Ramblings: Letters…We Get Letters

A few of my recent columns resulted in some more of your feedback.

In my last Ramblings, I had asked whether there was a point at which a card on your want list would probably stay there.  Arnie Prichep, a loyal reader originally from the New York Rich Ramblings 2014Metropolitan area wrote this about his collecting habits.

Hi Rich 

I am a Yankee team collector, try doing that!!  Really hard due to the incredible number of HOF players and superstars.  

Particularly the old ones of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, etc.  I decided on those I couldn’t worry about condition, and got most of them in what would be a grade “1” condition.  I collect from 1904 thru current, and have an incredible collection if you don’t mind many superstars being in lesser condition.  Even (then), it was very hard to obtain a lot of them as I am not a rich person.  

1956 Topps Mickey MantleI have collected for about 35 years, and have every Bowman and Topps regular issue Yankee card from their beginnings up thru 1980.  Once you hit 1981 and multiple manufacturers came along, I don’t care about having every single card, too many, I only want a Topps team set and ones that I like from the other sets. 

I also have all or most of the Yankees from sets like T205, T206, T207, Goudey (all years), PlayBall (all years), Diamond Stars, and so on.  Tons of oddballs like Cracker Jacks, Schutter-Johnson, game cards, Caramels, strip cards, plus way too many other different ones to mention. 

But now my collection is so strong almost all the cards I want are too expensive to buy, so I am having to branch out and work on other things.  My Yankee collection will probably stay as it is except for adding new cards each year. (I) just can’t afford the old ones I need anymore!!  I don’t have a firm price point for saying a card is too expensive, but right now I am trying to keep cards under $100 each, and mainly way cheaper than that as I am now retired and on a fixed income. 

Of all the teams, the Yankees are the hardest to collect unless you are rich, but man, once you have a big collection of them, it’s awesome and no other team collection can compare!!!

Arnie Prichep
Weston, Fl

And by the way, I don’t blame Arnie for retiring to Florida from New York. When I was driving my mother-in-law home from day surgery Monday I heard on the radio that New York is considered the worst state to retire in.

Consistent contributor Bill Hedin of Massachusetts always has a blast collecting things that make him happy. For a Red Sox guy, I find it interesting he really went after the 1966 Topps Cardinals set. I would have thought he had waited and gone after the ‘67 Cardinals since that team ended the “Impossible Dream” of the 1967 Red Sox

Good Morning Rich,

I’ve been enjoying your SC Daily columns, collecting cards, opening new cards and following the new baseball season. I’m very involved in collecting schedules and the mail has been very busy here in Framingham!

Your columns have inspired me to add some nice cards to my collection. After reading your piece about the 1966 Cardinals rookies I purchased a very strong PSA 6. I’m now doing the 1966 Cardinals team in PSA 6 or better. It has those elusive high’s and SP’s that you and I know about all too well. I then bought a small stack of 1966 raw cards from a NRMT-MT set break. The dozen or so cards are arriving any day and I’ll process then ship them off to PSA to see if they bring back decent numbers! Now, I’ve got the 1966 Topps Baseball set in progress. This was inspired by your writing and link to eBay!

It’s a fun project that I’ll have to keep me busy all year!

After seeing the vintage photo of the day and our friend David Cycleback’s columns, I decided to pick up and also send some of my raw ones out to grade. The cards I mention are the odd size premiums from 1936 & 1939. I’ve attached a scan of my DiMaggio from his rookie year, 1936. Notice he’s wearing #18!  I bought the Fence Busters card for around $25 on eBay!

Now, you and I and most collectors think of the Fence Busters card from 1958, not this one from 1936! I thought, since you are my SABR buddy and my favorite hobby journalist as well as my dear friend, you might help me identify the players! It’s a fun project. Would you help me or lead me to the help? I’d LOVE some help and it would be fun to finally put names to this card after all these decades!

Well, the coffee is ready. Time to pour a cup and log onto the Daily and read the best hobby news anywhere!

Bill Hedin
Framingham, MA

And here is a  note from a collector I probably met at a show way back in the day but he has enjoyed reading about the names and faces of the 1990’s Dallas scene. And kudos to Wayne Grove for telling him to buy Musial instead of Garvey. The last time I was in Nick’s Sportscards they have a phrase they use, which is, that collectors often stop when they get to the three C’s: Cars. Cuties and College. Perhaps they should change that to the 4 C’s: Cars, Cuties, College and Careers.

Hi Rich,

Recently I found your column and I was hooked.  I proceeded to spend the next couple of hours going through all of your old columns…and what a trip down memory lane it was!  I grew up just south of the DFW area in the mid-to-late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s and attended (and later set up with my dad at) dozens of shows over those years.  Many of the names and places you have mentioned in your columns were an integral part of my youth.

For example, I’ll never forget going to First Base on Webb Chapel at the age of 9 and spending my savings on a Stan Musial autographed ball after some convincing by Wayne Grove that it was a better investment than a Steve Garvey ball!  Also I had all but forgotten about the 1990 National…fun and simpler (in my world) times, indeed.

Cars, girls, college, and career did away with my interest in cards for years, but I reconnected about eight years ago.  Now I find myself purchasing many of the items that I could only dream about.  Nostalgia is a powerful, powerful thing, and I’m convinced it is what drives the majority of the hobby today, as it certainly drives my interest.

Anyhow, I just wanted to drop a line saying how much I enjoy your ‘ramblings’ and occasionally if I think of a question (especially the whereabouts of some individuals around DFW) or remember an old crazy story, I may shoot you a message.

Kindest Regards,

Brad Christian