Monday, June 29, 2020
Added some new 64's to my collection of 573 out of 584. Besides a Phil Niekro RC, all I need are commons and minor stars like these, but they're hard to get these days. $8 and $15 cards used to cost me $0.80-$1.50 and $1.50-$3.00. Now people want $5+ just to talk. Of course, yellow bubble mailers are destroying the set-building industry. It costs $4+ just to ship a card valued under $1, which often raises the price floor to $5--anything less than that and the seller is giving away the card. Start using PWE's. Tri-fold a piece of paper and put the card in a semi-rigid holder so it doesn't get ripped up in the machine. Up to 4-5 cards can be shipped with one stamp. I ship 65T Mantle's like this.
Saturday, June 27, 2020
I've been hearing a lot of talk that we may be in another Boom Era like we were from 1987-1991. After thinking about it some, I'd have to think that it was possible. Towards the end of 1987, vintage card prices started skyrocketing. The chart below shows Baseball Cards pricing from 1981-1984 and then Beckett Monthly prices from 1984 to present for the 1954 Topps set. You can see there's a vertical line around New Year's 1988 with prices steadily increasing since about 1985. Vintage prices maxed out around 1992, made a big drop in 1993, and then smoothed back out to 1991 prices until modern times. Even though this chart only reflects the 1954 set, I have charts like this for all of the Topps and Bowman sets of the 20th century and the 50's-70's cards all look similar to this. The difference between the 50's-70's cards and the 80's-90's cards for these charts was that the 80's-90's cards skyrocketed from 1987-1991 and then crashed significantly in 1991 to start the Bust Era. To make these charts, I own about every 'Baseball Cards' and 'Beckett Monthly' magazine from the 80's and 90's with a few newer ones sprinkled in. It was a very dedicated and focused effort to input all of this data. Beckett pricing lost its relevancy somewhere in the the first decade of the 2000's and became just a pictures and articles magazine. I'm not sure how many real 'numbers' people they have left on staff, but it no longer shows unless you're just talking profit numbers.
I first start noticing vintage card prices going up around 2017 or so. You all know I spent all of last decade chipping away at 1948-1972 Topps and Bowman. Today, vintage is becoming almost unaffordable. Vintage card prices have more than doubled since 2017. I still find a relative deal now and then probably because some of the occasional sellers don't know the market. I've still been pricing my cards at pre-2017 rates and I went on a severe selling spree this year. Cards that have been advertised for years suddenly started selling. All of my vintage was getting bought up at prices that wouldn't move previously. Could we be in another Boom Era like 1987-1991? It's possible, but if so, that probably means that there's a Bust Era to follow. Watch out.
I was tempted to write a post on the modern card collector vs the ancient aborigine, but then that wouldn't have been too nice. The lessons learned during the Boom Era of 1987-1991 seem to have been all but forgotten. "Ooh, look! Shiny object. Me trade this land for shiny object to worship."
I found this 1955 Bowman #267 from my wantlist decently priced at just above $10, which is a superb deal these days for an $80 card. You can't really find high numbers from this set at fair prices anymore. They are bottoming out at 50%-60% BV, when they used to bottom out at 10% BV. That's a 500% to 600% increase in prices since 2016 when prices were last normal. I wouldn't be sitting on the last 12 common cards to complete this set if it weren't so outrageously priced.
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Another landmark established today. All 1953 Bowman Colors valued above $100 are now part of my collection with this Billy Martin acquisition. Oh wait! I forgot about Mickey Mantle. That's the exception. I wasn't counting the card I wasn't expecting to get. I'm missing 2 B&W's valued above $100, but those are obtainable, so this collection is winding down. Just missing 12 Colors including Mantle.
Monday, June 8, 2020
Hard to believe that I'm only missing 33 out of 274 cards to complete the 1953 Topps set. After completing the 1951 Topps set, I moved onto 1953 Topps because I thought it was a much better deal than 1952 Topps, which continues to come at a premium. My decision is starting to pay off. The only untouchables on my want list are Mantle and Mays. The rest are just typical high number needs that aren't too far out of reach. I can envision being only 2 cards from set completion in just a few years if prices don't keep skyrocketing.
Saturday, June 6, 2020
Admittedly, 63T has been my most neglected set of the 1960's. Sometimes adding a new card to my collection just feels like a moot point because I'm just so far away from completion. Being far away from completion is such a relative term in baseball card collection. For 63T, it's been a slow painful journey. It seems like every card was always extravagantly priced above BV. Finding deals has been an agonizing journey of typing each card search in one by one, day after day, waiting to find a card priced within my acceptable range. Many times, I'd just overlook this set because I knew that there'd be no deals to be found. As I've learned as a vintage set collector, one card can easily turn into a collection. I'm down to 90 missing cards in this 576-card set. I'll never complete it with the Pete Rose RC, and I still can't see over the hill on this journey, but it's starting to shape up real nicely. I found this Clemente for under 10% BV and a few good deals below. As I near completion on the rest of the 1960's decade, I'm sure the 63T set will start to become more front and center for my wantlist.
Thursday, June 4, 2020
The State of my 60T's collection is good. Today I just completed another set from the decade. The elusive Choo Choo Coleman was the final missing card from my set. A $30 card cost me $26.75 taxed and shipped. Although unbelievably high, it was relatively low compared to the super-inflated $60 range the card has reached in the past couple of years. The price I paid was in alignment with what I've been seeing the card go for over the past decade. I was waiting on $12, but it just wasn't going to happen.
So what does completion of the 1966 Topps set mean in the overall picture of my set building for the 60's decade? I've now completed 6 out of the 10 sets (60, 62, 65, 66, 68, 69). That leaves only 4 sets to go. Those 4 incomplete sets include 1967 at 99% (-3), 1964 at 97% (-14), 1961 at 92% (-42), and 1963 at 84% (-92). The total number of missing cards to complete the 60's decade is 151 cards. 1964 will be my next focus because those last 3 cards from 1967 will be very tough. Actually, I don't expect to get a T.Seaver RC, so that set will most likely always be missing 1.