Monday, April 9, 2018

So I am a vintage collector now . . .

As I re-entered baseball card collecting around 2000/2001 I quickly realized that trying to complete vintage sets was not going to be viable for me. One of the great things about this hobby for me is how cheap it is; it doesn't take much money to accumulate thousands and thousands of cards. Prior to the 1980s, though, the older the card the more expensive they are, particularly star cards, high numbers, and local NY teams. So early on I made 1978 the cutoff and was always satisfied with that.

Over the last year or two, however, I have become inexorably drawn to older cards. Whenever I have gotten them in a trade package they have felt like a "hit" to me, like an autograph or relic card. Recent wins of late-60s/early-70s star cards from Johnny's Trading Spot and 1950s cards from Stealing Home only further stoked the desire to branch out in some way into the vintage realm. More and more reading other blogs I have been drawn to the vintage cards that people are acquiring.

This weekend I pulled the trigger on a Craigslist purchase that has set me fully on the vintage path. I spent $250, far more than I ever have on a card purchase before, on about 1,500 cards from 1966-1970, primarily 1967-1969. The cards are in varying degrees of condition; there are plenty of dupes (which will hopefully be pretty easy to trade), there are no high numbers except for the 1966's. No Mantle, Mays, Aaron, or Clemente, but virtually every other star of the era is represented. The $250 price tag is no steal but I felt it was fair enough; ~16 cents a card for lots of cards that are easily $5-10 cards if not more. I will probably only do a similar purchase for a similar lot - lots of bulk AND lots of stars.

I am purposefully keeping these cards separate from my collection, including how I catalog them. I plan to add a Vintage Project page on my blog soon; it will show where I am on each set; but I will avoid feeling the urge to make the financial effort to complete them; rather I will let the cards flow in by trades and more judicious purchases.

I am still in the process of digesting some of the very large collections of newer cards that I have accumulated over the last few months (and I still absolutely will be collecting newer cards). I had a vague thought that when I had fully processed those cards I would branch out my collecting into other areas, particularly vintage signs and other old retail ephemera. But now I think that I will take the money I would have spent on that (basically unspent gift money I have accumulated over the years, that is where the $250 for this came from) will probably go to my vintage baseball card collection, and maybe a much smaller focus on some old retail ephemera.

When I fully sort the cards from this purchase I will do another post detailing what I have to trade; but in the meantime here are the highlights from my collection-changing purchase, including some early highlights on what I have to trade (feel free to make offers!)

The seller included lots of photos of the cards, and what sealed the deal for me were the Pete Rose cards. As someone who started collecting in 1986, it was Pete Rose who was the number one person in the hobby. Remember those Topps cards featuring all of their cards of him? For me these cards were and are iconic, and to pick them up for what amounts to less than a quarter apiece made this deal work for me. As you can see there are duplicates here. Most of the time I am fine with keeping the lower-condition card and trading the better one. However I would probably rather keep the better '68 Rose and trade away the water-damaged one.
 Some Carl Yastrzemski cards, including the iconic 1967. That's another card I checked the prices of online before purchasing these cards, and realized how hard it would be to get one this cheaply.
 Hitting stars of the National League. Notice the dupes for Willie Stargell, Ed Mathews, Tony Perez.
 Some more NL hitting stars. The Billy Williams beard-and-scar variation is one I would rather trade away. Sorry for the unintentional misdirection in yesterday's "teaser" - I am not actively collecting doodled-on cards and would rather keep one that has the face intact. Maybe a Cardinals or White Sox fan would enjoy the defaced Williams? That said, if someone has cards like that they are looking to get rid of, I would take them if they are cards I don't otherwise have.
 Late 1960s-early 1970s were a lean time for the Yankees but glad to see some of their better cards from the era. There was only one 1971 card but what a card! I have seen that on probably every other baseball card blog and now I finally have one.
 Some national league pitching stars. Lots of bloggers like Hoyt Wilhelm - now I've got a 1970 to trade.
 Some more big-name NL pitchers. Suttons and Niekros to trade.
 Baltimore's Robinsons.
 I got tired of taking pictures but every card here is of a star, or celebrity like Bo Uecker. Some McCovey cards to trade. Lots of multi-player cards too.
 Some awesome rookie cards here - Carew, Nettles, Piniella with a dupe to trade.
 There was a smattering of football from the era as well. I passively collect football cards so these are pretty cool to add to my small FB collection.
 There were a few oddballs too.
 Lots of these deckle edge cards. I'd never seen them in person before and they look great. The four visible here (Ken Harrelson, Mel Stottlemyre, Felipe Alou, Ron Santo) all had duplicates that are available for trade.
 Three early 60s cards found their way into the box.
 I've seen the modern versions of these all over the blogs (I don't have any 2018 cards myself yet), so it was cool to get the originals.
The cards came in two boxes. One was a typical Amazon box, the other was actually older than any of the cards! It is a 1958 Frank C. Meyer Co. shoebox (no lid, and just the design you see here, no indication of what brand or store the box came from). The company was founded in 1907 and still exists today.
The guy I bought the cards from said he was cleaning out a neighbor's house and selling the cards for him. He says he may have some more cards for me - we'll see what happens. Meantime I am ready and eager to start trading for some more vintage!


  1. Nice Vintage love some of those.


  2. The 67 Carew rookie is a tough card. One of the
    last I needed when putting together the 67 set

  3. Jackpot!

    And welcome to this frustrating corner of the universe.

    I definitely have some older cards for you. We should talk about some of your doubles.

  4. MAJOR SCORE!!!! Under 20 cents per card for pre 70's is a deal if you ask me. Some of the conditions on the cards are well worth that price.

  5. Interested in 1969s as I'm putting together a set, especially the Rose. I like the Deckle Santo too. I have a lot of vintage to trade, primarily from the early '70s.

  6. Congratulations on your purchase! Going by just what you've already shown, I'd say that you got a heck of a deal.

  7. That is awesome. Vintage is tough sometimes, but so, so worth it. If you're willing to put down $250 for it, you're hooked.

  8. Congratulations on the great purchase! I really should look at Craigslist more often.

    I found vintage to be very addicting. I'm not always on the prowl (my budget doesn't allow for it), but when I finally dig into my wallet to buy one... there's usually one, two, or three more right behind it. Then I take a month or two off until the next round.

  9. Absolutely an amazing deal. Yes, that was a steal. I dropped $200 this weekend for about the same amount of vintage cards without those Super Stars in there and I know I got a great deal. So you did friggin fantastic! I spent the last few days sorting the ones I got, so my want lists are up to date. Let's do some vintage trading.