Monday, May 14, 2012

Mondays with Hoyt, Episode III

1954 Bowman #57 Hoyt Wilhelm

Given how much I drool over vintage, you had to know it wouldn't be long before I featured one in my "Mondays with Hoyt" series.

Perhaps some collectors my age (if there's any left) would consider the 1988 Hoyt I featured last week of the vintage variety.

Before I started the blog, I considered anything from 1973 and before "vintage". But since I've started to blog, I've begun to look at my cards more closely than I ever have before. Because of this, I've loosened my definition of "vintage" to include anything produced before 1980.

But in the end, it doesn't really matter. Vintage is anything you want it to be.

However, I'd venture a guess that most collectors place 1954 Bowman in the vintage category. 

The '54 Bowman Wilhelm featured in today's episode is one of six cards I own from the set, and one of twenty cards I own from his playing days. (The second-oldest, next to my copy of his 1953 Topps issue.)

It's also the subject of one of the better acquisition stories of any card in my collection.

A couple years ago, a member on one of the trading forums I'm on was selling a '93 Upper Deck Derek Jeter rookie card for a buck. I already had a copy of the Jeter in my collection, but I figured for a single dollar, I could turn it into some good stuff in a future trade. So I pounced on it.

To my surprise, it sat on my trade list for a good couple months. I figured it would be gone a few days after I received it. The guy is a future Hall of Famer, after all.

I had pretty much forgotten all about it after a while.

Then, out of the blue, one of the members of the forum contacted me saying he was interested in the Jeter. He also happened to mention that he had a 1954 Bowman Hoyt Wilhelm available, but the condition was pretty rough. Of course, I didn't really care either way. The card itself is enough for me.

I actually got a few other cards with the Wilhelm for the Jeter rookie, definitely one of the better trades I've ever made.

It's a beauty.

Taking a page out of JABO's book, I think a "Would You Rather?" question is in order here.

Which would you rather own, the '93 Upper Deck Jeter rookie, or a rough copy of a '54 Bowman Hoyt Wilhelm, a Hall-of-Famer?

It's obvious where I stand on this one. Nothing against the '93 UD Jeter rookie, as it is indeed a great card of one of the best players of my generation (as I mentioned earlier, I own one myself), but I'll choose a vintage card of a HOFer over a recent rookie card of a future HOFer any day of the week, Hoyt or no Hoyt. 

Have I mentioned how much I love vintage?

However, I have a feeling that I might be in the minority on this one. The condition is rough, I'll admit. Plus, we're not talking '52 Topps here, although I still think '54 Bowman is a beautiful and under-appreciated set. Plus, Jeter could arguably go down as the greatest shortstop to ever play the game once all is said and done.

But I'm taking Mr. Wilhelm every time. 


arpsmith said...

You easily made the right choice. I still need to track down a copy of that Hoyt for my Giants team set. Great trade and nice story!

Hackenbush said...

Being practical, taking condition into account I'd go with the Jeter. Both being in the same condition I'd take the Wilhelm.