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Baseball Card Exchange

Rich’s Ramblings: Secret Santa Edition

As many of our readers know, I enjoy nothing more than joining various birthday groups and Secret Santa exchanges set up inside the various online hobby message boards. There is always a real joy in opening up presents for the holidays from another collector with the assumption you never know what you are going to get. So… Santa ClausRichs Ramblings come along with me as we go through various presents I have received in 2013,

The first gift is one I gave to myself. I purchased a group of packs in a recent Collectible Classics Auctions and went to open them. Here is what the mailman brought and the highlights of what was inside:

1979 Topps:  No real star power: Best card perhaps was Vida Blue

1981 Fleer: A nice star power grouping with George Brett and Mike Schmidt

1982 O-Pee-Chee:  Reggie Jackson

1983 Topps:   Reggie Jackson and Steve Carlton Super Vet

1984 Fleer:  Combo Johnny Bench/Carl Yastremski and Alan Trammell

1987 Donruss: Ozzie Smith Diamond King

Well it was fun to open although we didn’t exactly hit the jackpot.

Then it was on to the Net54 Board where I had sent an assortment of cards, primarily 1950′s-60′s Dodgers and Orioles in mixed condition so my return gift made perfect sense in retrospect:

1958 Eddie Mathews AS Fair at Best
1962 Eddie Mathews F-G
1968 Pete Rose F-G
1967 Willie Mays G
1967 Hank Aaron G
1969 Hank Aaron G-VG

These are the type of cards the local collectors who stop by my table at the shows in the Dallas area do like so these will all find their way into good hands.

2006 Topps HeritageThen we go to the Beckett Message Boards.   I had given the person a nice selection of players he had asked for including Ken Griffey Jr, and Manny Machado. My return was a 2006 Topps Heritage unopened box. Here are some notes:

SP’s: Astro Aces (Roy Oswalt/Roger Clemens/Andy Pettitte); Pat Burrell; Jon Garland; Dan Haren, Torii Hunter (Red and Blue Lettering); Adam LaRoche; Mark Mulder; Brad Penny; Chris Snelling; White Sox Power Hitters (Jermaine Dye/Paul Konerko); Dontrelle Willis.

Chrome Parallels (#d to 1957): Tim Hudson, C.C. Sabathia, Johan Santana.

Chrome Parallel Refractor (#d to 557): Nomar Garciaparra; Flashbacks: Ernie Banks and Bill Mazeroski; New Age Performers: Barry Bonds.

Then and Now: Johnny Podres/Roger Clemens; Red Schoendienst/Derrek Lee.

Clubhouse Collection Relic: Manny Ramirez.

One thing I find interesting was in those days the SP’s came 12 to a box while today they come six to a box. Yet the book value of these SP’s have held pretty well so far.

I love the 1957 design so I had a lot of fun with this box.

Then onto the Collectors Universe Message Boards.  I gave out a nice mix of HOF RC’s of football and baseball from various years.

In return…more packs for me to open from the 1980’s:

Unopened box 1982 Donruss1982 Donruss:  Lou Whitaker, George Brett Diamond King
1982 Donruss: Steve Sax RC
1982 Donruss: Willie Stargell
1982 Donruss: Von Hayes RC, Fergie Jenkins, Tom Seaver/Johnny Bench Combo
1982 Donruss: Nolan Ryan; Tommy John/Ron Guidry Combo Card
1982 Donruss; Fred Lynn, there was a Bob Bonner card in these packs and I swear every time I see that card I think for a split second its Ripken’s rookie card but of course, that was Topps.
1982 Donruss: I can’t even fake star power when Rick Leach RC is your best card
1982 Donruss; Jim Rice
1982 Donruss: Carlton Fisk
Phil Garner1982 Donruss; Pete Rose, There was also a Phil Garner Reversed Negative error– do you remember when that actually meant something?
1982 Donruss: Steve Bedrosian RC; Tom Seaver/Johnny Bench Combo
1982 Donruss Tim Raines, Steve Sax RC
1982 Donruss:Whitey Herzog, Dwight Evans Diamond King. Billy Martin, Phil Niekro DK
1982 Donruss: Best to even close to star power are Don Baylor (hey he won an MVP) and Dave Kingman
1982 Donruss: Von Hayes RC, Carlton Fisk DK
1982 Donruss: Robin Yount
1982 Donruss: Ozzie Smith DK, Pete Rose/Mike Schmidt Combo Card, The Chicken RC (Remember the back said how you could mail away that card for an autograph?)
1982 Donruss: Phil Niekro Diamond King
1982 Topps: Pete Rose
1982 Topps: Really nothing at all when your best card is Clint Hurdle you can’t say there was much in there
1984 Donruss: Bruce Sutter and Al Oliver
1984 Donruss: Living Legends: Garylord Perry/Rollie Fingers (important as this is one of the very first insert cards)
1980 Topps: Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose HL, Lance Parrish

Again, no homers but a nice time opening and lots of singles and doubles.

A few thoughts some of which I mentioned on each of the message boards but are worth repeating:

I still love ripping packs just because it takes you back to your younger days when we did not care about value. Today, with a few exceptions, most of the people who rip packs are looking for the hits and not as concerned about the memories these cards will bring. There is nothing wrong with the financial aspect of the hobby but this type of gift exchange as well as the birthday group I have part of for years is a great way for collectors to do something fun for each other.

While it might have been nice to have the older cards in nice shape, I guarantee there will be some local collector here in the DFW at a future show I set up at who will appreciate those cards at the proper price point. Let’s understand that for many collectors these cards in that condition are just fine and dandy for finishing their sets.

There are some interesting sea changes in what we considered important in 1982 and today. I pointed out the Phil Garner Reversed Negative card was huge back in 1982 and today that card is just an afterthought. That card was near the end of the short lived error and variation fad which began with the 1979 Bump Wills card. Today, we call those SP Pose Variations and I wonder how many years we will care about those cards.

I hope you had as much fun as I did on the holiday opening packages of some kind and maybe even sharing some with friends and family.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]


About Rich Klein

Rich Klein has spent almost his entire life collecting baseball cards having begun at the tender age of seven. He has spent more than three decades in the organized hobby including editing the first 12 editions of the Beckett Almanac of Baseball Card and Collectibles. He lives in Plano, TX along with his wife Dena and their two dogs. You can reach him at [email protected].

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