Saturday, August 27, 2022

Pleasure and Pain

As I mentioned earlier, I had lived frugally for over a year in order to prepare for a job search.  And, since I was only off for 6 weeks, I had some extra money saved up.  Most was used in a responsible, adult way. Some as a supplement to our retirement savings, and I also bought a used utility tractor for use around our acreage. But I did decide to do a little celebratory hobby spending.  Some of it you saw in my previous post.  Here is the rest of it:

I honestly didn't think I'd get this.  I threw a bid on it that was 30-35% below comps for a PSA 4 and actually won.  I am assuming it didn't command a typical price because of that side-to-side centering.  But, I have always been a corners and edge man.  As long as there is border all the way around, I am happy.  And there is border all the way around here. So, good to go.

But this comes with a cost, since this card was many multiples of my previous most expensive purchase. I did have to "borrow" against future hobby spending, And that cost, not surprisingly, is severely curtailed hobby activity at least through the end of the year.  I will try to knock off the commons I need for my 1969 set and I may actually start working on some of the junk wax era sets that interest me.  But, that is probably about it.

Speaking of which, that big box of junk wax I bought a couple months ago for a tenner?  It had a near complete set of 1989 Topps and I have thrown a want list over on the sidebar. I had previously decided to not work any base sets newer than 1979.  But, as I sneak up on retirement in 6-8 years, I am re-evaluating how I want to collect between now and then and, of course, afterwards.  I have already decided that 1955 is the oldest set I will build, And I will likely start moving forward in time from 1979. Most of the 1980s Topps sets are growing on me. I'm not a fan of '86 or '87. In fact, I absolutely hate 1987. But the rest of the decade is fine and will make a nice way to keep collecting without having to open my wallet too wide.  Along those lines, that big box of junk had a partial set of 1988 Score, which I also like well enough to build the set and may even post about.

So, there you have it. I have reached the pinnacle of my collecting life with this card. But, I am looking at the future without any sense of melancholy.  I am happy to have this card, but I also got a great deal of enjoyment out of the Felipe Alou card I needed to finish my 1965 set, which I started working 5 years ago.  That is the beauty of this hobby. You can do it any way you like on any budget you like.

What I am listening to:  Starlight by Yola

Friday, August 19, 2022

Card Show Pickups - Miscellaneous Stuff

 In my last post I mentioned I bought a few cards at last weekends show just because they caught my fancy. And here they are.

I found this signed 1977 Willie Randolph in a $5 box.  The more I look at it, though, the more convinced I become that it is not authentic.   So, basically, a fiver down the drain.

Over the last few shows, I've picked up individual vintage football cards of HOF players. Nothing expensive, but mainly players who names I recognize and I may have watched as a youngster.  I really like the 1967 Topps Gino Cappelletti; enough that may try to build that set.  At the time, Topps only had the license for the AFL. NFL cards were issued by the Philadelphia Gum Company.  The dilemma I face is whether I should also collect the 1967 PGC cards also.  Generally, I like the design of the Philadelphia cards, which were issued between 1964 and 1967.  But, 1967 was ugly with a canary yellow border.  So, I may just stick with Topps. It isn't anything I am going to start soon, so who knows what will happen.

Another thing to note here is the back of the card, which is very similar to the back of 1968 baseball.  I am assuming Topps got a deal on that godawful yellow ink.  As they probably started the printing the baseball cards after finishing up the football set.

Capelletti is an interesting fellow. He was both a placekicker and a receiver. He passed away at the age of 88 earlier this year.

Believe it or not, this is the first 1951 Topps I have ever owned. I had to have at least one and this is probably where I will stop.  I am glad to have this card, but the set doesn't capture my imagination.

And, there it is.  My favorite pickup from the show. It was marked as $50, but the seller is my main in-person vintage guy, so he usually gives me a decent discount. So, I am guessing this cost me more around $40. Not a small sum, but well worth it to have an autograph of one of the greatest ballplayers ever.

So that is about it for the show.  Not sure what it next. Hopefully, I will start posting more.

What I am listening to: Lone Pine Hill by Justin Townes Earle

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Card Show Pickups - Set Needs

My main priority at last weekend's show was to work on set needs.  About a week earlier, I actually finished my 1965 set that I started back in 2017.  It was actually the third set I have finished this year, after several years of having completed none.  So, the main sets I was wanting to make progress on were 1955, 1958, and 1969 Topps baseball, 1973 Topps football, and 1972-73 Topps basketball. So, with that, lets proceed:

I found exactly 1 card I needed for my 1969 set. I have been focusing on1969 over the last year because it is reasonably affordable, even in comparison to some sets that followed it. I wanted to make more progress, but every little bit helps I guess. I am down to needing only 33 cards to finish this set.  Thankfully, I have the Mantle, but I still lack Roberto Clemente, Johnny Bench, Nolan Ryan, and the Reggie Jackson rookie card. I'd like to finish this set this year, but those four cards will be a challenge.  I am not one to pay up and over the last couple years, good deals have been few and far between.

I snagged 20 cards from 1958 Topps, bringing my total for the set to 180 cards. That is a bit over one third of the set.  I started this one since I have the Mantle already. I bought it about 10 years ago for the princely sum of $100, which was the most I had ever spent on a card at that time (and for several years after.)  Along the way, I;d already acquire Ted Williams and Roberto Clemente.  So, the only major cards I need at this point is Willie Mays, the Roger Maris rookie card, and the Aaron/Mantle Batting Foes card.  I'll keep plugging away, but this is probably going to be a 2024 completion.

I managed to find 8 cards I needed for the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set.  These are the first additions to that set build since 2015.  That ultra rare Ted Signs card has me spooked.  So, this will not be a priority for me. I'll add things opportunistically, but if I never finish this, I won't care.

And now to what you have seen in my previous post.

I am really close to finishing 1955.  I was down to 8 cards to finish, one of which is this Duke Snider.  The card is a bit rough, with water staining, and that missing corner.  But, this card is one of the more expensive, and elusive, cards in the set.  Of course, Snider was a star. But, not of the caliber of a Jackie Robinson or Willie Mays, who's 55 cards are of similar value.  At least part of this cards cost is due to being the last card in the set and (not dissimilar to the 1952 Andy Pafko) was prone to rubber band damage. The staining doesn't bother me, but I've always been one of those collectors that values good corners and edges.  And that lower right corner would normally be a disqualifier.  But, this card was priced at $30, which is so far below what it would normally be that I decided I can definitely live with that corner.  

I also knocked off another '55 need:

You can catch some hints of it in the picture, but this Banks card also has some water staining.  Without that, I think it would have graded out as a solid 5. I like it just fine. So, I am down to needing 6 cards to finish: 3 commons, Jackie Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, and the dreaded Clemente rookie.  I'm far enough along that I am going to try and complete it, but that Clemente scares me. I've never spent more than $400 on a card and can count on one hand how many times I've spent more than $250.  Dropping four figures is going to be painful.

That does it for the set building. Next up will be the miscellaneous stuff I bought just because.

What I am listening to: Down by the Water by The Decembrists.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Proof of Life

I'm still here, so a few updates:

I am back gainfully employed. My last day on my previous job was June 3 and I started my new gig on July 26.  All things considered that is a fairly short interval.    I had planned to shift towards contract consulting, but my expertise was fairly niche, and I could see that career focus could have as much down time as not.  The interregnum told me that I am not quite ready for significant down time.  So, I'm back on the W-2 train for a few more years.  This job is a pretty big departure from my career path, but it should be interesting and I really like the people I work with.

Additionally, we added a new member to the family here.  Normally, this wouldn't be noteworthy for a sports card blog, but we have been keeping track since San Jose Fuji threw down the gauntlet regarding non-card collections so many years ago.  Anyways, back in January of 2021, a feral tom cat started coming around the farm.  He was wild as a March hare and wouldn't let us anywhere near him.  We kept food out for him and monitored his comings and goings with a game camera.  Slowly, over time, he began to trust us and this January, a full year after he started visiting, I was able to pet him for the first time.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and he was obviously sick. So, we got him off to the vet. He was diagnosed with bobcat fever, an often-deadly tick-borne illness.  His recovery included me having to give him medicine, which means he was confined to my home office/card room. As you might expect, he is now a house cat. So, meet Chester:

January 2021

August 2022

Anyways, having saved up for a potentially lengthy job search, the quick return to the workforce left me some funds for hobby spending.  So, yesterday I went to a card show.   I've gone to card shows in the past year, but those were always more focused.  Yesterday, I went with a desire to make some progress on sets, but also to engage in a little whimsy and pick up a few things that aren't natural fits to how I collect.  

I intend to get back blogging again, particularly focusing on a series of posts about my signed 1960 and 1961 Fleer collection.  But, until I get my rear in gear, here is a sample of what I got yesterday.

What I am listening to:  Cross Bones Style by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit (Amanda Shires on lead vocals and fiddle)