Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Hierarchies (or, another COMC order)

Over time, and whether I intended it or not, my collection has fallen into a bit of a hierarchy.

I (obviously) collect a lot of things, and I'm always happy to add to any of those thousands of different things, but some cards naturally take precedence over one another. Most of what I buy on COMC belongs to the pinnacle of that hierarchy - if I'm gonna specifically seek out, purchase, and wait weeks for something, chances are it's pretty darn close to top-tier. Looking back through it now, I think my latest COMC order did a good job of illustrating that.

Some of my collections even have hierarchies within themselves - I'll always take any and all Beatles cards, but I specifically decided to plunk down a bit of cash for this one because it features all four Fabs together, in action, in full-on "She Loves You" screaming-girl mop-top mode.

Other times, you can tell where a card sits on my hierarchy by how much I'm willing to spend on it.

In terms of my 50-and-75-cent COMC ways, these weren't cheap - Reggie was about $4 & Jim Morris was around $6. But they've both been high on my list because I love alternate-universe Burger King issues (not to mention Reggie's one of my favorite player collections anyways), and Morris pitched exactly two games in the White Sox system before retiring.

Little did anyone know he'd come back a decade later with some team called the Devil Rays, and have a Hollywood movie based on him, to boot.

Minor league cards tend to carry more weight for me because you just don't see them too often - I own close to 200 Carlos Zambrano cards, but that's my very first one of him in the minors.

Didn't land any wow-worthy vintage in this order, but I did track down a few Dime Box favorites for loose change (Tug is an OPC).

Mini-collections definitely operate on a hierarchy - all throwback cards are cool, but I probably own a few hundred different White Sox ones, so the Frank Thomas is another brick in what is a large (but still glorious) wall.

That Nolan Ryan, on the other hand, is the first card I've ever seen of him hitting during his time with the Angels(!) - a photo obviously taken during the '72 season since the AL implemented the DH for the rest of his career.

My player collections definitely exist in a hierarchy, and these dudes are all at the top - I couldn't afford to collect 927 different guys that were all top-tier, could I?

(I promise that Kenny Lofton looks better than it scans.)

COMC likes to remind me that, despite my skepticism of online exclusives and "chase" cards, I still like picking them up secondhand (if they're cheap enough).

I'm particularly a fan of that hockey-puck-themed Future Stars Club design, which goes well with Justin Morneau's Canadian roots.

A couple photo variations I'd been eyeing for a while - that Zimmer cameo on the Ryno is pure gold.

Throwback Thursdays and shiny cards are just two of the many probably superfluous bells and whistles that I find impossible to resist.

One seller had a bunch of these Phillies stadium giveaways obscenely cheap, and I pretty much grabbed every single one because I can never have enough Greg Luzinski and Dick Allen cards.

I don't know if the proliferation of Dodger content during my time on the blogs has made me more of a Dodger fan/collector, but it seemed like quite a few snuck into this COMC order.

Grabbed a few more of those neat Finest Dodger ROY inserts, and the '78 SSPC Bill Russell sent me scrambling because it made me realize I didn't have his '76 SSPC card...only to quickly discover he didn't have a card in '76 SSPC for some reason?

Minis are always welcome in this house, and somehow I'm only now realizing that there were die-cut '72 inserts in last year's Heritage (and I kinda like 'em!).

My COMC orders are bound to have a glut of odds and ends, and here's a few that include my first card of a ballplayer cheering from the stands, and a rare glimpse of Manny Ramirez's brief stay in the Rangers' minor league system.

Other randoms included a nifty add for my new Dave Stieb collection and the only card I've ever seen of Eddie Stanky's one-game tenure as a Rangers manager in 1977 - I'm shocked a card exists at all.

A few older hardball heroes here - a day I add a new Harvey Haddix to my binders is a banner day indeed.

Lately I've noticed that COMC can be a good source for cheap Japanese cards, which is nice because the chances of stumbling upon any of these in the wild here in the States is almost nil.

And while a new Japanese Ichiro would probably be the thank-you-goodnight ending to any other COMC order, it wasn't this time...

...because he had to play second fiddle to a new Sadaharu Oh!

I don't pretend to know much of anything about Japanese card values, but stumbling upon this gem (from Japan's Calbee brand) for all of $2 one afternoon seemed like a helluva deal to me. I've since checked what these usually go for and I'm happy to confirm that, yes, this was a massive steal - the perfect combination of a great deal for a great card that will (of course) take its place near the top of my binder hierarchy. 

And if anyone out there happens to have any other two-dollar Sadaharu Oh cards lying around, you know where to find me.


Shlabotnik Report said...

I'll address that last card first: HO-LEE CRAP!!!!!! I'd be pleased to pay $2 for a common from that vintage of Calbee card, never mind Sadaharu Oh.

I'm jealous of a number of other cards as well especially that Beatles card. From my own experiences, those SF Giants stadium giveaways (Emerald Nuts, Coca-Cola, etc) seem to be relatively hard to find.

night owl said...

Russell may not have been in the '76 SSPC set because he was injured for much of the 1975 season. Just a guess.

A few too many Dodgers that I don't have here for my liking! Guess the COMC cart is going to get larger!

GTT said...

You got a Calbee Sadaharu Oh for $2? How?! That's an amazing find - congrats.

Mike said...

Wow to the Oh!!...when I was collecting,there would have been a hell's snowball of a chance at THAT!

Topps is all well and good, but I always marvel at the oddballs you find!

Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders said...

Ryan, Grace, Sandberg, and Oh. I need all of those!!!!

Nick Vossbrink said...

Good lord that Oh.

Matt said...

As always, you show off a great variety of interesting stuff!

Bo said...

Oh in the rain - fantastic.

Never knew they made diecut '72-style cards. Seems obvious in retrospect.

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

You always find some gems.

Fuji said...

Lots of unique and interesting stuff here. Wasn't familiar with Jim Morris, but you motivated me to look him up. Never watched The Rookie, but maybe I'll check it out this weekend. Who knows... maybe I'll seek out a Morris card for my collection too.

P.S. Love that $2 Oh!

Jon said...

Minor league cards seem to have gained in popularity over the last few years, at least amongst a certain group of collectors. Some of their online prices have been creeping up too, which is weird to see when it's on something that isn't rare at all. But, like you said, you just don't see them out in the wild very often, so people are forced to compete for whatever they can find online.

Jafronius said...

Great pickups, Japanese cards FTW!

Crocodile said...

Nice post, all of these are great cards. I will have to track down that Bowman Puckett.