Word to the wise, go after the "neat" cards that you've always wanted at your own peril. Also, it's easy to get distracted, pulled onto tangents, or overwhelmed. I started at a leisurely pace, going after some cards I knew I wanted. For a cool $467.50 The original Hammerin' Hank came first:
This was quickly followed by a 1954 Al Kaline Rookie ($1479.99) and a '54 rookie of that other Hammerin' Hank ($6,000)
Diversions aside, got to go back to the Tigers. A 1948 Bowman George Kell has always been up my alley ($1595)
Bowman. Bowman. You know what bowman set I've always really liked? Yeah, 1951. And you know what card I've always wanted from 1951 Bowman?
Monte Irvin?!?! Yeah, that's right. Monte Irvin. I think Monte Irvin is great. He was the first baseball that I got signed to start my "Hall of Famer Signed Baseball Collection" a few years ago. I was still in college and he was signing at an out of the way Negro Leagues memorabilia store in Metro Detroit for like $15 or 20 bucks. I drove out there in the rain and briefly met and chatted with Monte Irvin, who was extremely friendly and just generally loved talking about the game. Monte Irvin is awesome.
Also, he is the only player to have won both a Negro Leagues Championship and a World Series.
Ok, ok. Clock's ticking, got to get back to the Tigers. What were those 4-in-1 Goudey cards made? 1935? Yep. Ok...I'll take One ($60)
Three ($195) of those. No time to worry about condition.
Man, Dayf was right, as cool as they were, the pictures on those cards were pretty ugly.
Hey, If I'm going to grab that Leaf George Kell, I should really get the gem of the set.
Ooh yeah. Still only $1,500. There's no way I'm going to spend all this money in time. Time to step it up.
Back to 1951 Bowman. Man, these are gorgeous cards.
No time for The Duke. Is there a Heads Up Greenberg anywhere?
Yep ($600) And you can't have a heads up card without Bob Feller too ($500)
God I'm screwed for time. 1952 Detroit Tigers set GO! Individual cards only--I can BIN on 10 of them for $345 total. Done. On to 1953. 13 of them up for sale for $.99 each! I'll bid $40 on each and just let it play out. I've got like 2 minutes left and money to burn. 1952 Topps Mantle is a clusterfuck of irrelevant cards. Um, Um...
1887 Ginter Tigers GO! Doesn't exist. Shit. What was that guy's name? Getzin? GINTER GETZIN GO!
$199.99 for Chas. Wait...Chas! Chas. Bennett!
$775 to take him home. That's the original A&G Set, mind you. You know...NO THERE'S NO TIME! Arrrrrgh. 1952 Topps set GO
20 Seconds left, and a listing for all the Topps Cards 1952-1980. A buy it now price of a cool...$20,000,000?!?!?!
Well, I've got about $20,000 so we'll just have to see if he'll take a best offer on that one.
Whew! Mission accomplished, Gellman. That very much felt like that Nickelodeon show with the shopping sprees that I ALWAYS wanted to be on. The problem is, apparently, I would have been the moron who wasted time running around to go the the aisles with the toys I wanted most, while some other kid was literally running down every aisle shoving everything into their shopping cart.
I can say this: $50,000 buys you a lot of nice cards. It also seems that it is not that easy to find big lots of older cards (understandably, I guess), meaning you either need to search individually or give up on them, or sift through a ton of cards to get what you want. If I had my druthers, I'd have gone after all the Topps Tigers cards, but they're just too hard to search for in that amount of time.
The real shame is that I only spent $21,639.35 That is FAIL. I blame my lack of knowledge of vintage cards, and my ignorance to when certain players were rookies. Going after HOF rookie cards is a something that I like to do to the best of my ability, but I just didn't have the time to guess and check.
I could have burned some money on newer high end stuff or autographs--and clearly should have somewhere--but those cards just don't appeal to me in the same way. When it comes down to it, is some $5,000 new card cooler to me than something I got for a couple hundred bucks from the 1930s? When push comes to shove it's just one more card in the collection.
So I'm just going to call self-sabotage on this whole endeavor, with my brain insisting that I not inflate the size of my collection--which I'm already trying to make/keep lean and mean--by telling me: "if you can't think of it off the top of your head, it's not worth having."
Which is so not true...