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.