Sunday, May 5, 2013
Best of the rest
I can't believe it's been a week already.
A full seven days have passed since my so-called "find of a lifetime". The fact that I now own an actual vintage Mickey Mantle card still hasn't completely sunk in yet.
Frankly, I'm not sure it ever will.
Still, the fact that I actually took home close to a couple thousand cards from that garage sale is understandably overshadowed by "The Mick".
In actuality, I nabbed four card-filled boxes and a brimming binder for that breathtaking $35 price tag.
Now, I can't sit here and honestly say that anything in those boxes/binder were even a fraction as awesome as the '67 Mantle, but the rest of my purchase did offer its fair share of diamonds in the rough.
All in all, vintage only comprised a small part of my total finds. This nifty '67 Topps Rico Carty was one I omitted from my initial review of these boxes.
Had I found it nearly anywhere else, it probably would've earned top billing.
The guy in charge of the garage sale actually had a few binders he wanted to unload.
One looked to be a near-complete set of 1989 Bowman. The other contained pages upon pages of 1990 Topps.
Not for me.
The third and final binder, however, was quite intriguing. In it, I found quite the array of 2001 Fleer Tradition singles.
I've always been an avid fan of the set, yet they've never been all that well-represented in my collection. For whatever reason, they seem to be tough finds around here.
There had to have been a couple hundred '01 Tradition cards inside. Plus, I hit a few pressing supply needs, I scored quite a few usable pages and a like-new binder.
While Fleer Tradition was the main feature of the binder, I found a decent amount of other miscellaneous cardboard dispersed within its reaches.
Presidents, throwbacks, "double dips", and a couple new "pitchers at the plate" just added to the already-unbelievable quality of this purchase.
...we haven't even gotten to those other four gigantic boxes I bought yet.
The guy had a big tub of about fifteen to twenty long boxes available. After a brief dig through each, I settled on the four that would eventually make up my "find of a lifetime".
One of the boxes was almost entirely comprised of '89 Donruss, a set which I'm overloaded with already. Still, I had a good reason for buying it...but we'll get to that soon.
Even so, I'm not entirely sure how that 1989 Donruss Bruce Sutter managed to elude me all this time. It's a "sunset" card, after all. Plus, that '85 Topps piece in the upper-right completes my Kent Tekulve "Topps set".
On top of that, one of the boxes I purchased was about half-filled with 1992 O-Pee-Chee singles. Since I'm a sucker for anything OPC-related, it was a must-have in my eyes.
The Henderson, Lasorda, and Griffey pieces you see in the middle of this page may be the three best cards from the '92 Topps checklist.
Needless to say, I was excited to score their Canadian counterparts with this purchase.
These neat oddballs were included in the same box that held my epic '67 Mantle.
Besides the vintage, the most dominating feature of this particular group was a rubber-banded stack of late '80s Topps minis. Still, minor league, Ziploc, and, yes, even Wonder Bread cards contributed to the legend of this box.
As far as the oddballs go, though...
...this purchase may have been one of my all-time greatest in that department.
It's true. This record-breaking purchase may be the absolute best oddball buy of my collecting career.
About nine-tenths of this particular box was composed of the 1989 Donruss singles I mentioned earlier. Yet, as far as I can tell, the other tenth was home to a complete 1987 TCMA "Baseball's Greatest Teams" set.
If you want to talk about tough finds, old-time releases like TCMA should probably be at the top of the list. Given my love for "throwback" sets of the sort, their relative scarcity had always saddened me.
Apparently, their '87 checklist featured nine different players from nine of the all-time greatest teams ever assembled.
So, quickly running through these next few pages, we have members of the famous '61 "M&M Boys" and '27 "Murderer's Row" Yankee clubs.
Both the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and 1960 Pittsburgh Pirate teams were World Series champions.
And both defeated the Yankees in their championship runs.
This page contains stars from the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and 1969 "Miracle Mets" rosters.
Cards of Lew Burdette and Bud Harrelson don't come along too often in this hobby anymore.
In many ways, that's why I've come to appreciate these TCMA sets so much.
Here, we have a few prestigious members of the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals and 1946 Boston Red Sox clubs.
With names like "Ducky" Medwick, "Pepper" Martin, and, of course, both "Dizzy" and "Daffy" Dean, the '34 Cardinals have long been referred to as the "Gashouse Gang" amongst baseball circles.
From what I've read over the years, the club was one of the more fascinating rosters ever assembled.
Of the nine clubs included within this checklist, I think my favorite had to have been the 1907 Chicago Cubs.
It's hard enough to find issues of dead-ball era stars these days. Much less ones from the perennial World Series-winning days of my beloved Cubbies.
Most fans probably know of the famous "Tinkers to Evers to Chance" combo. However, one of my favorite pieces of trivia is the name of the third baseman in that famous infield.
The answer to that little nugget is none other than Harry Steinfeldt, who just so happens to be the "centerpiece" of the above page. It's my first card of the forgotten star.
And, to top it all off, this box even contained a few pieces from the late '80s Pacific Legends checklist, including one of the few cards I've seen from Tony LaRussa's playing days.
So, while the vintage likes of Aaron, Clemente, and Mantle were certainly the most memorable aspects of this purchase, they were far from the only exciting pieces I welcomed into my collection.
Even the "best of the rest" I featured in this post contained quite the array of gems.
I doubt I could've spent thirty-five bucks much better.