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  #1  
Old 04-04-2021, 06:24 PM
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Michael S.
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Default Best hobby advice you've received.

A number of years ago, I was setting up at my first show. I pulled up in the morning and watched all of the "real dealers" unload their cars and begin setting up. While I was setting up, a number of veteran guys came by to say hello and check out what I had. Still feeling quite insecure, I asked a dealer by the name of Chuck if he thought that I had anything that anyone would want. He looked over my showcases, smiled, and said "There's an ass for every seat, my man".

That resonated with me. It let me know that I belonged and I could hang with the big boys!

And so now I ask you - What was the sage bit of wisdom that resonated with you?
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2021, 06:28 PM
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Stay away from graded cards. You can own way more and way nicer cards for the same price.
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2021, 06:32 PM
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"Collect what you like." That is something I constantly remind myself. No one can collect everything from either a money or a space standpoint. As much as I would like to have a rare Babe Ruth card or a 52T Mantle, I find myself loving some of the $200 cards in my collection that mean something to me personally even more than if I had a big money baseball card.
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2021, 06:37 PM
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I’ve had a few.

1. The first relates to Ben’s. Don’t become caught up in the graded hype. I only collect raw cards and love it.

2. Don’t be the guy who puts together sets with exmt commons and vg HOFers.

3. There’s no too much, only too soon.
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  #5  
Old 04-04-2021, 06:42 PM
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You have fun by building complete sets; you make money by breaking complete sets.
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:02 PM
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Stay on top of the organizing. You appreciate your collection more if you know what you have.

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  #7  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:05 PM
Vegas Cards Vegas Cards is offline
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Here's one I've broken and regretted. Never sell your Mantles.

There are several other names you could insert there - Cobbs, Ruths, etc.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:05 PM
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buy what you like!

buy the card not the holder!

Buy Cobb and Ruth!

Buy low...sell high!!!!!
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:11 PM
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Never Pay Up for Off Grade.....The Upside Potential Is Very Limited.

Don’t Build Sets Buy 4 Guys for Investment, Strong Centered Exmnt or Better

Ruth, Cobb, Jackie, and Mantle

These are the first cards I get asked about when I’m selling and when I’m buying these are the last any collector wants to sell.

Do this for the long-term and you’ll never lose.

Last edited by Johnny630; 04-04-2021 at 07:14 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored5000 View Post
"Collect what you like." That is something I constantly remind myself. No one can collect everything from either a money or a space standpoint. As much as I would like to have a rare Babe Ruth card or a 52T Mantle, I find myself loving some of the $200 cards in my collection that mean something to me personally even more than if I had a big money baseball card.
Absolutely, so very true. I've never bought a card over a couple hundred bucks despite being able to afford cards that are more substantial. The cards that bring me my most joy are the ones I collected as a kid, they wouldn't grade very high but they mean the world to me. I suppose that's why I like cards that look like they were carried in a shoe box by a kid riding a Schwinn Sting Ray. They tell a story...
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:20 PM
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Buy it when you see it, because you probably won't see it again.

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  #12  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:28 PM
Brian Van Horn Brian Van Horn is offline
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Not received, but I'll give. Wait out the cons.
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark17 View Post
You have fun by building complete sets; you make money by breaking complete sets.
I don't have any experience with the breaking sets part, but the first half is definitely true. I sometimes wonder what I'll do when I complete my project. Probably pick another set to drive myself up the wall with.
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:34 PM
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I've heard at times: There's an ass IN every seat...
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  #15  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:34 PM
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Buy the card not the grade.
Be patient.
Don’t be afraid to pay up for a nice card.
Collect what you love.

All were received on this forum.
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  #16  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:44 PM
One 'ol Cat One 'ol Cat is offline
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Default Best advice

Get that stuff out of the family room. - The Wife
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  #17  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:47 PM
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I’m with Adam and Eddie, first rule, second rule and third rule - collect what you enjoy.

Unless you’re flipping as a way to pay the bills, don’t get too hung up on the money. (Oh no, my cards have only gone up x% while others have gone up 5x%) Everything will have its ebbs and flows. Lastly, if there’s something you’d really enjoy but it’s a couple bucks more than you thought, get it. Very, very few purchases I regret but many more I wish I’d pulled the trigger on.
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  #18  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:50 PM
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Let's put it this way. If anyone ever finds a 1981 Topps George Brett card with the right two letters written in black crayon on the back I will pay almost anything to get it back.

Personal meaning is everything. Collect what means something to you.
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  #19  
Old 04-04-2021, 07:55 PM
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Default mine

1) Buy the card not the holder

2) You'll regret the cards you didn't buy WAY more than the ones you "paid too much for" at the time.
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I am actively buying vintage sports cards graded and raw, singles and sets and also open to trading. I love the odd and obscure – food issues, test issues, etc. Some feedback as a buyer: https://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=297262
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  #20  
Old 04-04-2021, 08:06 PM
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Default Advice

A coin dealer friend of my always told me that "you make your money when you buy".
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T213-2 138 down 47 to go.
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  #21  
Old 04-04-2021, 08:11 PM
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Quality doesn’t cost, it pays.
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*Proudest hobby accomplishment: finished the 1914 Cracker Jack set ranked #12 all-time
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  #22  
Old 04-04-2021, 08:13 PM
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Leave the gun...take the cards.
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Overpaying yesterday is simply underpaying tomorrow.
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  #23  
Old 04-04-2021, 08:16 PM
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Bored5000
"Collect what you like." That is something I constantly remind myself. No one can collect everything from either a money or a space standpoint. As much as I would like to have a rare Babe Ruth card or a 52T Mantle, I find myself loving some of the $200 cards in my collection that mean something to me personally even more than if I had a big money baseball card.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTK View Post
Absolutely, so very true. I've never bought a card over a couple hundred bucks despite being able to afford cards that are more substantial. The cards that bring me my most joy are the ones I collected as a kid, they wouldn't grade very high but they mean the world to me. I suppose that's why I like cards that look like they were carried in a shoe box by a kid riding a Schwinn Sting Ray. They tell a story...
Yep, I agree. In my mind the original owner of a card should be a nine year old kid. The cards I’d part with last are the ones where I know that’s the case, because I was that kid.
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  #24  
Old 04-04-2021, 09:09 PM
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In 1994 I decided to purchase one playing days card of every "player" in the baseball HOF. I was the sole bread winner with five kids, a mortgage payment and bought only what I could afford at the time. Most of my cards are G-VG however I get a thrill every time I walk into my man cave and see 230 Baseball Hall of Famers on my wall.
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  #25  
Old 04-04-2021, 09:29 PM
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“Never Get Cheated”
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  #26  
Old 04-04-2021, 09:38 PM
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Let the investment stuff go in one ear and out the other. If you want to invest, admit you are not a collector and stop pretending otherwise.

Collect what you like and consider it the equivalent of playing a round of golf: a sunk cost of fun. You may be surprised in the future by a price increase and that's great, but just enjou what you have while you have it.

I have to credit Leon with a good one some years ago when I was stressing over a sizable purchase and could not quite reach a deal with the seller: don't let $100 stand between you and a tough card you really want.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 04-04-2021 at 09:39 PM.
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  #27  
Old 04-04-2021, 09:51 PM
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I can resonate with just about everything mentioned here. As a set collector one thing that was discussed here years ago really changed my approach and strategy -

*Keep your sets condition consistent. If you want a VG set, make them ALL VG...PSA 9...then PSA 9, EX raw (my preference), hold EVERY card to the same standard. Nothing worse than thumbing through a set and the condition is all over the place! For my initial sets it was the opposite mentioned above, my stars looked better than my commons...set looked like crap. The card next to your Mantle in the binder better look sweet!
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1963 Fleer - 1981-90 Fleer/Donruss Complete
1960 - 1990 Topps Complete
1959 Topps 312/572 55%
1958 Topps 493/494 99%
1957 Topps 367/407 90%
1955 Topps 204/206 99%

1969 Topps PSA Set - 37/664
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  #28  
Old 04-04-2021, 09:54 PM
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In regards to building a 1914 Cracker Jack set "When you see them, buy them."
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  #29  
Old 04-04-2021, 10:07 PM
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Personally, I stick to vintage. I like everything about those cards aesthetically and the risk/reward financially is much better than modern I think. I learned the hard way that speculating on tomorrow's heroes today is daunting. For those who have the time and ability to invest in modern cards it may be worth it. But I have piles of Gregg Jefferies rookies, etc. that never panned out.
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  #30  
Old 04-04-2021, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todeen View Post
Buy it when you see it, because you probably won't see it again.
Yes Tim! If a cards is speaking to you, it's probably going to speak to the guy coming right behind you as well.

And that goes double while walking the aisles at the National...


This dovetails nicely with Howard's truism above:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hcv123 View Post
2) You'll regret the cards you didn't buy WAY more than the ones you "paid too much for" at the time.
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  #31  
Old 04-05-2021, 02:54 AM
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• Always think quality over quantity.

• You make your money when buying, not selling.
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  #32  
Old 04-05-2021, 04:28 AM
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Always buy Babe Ruth cards, he's not gonna have a bad year.
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  #33  
Old 04-05-2021, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buymycards View Post
A coin dealer friend of my always told me that "you make your money when you buy".
Alan Rosen told me the exact same thing in 1981
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  #34  
Old 04-05-2021, 06:49 AM
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From various posters on here:

Collect what you like
The only purchases you regret are the ones you don't make
Buy raw when you can
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  #35  
Old 04-05-2021, 07:38 AM
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If a card you want is rare and does not come up for sale often do not worry about finding the right market value. Worry about getting the card (within what you can afford).

Also, yesterdays expensive card is todays bargain.
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  #36  
Old 04-05-2021, 08:06 AM
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When putting cards in 9 pocket pages, that last card's number in a page should all add up to 9

9 = 9
18 = 1 + 8 = 9
27 = 2 + 7 = 9
etc

I keep an eye on this and often I catch a mistake early which I can rectify without having to switch too many cards.
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  #37  
Old 04-05-2021, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhotchkiss View Post
“Never Get Cheated”
This is the one that has resonated with me since I joined this community.

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  #38  
Old 04-05-2021, 08:22 AM
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Not really applicable to vintage but it was to stop opening packs and buy singles instead
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  #39  
Old 04-05-2021, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obcbobd View Post
When putting cards in 9 pocket pages, that last card's number in a page should all add up to 9

9 = 9
18 = 1 + 8 = 9
27 = 2 + 7 = 9
etc

I keep an eye on this and often I catch a mistake early which I can rectify without having to switch too many cards.
Hahaha. I once put a large modern set in pages, and when I was done I realized #s 1 and 2 were stuck together. It was a long afternoon.
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  #40  
Old 04-05-2021, 09:31 AM
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Don’t believe everything you hear on chat board
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  #41  
Old 04-05-2021, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obcbobd View Post
When putting cards in 9 pocket pages, that last card's number in a page should all add up to 9

9 = 9
18 = 1 + 8 = 9
27 = 2 + 7 = 9
etc

I keep an eye on this and often I catch a mistake early which I can rectify without having to switch too many cards.
LOL... I’ve put a few sets together and did not know this.
Thanks!
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  #42  
Old 04-05-2021, 09:45 AM
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Buy the best example you can afford.
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  #43  
Old 04-05-2021, 10:00 AM
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Don't believe anything you read or hear and only half of what you see.
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  #44  
Old 04-05-2021, 10:00 AM
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This was advice I gave and not received.

I was a weekend warrier back in the day. A boy about 14 years old and his father approached me and asked if this was a good deal another dealer offered. The boy would have gotten complete Topps sets from 1977 to about 1983 and a 1963 Fleer set. He would have given up a Goudy Ruth card autographed. To me, the card and autograph looked authentic. I guess it did to the other dealer also.
I told him absolutely not. I told him if he wanted complete sets, he could build them as they were plentiful back then and the 1963 would have taken a little more effort. I really urged him to keep the card.
I do not know what happened but I sure hope he took my advice.

Bob
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  #45  
Old 04-05-2021, 10:23 AM
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buy vintage, mantle, hold and not sell

Don't worry about overpaying at the moment, you'll regret not spending more in a few years
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  #46  
Old 04-05-2021, 11:58 AM
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Don't try going into the 52 Topps set cold. Unless you have bottomless pockets, some valuable trade bait, or inherited a fortune, it's a huge set and you'll never get The Mick, and others whose cards will set you back a fortune. Get into 53 Bowman color instead; it's only 160 cards and very doable (fellow collector I made a huge trade with).
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  #47  
Old 04-05-2021, 12:31 PM
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Dan Bl@u
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Lots of good advice for set collectors in here, but the best advice I received about set collecting (which unfortunately came too late for me with some sets) is to always buy the highest-$ cards first. If you start with commons and lower-mid HOFers first, by the time you get around to the Cobb or Wagner, it will have doubled in price, and either (a) you're never going to finish the set, or (b) you're going to settle for a lower-condition card just to complete, and you'll have an unbalanced set you won't be happy with.

I am 2/3 done with a T205 set in PSA 3 and have most of the HOFers, but I didn't get a Cobb (or Young or WaJo) while I could, and now it's out of reach except in 1/A grades. Same experience with '34 Goudey and the Gehrigs. And N28. And N162. (See a pattern?)

Conversely, I picked up a '53 Bowman Mantle a couple years ago, and it made building the rest of the set seem very reasonable. The next set I'm planning to build has a Ruth that is still just under $1K, so that will definitely be my first purchase. Suppose I better get on that.
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Last edited by Bliggity; 04-05-2021 at 12:34 PM.
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  #48  
Old 04-05-2021, 12:36 PM
kailes2872's Avatar
kailes2872 kailes2872 is offline
Kev1n @1les
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Location: Pittsburgh Area
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Collect what you like. That way, if it all goes to hell and the market collapses, you still have what you like.

If you want to invest, buy a mutual fund. It offers more liquidity and less transaction costs.

You didn't pay too much, you just bought too soon.
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1949 Bowman Baseball

1972/73 and 1971/72 Topps Basketball

1970-1977 Topps Football
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  #49  
Old 04-05-2021, 12:50 PM
Belfast1933 Belfast1933 is offline
Jeff
Je.ff Gro.ss
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Newburyport MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidb View Post
In 1994 I decided to purchase one playing days card of every "player" in the baseball HOF. I was the sole bread winner with five kids, a mortgage payment and bought only what I could afford at the time. Most of my cards are G-VG however I get a thrill every time I walk into my man cave and see 230 Baseball Hall of Famers on my wall.
That’s exactly my current card journey too, David! I’m about 110 cards or so into my goal.... it’s actually a lot of fun. I agonize on choosing exactly the “right one” for every card I choose

Would love to see photos of your collection, if you’d be willing to share! In fact, I might even start a thread to see how many others of “us” are out there

Enjoy / Jeff
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  #50  
Old 04-05-2021, 01:50 PM
Yoda Yoda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Klein View Post
Alan Rosen told me the exact same thing in 1981
Rich, I recall setting up in about the late 90's at Ft. Washington, PA across the aisle from Alan, who was residing in the Poobah Chair right at the entrance, with, of course, the open briefcase filled with crisp Benjamins and his faithful companion "Zubes" at his side (guarding the cash?). I exchanged a few words with him and he remarked that some guy would come in with some raw '52 Topps, most of them in lousy condition but that there would be a few nice high series cards. And the guy wouldn't know anything about high numbers. Alan rubbed his hands in anticipation while I went off to get one of those foul cheeseburgers. Well, at the end of the show he walked over to my table and laid out, yes, some nice high numbers, including, as I recall, a Reese, Robby and a beat up Mathews
I kinda, sorta miss the old rascal, and wouldn't he be amazed at the state of the current market. He thrived on deals and money.
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