Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cubs, trains, and other assorted vintage goodies

Two Saturday's ago was a card show day, and not to brag or anything, but I think I did pretty well.

Having not been to a show since March, I was really looking forward to this one. However, I wasn't looking forward to going and having considerably less money to spend than usual, thankfully though, I ended up selling a fairly rare record for a decent chunk of change about a week before the show... so I had plenty of paper folding money to play with. The only downside was that I probably should have been trying to save some of it for potential future wants, but no matter how old I get, I'm still like a small child when it comes to money, in that, if I have it, I spend it!

As per usual, I'll be spreading out the purchases across four or five posts, starting first with the vintage portion, as that always seems to be the most popular with readers.

My favorite seller (he's a lot of other people's favorite seller as well), Jim, was there with his usual array of insanely low priced items. This time though, he had a large selection of vintage cards, which isn't the norm for him, not surprisingly, going through those vintage cards was my first priority upon seeing them (I always go to his tables first).

Have you noticed how many people seem to be in a collecting funk as of late? I guess this is a good time to mention that you can add my name to that list as well. It sounds like a lot of folks are becoming disenfranchised over the ever increasing amount of new products flooding the market, and even though that's not what's causing my malaise, I can certainly understand why it would be having such a negative impact on so many people.

This post is already fixin' to be excruciatingly long (hopefully in a good way though), so I don't want to get too deep into this right now, but the short of it is, that I realized a couple of months ago that I just wasn't having very much fun collecting cards (or anything else for that matter) anymore.

Set collecting, vintage baseball set collecting, to be more specific, has been causing me a great deal of stress as of late, and collecting should never be stressful. I'll go into more detail in a future post, but for the moment, I can tell you that I have stopped working on a number of vintage sets (they've been removed from my want lists too).

For some time now, I've been thinking about starting a side collection of guys who played in the PCL, so now with a bunch cards from broken up sets sitting around doing nothing, I thought that this might be a good time to start putting together such a collection... apparently I was wrong! It only took a couple of days of trying to figure out who played where for me to get overwhelmed, so for the moment that idea is going to be shelved, and will likely revisited at the end of summer.

Some of you might be wondering why I even bothered going to the show then? And that would be an easy question to answer, I went because there's a number of sets that I still do enjoy collecting. There's also a number of sets that I have no illusions about ever being able to finish, but still enjoy getting cards from, case in point, the '49, '51, and '52 Bowman's that you've already seen.

I've been on a bit of a Bowman kick ever since I found that cheap '52 Bowman Casey Stengel back in March. And like I said, I know I'll never be able to finish these, but that's okay, I'm just having fun picking up cheap semi-decent condition examples when I can. I have a few currently sitting in my COMC account too, all though, with these old Bowman's, I've noticed that for me, it's much more fun to buy them at shows, than to buy them online. I don't know if that makes any sense or not, but hopefully somebody what I'm talking about.

This is only my third '55. I'd love to know the story behind Gene Baker's giant Band-Aid.

I have mixed feelings about this set, mainly because of the action shots. I mean, some are so cool, like with this Hank Sauer, while others are of guy's just standing there doing nothing, which is kind of the opposite of "action". Either way though, I had to have this one.

Hey, this guy was pretty good, wasn't he? I didn't realize how many vintage Ernie Banks' that I had until I started going through all of my recently stopped sets. Even though I've shown most of them on the blog at one time or another, I'm thinking that I might try to get all of 'em into one post coming up in the near future.

One thing that I'm definitely not giving up on, is the Post sets. Unbeknownst to me, and I'm pretty sure Jim too, the Frank Thomas is a short print, and one of the harder to find one's to boot. There seems to be no rhyme or reason with the Post short prints, at least in my mind, so I was kind of surprised to find this out after I got home that day.

Another thing that I've been thinking about doing is to start a few mini-collections, which is something that a lot of you do, but I've always been a set collector, so this is kind of new territory for me. Recently I was reading a book that had a chapter about the first live transatlantic television broadcast on July 23rd, 1962. As part of that broadcast, a 90 second clip of a Cubs-Phillies game was shown, so I thought it might be kind of fun to start a collection of the four player's who were featured in that clip -- George Altman, Calvin Koonce, Johnny Callison, and Tony Taylor.

This guy was pretty good too. My first vintage Lou Brock. It's off center, has some scratches in the middle, and a crease at the bottom... but I don't care, it's still a cool card!

As I mentioned, Jim doesn't usually have a lot of vintage, so I was pleasantly surprised to see all of it when I got there. When he does have it, they're usually just stacked up in top loaders in the middle of the table, between his dime boxes, 5/$1 boxes, etc.

None of them are priced, and if it was anybody but him, I wouldn't even bother -- but after buying stuff from him for over three years now, I know that once you ask him how much? He's not going to reach for a Beckett, or check anything on his phone -- he'll just look at everything, and give you a price, a price that is usually negotiable too. So what was the price that I was quoted for all of the above? $42... sold! Even though his prices are always low, I still expected the quote to be higher.

If anybody thinks that that price seems like a lot, well, you remember that Frank Thomas short print? It looks like that when it does come up on eBay, $40 or more, is not an uncommon selling price. I'm sort of feeling a bit guilty about that one, I might have to let him know about it the next time I see him, and give him a few extra bucks too. If it was someone else, I might not feel the same way about it, but it's Jim!
Behind his sports GU/auto's box, Jim usually has some non-sport relics/autos stacked up, this time being no exception, but he had also had a small stack of what were clearly tobacco cards back there as well. I might have missed them, had another dealer not come over and inquire about them. I guess that guy didn't think that he could flip them (even though I didn't hear a price being quoted), because he walked away, and then I pounced.

Jim knew that they were German tobacco cards, and that was about it, which was fine, because that's all I knew about 'em too.

Initially I was only interested in three of them, but when I asked for a price, Jim said "just the three?", to which I replied, "yeah, well... unless there's a discount for taking all of them". So he looked through the stack one more time, and said "how about four bucks?", which sounded like a really great deal for all sixteen of them, so I of course accepted.

I still haven't gotten around to trying to research this Schienen-Wunder set yet, but I will one of these days.

Jim had so much vintage this time, that some of it even made it's way into his dime boxes, namely a bunch of mid 70's basketball. Most of it was 1974-75 Topps, a set that I'm almost done with. Even though I figured that I wasn't going to need any of it, I still grabbed all of the nicer one's just in case any of them were in better shape than my copies.

On the following day when I was going through them, I was stunned to find that I actually needed two of them. With those removed from the checklist, I'm down to needing only seven.

I also found this 1972-73 Topps in his dime boxes as well. It's got a little bit of staining, but since I never come across vintage hockey cards, I thought it was still pretty cool. I thought it was kind of funny too, to see that COMC has this listed as the Stanley Cup's rookie card.

Moving on to a different seller, a guy named Tom, who was the only other person that I bought from that day. I've seen Tom set-up there a couple of times before (he's not a regular), but other than the exchanging of pleasantries, I had never really talked to him before. We ended up talking for about 20 minutes, which was kind of nice because my social anxiety usually prevents me from having such lengthy interactions. Although I think that my brain was too occupied with the ever increasing temperature inside the gym to notice that I was actually talking to someone. By 10am, the real feel outside was over 100 degrees, and I swear that it must have been like 90 inside, because I was getting a tad bit uncomfortable (understatement).

I don't know if the AC was having a problem or what, but it just kept getting hotter and hotter in there, and after having been there for three hours, I was now thinking that it might be a good time to leave. I probably didn't look through Tom's stuff as much as I should have, because he had a lot of good stuff, and a much larger spread than I've seen him have in the past. That being said, I still picked up quite a few neat things (more of which will be in subsequent posts).

Oh, and that '69 Lou Michaels up above, that was in a dime box, I was hoping that I would find more from that set, but the rest of that box was just mid 70's, aka stuff that I'm not collecting. I didn't look at my checklists at all, so I did end up with a few duplicates, Lou being one of them, so he's available if anyone's interested.

And one other thing to note, I ran out of usable sunlight on the day that I was doing these pictures, so the rest of the cards in this post were scanned. I only mention it because the scans look terrible to me.

The Hank Bauer was a buck, which didn't seem too bad considering that he's a high number. The Cepeda and Morgan were $2 each. All three of these are likely going to be part of some new mini-collections (I'm going all in on this approach to collecting).

All former PCL guys, and all were 20 cents each.

The condition of most of Tom's vintage cards was pretty amazing. These kind of got mixed up, so I can't remember which cards came from what box, but some were from the 5/$2 box, and then a couple were from the 5/$1 box -- not that it makes too much of a difference though, as they were really well priced either way.

The two 72's were in the 5/$1 box, I think I might already have both of them, but I still haven't double checked yet. Red was only a dime!

And finally, some more 72's from the 5/$1 box. Boog's a duplicate, so if anyone needs him, don't be shy about saying so.

Originally I had planned on doing three card show posts this week, but I've just been too tired to work on them, but I'll have one more on Saturday. And if I can be a little less rambly, maybe I can crank out the rest for next week, as I don't want to drag these out for too long.

Thanks for taking a moment (or two) to look at my page.


  1. Wow. You killed it. Great show.

    1. Yeah, and I'm just getting started too!

  2. Lots of great stuff there! You know what they say: the more mini-collections, the better! (Well, I say that, anyways.)

    1. I'm starting to think that you have had a very negative influence on me over the last couple of years :)

  3. I totally agree with you about picking up bowman at shows.I'm actively working on the Phillies Team sets for 49, 51 and 52 bowman and I could just shop online but I wait for the card shows so I can see the condition in hand.

    1. I'm glad that someone understands, although I don't know if my wanting to buy them in person has anything to do with condition.

  4. Awesome stuff! I may or may not get tired of collecting the new stuff... but I'll always appreciate vintage baseball.

    1. it's kind of sad to think that all of us who are currently collecting are probably going to be the last generation to appreciate vintage cards... or really anything vintage for that matter.

  5. I've got at least one of your last 7 from 1974-75 basketball. Plus more from other years on your want list. Email me at ericandgretchen at yahoo dot com if you want to make a trade!

  6. I may not be able to fill out stuff off your want list, but I think I could send you an interesting package in exchange for some of those 74-75s...I do have a want list posted.

    1. I've been trying to thin the herd when it comes to what I'm collecting, so sending me something that isn't on my want lists probably wouldn't do much good (unless it was something old and interesting), so I'll just look at your want's and send whatever you might need, sound good?

  7. Awesome stuff. The German Tobacco train cards are the 1934 Garbaty "Schienenwunder" set made in Berlin with the Koberich catalog number of 20703-15. There are 300 cards in the set. He has a price of about $200 for the entire 300-card set.

    1. Thank you, Ryan! You have probably saved me a bit of time, and most likely some frustration too (Google is usually not very helpful), so for that I am very grateful. It seems like you're becoming quite the German tobacco card aficionado :)

  8. Jon, there's just so much good stuff in this post! The one card I keep going back to is the Bowman Baker Band-Aid! I simply must own one!!

    1. It is a pretty interesting card, isn't it? Thankfully it's not very expensive either :)