I trawled through some discount boxes and found a couple things that interested me.

A 2001 Bowman Reprint Bat Relic of Minnie (Orestes) Minoso.

Nice little oddball here. It is actually a playing card. The 10 of Clubs to be specific.   The restaurant was a St. Louis institution for many years, but has been closed nearly 30 now, victim of a business dispute with former Musial teammate, Joe Garagiolo.  For more information, see this article.

What I am listening to: Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Post Season Baseball!

My Yankees just won the AL wild card game against the Oakland A's.    Can you see me sitting in my living room yelling at the TV for nine innings?  You can? Well, you'd be wrong.  What was I doing tonight?

Pre-season basketball, baby!

What?  I went to a meaningless hoops game when there is playoff baseball?  Yes, I did.  Shame me if you must, but I did.

My wife and I bought a half season package to the OKC Thunder this year. We have tickets for 20 regular season games and tonight's preseason game against the Detroit Pistons.

We have also on the wait list for season tickets.  Last year, we were around number 950 on the season ticket wait list.  It will be a few years before we are in a position to buy season tickets. The past two years we have bought 6 game packages and usually attended 8-10 regular season games, plus the home playoff games. So, we decided to see how we would manage a half season commitment.

See, the issue is that, as many of you know, we own a horse farm in rural Norman Oklahoma.  The Thunder play in downtown OKC, a 30-45 minute drive away. I work downtown and my wife works a few miles away near the state capitol.  Attending weekday games means one of us has to leave work a bit early, drive home, do the evening farm chores, then drive back downtown for the game.  It makes for a long day.  We've been able to manage it in the past, but the difference between 10 games and a 41 game season is substantial.  So, this is an experiment year.

Anyways, I am sure you don't care about my first world problems.  I mainly post this because I am thinking of starting a basketball trading card collection. I haven't really decided what to do yet.  I am considering just becoming a team collector for my beloved Thunder.  With them entering their 11 season since moving from Seattle, this could be manageable. But, as a baseball set builder, the draw to that type of collection is undeniable.

I'll probably make a decision and start after the Christmas holidays are over. In the mean time, don't hate on me too much for my poor decision making.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Brief Return

I am back from a great vacation and don't have a lot new to report.  I have two days to get my lawn, which grew substantially while I was gone, mowed as I am leaving for a work conference on Wednesday. I'll be back home in time for the weekend, but will probably need mow again.

I was considering going to a card show in Plano, Texas (a northern suburb of Dallas and about a 3 hour drive) but I have a number of real life things pressing, so I think I may pass on that this month.
I may keep an eye out for the one 1956 Topps card and the nine 1972 cards I need to finish those sets, but that will be about it.

I did manage to win one Ebay auction while I was gone:

This is one of the four film positives used to produce the 1978 Topps Paul Blair card and is the second that I have acquired.  The four positives are for the four colors used in printing (black, cyan, magenta, yellow.)  The positive above is for yellow.  The other in my collection, which I also won on Ebay two years ago is, I believe, magenta.  I am not actually sure, since I can't figure out how to pull up the description on a two year old auction.  But, I know it isn't black as it doesn't have the player name on it (which is black on the card.)  Further, neither has the card border, which is a dark blue. This should eliminate cyan.  The team name is in a dark tan color on the actual card.  I can see where yellow and magenta (with a bit of black thrown in) might yield that color.

Anyways, I think it is pretty cool to own two of the film positives for a card of my favorite player on my favorite set from my youth.

What I am watching:  Point of view videos for the new Steel Vengeance roller coaster at Cedar Point.  It is insane!  If you enjoy roller coasters, you need to go and ride it. I've posted both the official park POV video, which I find a bit sterile as the camera is mechanically fixed to the car, and an amateur version which appears to be recorded on a riders GoPro and gives a somewhat truer experience to the actually ride:

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Collector's Bane - Real Life

So, it may be a while until my next post. It isn't laziness that will cause the dry spell, but that thing all collectors hate to deal with: real life.  


Sort of.

This is the previous weekend.


We have been saving to put a new loafing shed/storage building up.  The old one, which appeared on aerial photos back to the late 40s was finally too decrepit to save.  We had been keeping it patched together, but the last time I was up on the roof making a repair, I could feel the whole building swaying with every gust of wind. I told my wife that was the last time I was going to fix it.  So, we had it torn down in March and finally got the new one built.

And here is a sneak preview of next weekend:

It is time for our fourth annual trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio for a Halloweekend full of roller coasters and haunted houses. I am more excited than a man of my age should be.  Additionally, we'll visit family and on the drive home we are going to visit the LST 325 Museum in Evansville, IN. My late father-in-law served on an LST in WWII and my wife has always wanted to see one.

So, hasta luego!  Hopefully I'll be back doing hobby stuff in October.

What I am listening to: Midnight in Harlem by Tedeschi Trucks Band

Sunday, August 26, 2018

1956 Topps - The Penultimate Card

As you may recall, I am getting close to finishing 1956 Topps after 7 years of buying cards from that set.  When last I posted I was down to needing two cards.  Mr. Haverkamp, who I met at the National show in Cleveland, emailed me and mentioned that he had one of the two remaining cards. He wasn't sure if the condition was up to my expectations.  However, the I have cards in all conditions from Fair up to Near Mint.  My main criteria was that the card was affordable (generally less than 1/3 of book valiue) and that it didn't look like a dogs chew toy. So, it isn't a major consideration.  Beside, look for yourself:

This card is in better condition than several cards in my set and considerably better condition that my Yankees team card.  So, into the binder it goes! Another one down. Only one left to go!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

August Local Show

Within a few days of my arrival back home from  my trip to the National show, I had an unexpected windfall. Well, it shouldn't be unexpected, inasmuch as it is an annual occurrence. So, it is more accurately categorized as an unremembered windfall.  But, it doesn't really matter, does it? Some money dropped in that I wasn't expecting.

After putting much of it in savings, since we are going to have a new loafing shed/storage building put up on the farm in the next couple weeks, I held a bit back to hit a local card show that took place the weekend after the National.  I made progress on a few of my sets and captured a little of the serendipity that was missing from my National visit.

I picked up 17 more of the remaining cards I need for my 1972 set, bringing me down to 9 cards left for completion.  The rookie card above has eluded me for quite a while. I've bid on it numerous times, but have never won as it always sell for more than I am willing to pay.

Since I am so close to completion on 1972, I decided to look back and figure out when I started it.  While I had cards prior to the date, my history shows that I really started the set in earnest at a card show in the middle of December of 2015. It is my intent to finish this set by the end of the year, so it will have taken approximately 3 years to complete.  When I first got back into collecting by building sets from the late 1970s, I was able to finish 2 sets a year.  However, once I worked my way back to 1973, it got harder since those sets were issued in series with the later series available in smaller quantities and at much higher prices. I don't think I'll finish a set in under a year again.

I found 4 needs for my 1970 set.  Still a long way to go on this one, with 139 cards (out of 720) still to go. And, of course, 109 of those are semi-high and high numbers.

Four more cards for 1968.  I need 125 more to complete the 598 card set.

Now for the moments of serendipity:

I have never owned a Red Heart dog food issue before. In fact, I don't ever recall seeing one in person.  That is now over with the addition of this 1954 Hank Sauer to my collection.  It is a small set at 33 cards, but has some serious names in the checklist. See for yourself

A 1949 Bowman. I really like the design of this set and I would consider building it if it wasn't for the Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige rookie cards that have a high book value of an eye-popping $3000 each.  The 1956 Mantle that I recently got only books at half that, and I was sweating some buying that.  I have a hard time imagining laying down the cash needed, even if I could afford it, to acquire even poor condition versions of those two cards. (Good Lord, I tortured that last sentence within an inch of it's life, didn't I?)

Anyways, that is about it for now.  I've got my fall vacation coming up in a few weeks and with the holidays coming soon behind, I expect my hobby activity will slow down. I'd like to finish both 1956 and 1972 before year end, but I don't have any plans beyond that.

What I am listening to: Aretha Franklin