I try to remain focused with my collecting. Because I am mostly a vintage collector, I try to preserve my cash because bargains are few and far between. However, I do try to leave a little room for serendipity. One such serendi[pitous diversion was the 1974-75 Loblaw's hockey sticker album a couple years ago. You can read more about this set here. Along the way, I picked up the Acme SuperSaver version of the book and mostly completed that. I still needed about a half dozen stickers to finish it.
I keep two EBay searches active in order to keep an eye on what is out there and be ready, should I decide to finish the second book. But, I've been generally focusing on other areas of my collection over the last year. However, recently I saw an auction for what was clearly these hockey stickers, but was mistitled as being from 1972. The lot consisted of 75 - 8 sticker panels and 50 - 7 stamp panels (I am not aware of 7 stamp panels ever being issued, so I have to assume it had one stamp removed. I haven't really looked into who was missing from the panels to see what the deal was.) The lot also claimed to include around a thousand loose single stickers.
I ended up winning at the starting price, which meant I got all these stickers for about $20 delivered.
For context, around same time someone auctioned a lot of 134 (correctly identified) panels with a final price of $260 or $2 each panel. So, conservatively, I won my lot for less than a tenth of what it should have gone for. I figured that the lot would mainly be devoid of stars, but I was wrong. The Bobby Orr sticker can sell individually for up to $25. I felt lucky when I won a panel including Orr for around $15. As it turned out this lot had 6 Bobby Orr individual stickers and 2 complete panels that included Orr.
There were precious few Flyers stickers. Oddly few. Until I looked at the return address.
I did manage to complete the ACME album with stickers from this group. But that wasn't all. The lot also included football stickers!
So, naturally, I went out and found the corresponding album, which was distributed by Sunoco and DX gas stations. I'll probably do research on this sticker set and post about it in the future.
Now I have a larger task ahead of me. The album includes 144 stickers. However, it covers all 28 26 teams, with 32 24 player stickers per team. That adds up to 896 624 stickers. So, this will probably end up being a long term project. I haven't really done any research on how much the stickers cost yet. I don't expect them to be expensive, since the album in pristine condition only cost $15. But, we'll see.
P.S. I also found another Loblaw's hockey sticker album for fairly cheap. It is coming from Canada, so it will be a while before it arrives, but, I'll get to work on that (again) too.
Added in Edit: There were only 26 NFL teams in 1972, so I have updated the math.
A quick trip to sportlots.com and my 1975 Topps set is now complete with these four cards.
Yeah, I got lazy and didn't bother to make sure I had a good quality scan. I just threw this wonky scan out there. No attention to detail or respect for craft. What can I say. Life is busy and I have little free time to do a respectable job.
The same seller had some 1979 Topps cards, but only one that I needed:
It is a bit diamond cut, but that doesn't bother me. My main criteria are sharp corners, smooth edges, and border all the way around. The corners on this are a little more worn than I would normally go for if I was buying in person. But, this is plenty fine. It isn't like 1979 is that valuable of a set.
This leaves me three cards to go to finish 1979, all commons. I believe a trip to COMC is in the cards soon, to pick up the three remaining 1979s as well as some inserts for the various modern sets I am working on intermittently.
What I am listening to: Losing My Religion by R.E.M.
I woke up one night in the middle of the night and, for whatever reason, fired up EBay on the IPad. This had just been listed as a Buy-It-Now. Which is exactly what I did. I bought it right then and there
I've bought several other PSA authenticated cards as part of the project. To date, I always bust them out of the case and put them in an UltraPro page and slip the PSA label in behind it. In this case, I think I am going to leave in in the case. The card has some dinged up corners and the signature looks as if it was made using a dying pen. If Bill White signed cards were more common, I wouldn't have even look twice at this one. But, I jumped at this because I haven't, in my recollection, seen any others. I'll likely keep an eye out for an upgrade. Should I find one, I'll probably just sell this one off, which will be easier if I keep it in the capsule.
So, there it is. Number 50 (out of 66.) I hope to have one more TTM going out this weekend to Rich Rollins, the last living subject of this set, other than Willie Mays, that I need.
What I am listening to: Bad Luck by Social Distortion
Last Saturday, I drove up to Edmond to go to the monthly mini-show at Al's Sportscards. I was up in the neighborhood to buy horse feed and hadn't seen one of the main sellers I deal with since summer, so I stopped in to say hello. I didn't spend much, but was productive nonetheless.
I actually found a box of 1979s in Al's inventory and was able to get 16 more cards, leaving me a mere 4 to complete the set. I really like the JR ultimately redeemed character.
I managed to find two more cards towards completion of my 1975 set. This also leaves me 4 cards from completion. My intent will be to finish both 1975 and 1979 before the end of February.
I found another 1961 Golden Press card. I also bought 6 cards for my 1956 set, but managed to forget to scan them. The seller of the 1956s was rather proud of them, asking around $7 each for cards I would normally pay 4 or less for. But after taking up space at his table, I felt like I needed to buy something. I left at least 20 cards I needed behind as there is a limit to my generosity.
What I am listening to: Ghost of Highway 20 from the upcoming Lucinda Williams album of the same name (skip forward to around 2:00 if you just want the music:)
Today, the card below arrived and becomes the 48th card from the 66 card 1963 Fleer baseball set that I have autographed.
I found this card by chance when I did a Google search for "1963 Fleer Autographed." It had just been added to inventory at an online retailer named Mickey's Cards out of Arizona. I was able to get this for less than $20 delivered. I consider that a bargain given that Donovan died 18 years ago, in 1997. Naturally, I have now liberated it from the plastic jail you see above.
This project is going to slow down considerably from here on out. Of the 18 cards I yet to have in autographed form, only 4 have living subjects (Willie Mays, Al Jackson, Rich Rollins, and Bill White.) I thought I had Mays last year, but the signing was delayed several times and finally never happened. I have plans to get Jackson and Rollins. White is harder. I understand he doesn't do autographs through the mail anymore, so I'll have to wait for one to come up at auction.
Of the 14 cards of deceased players, I have no clear idea how it will go. For every reasonable Dick Donovan, there is a Gene Oliver. There was an EBay auction a short time ago for an autographed '63 Fleer Oliver that closed at $111.50. That is way too rich for my blood at this time.
So, in summary, I have line of sight to 50, but not beyond. I feel pretty good about this given I started this project on a lark a few years ago.
What I am listening to: Children of Children by Jason Isbell