Apr 30, 2024

An Almost Entirely Vintage Month

This month saw my collection shrink by a net 520 cards, though in truth my "real" collection expanded by 8 names. A co-worker was telling me about her son getting really into baseball and spending a lot of time watching videos of other people's card collections. The next day I dropped off at her desk more than 500 cards that did not quite fit with my core collecting goals. The majority were sourced from the 1997 Collector's Choice set I picked up in March, though they were balanced out by an assortment of duplicate cards from the 1950s and a random Bryce Harper cards that had been given as a freebie in an earlier deal.

I previously wrote about landing some pretty big cards in March. After those acquisitions my regular card budget has been in full-time recovery mode. Half way through the month I was greatly surprised when another collector purchased a somewhat-hoarded Orel Hershiser card from me. I had come across the card in a bargain bin, and knowing its history, picked it up and listed it online. Two days and $80 later it was on its way to a new home and I suddenly had funds available to deploy back into cards.

Here's what I used that on: Four low-grade 1952 Topps commons, pushing my set build another 1% towards completion. A fifth '52 Topps card came in the short-sleeved form of Ted Kluszewski, a card that has until now proved elusive due to many sellers' rather "optimistic" asking prices. Minor paper loss in an out of the way area made this one more palatable. My Canseco player collection grew by two more with the addition of a 1997 Donruss Gold Press Proof (print run 500!) and the Tiffany version of his '89 Bowman. A 1971 Bert Blyleven rookie, a personal favorite, was also added. After sending payment to the Blyleven seller, I realized the name on his Paypal account was the same as that of a Brooklyn-based collector with a pretty impressive YouTube presence. Receipt of the card confirmed it was indeed the same guy.

New additions to the collection are expected to remain somewhat limited through the end of the year. I may pick up a few things at the margins but buying activity will be contingent on selling duplicates. In the interim, I have been working on improvements that will allow for more fun and better sharing of my collection . Stay tuned on this front.

Card Profiles Written in April

I got back into the writing mood this month, knocking out 9 profiles of cards from my 1952 Topps set building project. I'll write about the shiny stuff and wallet cards again in May, but for now here's the backstories on a whole binder page full of '52 Topps.

  • Phil Rizzuto was released by the Yankees during the club's tenth annual Old Timers' Festivities. His replacement was even older.
  • A guy who last played in 1950 saw his rookie card appear in the first series of '52 Topps.
  • A backup catcher better known for his trash talking skills adjusted his banter after teaming up with Satchel Paige.
  • Eddie Robinson sat out a contest and still played in 155 of his team's 154 scheduled games.
  • Cracker Jacks, in all their forms, have a history of improving baseball.
  • George Mikan had a teammate who managed to score only a single point in pro basketball. Good thing that guy could play the outfield.
  • Johnny Mize was nearing the end of his career when he appeared in '52 Topps. His replacement was given the spot next to him in the checklist.
  • A Brooklyn Dodger saw his playing time threatened by an irate manager and the Korean War.
  • The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book had a lot to say about Rocky Bridges. That is good, because nobody can understand Rocky saying anything with all that tobacco stuffed in his mouth.

Don't build a boring collection!


  1. Very cool! Big Klu has some of the best vintage cards around - that '52 has eluded me thus far.

  2. Hopefully your donation will have a lasting impact on that kid. Was the Hershiser that one with the grass/sod? If so, that sure went up in price. And that was another really good month's worth of posts on your site. Lots of variety!

  3. It would be hilarious if it was the 1994 Stadium Club card with Hershiser helping the grounds crew lay sod. I kind of hope more random cards become notoriously difficult to find and become obscure targets for collectors. The Hershiser card I came across was a 1994 Finest Refractor. The 1993 version is known among set collectors to be particularly difficult to obtain due to an aggressive collector and has at times commanded four-figure prices. His follow up refractors have seen some spillover interest, particularly the sophomore 1994 edition.