More and more these days, I'm convinced the world around me has lost its gosh darn mind.
A spot-on example of that happened recently, with stunning results for yours truly, as you'll soon see. I was casually scrolling through Twitter one afternoon during my lunch break at work, and I stumbled upon the news that, apropos of nothing, the Cryptocurrency card from 2018 A&G was suddenly selling for a good amount of cash. The thought instantly hit me: Hey, I have that card! I listed my copy on eBay as soon as I got home that night, and by the time I left for work the next morning, it had sold.
I don't pretend to understand the first thing about card values these days, or anything that goes on in the Bitcoin/cryptocurrency fantasy land. I have no idea why this card suddenly skyrocketed in value. I suppose some Bitcoin Bro decided this was the next goldmine, and his brethren flocked to it. It's been proven time and time again that when non-collectors get involved with baseball cards, up, up, up go the values, into insanity. And this low-end collector is all too happy to take their money.
In the end, I netted no less than $60 for a card I'm pretty sure I found in a dime box three years ago.
It didn't take long for the thought to hit me: what cards could I get for that same sixty bucks?
I sure don't need any excuses to spend money on baseball cards, but at least this way I could write it off as a sort of challenge. So I took that $60 and went on a bit of a shopping spree - starting with this well-loved '59 Topps Harmon Killebrew off my "Keep Dreaming" list. This is the kind of card designed to cost us poor collectors an arm and a leg - a devilish '50s high-number (#515) of a popular HOFer, rolled into one.
I managed to snag this poor creased Killer for a scant $10 on Sportlots, which was about a third of the price of the next cheapest copy I'd ever seen.
Better yet, that same seller even had a couple Big Red Machine Kellogg's that accompanied the Killebrew for the ride - and at a mere $1.50 a piece, I don't mind the cracks one bit.
Even when I have found money to spend, I can't resist my bargain-hunting (aka cheap) ways.
I generally look for the lowest-grade and most beat-up copies of big cards as I can, which often results in pinch-me deals - this spectacular '57 Topps Pee Wee Reese, for example, cost me all of $10, and it isn't even in terrible shape.
Of course, this strategy can cause problems from time to time.
This '64 Topps Don Larsen has been on my want list for a while now (yet another mugshot that shows his perennial Who farted? baseball card grimace) but I've never been able to find one cheap because it's another dastardly vintage high-number. I thought the stars were aligning, then, when I found a heavily discounted copy of said Larsen on the very same night I sold the crypto card.
The seller listed it as "acceptable," which is usually good enough for me - though I did find it curious he didn't include any pictures of the back on his listing.
I realized why when the card arrived in the mail - I still can't decide a) what this is, and b) if I want to know what this is.
Even for me, this is a bit much, and while this is a fine placeholder for now, I hope to upgrade to a normal(ish) Larsen one day - hopefully one with a back that doesn't look like it was colonized by aliens.
Smaller $5-10 finds are awesome, but I did want to make one big splash with my newfound crypto cash.
One card I was looking at as a possible nominee was a '56 Topps Luis Aparicio rookie, but all the copies I sifted through were just a bit more than I wanted to pay. I did, however, snag a 1960 Leaf Aparicio (Card #1 in the checklist!) for about $4 - a great card from an underrated set I've always found oddly appealing.
Turns out I was on the right track with '56 Topps as my Big Splash - I just had to cross to the other side of Chicago to find it.
If you're gonna hunt a big card, then I think this is a sufficiently big one to spear.
It ate up just about half of my crpyto earnings, but now I can say I'm the proud owner of a 1956 Topps Ernie Banks, which predates my next-oldest Mr. Cub by a full three years. Just an other-worldly card from one of the most beautiful sets ever made, certainly not anything I planned on adding to my collection in this lifetime.
I stared at Ernie for a good two or three minutes after I slid him into my binders, next to all his friends from '56 Topps, still not quite believing it only took the sale of a weird card of fantasy money I found in a dime box to reel him in.
If this is what it looks like when the world loses its mind, then bring on the madness.