Editor’s Blog: 10 Interesting Items and Observations from a Day on eBay

It’s like clicking to watch a YouTube video.  You’re done viewing and inevitably something else pops up along side it that looks intriguing.  You click on that video and watch it too.  Then another one even more interesting reveals itself.  Pretty soon you’ve killed an hour watching 1980’s music videos or old baseball commercials that you never intended to.  eBay can be a giant time suck but at least it can teach you a few things about the hobby, show you something you’ve never seen before and maybe even reveal a bargain or two.  Thousands of new  items are literally being added every second of the day and a lot of them are sports card and memorabilia related.

I spent a chunk of the day Monday just letting the site take us from one interesting item to another.  Smart sellers know there are going to be a lot of people online as the holiday shopping season gets going and they’ve added things.  Other sellers are hoping to score a big sale or unload inventory.

Johnston Cookies Hank Aaron 1954 rookieHere are a few of the interesting things I uncovered:

This listing made me wonder if the hobby will ever realize the scarcity of some old regional sets, especially high grade examples.  Compared to the Topps issue we are all familiar with, here are only a fraction of 1954 Johnston Cookies Hank Aaron cards and only five that have ever been graded PSA 9.

That’s why although the price may seem steep at first glance, we can’t help but wonder if someday it won’t turn out to be a pretty good investment.  Maybe collectors and investors are fixated on mainstream issues and will never really love a card issued by a Milwaukee bakery back when Hammerin’ Hank was just a skinny prospect from Mobile.

I just think a mint, rare card of a baseball god like Aaron is about as cool as it gets.

Date stamp E90-1Speaking of cool vintage…Robert Edward Auctions sold a T206 Wagner that had a date stamp on the back (from the day the 1910 Pirates clinched the World Series no less).  Now comes a very nice E90-1 Shoeless Joe Jackson rookie card that has really nice eye appeal.  It’s graded ‘3’ and also carries an ‘MK’ qualifier because of…a date stamp on the back.  Does it detract from your opinion of the card or does it actually make it a little more interesting?

Without knowing who put the stamp there or if it was actually stamped on that date (we assume so because why would anyone randomly stamp a card that way but stranger things have happened), it’s hard to label it anything more than a curiosity but overall, this is a Unopened baseball card pack 1952 Toppscase where you’d want to buy the card, not the holder.

Do you ever get tired of staring at vintage unopened baseball card packs?  I don’t either, although I try to avoid it because the urge to break one open is pretty overpowering.  IF you can afford one, would you be able to resist the urge of a 1952 Topps pack?

If it’s not from the high number series, of course, you won’t be able to pull a Mantle (or Jackie Robinson or Eddie Mathews) but there could be a high grade Andy Pakfo #1 card or other Hall of Famers and/or minty commons.  Many times, these packs are in catalog auctions so it’s nice to see one on eBay once in awhile.

Derrick Rose auto patch rookieThe danger of investing in great young players is that sometimes they get hurt.  More than once.   The Chicago Bulls announced Monday that Derrick Rose would miss the rest of the NBA season (again) because of a knee injury.

There’s nothing like that sort of news to put a giant damper on the market for his rookie cards.  It’s entirely possible he comes back as good as ever, but he’s already lost two seasons to injury and the buzz that surrounded his return is now gone.

All I know is that I would not want to be heavily invested in him right now and I wonder if those bidding this kind of money on him have heard the news.

When I see a lot like this I think three things:  1) Past and present players sign a lot of autographs for card companies.  2) $9,000 for almost 7,000 autographed cards sounds like a deal but could you make money and how would you do it?  eBay would seem risky although if you sold them by teams… Shows?  Maybe big ones.   It’s an interesting gamble but it’s instant inventory, that’s for sure, and it would be fun to sit down and go through them.

So you say you’ve got a 1957 unopened cello pack that’s worth five figures.  Don’t you invest in a scanner?

Lenny Moore rookie card 1956 ToppsMonday was Baltimore Colts’ legend Lenny Moore’s 80th birthday.  His rookie card was this 1956 Topps issue.  With all of the talk about the danger of helmet-to-helmet hits and such, it’s interesting to note that Moore’s photo shows him without a face mask.  The year before Moore’s rookie card came out, the league had suggested that teams use them.

Every sport has its ‘holy grail’.  The T206 Wagner.  The Mayo’s Cut Plug football John Dunlap/anonymous.  The 1948 Bowman George Mikan.  None of them have as few examples known as this hockey card.   An interesting read.

The #2 ranked 1971 Topps football set is up for sale.  Another type of lot you often see only in major catalog auctions.  Showing you how tough the colored borders and centering are, this set doesn’t average ‘9’ yet still ranks as one of the two best sets ever put together.

I can’t verify this did sell but nothing surprises me when it comes to wealthy collectors and the Set Registry concept so I would bet that the seller did get paid.  Owning the best of anything means you pay over $2,000 for a card that sells, ungraded, at no more than $10.  Still, given the limited interest in 1970’s basketball cards, this 1972-73 Topps Leaders card is still an eye-popper.