National Show & Tell: They’re Not ‘Lesser Grade’, They’re Well-Loved

A lot of my bigger “gets” from the show were vintage star cards which were somewhat lacking in… shall we say “Gradeability”?  No pristine pieces of cardboard entombed in the grading service shells of death, just well-loved cardboard which you know were handled, perused, examined, memorized and, in one case, somewhat abused.

…Like this 1966 Jim Hunter, his second-year card.  It looks like someone made a big yellow highlighter “L” on the card (it looks worse in the scan than it does in person).  I saw this card in a box, it was obviously damaged, but how else are you going to get a 46-year-old card of a Hall Of Famer for $1?  It’s not even a card I would normally collect, but I had something of a “Charlie Brown Christmas” moment with this card… I looked at it, and I thought “I think it needs me”.

So, what else did I get?  Say hey, everybody!  Take a look at these!

One of my somewhat last-minute goals of the show was to try to get some well-loved stars from the 1972 set, and Willie Mays certainly falls into that category.  If I also decide to go forward with completing the first two series of 1972 (something I’ve all but committed to doing), then I was going to need these two.  I would also need Mr. Joe Morgan…

…but Willie McCovey falls into the third series, so buying him is either a case of being proactive regarding possible future goals, or just me saying “WTF”.

And finally, so you don’t think I was fixated too  much on 1972, here’s a lovely Brooks Robinson All-Star from 1970.

The total damage for these cards?  $16.  For less than the price of a blaster, I got 6 vintage cards featuring Hall-Of-Famers.  I ask you, how can you beat that?

Fuji Feedback: The Worst-Conditioned Card In My Collection

I’ve got a couple of candidates for “Card In The Worst Condition” and until recently I would’ve singled out a fugly 1971 Garvey as being the bottom of the pile;  I featured that card a few months ago.

However, to answer Fuji’s question of “What’s the worst conditioned card in your collection? Is there a story behind it?”, I’ll go with the one I haven’t had very long.  I was somewhat recently given a bag containing loose cards from the 70’s and 80’s.  It was a a fun lot to go through, and there was some good stuff in there, but “good” in terms of filling my needs.  This wasn’t a “Black Swamp Find”, there were a handful of cards which might’ve been worth a few bucks if they weren’t creased and dog-eared, but it was mostly commons and in general, the older the cards got, the rougher the condition was.

As I’m thumbing through these cards, making mental notes of the cards I needed, I thought to myself “What are the odds are that I’ll find one of the 4 cards I need to complete my 1973 set?”

Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Of the cards in the bag, the card which would easily be the highest on my need list is also the card which was easily the worst condition.  In case you can’t tell from the scans, the card had been torn completely in half, and then scotch-taped back together again.  Even without being torn, the card’s been “well-loved” and has major creases in it.  I can just imagine an older brother tormenting his younger sibling by tearing up and mangling one of his baseball cards, followed by the teary-eyed younger brother taping it back together and smoothing it out between sobs.

When I ran across this card, after a few minutes of “it figures” laughing, I came to my senses.  Sure, it’s in bad shape even by my lax standards, but you know what?  It’s still Card #1 in the 1973 set, it had the second-highest book value of any card that I needed (Schmidt/Roberts/Cey is my current White Whale) and now I only need three cards to complete 1973.

I’ll probably try to upgrade this card – maybe one which is still in lesser condition, but is intact – but I don’t have to.  And I don’t know… maybe I’ll hang on to this card because it has a story behind it.

I certainly don’t have to worry about it being a counterfeit.