Monday, December 30, 2019

An All-Time Great closes out 2019

I didn't get any sports cards this Christmas. Not a repack box or a blaster or a fat pack. Nothin'. I can't recall any other year when that has happened. However I did get an Aaron Rodgers jersey (which was a complete surprise) and a significant amount of cash. I put 70% of it in the bank for important adult stuff, and spent the other 30% at 4 Sharp Corners.

I've been selling some things on eBay for reasons I'll get into later, and I was browsing cards to buy during the 10% bucks promotion. One of the cards I considered was the 1992 Stadium Club high number Brett Favre. I have never owned a copy of this card, and I don't think I've ever seen it in person. It's much more rare and possibly more valuable than his Stadium Club RC from 1991.

I noticed that 4 Sharp Corners had a copy, and with their on-site sale of 20% off I decided that I'd gone far too long without owning a copy of this card. 

This is the 778th unique Favre card in my collection, and a great way to celebrate his inclusion on the NFL's 100th anniversary All-Time Team list!  

In my previous post I mentioned acquiring a second-year card of an iconic Hall of Famer, right? Well.. there's actually another one coming up. Here's the rest of my 4SC order:

This Bill Virdon was the only affordable 1956 Topps single on the site that I needed. I thought long and hard about continuing my PSA set builds before buying this card, because I doubt I'll ever finish them. Either way, $32.79 is a pretty good price for an NM-MT 8.

This Ralph Branca is already in my collection, ungraded. I scoured the 4SC site for early 1950s singles but there weren't any better options. Since I already have the '51 Bobby Thomson PSA-graded I figured the Branca would pair nicely with it.

This ungraded Branca is now available for trade but only for a similar vintage card or significant on-card auto.

There are lots of reasons to love the 1961 Golden Press set. It's an oddball issue, the photos are so sharp and colorful, the design is clean and simple, and best of all it's an affordable way to add pre-war HOFers to your collection.

This is my first Gabby Hartnett card. It's a bit of a milestone in my set build as I'm now at one-third completion (11 out of 33) and it only cost $12.79.

I'm not collecting the 1959 Topps set. It's far too big and I can't handle the high-numbers (especially the Bob Gibson RC). But it's a great source of affordable high-quality vintage singles.

This Curt Simmons was $15.99. It doesn't fit a set build or a team collection but it's a sharp looking 60 year-old card in high grade. Simmons pitched for 20 years, made three All-Star teams, and won a World Series with the 1964 Cardinals. He was also one of the "Whiz Kids" on the pennant-winning 1950 Phillies team. I wondered why he didn't get a start in the 1950 World Series and this article provided a very interesting answer.

Now I'm really glad I added this card to my order. Curt Simmons is still with us at age 90, and still signed cards for Topps as recently as 2016:

The five cards I picked totaled $149.80, and 4 Sharp Corners offers free shipping on all orders of $150 or more. That gave me a mission: find a decent card priced at $5 or less. It took a lot longer than I expected. Most of their cheap stuff is either lower-grade, modern, or both. 

Eventually I settled on this 1979-80 Topps league leader as my "free" card:

A high-grade card with Ken Dryden for $4? Sold! This one will be classified as a 1970s Canadiens card in my collection, though the presence of Chico Resch sandwiched between two Hall of Famers appealed to me as well. 

So I filled a significant hole in my collection with the 1992 Stadium Club Favre and picked up some nice vintage including a set filler. But this order was fairly impulsive (and has not arrived yet) The big piece was carefully planned and researched. It arrived Saturday morning, which means my best new sports card addition of 2019 will almost certainly go in the books as my very last card addition of 2019.

When the Devils traded Taylor Hall I decided to post my 2010-11 Upper Deck Young Guns set for sale on eBay. I've now sold all of my Young Guns sets except 2015-16 to fund my 1956 Topps set build. Once that sold I began targeting the most significant card on my 'need' list.

The only copies I could afford were graded VG-EX 4. I really did not want to drop below EX 5, but part of my contemplation of this - and other set builds - factored in the excess cash I was spending. Many card bloggers have shown me that lower-graded cards can be beautiful, and I put in an offer for a 4 that was about 90% of the asking price. 

The seller declined my offer, and closed the listing.

Undeterred, I kept searching for this card in my price range. I stumbled on a listing with one significant search term missing:

The photo was blurry, and the asking price was just out of my range. I made my offer on Christmas Eve, hoping that it would be accepted in time for me to collect my 10% cash back. 

I woke up Christmas morning before my daughters did. Checked my email and found that my offer had been accepted!

Here it is, a mid-grade second-year card of the great Roberto Clemente. I still can't believe this is in my possession. 

Here's a look at the back. Off-center but otherwise clean. Who was the genius in the Dodgers front office that let Clemente get away?

This is a great way to close out 2019, don't you agree? I'll have a New Year's Goals post up by the end of the week, and then I'll resume the All-Time Teams series. Meanwhile, check out Billy's Blog Bat Around on Cardboard History and if you're not following Gregory's blog Nine Pockets then stop on over and add him to your feed!

Thanks for reading, and have a Happy New Year!!



  1. Congrats on adding Clemente! Great cards all around!

  2. I've never been there, but I don't think that the 4 corners website would be very conducive to my type of collecting, but it's still nice to know that such a site exists for the folks who like graded cards. And you may not have gotten any cards for Christmas, but it looks like you've been doing pretty good for yourself as of late.

    I don't know if I anything that you'd want, but I'd still like to try and work something out for that extra Branca of yours.

    1. I could probably use one of your early '50s Bowman cards or '33 Goudeys, if you're willing to part with any.

  3. Wow. Helluva way to close out the year. That Clemente is awesome! And thanks for reminding me that I need to add one of those Favres to my collection at some point.

  4. Speechless!!! I don't even have a 2nd year Clemente. That is a sweet looking card

  5. Man! I was reading along thinking "nice card", "ooh, that one's cool", then BAM! That Clemente is just awesome. What a beauty, congrats on hauling that one in Chris. Killer Christmas gift to yourself for sure!