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


  1. "That’s $27.50 and I’m just getting started.” That's a neat story, especially since it's about what you paid for Appling's autograph all these years later :)

  2. All you long-time ebayers are making me jealous!

  3. I've generally ignored eBay bucks and the like, but I guess I need to start paying attention.

  4. The only card show in my area (that I know about) was suppose to take place next month, but the promoter announced last week (or the week before) that it's been cancelled. I don't think I would have gone anyways, but I liked knowing that I had the option.

    Congratulations on landing a new autographed card for your 1960 Fleer project. It's been fun seeing what bloggers used their coupon on.

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