Friday, September 8, 2017

Completing the 1960 Topps White Sox team set

Today's acquisition of Mike Garcia completes my 1960 Topps Chicago White Sox team set, and puts me within 21 cards of completing the 572-card set.  It looks like Mike Garcia fits in just in front of Minnie Minoso, which is hard for me to believe that anyone is older than Minoso.  All I can think of is Minoso's 1977 Topps highlight card featuring the oldest player to hit for the cycle (correction: to hit safely, see below).  Even though he probably wasn't that old, people really seemed to look old in those days.  The 2 blank spots are cards missing from the Milwaukee Braves team,

Here's the '77T Minoso card that I was talking about.  He doesn't appear to have aged much between 1960-1977.  Baseball-Reference lists him being born in 1925 (not 1922) making him 3 years younger, but still in his '50s by 1976-1977.   He actually played for the White Sox until 1980, but didn't get another MLB hit after 1976.  He even came up to bat for the independent league St. Paul Saints in 1993 (age 67) and 2003 (age 77).  I guess Minoso's name stands out to me so much because of his '77T card (year I was born) and the fact that he was a 7x All-Star between 1951-1960, appearing in the 1952 Topps set, and being a big part of the White Sox's World Series run in 1959.  He only recently passed away in 2015. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Closing in on the 1951 Topps set.

Today, I added 3 more cards to my 1951 Topps set, bringing my total to 100 different cards.  With only 6 more to go, the official 1951 Topps countdown has begun.  The big catch in this lot is the Country Slaughter card, which is tough to find for a decent price in any condition.  The only star card left missing from my inaugural Topps set is Stan Musial's roommate, Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst, who continued to have cards through the 1990 Topps set.  

My Cardinals team set is still 3 cards short, which accounts for half of my total missing cards from the '51T set.

My 1951 Topps Phillies team set of 7 cards is now complete.

Monday, September 4, 2017

More Affordable Vintage 1950-1960

While listing a bunch of vintage for sale online, I thought that these images might provide a good example of what I was trying to describe in my previous post about building affordable vintage sets.  For someone just trying to get into vintage card collecting on a budget, the following cards are the type you might want to look for.  They are mostly in low-grade condition, or at least well handled.  They're not the type of cards you'd have to be concerned are counterfeit, leading you to pay extra for grading.  They're just authentic reasonably priced cards that have been thoroughly enjoyed over the years.  If you're a high-grade junky, then you either got a nice pocketbook, or don't plan on compiling a bunch of vintage cards anytime soon.  These are the type of cards you go after if you actually want to start a collection fast.  These are all cards that were once a part of my personal collection, but somehow became extras either through the purchase of vintage lots, accidental duplicate purchases, or are victims of my occasional upgrades.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Building an affordable '50s-'60s vintage baseball card set

Unless money isn't an issue for you, buying complete sets from the '50s-'60s really isn't an option for many people.  The oldest complete set I ever purchased was the 1974 Topps set (although my 1973 Topps set was purchased nearly complete).  From 1972 back, I had to piecemeal my sets, mostly individually, but with a few small lots.  Instead of just working on one set at a time like I did for newer sets, I expanded into collecting 2-3 sets at a time in order to take advantage of the best card deals in a high-priced market.  When I finally finished off the '70s decade, the world of '50s-'60s vintage finally opened up to me.

My experience is that if you focus on only one set at a time, you'll end up greatly overpaying for cards in order to complete each set.  Short-printed high-number cards really become an issue from 1967 back.  Unless there are specific years that really appeal to you, trying to work in reverse chronological order becomes really tough prior to the 1968 Topps set.  There actually were 2 sets that appealed to me, which really started my out-of-order vintage collecting: 1954 Topps and 1962 Topps.  Anytime I could find a good deal on cards from my favorite 2 sets, I bought them.  Other than that, I began focusing on cards that were selling much lower than book value without much regard for specific sets.  

Some vintage sets seemed relatively easier to find good deals on than other sets, so I continued buying as many of those as I could get, like '69T, '68T, '65T, '64T, '60T, '59T, '55T, '53T, and '51T.  Other sets seemed to cost relatively higher than others, so I tended to focus less on those like '67T, '66T, '63T, '61T, '58T, '57T, '56T, and '52T.  The number of strategies are really endless--specific set, lowest cost, or collect them all, etc.  

The 1951 Topps set is not as obscure as it was at the start of the 2010's decade, and has greatly risen in price despite the lower listed book values.  Most people seemed to focus on the 1952 Topps set, which is significantly more expensive.  The same goes for the 1957 Topps set, which was the first set to feature standard sized cards like we're used to today--and you're going to pay for it too.  The 1955-1956 sets have half the number of cards, and cost about the same as the 1957 set, so I bought some 8-pocket pages and bought some of those.                 

Some other key factors to consider are the cost of key star cards, the cost of short-printed cards, and the number of cards in the set.  I actually just went for the deals, and eventually I started to compile what started to look like a partial set, which would motivate me to focus getting more cards from that set.  The statistics on my "set completion" tab shows where I was able to see progress.  I still try to focus somewhat on reverse chronological order, but it's the deals that ultimately attract my dollars.  

As of today, I've managed to complete 5051 of the 5991 total base cards from the 1960's (84.3%), and 1366 of the 3057 total base cards from the 1950's (44.6%).  Those total numbers consider 2 variations from the 1969 set and 2 variations from the 1951 set.  

Friday, September 1, 2017

Is your 1970 Topps set really complete? What about the Booklet inserts

I'm not going to tell you that your 1970 Topps set is incomplete without the Booklet insert set; I'm just going to tell you that my 1970 Topps set was incomplete without the Booklet insert set.  This 24-card insert set tells an 8-page story for some of the most popular players from the start of the '70s decade.  It's an affordable set that can be collected even without the much more expensive base set.  Here's mine.