Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday Edition


Vintage Splurge

It may not look like it, but the two images above are very much at odds with each other within my collection given it's current state.  I picked up that '53 Haddix about a month ago.  Prior to that I hadn't bought any vintage on eBay since around November.  I had made the prudent decision to focus on finishing the '53 Topps set as I was only two cards away.  Harvey Haddix, a card that for reasons that still elude me was/is consistently selling for north of $70, and Willie Mays were the only two I had left to finish the set.  On my collecting budget, $70 is considered extreme and not a threshold I cross very often.  So I was quite pleased to finally land a Haddix for about half of that amount.  Mays on the other hand, is going to cost me a lot more than $70 no matter how lucky I get.  So I stopped my weekly Greg Morris Friday low grade auction bidding on eBay last November.  It had slowly developed into a $30-$40 a week habit, and I was enjoying it less and less.  Instead, I started a "Willie Fund," that has been slowly growing to the point where I may be able to make some serious bids on a low grade copy before the end of the year.

Well I had a relapse.  The last two weeks I went a little crazy, by my budget standards, and that stack of cards above is the result.  And since they're here, and I actually kind of like them, I may as well show them off before going back to saving for a '53 Willie Mays.

That's a '51 Berk Ross card.  I had never heard of the set, but I'm sucker for old vintage sets and try to make a point to have at least one card from each. With this Billy Johnson I can cross 1951 Berk Ross off of the list.  Johnson was a one time All-Star and won four World Series with the Yankees before finishing he career as a Cardinal.

I'm slowly amassing a good number of '51 Bowman.  At some point I'm going to finish the '53 Topps set, and when I do I'm going to need to turn my attention to a new vintage set to work on.  1951 Bowman wasn't on my radar as an option, I've been looking at '54, '55, or '56 Topps as likely candidates.  I figured '51 wasn't realistic to try with the Mays and Mantle, but upon further investigation, they're really not that much more daunting that the trio of rookies in '54 & '55 Topps.  I'm not saying '51 Bowman is next, but I'm going to give it a look, and certainly a strong look at completing minus the Mantle, a result I could live with.  Ultimately it'll come down to whatever seems the least cost prohibitive, and currently I'm picking up '51 Bowman commons for about half the price of '54-56 Topps commons.


Speaking of '54-56 Topps, I landed a few of them as well.  The '56 Rizzuto by far being the star of the show.  I really love the backs of '54 Topps and when I sleeve them in the binder, it's a very satisfying exercise.  But between Aaron, Banks, and Kaline, I'm just not sure it's a challenge my budget is up to.  I'm also that one collector out there that actually prefers '55 Topps to '56.  Don't get me wrong, I love them both, but I just prefer '55.

Yes, that '58 Musial has some significant paper loss, but at the price I landed it, I could tolerate about 5x as much.  It's Musial's first Topps card, albeit I do consider his '59 to be a more legitimate "1st Topps card."  The '63 Maris is now the oldest Maris in my collection (not counting subset cards from '61 and '62).  For a guy who isn't in the Hall of Fame, his cards sure sell at prices that suggests that he is.

I may have to start a side blog called "1961 Luis Aparicio, An Attempt to Collect Them All," as I'm now up to nine copies of that card.  Look, when I bid $2.09 on Hall of Famers from the 1961 Topps set, I don't expect to keep winning those auctions.  Yet I do.  For a guy who is in the Hall of Fame, his cards sure sell at prices that suggest that he isn't.

Along with the '56 Rizzuto, this photo shows my two other favorite cards from this eBay binge.  The '62 Maris/Cepeda is a card I've put losing bids on probably 20x in the last two years.  I guess everyone that wanted one and was willing to pay more than $10 finally has one, because I finally have one too.  The McCovey is card I've long wanted and decided to take a shot at well above my normal price range and got "lucky" with at a price I can live with (somehow less than '53 Harvey Haddix, the most popular Cardinal of the 50's apparently).

I also added a few modern cards.  These are all duplicates or more  (octuplets(?) in the case of Morris) but I don't mind adding cards like these when the price is right.  They make nice little gifts to friends who fans of a particular team or are parents of younger collectors and things like that. 

I more than dabble in cards of sports other than baseball and added these as well.  The Yzerman's are Topps and the Roy is an OPC.  I much prefer OPC for the hockey, but I won't turn down Topps when it's available.  The Norm Nixon became desirable as a result of the show "Winning Time" on HBO.  I don't know how much I trust the show's accuracy, but accurate or not, I like Norm Nixon's portrayal in the show and wanted one of his cards.

This final card was from a "1953 TV & Radio NBC Stars" put out by Bowman.  I just thought it was cool.  A google search revealed that a now married Mr. Muggs is still alive and living in Florida.  Seriously, check out his google page.  From the auction listing, and it's design, I figured it would be the size of a '51 Bowman, but it's actually the size of a '53 Bowman baseball card.

Thanks for reading.  I hope to active the next few weeks catching up on some mailings that I misplaced and recently found,...from about 2 years ago.


  1. wow, great stuff. Those '51 Bowman are so pretty!

  2. Some fantastic vintage cards there, and yet I found myself most fascinated by a card with a chimp. Awesome that he is still alive today.