Monday, September 7, 2020

Labor Day Card Show

Normally, when I do a brag post about a card show haul, I present the cards in reverse chronological orders.   Today, I am not going to do that, as it seems more appropriate, in order to build suspense (I know you aren't exactly sitting on pins and needles reading this post, but work with me here.)

I picked up a total of 7 cards for the 1960 set I am slowly working on.  These were actually the last cards I picked up at the show as I sought to spend what little cash I had left. These few cards moved me up to having 260 of the cards in the 572 card set.

I just noticed that top edge on the Joe Morgan rookie card. Hoo boy, that is ugly. The experts over at net54 seem to be in agreement that it is a factory defect.  I guess I know now why it was so cheap. I may need to upgrade that some day when I am more concerned with set value.  But, that isn't any time soon. I found a total of 38 cards for my 1965 set. There was a lot more, but not at a price I wanted to pay.  

So, now I am sitting at 468 cards; needing only 130 to complete the set.  Of those 130, 20 are actually upgrades of cards I already have but are in poor condition.  However, even this close to completion, it will probably be a few years before I finish.  The biggest cards I have left include Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Pete Rose, Willie Mays, and the Steve Carlton RC.

Also, since this post has been composed in several sessions, I would like to acknowledge the passing of Lou Brock on Sunday. I never got to see him play and only know him by reputation and baseball cards. But, like Ernie Banks, he always seemed to be smiling. As a person prone to melancholy, I have an affinity for people like Brock and Banks who radiate joy so easily.  Hopefully, the once teammates are playing together again. RIP Lou.

Speaking of which....

I found two of the remaining five cards I needed to complete my 1968 set. The final cards I need at the Hank Aaron All-Star (370), Lou Brock (520), and the Nolan Ryan RC (177). My guess is it will be a while before I finish this set. The first two cards are obtainable, but the prices on the Ryan have been outrageous and way more than I am willing to pay.  Even low grade versions, from reputable sellers, are going for $300 or more.  So, I am going to sit tight and hope the bubble bursts.

There it is.  The final card I needed to finish my 1970 set.  My blogging has been intermittent for a number of years now, so I can't determine exactly when I started working on 1970, but as near as I can tell, it was sometime in 2016. So, it took around 4 years to complete.  

This card is significant in a second way as it is also the final card I needed to complete the run of Topps sets from the 1970s.  I do need one card to finish the 1974 master set (599 - San Diego large print version,) but since I have two of the three versions of that card. I consider the set complete.  While I don't expect to ever seriously build 1952 or 1953 sets, I do plan to work on the remaining Topps sets. My progress on that goal is as follows:

So, what does the future hold?  Not sure. I'm sure I will still be dabbling a bit on eBay, but there is a big show coming up in November in Dallas that I am thinking of attending, if the COVID situation is under control. So, I will try to keep my powder dry and save up some funds if I do decide to go. Also, as the days get shorter and the lawn goes dormant, I am going to try to get back to some original content around here.


What I am listening to: God's Problem Child by Willie Nelson (and Tony Joe White, Leon Russell, and Jamey Johnson)

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Clipping Coupons

So, for only the second time this year I went to a card show.  I masked up and drove up to the city.  Even though the two sellers I normally spend the most with weren't there, I did have a very productive outing. But this post is not about that.

This post is about eBay. Last weekend, I saw rumblings on Twitter about a $25 off coupon code that everyone was trying. It was apparently for folks who have been on eBay since the beginning. I haven't been on since the beginning, but I have been on for exactly 20 years (I joined September 1, 2000.) So, I tried the code to see if it worked and it did.  So, what did I get with my $25 off?

This signed 1960 Fleer Luke Appling is the 15th signed card I have from that set. The set itself is only 79 cards and, of those, only 40 of the subjects were still alive at the time the set was issued.  So, I am now sitting at a respectable 37.5% of the possible cards in an autographed form.  With a quarter C-note off, this card was mine for a bit over $25. I also knocked off my goal to have over half of the possible 1960-1963 Fleer cards in signed form by the end of the year. For the three sets, which total 299 cards, I have estimated that it is theoretically possible to have 201 signed cards. This puts me at 101.

Luke Appling played 20 seasons for the Chicago White Sox in the majors between 1930 and 1950, missing only 1944 for military service and never making the post season.  He was a good hitter, winning batting titles in 1936 and 1943. He retired with a .310/.399/.398 slash line. Obviously, he didn't have much power, with only 45 homeruns in his career. However, he was a legendary contact hitter, only striking out 528 times in 20 seasons.  In fact the back of this card says "Although not in the record books, he was one of the greatest foul ball hitters in modern times."  One fun anecdote I stole from his SABR biography goes as follows:

As one story goes, Appling once asked the tight-fisted business manager of the Sox for several balls to sign for friends. The business manager refused, citing the Depression and that each ball cost $2.75. Appling turned and walked out without a word. That afternoon in his first at bat he fouled off ten consecutive pitches into the stands. Turning to the club official in the owner’s box, he said, “That’s $27.50 and I’m just getting started.”

He had a long career as a minor league manager and major league coach right up until his death in January 1991. In an interesting coincidence, Appling appears on one of the cards I got at yesterday's show, a 1960  Detroit Tigers Coaches card. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964. 

What I am listening to: What've I Done to Help by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit