Monday, December 5, 2016

eBay pickup

I picked up this lot of 475 Wallach cards on eBay somewhat recently.  I say somewhat, because I've severely neglected the updates on this blog the last few months.  I assure you, I still out there hoarding as many Wallach cards as I can, and I'm still getting the cards you've been sending.  I'll be caught up and current by the end of the month, as the "Year in Review" post has become something I really look forward to doing.  This large lot came in at a really decent price, less than 5¢ a card.  It's loaded with my favortie period, that being pre-1990 Topps/Donruss/Fleer.  Check out the photos, and numbers are updated below.

The only real odd-ball item in this lot, is the uncut sheet of 1984 Topps Stickers.  I have no idea where it came from, if it's an entire sheet, or just part of a larger one, or anything else about it. I can just see it's five "cards" (ten stickers) that are still held together by the same continuous piece of paper.  I'm not counting it as a card.

Here are the updated totals:

1982 Donruss x5: 169
1982 Fleer x6: 79
1982 Topps x9: 1,142
1983 Donruss x4: 89
1983 Fleer x5: 106
1983 Topps x9: 240
1984 Donruss: 116
1984 Fleer x2: 101
1984 Topps x30: 244
1985 Donruss: 72
1985 Topps x11: 280
1986 Donruss x19: 136
1986 Fleer x5: 113
1986 Fleer Mini: 34
1986 Sportflics: 11
1986 Topps x24: 283
1986 Topps All-Star x107: 574
1986 Topps Stickers x20: 51
1987 Donruss x18: 394
1987 Donruss Opening Day x4: 33
1987 Fleer x22: 194
1987 Hostess: 3
1987 Topps x37: 778
1988 Donruss x8: 704
1988 Fleer x2: 220
1988 Fleer Mini: 15
1988 Score x4: 230
1988 Topps x10: 593
1988 Topps All-Star x6: 572
1988 Topps Big x3: 54
1988 Topps Super Star: 22
1988 Topps UK Mini: 84
1989 Donruss x4: 317
1989 Fleer: 254
1989 Score x4: 157
1989 Topps x34: 606
1989 Upper Deck x2: 174
1990 Bowman x3: 82
1990 Donruss x16: 341
1990 Fleer x3: 270
1990 Score x11: 189
1990 Topps x27: 395
1990 Upper Deck x19: 216
1991 Fleer: 150
1991 Leaf x6: 75
1991 OPC Premier: 60
1991 Score x4: 185
1991 Score The Franchise x2: 139
1991 Stadium Club x5: 66
1991 Topps x9: 196
1991 Ultra x2: 65
1991 Upper Deck x14: 241
1991 Upper Deck Checklist x7: 180
1992 Diet Pepsi: 8
1992 Donruss: 153
1992 Leaf Black Gold: 12
1992 Post: 5
1992 Score: 67
1992 Stadium Club x2: 36
1992 Upper Deck x2: 246
1993 Humpty Dumpty: 6
1994 Collector's Choice: 38
1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond: 12
1995 Score Gold Rush: 9

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Coralville, Iowa

This impressive assortment of 58 cards was sent by Tim of Coralville, Iowa.  Coralville is a suburb of Iowa City, and not a particularly large one with a population of about 18,000 per wiki.  The reason I know this, is because I looked it up.  While placing the marker on the map for Tim, I noticed another marker a mere half-mile away as the crow flies.  Usually I put the marker near a major intersection for the address, never directly on an address.  So I figured maybe Tim had sent cards before and I just marked it a little further off than usual.  That wasn't the case.  A Hawkeyes fan named Matt sent cards back in March of this year.  It's not the first time I've received cards from two people who live mere blocks apart, either.  An odd development that I never saw coming.

So when I come across two readers who send me Wallachs, that live in such close proximity, I always wonder a few things.  Do they know each other?  How common is this?  How many closet card collector's live in my own neighborhood?  My area (city of 60K, 250K within a 50 mile radius) has no card shops, and no regular shows.  It's a far cry from being a kid in the 1980's when card shops were about as common as dry cleaners.  All which is a long winded way of getting to my latest idea (unless it already exists) and I'm just out of the loop.  Would any you use a phone app that served as a sort of registry for card collector's?  It would have two primary fuctions; (1) A map of collector's in your area.  Sign up, give a general location, and brief description of you collect, and then other's in your area can contact you via the app or vise versa.  Trading by mail is great, but meeting at a local starbucks to exchange set needs wouldn't be a bad thing either.  And (2), a sort of Yelp for card shops.  When I travel, I often look at phone books for card shops in the area, but usually don't want to take the chance driving out to an unknown area for a shop that may not even be there anymore, or may be more of sporting goods store or comic book store, with one case of cards.  Map all the shops, and allow users to post pictures and reviews.  Would you download it?

In any event, thank you for the cards Tim, they're greatly appreciated.

Updated Totals:

1986 Fleer: 108
1988 Fleer MVP: 16
1988 Fleer All-Stars: 10
1988 KayBee: 25
1989 Donruss x7: 313
1989 Donruss Baseball's Best: 17
1989 Fleer x2: 246
1990 Fleer x2: 267
1990 Fleer League Leaders: 8
1990 Score: 178
1990 Topps: 368
1991 Donruss x3: 188
1991 Donruss MVP: 168
1991 Fleer x4: 149
1991 Leaf: 69
1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier x2: 59
1991 Score The Franchise: 137
1991 Topps x2: 187
1991 Upper Deck x3: 227
1991 Upper Deck Checklist: 173
1992 Fleer x2: 89
1992 O-Pee-Chee: 15
1992 Topps: 172
1992 Upper Deck x2: 244
1993 Bowman: 19
1993 Leaf x2: 71
1993 Score Select: 38
1993 Stadium Club: 44
1993 Studio x2: 37
1993 Topps x2: 135
1993 Upper Deck x6: 106

Friday, November 4, 2016

Los Angeles, CA

These four cards were sent by Blake of Los Angeles, California.  Blake had the good sense to use a very nice Jimi Hendrix stamp on the envelope.  While I am by no means a stamp collector, or much of a stamp guy, I think it's fair to say I've become much more aware of them as a result of this blog.  Through the generosity of all the strangers who send me cards, I've seen a lot of different stamps, and now find myself noticing them more outside of the context of this blog.  I've got enough hobbies to waste money on, so I'm not looking to add stamps into the mix, but I've certainly come to appreciate them in new ways.

Thanks for the cards Blake.

Updated Totals:

1988 Donruss x2: 696
1988 Topps: 593
1991 Topps: 187

Friday, October 28, 2016

Middlesex, NJ

This card was sent by KO Rob of Middlesex, NJ.  It's the second time Rob has contributed to this blog, and as always, is greatly appreciated.  Thanks for the cards Rob.

Updated Total:

1988 Donruss: 694

Friday, October 7, 2016

Atlanta, GA

These cards were sent by Stephen of Atlanta, Georgia.  The letter may be difficult to read, but it gives an explanation for the a large number of 1992 Studio cards included.  Which probably merits an explanation.  I'm sure I have a few loose '92 Studio's buried in the white box depths of my collection somewhere, but I'm certain I don't have more than two of any player, let alone five (Wallach's excluded obviously).

Stephen explains that he used to work in a video rental store in a strip center that also had a card shop, and would trade rentals for product that didn't sell well, like packs/boxes of '92 Studio.  I'm not sure who was getting the better deal, but I'm certain that Kevin Smith movies would have been better if they had included a card shop into the mix.  Thanks for the cards Stephen.

Updated Totals:

1985 Fleer: 68
1992 Studio x5: 38
1992 Upper Deck x2: 243
1993 Topps: 133
1994 Stadium Club x3: 32

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Victor, NY

These 36 cards were sent by Josh of Victor, NY.  It's a nice grouping that includes a good number of 1980's Topps, my favorite subcategory of Wallach cards.  I'd never heard of Victor, New York, so I first assumed it must be somewhere on Long Island, but was somewhat embarrassed to discover it's just a little south of Rochester, halfway between Syracuse (Go Orange!) and Buffalo.  Now it's on the map.

Thanks for the cards Josh, they are very much appreciated.

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps: 259
1986 Topps AS x4: 467
1987 Topps x3: 741
1988 Donruss x2: 693
1988 Topps: 582
1988 Topps AS x4: 566
1989 Donruss: 306
1989 Topps x4: 572
1990 Donruss x3: 325
1990 Fleer: 265
1990 Score x2: 177
1990 Topps: 367
1991 Score x6: 181
1991 Score The Franchise x3: 136

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Edition

St. Louis Browns and Relocation 

Browns cards are foreign to me.  Even as the number of them in my collection has grown, they still seem out of place.  I was in my twenties before I even knew they existed as relatively "recently" as '53 (I'm sure some younger readers will debate my use of "recent").  Any mention of them was always dismissed in my head as being from some long by gone era of tiny gloves, silly hats, and games played with ropes keeping spectators off the field.  It wasn't until I realized they became the Orioles following the '53 season that I finally gained some perspective.  And even then, my primary take-away was "wow, I always figured the Orioles had been around longer than that."  The Orioles after all, are a team with a rich history full of old Hall of Famers and aging underwear models.  "They had always been on cards," hadn't they?

Someone, no one I know, grew up a St. Louis Browns fan.  The team dates back to the 19th century.  Someone grew up a Browns fan, taught their children to love the Browns, and in all likelihood a few of those kids at least started to teach a third generation to love the Browns.  Then they were gone, and a mere three decades later, young avid baseball fans like myself, ripping packs of cards and studying the history displayed on the back, were completely oblivious to the fact that they ever even existed.

Relocation has always bothered me.  As a child, I loved the Expos.  My family moved a lot, and had relatives spread throughout the country, so I was oblivious to the normal geographical factors tied to fandom.  I saw nothing illogical about loving the Expos.  My daughter is now six, and at some point in the near future one of her baseball inclined friends will probably ask who the hell the Expos are.  And my head will explode.

But my dislike of relocation took root much earlier.  When I was about eight or nine, I was living in Phoenix, AZ, when a "huge" thing happened.  The St. Louis Cardinals NFL team was relocating to Phoenix.  Getting caught up in the excitement was unavoidable. It dominated the news.  Our local Chillis immediately added large amounts of Cardinals ephemera.  I remember heated debates about how tv coverage would be tied to the sellout requirement for games.  I even had a "When Lomax looks long, The Cardinals look Strong!" t-shirt that was given to me by a neighbor.  Never mind that I had no idea who the hell the cartoon caricature of Neil Lomax on the front was, it was all a very big deal.

But something never sat right with me.  I remember asking who would be the new team in St. Louis, and feeling bad for their fans.  In asking about the Cardinals move, I learned that it happened all the time.  And the examples my father used, hit home.  In Pheonix at the time, Kevin Johnson and the Suns were all the rage, and my family went to a few games every year to cheer on K.J. and the Gorilla that dunked off of the trampoline.   And it seemed in the NBA relocation was common a event.  The hated Lakers, were in fact stolen from Minnesota, where there are in fact lakes.  The Jazz came from New Orleans (I'm sure my father made the usual jokes, but they probably landed flat on me at that age).  Our home region, Syracuse, NY, used to have a team, a championship team, but they lost it.  What if the Suns left?  It just didn't sit right with me.

It still doesn't.  I'm hard pressed to think of a single move I approve of.  But I can think of plenty I don't.  Here's a run down of my most egregious relocation's in professional sports (bias, recency, and my own ignorance to facts all play a major role in these rankings)

Top Ten Annoying Relocation's

Honorable Mention: Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis 

This one is mitigated a little bit by the fact that Baltimore would go on to steal the Cleveland Browns a few years later.  But I'm also old enough to remember the images of the moving trucks packing up and leaving.  I'm big proponent of the idea that names belong to cities, and if you're going to move, the name stays.

All things considered, this seems like the right spot for this one.  This is probably the only instance where I wouldn't want to see the new team in Baltimore change their name back to Colts.  The idea that an NFL team this day in age can take it's name from American Literature is not a small source of amusement for me.  Oddly, the NFL Shop doesn't sell Ravens T-shirt with Poe references.

#10 New Orleans Jazz to Utah This one is strictly name based.  I've never really lost any sleep on the Jazz moving to Utah, and wasn't even aware of it until years after I knew who the Utah Jazz were.  But now that there is a team back in New Orleans, they should be the "Jazz."  I can't imagine Salt Lake has any strong opinions on the subject.

#9 Houston Oilers to Tennessee  I'm not sure the people of Houston really cared about this move, but I was a big Warren Moon fan going back to his days at Washington.  I always thought the Oilers had a cool helmet and uniform, and given Houston's current air pollution issues, there would be a sort of cruel irony to it if their football team was still called the Oilers.

#8 Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia I was born in Syracuse while my parents were attending graduate school there.  I have a good amount of family in Central New York, lived in Central New York for as long as I ever lived anywhere, graduated from a High School in Central New York, and have actually been inside the Syracuse War Memorial.  It's an aging relic unfit for low level minor league hockey.  But inside an NBA Championship banner still hangs.  It's hard to argue Syracuse needs an NBA Team today, with Great the Jim Boeheim providing area residents with the greatest coached basketball teams the world has ever known, but this one still feels personal to me.

#7 Hartford Whalers to Carolina  Anytime a loved northern Hockey team moves someplace where there is no naturally occurring ice, it pisses me off.  Bring back The Whale.  They won't miss hockey down there, they have better things to do, like police the bathrooms.

#6 Cleveland Browns to Baltimore The people of Cleveland have long had enough things working against them.  Stealing their football team was just unnecessary cruelty.

#5 Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles  This was way before my time, but in New York, everyone still has or knows a grandpa who was a Dodgers or Giants fan.  I'm not trying to anger any LA Fans, they're innocent in all of this, but I can't help but think there'd be some interesting history these last 60 years if the Dodgers had stayed in Kings County.

#4 Minnesota North Stars to Dallas This is one of the more egregious name situations on this list.  I know Texas thinks they invented the "star," but come on.  I don't car if Texas is "The Lone Star," state, it's not a hockey state, and not the only state with "Star" in it's motto.  Minnesota's state motto is "The Star of the North," and the North Stars had some of the best uniforms and logo in all of sports.  I'm sure Dallas could come up a new name.  I'm pretty sure "Oilers" is available.

#3 Quebec Nordiques to Denver  I was living in a Denver Television Market the year the Nordiques moved to Denver.  At least Denver had ice.  But I was surrounded by morons who couldn't tell a blue line from a line of goons, and insisted on saying Quebec wasn't getting screwed because Denver made a ton of changes that directly led to the Cup.

#2 Montreal Expos to Washington (for obvious reasons)

#1 Seattle Super Sonics to Oklahoma City How you can take a storied and beloved NBA Franchise with a championship history from one of America's greatest cities, and move it to a collection of truck stops clustered where a few major interstates merge in the middle of nowhere is beyond me.  The fact that "Loves" was or maybe still is one of the major sponsors in the new city would be funny, if it wasn't so sad.  Someone should be in jail for this.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mukilteo, WA

My free time has been non-existent of late, and as a result this blog has suffered.  Cards are still coming, I just haven't been able to scan and post, let alone sort, order, and send out return envelopes.  My card closet is in as much a state of chaos as it's been at any point in the last five years.  So if your waiting to see your cards posted, or for a return package, please bear with me.

This card was sent by Davis of Mukilteo, Washington.  1982 Fleer is one of the more elusive base set cards of Wallach that there is to be found from the 1980's.  I've been doing this long enough now that I feel comfortable saying that it's not a coincidence.  There's just less '82 Fleer floating around than most other sets from the decade.  I'm not sure what to do with that information, other than perhaps load up on '82 Fleer Ripken's, but at this point, I don't think anyone cares.

Thanks for the card Davis.

Updated Total:

1982 Fleer: 73

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Long Beach, CA

These cards were sent by Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus.  Back in 2013, Sam was the first person to write about this blog, and it snow-balled into an avalanche of Wallach cards for me.  So thanks for these four, and all the others, Sam.

Updated Totals: 

1991 Upper Deck: 224
1993 Leaf x2: 69
1993 Upper Deck: 100

Monday, August 22, 2016

Elgin, IL

Regular contributor, Jim of Elgin, Il, sent this card, sticker, and stat sheet for some sort of "Strat-O-Matic" game (or that could be exactley what it is, I'm not an expert).  This particular sheet is for stolen base numbers for what appears to be the 1982 season based on the Expos roster.

Thanks for the effort Jim.  It's always appreciated.

Updated Total:

1987 Topps: 738

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"The Line"

I've had a fair number of occasions to discuss "the line," when it comes to my Wallach collection, and just memorabilia collecting in general.  When it comes out in conversations that I collect baseball cards, and specifically Tim Wallach cards, more often than not it leads to generalized discussions of cards and memorabilia.  I'm always interested in where people think "the line" is.  And by that I mean, when it stops being a collectable that anyone would want in their office or home, and more of an indictment of the person who wants it.  I like hearing other people's views on it, if for no other reason than I want be sure I never cross any perceived lines, and it's an easy topic for non-collector's to engage in.

In general terms, I wouldn't feel good about owning anything I think belongs in a museum, or that the player or their family would likely want for themselves.  A random game used Derek Jeter jersey is certainly cool.  Even one from a World Series game would be cool.  But say, the one he made his MLB debut in, or last one he ever wore is probably crossing that line for me.  Aaron's home run ball #713 would be an incredible souvenir, the next two don't really belong in some one's trophy case in an Atlanta suburb.  They belong on public display or with the Aaron family.

There's another "line" too.  The creepier one.  Relics from things that didn't happen between the foul poles.  I don't see examples of them very often, and am struggling to think of one off the top of my head, but everyone knows them when they see them.  Sandy Koufax prescription medicine bottles might be rare and historical in nature, but why would you want them?  There are exceptions of course, such as say a Babe Ruth paycheck from the Yankees.  Not really something from between the lines, but  I would still call it fair game.  I think the players fame, fairly or not, is also a factor.  I'm more inclined to say a Ted Williams birth certificate is probably ok (albeit not something I would ever want, and I would find to be more weird than cool), where as a Von Hayes birth certificate seems wildly inappropriate.

I've never really had occasion to question where the "line" is with my Wallach collection. But I was recently presented with my first hard line in the sand.  And I've decided to pass.  Someone is selling a high school year book from Wallach's junior year of high school.  No thanks.

Now, I'm not sure yearbooks are really out of bounds.  It's at least a gray area enough where I don't feel like a terrible person by mentioning it's existence (but I'm not  posting any pictures from the listing beyond the cover), so maybe I'm being a huge hypocrite, but I just can't imagine where something like this would fit in my collection.  On one side of the argument in favor of it, it does have a baseball team picture, but on the other side, this was never meant for public consumption.  If a player agrees to work with an author and wants to put things like old pictures out there, fine, but it's the player's call.  Not some random classmate's from the 70's.

My mother is a retired public school teacher.  She taught at a Junior High School in Phoenix for a few years, and one of the kids to pass through her classroom was a guy named Mike Bibby, who went on to have a pretty decent NBA career.  She doesn't really remember him, but the proof is right there in a year book back in her studio closet with all the other year books she amassed over the years.  I can't imagine trying to sell it, which helped me in my choice not to buy one of these.

I don't know where your "line" is, and I'm not going to judge you for it, but I think it's interesting conversation.  When it arises with my non-collector friends, I often cite the auction of a Michael Jordan student I.D. from UNC and an expired Driver's License as interesting dilemna's.  As a card collector, I think that's probably about as difficult a call as you could be presented with.  In a lot of ways they're like the ultimate low production card, but it also strikes me as a wildly invasive relic that is extremely personal in nature.

My "line" is still being established, but for now, high school year books fall on the wrong side of it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Landisville, PA

This nice assortment of 13 cards was sent by Kevin of Landisville, PA.  Kevin last sent cards in October of 2015.  So thank you very much for your continued support Kevin.

Included with the bunch, were two perfectly cut 1988 Fleer Box Bottom cards.  The '88 Fleer Box Bottoms are one of my all-time favorite Wallach cards.  I don't for sure where they would fall on the list, because I've never done one.  But it's on the horizon.  The tenative plan is to do my own subjective list of 375 or so different cards, then use that as the seeding for a 256 card bracket, that I'll let everyone else vote on.  I know it's going to consume a massive amount of my time to do, so I keep putting it off.  But it's coming at some point.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps Sticker: 6
1988 Fleer Box Bottoms x2: 15
1988 Topps Glossy Send-In: 15
1988 Topps Mini: 30
1990 Topps Mini x3: 10
1992 Bowman: 48
1992 Bowman USA: 42
1995 Upper Deck: 33

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ebay lot

For about decade ebay was my primary source for Wallach cards.  But over the last five or six years, I've been gradually using it less and less, to the point where I rarely buy actual Wallach cards on it.  It's still a great source for odd-ball stuff, but as far as cards go, there are just a lot of other cheaper options available.  That's not say I don't use it at all however.  The 100 card lot pictured above is a recent example of an ebay purchase.  100 cards at six cents a card is a good deal anywhere.  So I pulled the trigger. 

When it arrived, I quickly discovered it to be one of the stranger lots of Wallach cards that I had ever bought.  It consisted of only 11 different cards, with very little in common.  They ran from the very ordinary such as Topps base set cards to the much less ordinary, such as a large amount of Fleer Glossy.  This lot more than doubled my '87 Fleer Glossy total, and doubled my '88 Fleer Glossy total.  It may not seem like that strange a grouping for normal people who haven't spent decades studying the patterns that emerge from hoarding Wallach cards, but from the perspective of someone who has, it's just an odd grouping for a 100 card lot.

Updated Totals:

1984 Topps x5: 214
1985 Topps x4: 269
1987 Fleer Glossy x13: 24
1988 Fleer Glossy x5: 10
1988 Topps x21: 581
1988 Topps AS x16: 562
1989 Donruss x16: 305
1989 Topps x16: 568
1989 Upper Deck x2: 172
1990 Fleer: 264
1990 Score: 175

Friday, August 12, 2016

Oceanside, NY

These two cards were sent by Bo of Oceanside, NY.  Bo last sent cards a year ago in July 2015.  Thanks again for the cards Bo.

Updated Totals:

1989 Topps: 552
1990 Leaf: 81

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

1991 Positive Proof Films

This was a bit of an impulse purchase several months ago.  Curiosity got the better of me, and I spent way too much on this thing.  I wasn't really sure what it was when I bought it, and when it arrived it was a little bit underwhelming.  So without even so much as opening it, I stuck it somewhere to deal with later.  Only, I forgot where I stuck it.  Which happens from time to time, but usually not with items this large.  After a few weeks of looking, I resigned myself to the fact that it had probably been thrown out by mistake along with the packaging it came in.  Then showed it up this weekend, in a perfectly logical location that should have been the first place I looked for it.

Upon taking it out of the bag, I discovered that it was actually more interesting than I initially thought.  I still overpaid, but it's not a complete disaster.  What it is, is four clear film sheets, layered to create the image.  I may actually end up having a print made and then framing it with the four sheets horizontally.  Though, I'm not in a huge hurry to do so.

I bought it long enough ago, that the original ebay listing is gone, but I found one for a Darryl Strawberry that's still up.  Here's how it reads: 

1991 Norman James Positive Proof Films...

This lot consists of a set of 1991 Norman James Positive Color Proof Films of Los Angeles Dodgers' Darryl Strawberry.  There are four films, yellow, blue (cyan), Red (magenta), and black, which when placed carefully on top of each other make a beautiful full color proof.  The end product was probably a full size poster, but this set measures 9 1/4"x10 3/4" and has a black outer border which leaves an 8x10 image, but does not have the league, MLB Players' Choice, or Norman James logos on the bottom, which as an officially licensed MLB supplier, they almost always have.    We're not sure what the actual year of issue was as it is undated. This is a specialist item and came from the pre-press package of the larger poster, and of course is a One-Only Item.

So, whatever, I guess.  It all sounds very fancy.  I'd be curious to see if there was ever actually a poster made of this print, and by "poster," I mean a 24x36 poster.  I've never actually come across a Wallach poster that size.  Something I spent the better part of my childhood wishing someone would produce.  Here are some more pictures showing how the films flip. They're just held in place by a couple staples that could easily be removed.



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Middlesex, NJ - A Sunday Edition Mail Day

This is the first Sunday Edition "Mail Day" that I've done.  The reason for it, is that the package sent was comprised primarily of cards related to a previous "Sunday Edition" post.  I received these cards from KO Rob in New Jersey nearly two months ago.  I knew I wanted to do them on a Sunday, I just haven't had a chance until now.  Which is a little embarrassing given how wildly generous KO Rob was with the cards that he sent.  On a side note, I don't know which blog is KO Rob's (or if he has one), though I found his name listed on a lot of other ones, so if someone does, please fill me in so I can link to it and scour his need list.

Rob started off with some Wallach's, shown above, which are always appreciated.  Then he went a little crazy.  Crazy to the tune of twenty two (22!) 1986 Fleer Basketball cards off of my need list.  Nearly all of them in pristine condition.  That may not seem like that big of a deal to those of you under thirty or so who don't dabble in basketball cards, but go ahead and try to find some commons from that set on your go to online sites.  They're hard to find, harder to find in decent shape, and demand a premium usually reserved for cards from 1950 Topps sets.  

The twenty two cards included some names to, such as Adrian Dantley, Alex English, Moses Malone,  and an Xavier McDaniel RC.  This huge haul trimmed down my need list to a very "manageable" ten cards.  I say "manageable" because one of them is the Jordan, a card that defies all common logic and the basic rules of economics.  Low grade copies demand nearly the same premium as copies in much better shape.  Case in point, take a look at this "PSA 1"  that just sold on ebay:

In contrast, a search of sold PSA 6 copies go in the $800-$1100 range.  That's a tiny degree of difference compared to pretty much every other card in existence.  Normally I'd have no problem picking up a raw copy, but unfortunately due to the sheer number of fakes floating around, I dare not buy anything but a slabbed card.   This is a pain on a couple of levels.  For one, it costs more, and two, those cases are a pain in the ass to crack open.  At this price though (a '52 Topps Willie Mays can be had for less and in better shape) it's a problem I won't be dealing with for awhile.

No, I fear I missed my chance to own a Jordan Rookie card.  I was one of the few children in Phoenix, or apparently anywhere, who bought packs of these cards in 1986.  I didn't buy a lot, but a handful.  There was a card I desperately wanted.  After opening a pack in my LCS (The Batter's Box next to Thunderbird High School), and voicing my disappointment, the dealer pulled some singles from behind the counter (this old school shop still had a wooden counter, no glass displays).  

The shop keeper suggested I go for a $2 rookie card of a kid named Jordan, it was a "pretty good investment" (or something along those lines).  As a seven year old in the mid-80's I was certainly very aware of the "importance" of good card "investments."  Even at that age I a strong portfolio of multiple '86 Fleer Cory Snyder's.  The dunking photo of Jordan also presented a strong temptation, but I instead opted for the $3 card, the most expensive card in the set, the coolest card in the set, and the one that was obviously the better "investment."  Even my mother, who rarely sprung for individual cards that cost more than a pack of 15 (the math didn't make sense to her) could see the appeal of this very special card laid out before us.  So I passed on the Jordan, picked up the Holy Grail of basketball cards to 1980's kids who cared about basketball cards and went home happy.

With the acquisition of this card, I stopped buying packs, after all, what was the point?  Basketball cards would never be worth what baseball cards were, and I already had the "good one."  It wasn't this well worn when I bought it, but it was subjected to a lot of handling, as everyone was interested in the Spud Webb dunking card.  And while the penny sleeve protected it to a degree on trips to school, and baseball practice, a card of this significance had to be handled in person, not in a sleeve.  I felt pretty good about it for a few years, until Mike S. bought the Jordan I had seen (or at least a Jordan) from the same card shop.  His father paid $200.  

As ridiculous as that number was at the time, it's going to take a lot more than that to knock off the last nine on;

 My need list for 1986-87 Fleer Basketball: 1, 4, 9, 26, 31, 53, 57, 99, 109, 130

In fairness, that Spud is still an epic looking card.

Updated Totals for the Wallach Cards sent: