Sunday, September 27, 2015

1950 Bowman: Countdown to Set Completion #6

I'm going a little out of order here, but I had an update on my set completion that I wanted to share, so I'm going out of order to do it.  One of the final six cards to enter my '50 Bowman set was actually a big one: #77 Duke Snider.


Snider played 18 consecutive seasons in the majors between 1947-1964.  All but the last two years were with the Dodgers, which he followed from their days in Brooklyn to their first years in Los Angeles where Snider was born.  He played in 6 World Series in '49, '52, '53, '55, '56, and '59.  Snider's 2 World Series rings are significant because one was the Dodgers' final championship in Brooklyn, and the other was the Dodgers' first championship in Los Angeles.  An 8-time All-Star, Snider has led the league in HR, RBI, R, H, BB, OBP, SLG, OPS, and TB.  Snider was elected into the MLB Hall-of-Fame in 1980.


I have just added one more card to my '50 Bowman set, #98 Ted Williams, which reduces my missing card count down to one.  I will post it when it arrives.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

1950 Bowman: Countdown to Set Completion #3

One of the last three cards needed for me to complete the 1950 Bowman set is #16 Roy Sievers of the St. Louis Browns.  With this acquisition, I'm down to only Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson for set completion.


Sievers played for 4 different teams over 17 seasons between 1949-1965, making the All-Star team during 4 seasons of his career.  He was the AL Rookie of the year in 1949, but Sievers' best year was probably in 1957, when he led the league in HR, RBI, and Total Bases with the Washington Senators/Nationals.  He appeared on the Hall-of-Fame ballot in 1971 and 1972, but received only a small fraction of the voting.


Friday, September 25, 2015

1950 Bowman: Countdown to Set Completition #4

Bobby Doerr is one of the last 4 cards to make it make it into my 1950 Bowman set binder.  I guess I just finally found a deal on it (less than 10% BV), and decided to make the purchase.  It's a low number card, which is considered to be scarcer than the higher number cards, so the prices are much higher.


Doerr played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox between 1937-1951 with only one exception in 1945 while he was serving in the military.  He was a 9-time All-Star who often led the league defensively at 2B in Putouts, Assists, Fielding Percentage, and Double Plays Turned.  Doerr made it to the World Series once in 1946, batting .409 in 24 plate appearances over 6 games, but eventually losing out to the St. Louis Cardinals.  Doerr appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot 12 times between 1953-1971, but never received more than 21% of the vote.  He was eventually voted in by the Veteran's Committee in 1986 along with Ernie Lombardi and Willie McCovey.


Here's the page from my binder with Bobby Doerr in it.  The empty slot next to Doerr is where Ted Williams will eventually go and is one of the last missing cards left.  On the other side of Doerr is Joe Dimaggio's brother Dom.



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

1986-1990 Topps 'Turn Back the Clock' Subset Collection

     Growing up, the 'Turn Back the Clock' cards were my only real glimpse into the world of vintage cards.  I actually probably learned how to identify earlier editions of Topps cards because of the these subsets.  There were a couple of other subsets depicting older Topps cards like the 'The Pete Rose Years' in 1986 and 'Father-Son' in 1985, but it was the 'Turn Back the Clock' subsets that really stood out to me.  I had no other outlet to look at vintage cards from the comfort of my own home.  Internet did not exist.  I had no money to purchase much more than a few 40-cent wax packs at a time.  This was it.


The cards depicting in these subsets were legendary to me.  When I first started finding these cards in wax packs of 1987 Topps,  I could only dream of owning originals for almost any of them: '82 R.Henderson, '77 R.Jackson, '72 R.Clemente, and '67 C.Yastrzemski.  Each subset consisted of 5 cards for Five, Ten, Fifteen, Twenty, and Twenty-Five years ago.  I've always wanted to see all 5 subsets together as shown, but this is actually the first time I have.  All 5 subsets together form a consecutive timeline from 1961-1985.  The back of each card summarizes the year reflected.      


I now own originals for just about every one of these cards except for about 3 or 4.  The 1962 Topps Maury Wills card actually doesn't exist.  Maury Wills also had another 1962 Topps 'Card that Never Was' depicted in the 1975 Topps MVP set.  I think Topps should go back and retro-issue them both.


There was also one more 5-card 'Turn Back the Clock' set that came out in 1977.  It depicted B&W photographs of former players rather than older cards, but was similar to these subsets otherwise.


Today, there are so many variation and archives cards that these subsets might not carry the same weight as they once did.  Today, it's just a piece of history with sentimental value for those that
remember them at a younger age.



The End of Summer: Yogi Berra

We were all lucky to have Yogi Berra as a part of our lives for as long as we did.  He was the greatest living legend, and it's a sad day knowing that he has left the MLB stage for good. However, he has also left us with plenty of great memories to reflect on for the rest of our own lives.  Below, are Berra's first four cards: 2 reprints and 2 originals.



The End of Summer: Yogi Berra

We were all lucky to have Yogi Berra as a part of our lives for as long as we did.  He was the greatest living legend, and it's a sad day knowing that he has left the MLB stage for good. However, he has also left us with plenty of great memories to reflect on for the rest of our own lives.  Below, are Berra's first four cards: 2 reprints and 2 originals.



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

1950 Bowman: Countdown to Set Completion #5

Here's one of the last 5 cards that was missing from my 1950 Bowman set.  Jerry Coleman's card was difficult to find at the same BV percentage that I was used to paying for these cards.  My guess is that it had something to do with his recent passing in January 2014 as a well-known broadcaster for the San Diego Padres from 1972-2013.  Players wore JC patches on their sleeves during the 2014 season in honor of Jerry Coleman.


In 1950, Coleman made his only All-Star team after winning the A.L. ROY the year before.  He played in 3 consecutive World Series with the Yankees between 1949-1951, but probably missed out on the next two World Series while he was fighting in the Korean War as a Marine.  Coleman continued playing for the Yankees through the 1957 season before retiring from baseball.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Ultimate Vintage Baseball Card Checklist: Part II

To keep in line with the theme of my previous post, I am posting my other ultimate checklist book, 'Classic Baseball Cards: The Golden Years, 1886-1956'.  Between this book and the one from my previous post, I have a picture of just about every worthwhile baseball card ever produced (outside of recent or easily affordable card sets).


Today, I'm featuring the "checklist" of the 1950 Bowman set from the dusty pages of my legendary tome.  I started collecting the '50 Bowman set just a couple of years ago in order to complete the gap of '50s-decade baseball card sets--since Topps didn't begin manufacturing baseball cards until 1951.  The 1950 bowman set led to the the 1948 and 1949 sets, and then all of vintage Bowman sets in general.  After more than two years of purchasing '50s Bowmans little by little, I've finally come to within 2 cards of completing this entire set: #22 J.Robinson and #98 T.Williams.  This is truly unbelievable to me as I never even dreamed of owning a set like this.  I once saw a T.Williams card for between $60-$70 but I wanted it for little more than $50 (or 5% BV).  You've got to beware of people selling reprints as originals.  I'm often pointing out to sellers the obvious reprints with the all-black backs--'50 Bowmans have a red logo, not black.  Before the movie '42' came out, I was finding J.Robinsons for as low as $80-$90, but was waiting to find one for just over $60 (or 5% BV again).  I'll probably have to wait for all of the hype to calm down a bit for this one, but now that I'm down to only these two cards, I can spend more time focusing my efforts.    


The 1950 bowman set eventually led to the the 1948 and 1949 sets, and then all of the vintage Bowman sets in general.  After more than two years of purchasing '50s Bowmans little by little, I've finally come to within 2 cards of completing this entire set: #22 J.Robinson and #98 T.Williams.  This is truly unbelievable to me as I never even dreamed of owning a set like this, but it will soon become a reality.


I once saw a T.Williams card for between $60-$70, but I wanted to purchase it for about $50 (or 5% BV).  As a side note, you've certainly got to beware of people selling reprints as originals.  I'm often pointing out to sellers the obvious reprints they're listing as original with the all black-printed card backs--'50 Bowmans have a red logo, not black.  


Before the movie '42' came out, I was finding J.Robinsons for as low as $80-$90 online, but was waiting to find one for just over $60 (or 5% BV again).  I'll probably have to wait for all of the '42' hype to calm down a bit before getting a good deal on this one.


Now that I'm down to only these two key cards, I feel that I can take a breather, and spend more time focusing my efforts on a good deal.  This is really a great set that was copied by the 1951 Bowman, which is much more expensive because of the Mantle and Mays rookies.    















Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Ultimate Vintage Baseball Card Checklist: Part I

I've mentioned my unique checklist book briefly in previous posts, but have never really elaborated on it.  This series of books by Frank Slocum is truly a must-have for any vintage baseball card collector.  Having been a collector for over 28 years, I only recently discovered these books just a few years ago at a used book store near the Potomac Mills mall outside of D.C. called 2nd & Charles.  For less than $10, I acquired one of the best baseball card checklists I will probably ever find.


This particular book is called, 'Topps Baseball Cards: The Complete Picture Collection (A 35 Year History, 1951-1985)', or something like that.  It's a long title for a big book.  There are quite a few versions of this book.  I also have the 'Classic Baseball Cards, The Golden Years 1886-1956', which covers all of the Bowman and other pre-Topps cards.  There is also a 40 year history book covering 1951-1990, a 1960's specific book, and a 1950's specific book.


For vintage set builders just getting started, what can become most overwhelming is the significant cost of compiling a good number of these great cards.  It requires a lot of patience, or you'll end up either overspending, or just giving up.  This book serves as a type of pacifier--allowing you to view all of the cards in numerical order from some of the greatest collections of all-time while you try to collect them.


I'm sure many people treat these books as collectibles themselves, but as you can see below, I've used it as a checklist.  I mark all the cards I've acquired to include the price paid.  The book has become torn and taped from extended usage. It's truly become a valuable resource.  Below, I've also included pages from the 1962 Topps set, which is nearing completion for me.  It represents a significant achievement, being my favorite vintage set of all-time.  As of today, I'm only missing 33 of the 598 total cards in the set.


These days, the Fifties and Sixties-specific books would probably be more suitable to my collecting needs, but at the time of purchase, I was still working on the sets of the early '70s.  I certainly don't look at the pages from the cards of the 1980's, and would tear them out if I could.  What this book also allows you to do is feel free to put your sets in an order that suits you knowing that you can always view it in numerical order here.  I don't think you truly get the full value out of a set if you leave it in numerical order.  The only thing that's good for is resell.  Try to find an order that works better for you besides numerical order.