Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 Set Completion #2 - 1960 Fleer

After having completed exactly zero sets in 2014, I am on fire already in 2015, having just completed my second set in this young year: 1960 Fleer.

 There is actually another card in the set, although depending on your perspective could be considered a variation.  There are known cards of Joe Tinker, Eddie Collins and Lefty Grove that have the back for card 80 - Pepper Martin.  The Pepper Martin card was never issued and examples of the 3 aforementioned players with the Martin back are extremely rare.  There are actually two listed on EBay as a Buy-It-Now with asking prices of $5000 or higher.  I wouldn't spend that kinda money on a card, even if I had it. So, I am calling this one complete.

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's a Keeper.... I Think

In my last post, I alluded that I would be receiving a card that will likely be the most valuable in my collection.  It finally arrived today and here it is:

Before you start thinking I've gotten rich or something, I can assure you nothing is further from the truth.  In a moment of weakness, I decided to buy one slot (out of 263 total) in a group break over at Net54baseball.  For the cost of a bit over $30 dollars, I got a chance to get a card from a number of pre-war sets (1933, 1934, 1938 Goudey and 1939, 1940 Play Ball.)  I figured I would just get a common card from one of those sets, but the chance at some nicer cards was enough to get me to enter.  The actual break was live streamed on a Sunday night. Alas, I had business in Shreveport starting Monday, so I left home midday on Sunday on my drive to Shreveport so that I got there in time to view the break.  I got in with a enough time to grab some takeout chow and catch the show.

I had a great time watching and was tickled to death when I drew one of the big ticket cards in the break.  Now I just need to decide what to do.  I love this card, but it isn't in my collecting wheelhouse. Right now, in the afterglow of actually getting this, I am leaning towards keeping it. But, PSA 4 versions of this card sell for up to $300. So, I am also considering selling it to finance buying some of the bigger ticket cards in 1956 Topps that I still need (like Koufax or Mantle.)  But, that decision will wait for another day.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 Set Completion #1 - 1973 Topps

This year, my intent is to actually complete some sets, an accomplishment that eluded me in 2014.  I have 4 in mind: 1973, 1975, and 1979 Topps and 1960 Fleer.  As I mentioned in my New Years post, I had struck a deal for the remaining cards I needed to complete the 1973 base set. They arrived about a week ago.  I still need to work on the unnumbered team checklists, but they are hard to find them in good, unchecked condition. So, I am just going to consider that a low priority, long term quest.

So, there was over 20 cards in that last lot.  There was no one last card, so I thought I would show the biggest of the big ticket cards in 1973 Topps. This was part of that last group of cards I needed.

I think it has great eye appeal. Nice corners and edges, but that surface wrinkle down below Ron Cey's face kept the card in the affordable range.

I should have another post up in a few days that I am pretty excited about.  A small hint: it will be the most valuable card in my collection

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Year in Review

That pretty much says it all about my 2014 as a collector.  There were a two main reasons for this.  First, I was busy as all get-out at work.  The first nine months were a great time to be in the Oil and Gas industry and I was consumed at the office.  Second, was my self-imposed insistence that I only work on one major set at a time. Sure I work others in the margin, but when it comes to flagship sets, I have only worked one at a time.  Alas, now that I am getting into the sets that were issued in series, thus having to deal with rare high numbers, the time it takes to complete a set is elongated (as you will see.)

So, what is the 4-1-1 on my year?

Sets I wanted to complete:

  1. 1960 Fleer - Nope.  Although I only need one more card to complete it (26 - Bob Feller)
  2. 1973 Topps - Nope.  When I reviewed my years goals, I got disgusted with my lack of accomplishment.  As luck would have it, someone was advertising a lot of 1973 high numbers for sale on Net54Baseball.  I contacted him and was able to strike a deal for all of the remaining base cards I needed, high number or not.  Alas, the package is still in transit as of New Years. Additionally, I still need 18 of the 24 unnumbered team checklists. Added note:  1973 was also on my 2013 list of sets I wanted to complete.
  3. 1975 Topps - Nope. I did start it though. I had taken some birthday money to a local card shop and had started pawing through boxes of commons, when I came across a box of a near complete set of NM 1975 commons.  I stopped my painstaking search and struck a deal with the owner for that box.  As it stands, I am 43 cards (most stars and minor stars) away from completing this set
  4. 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game - Nope. I am chosing to ignore the blue parallels, auto cards, and Yankee Clippings insert set, and so only had 4 cards to go from the Forever insert set to call this one complete.  I managed to snag two of them. I still have Fernando Valenzuela and Ryne Sandberg still to go.
Sets to work on:

  1. 1961 Fleer - Barely. I picked up a few cards here and there, but still am sitting at about 2/3 complete.
  2. 1972 Topps - Nope
  3. 2009 Obak - Picked up a few cards, mainly T212 minis. I think I knocked off only 1 of the 10 short prints I needed.
Other distractions:

  1. 1963 Fleer Autograph Project - My one success this year. I wanted to get to the half-way point (33 autographed cards) and I made it to 35.  And I still haven't done any TTMs after The Lost Collector sent me a list of addresses for players featured in the '63 Fleer set.
  2. 1955 and 1956 Topps - Nothing on 1955, but I did find a source for high quality (EX or better) 1956 commons for $4 each.  I managed to get up to the 46% complete level before some other collector bought all of the dealers '56 commons out from under me.  Jerk.
I am hopeful to get back to semi-regular blogging this year.  But, 2015 is going to be another busy year at work (although for different reasons), so I am not making any promises.

So, to recap, my 2014 as a hobbyist: