Saturday, March 17, 2018

Blog Bat Around - My Projects

1.  Topps Vintage Flagship through 1979

Let's be realistic here. I am never going to finish 1952 Topps. That Mantle card is not in my budget.  Even if I won the lottery, I still wouldn't drop that kind of coin on a baseball card.

But, I do believe I can finish a large number of these sets.  In fact, here is my progress after about 7 years collecting.

Year Total Have Percent 
1952 407 2 0.5%
1953 280 6 2.1%
1954 250 1 0.4%
1955 206 56 27.2%
1956 342 283 82.7%
1957 354 0 0.0%
1958 495 9 1.8%
1959 572 3 0.5%
1960 572 22 3.8%
1961 587 3 0.5%
1962 598 4 0.7%
1963 576 7 1.2%
1964 587 19 3.2%
1965 598 95 15.9%
1966 598 7 1.2%
1967 609 2 0.3%
1968 598 311 52.0%
1969 664 7 1.1%
1970 720 576 80.0%
1971 752 752 100.0%
1972 787 700 88.9%
1973 684 684 100.0%
1974 728 728 100.0%
1975 660 660 100.0%
1976 704 704 100.0%
1977 660 660 100.0%
1978 726 726 100.0%
1979 726 726 100.0%

16040 7751 48.3%

I stop at 1979 because that was the last set I was exposed to in my youth and the Topps sets after 1980 don't really appeal to me aesthetically (1983 is okay, but that is really about it.)

The chart above is slightly misleading.  I have completed 1974. Sort of.  I am one card short of the master set.  I have all the checklists and traded series, as well as all the Washington Nat'l League variants.  The one card I don't have is the San Diego large print variation of card 599.  I have never got it because it usually sells for over $30 and I have a hard time paying that much for what is essentially a nondescript common.  But,  I probably should get over that.

Anyways, my main focus at this time is 1970 and 1972. I hope to finish at least one, but ideally both, in 2018.

2. 1960 to 1963 Fleer Baseball Autographed Sets


 This didn't start as an autograph project. I always liked 1963 Fleer and decided to build it.  That led to building 1960 and 1961, even though I am not enamored with their design.  On a lark, I sent a couple '63s out to a signing and off we went with trying to rebuild that set in autographed form.  As that project slowed, I decided to extend the project to the earlier Fleer sets.

Here is my progress to date.  Note that many card subjects in 1960 and 1961 died prior to the set being issued, so I measure progress against the number of cards of players who were living when the sets were issued:

Year Total Cards Possible Have Percentage
1960 79 40 7 17.5%
1961 154 95 16 16.8%
1963 66 66 63 95.5%
Total 299 201 86 42.8%

3.  Player Collections (Paul Blair and Johnny Antonelli) 

I am up to 124 unique Paul Blair cards and 62 Johnny Antonelli.  There isn't much left to add to these.  There are a couple O-Pee-Chee Blairs I need and I still need a Jello Antonelli. I am sure there are some regional issues out there yet unknown to me.  There are number of unlicensed issues that basically consist of cut autos in card form. They are generally issued in small numbers (I hate artificial scarcity and will not reward it) and they generally don't ever feature actual photographs of the actual person. So, I don't collect those.

4. Various Modern Sets that catch my fancy

I pretty much avoid modern sets.  As I have said, all the variations and short print artificial scarcity just ticks me off and I'd rather focus my limited funds on vintage.  Occasionally though,  a modern set will cut though the noise and interest me.   Here are the ones I am (sorta) working:
  • 2009-2011 Tristar Obak. 
  • 2000-2004 Fleer Greats of the Game.  I don't include 2006, because it was the first GOTG set after Upper Deck bought out Fleer and, frankly, it had absolutely none of the charm of it's predecessors. In fact, it has no charm whatsoever
  • 1991-1994 Conlon.  The first three years are complete.
  • 1993-1994 Ted Williams

5. Various Vintage Oddballs

I actually have more of these than I expected.  My approach to collecting has been to maintain focus on a small number of priorities. That is what I thought anways.  It is true, in a sense, since I still place much of my collecting effort on only one or two Topps vintage sets at any given time and the Fleer autograph project.  But, dang, I've got a lot of things open.

  • 1959 Fleer Ted Williams
  • 1961 Golden Press
  • 1968 Topps Game
  • 1970 Kelloggs
  • 1978 TCMA The 1960s
  • 1972 Sunoco Football Stickers
  • 1974-75 Loblaws Hockey Stickers

What I am listening to: The Perilous Night by Drive-By Truckers

Thursday, March 15, 2018

1963 Fleer Autograph Project - Part 63

It is late and I've been up 21 straight hours.  I got up at 3:00 AM this morning and left home at 4:00 to catch a flight to Houston to attend an industry briefing on the expected effects of the recently imposed steel tariffs (Long story short, they won't do what they are intended.) At the end of the day, I started my trip home that, unfortunately, included a 3 hour layover in Dallas.  I am home now, but it is after midnight and I am wound up.  So, I am going to have an adult beverage, crank this post out and hopefully get some sleep.

Here it is.  The 63rd autographed 1963 Fleer card (out of 66 total cards in the set) that I have added to my collection.

I snagged this on EBay in raw form for less than $40 and sent it off for authentication.  It arrived back today.  I only have three cards from 1963 Fleer that are not autographed:

38 - Dick Farrell
56 - Roberto Clemente
60- Ken Boyer

At the moment, I am still planning to attend the National in Cleveland this summer. I have family in Cleveland and it is a good opportunity to visit.  If I do end up going, adding one or more of the three above will be my goal.  I expect that Clemente will never happen, but I would be pleased to eventually add the other two.

What I am listening to:  Jackson by Carlene Carter