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satellite23
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When I was a little kid, I loved to collect baseball cards. I had two binders, one filled with cards and the other about halfway-full. I had them all organized by teams, starting alphabetically (by city) with the Anaheim Angels and ending with the Washington Nationals.

However, as time passed I slowly dropped the hobby. I just figured I was wasting mor emoney than I could potentially earn, so I stopped collecting.

Now at 17 years old, I am collecting once again. I was forced to read W.P. Kinsella's novel, "Shoeless Joe" for high school. Actually, I loved the book. It reminded me of the simpleness and beauty of baseball, and how baseball itself has a ton of sentimental value.

Let it be known that I am an AVID baseball fan and watch games all the time, so I understand baseball itself and know a lot of history about it. However, reading the novel taught me that baseball is more than a game, it is part of history--something that will live and die with America.

The novel also inspired me to start collecting baseball cards again, so I have begun with one full binder (I lost the half-filled one) and an ambition.

If any of you have ever read the novel, you might remember a player named Moonlight Graham. He played a full inning with the New York Giants in his career and later retired to become a doctor in Minnesota. He became a well-loved man in his community.

I have recently become seriously obsessed with finding a baseball card of him. Yes, the man who played one full inning. Topps, Upper Deck, Bowman, Fleer, etc never made his card, so finding one would be a rarity.

However I did find something.

cardmall.com/moonlight-graham/

I found this site of a scholarship fund in Chrisholm, Minnesota. A woman and her husband give out scholarships to the local high school in Moonlight's name. To raise money, they do fundraisers and sell seven of their own Moonlight Graham baseball cards.

I talked to the woman on the phone and she seemed very nice. Apparently, she knew Moonlight from when she was a little kid (I believe he died in 1965). We actually had a nice conversation across the phone with somebody I had never met before. We talked about cards, the website, Moonlight, the novel and movie (Field of Dreams), and baseball in general.

At the end of our talk, she said "You know what? You seem like a really nice guy, I want to give you one of our cards for free."

I was shocked. "Um...are you sure?"

"Yup. I'll mail it to you today and pay for shipping."

I was shocked and thankful. All I did was give her my mailing address, nothing more. No payment, no requirement, just a free rare baseball card that I have been striving for the past few days.

All in all, if the card is good and everything works out well, I might buy the other six from them to complete my Moonlight Graham collection. Not worth much, but it has sentimental value nonetheless.

Well, I am off to look at the local card shop. Maybe I'll find something valuable. Then again, value doesn't always come with money Smile

EDIT: Spelled Chisholm, not Chrisholm
LobowolfXXX
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The Nationals were a team when you were a little kid?

I'm gettin' ollllllllllllllllllllllllllllld.


One of the partners at the firm where I worked in my first law job got five at bats as a New York Yankee in the 50s. Lifetime batting average: .200
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
satellite23
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Quote:
On 2012-06-28 17:28, LobowolfXXX wrote:
The Nationals were a team when you were a little kid?

I'm gettin' ollllllllllllllllllllllllllllld.


One of the partners at the firm where I worked in my first law job got five at bats as a New York Yankee in the 50s. Lifetime batting average: .200


Haha the Nationals started in 2005, I was 10 then. Consider that little or not; oh well.

And that is pretty cool.
Dannydoyle
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Collect them for the right reason. Not for the money. Don't think about the money. It is a hobby. It is about the game, not about the cards or the money. Then you can't lose.

Of late the cards are barley worth the cardboard they are printed on.

I put more rookie cards in the spokes of my bike than I care to remember.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
satellite23
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I think there are basically three reasons why money values of cards are going down:

1) Low demand. Not a lot of people collect them anymore.

2) High supply. Companies like Topps and Fleer make soooooooooooooo many cards every year.

3) We're not in the golden age of baseball anymore. There are no more Wagners, Mantles, Jacksons, etc.

And I wouldn't necessarily agree with your statement, Danny...about not being worth the cardboard. I figure that if I would buy a pack of 10 cards at $3, each card would be worth about 30 cents. Using real time sales coupled with freebaseballcardguide.com , I would say the average of a card (right now) is 30-40 cents.

That might not seem like a profit at all. However, that profit has a lot of variables:
1) I might not have bought all the cards myself
2) Some cards might be higher, some lower
3) Condition of card
4) Autographs on cards
5) Time

So lets say I buy a card at thirty cents and it is raised to 50 cents some years later. I made a .20 profit on a card. Do that for 100 cards, you make $20. 500 cards=$100 and so on.

I think I counted 597 cards in my binder, and if I ever find my half-full binder I could increase that number. Add that to the cards I'm going to be collecting soon, I could nearly have 1000 cards; $200. I'm working on my retirement investment LOL

Looking around, I think my most valuable card is a Mickey Mantle that I own, I saw it going online in a few places for about $32. It's awesome because my grandma gave it to me for free a few years ago.
TomBoleware
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I agree, card collecting is a great hobby, if done right, as Danny said, for the right reason. It's not a get rich quick hobby.

I owned a card and comic shop in the late eighties and early nineties. I watched many folks open up brand new packs of cards looking for a high dollar insert card. The special insert cards turned the hobby into legalized gambling for many, including kids. I sold the shop in the mid nineties right before the big card shop crash.

The problem with card collecting (or any collecting hobby for that matter) is actually selling the cards. Shops don't buy boxes of cards unless there is someone waiting to buy them. In the end, the value of a card is the amount you can get for it, and that is not always what's listed in a price guide. A price guide is just that, a 'guide.'

Still, in a way I can see card collecting, the ole fashion way, coming back bigger than ever. While the internet hurt many of the card shops, I would think it made it much easier for the serious collector to trade.

I haven't looked at a Beckett price guide in a long time. May have to get one now. Smile

Tom
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satellite23
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Quote:
On 2012-06-29 10:24, TomBoleware wrote:
I agree, card collecting is a great hobby, if done right, as Danny said, for the right reason. It's not a get rich quick hobby.

I owned a card and comic shop in the late eighties and early nineties. I watched many folks open up brand new packs of cards looking for a high dollar insert card. The special insert cards turned the hobby into legalized gambling for many, including kids. I sold the shop in the mid nineties right before the big card shop crash.

The problem with card collecting (or any collecting hobby for that matter) is actually selling the cards. Shops don't buy boxes of cards unless there is someone waiting to buy them. In the end, the value of a card is the amount you can get for it, and that is not always what's listed in a price guide. A price guide is just that, a 'guide.'

Still, in a way I can see card collecting, the ole fashion way, coming back bigger than ever. While the internet hurt many of the card shops, I would think it made it much easier for the serious collector to trade.

I haven't looked at a Beckett price guide in a long time. May have to get one now. Smile

Tom


Thanks for the advice.

One thing I wonder is if virtual baseball cards will soon arise into fame.
Dannydoyle
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The SECOND something is mass produced such as the Death of Superman with multiple covers it is IMMEDIATELY devalued.

When you want to collect cards for money you will have to wait a LOOOOOOOOOONG time and get VERY lucky to get a return.
In other words you will kiss a hell of a lot of frogs before one turns into a prince.

Card makers started making them TO be collectable. That automatically made them LESS collectable. I know you don't understand this as you are 17. Tom and I watched as this market came and went and came and went and then REALY went!(To be fair Tom watched a lot more cycles than I did LOL.)

Here is how to think of it. The more of a particular thing there are, the less each particular thing is worth. If there were a hundred coppies of the first appearance of the Hulk when he was actually grey, it would be worth X. BUT if there were 10,000 coppies of it, then it would be worth that much less.

Shop owners pay pennies on the dollar for cards and comics. They have too. They may sit on them for decades before they can sell the things!

Collect for fun, and forget the math per card stuff. You will be much better off.

(By the way geek note here for Hulk fans. He as originally gray. The printing had a LOT of problems with it so lo and behold, green the Hulk is to this day. With a little gray color probably for nostalgia when he was a bouncer in Vegas during the 1980's or 90's or whatever that was.)
Danny Doyle
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satellite23
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Quote:
On 2012-06-29 14:29, Dannydoyle wrote:
Card makers started making them TO be collectable. That automatically made them LESS collectable. I know you don't understand this as you are 17.


Wow, I really do have trouble understanding that...
satellite23
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I know how you guys have been saying that cards are worthless nowadays, but I want to throw this thought into your head.

Back when my grandpa was a kid, nobody from that generation saved their cards because they never realized how much they could be worth. That is why cards from the 30s are valuable.

If people trash their modern cards because of mass-production, wouldn't that make them more valuable in the future?

I mean, seriously...same concept with a different reason.

Oh, and can somebody explain flipping cards? My grandpa said he used to do it, but I have no clue what it is. Was it basically a substitute for a coin?
LobowolfXXX
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The degree to which they're discarded now pales in comparison to the degree to which they're mass-produced.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Dannydoyle
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You are talking about hoping people trash them so you can cash in. You are hoping for a behavior to get a return.

Good luck.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TomBoleware
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I think Danny said it well, really well. You can't mass produce something and call it limited editions.

But I will agree that production is probably lower today than it was a few years ago. I think with so many shops shutting down they had no choice but to cut back on production. The gamblers getting out helped the collectors some too I'm sure.

Back when I had the shop, I had a partner and he was a much bigger card collector than I was. He sort of ran the collectors side of the shop. One side of the store had cards and comics, the other side gifts and novelties, which included a magic section. He was the card expert, I was the magician, so I depended on his knowledge of the card business. It was a sideline business for both of us, but we did do well with it and managed to keep it going for several years.

He keeps up with the industry today more than I do. He actually still collects a little now, I'm sure it's mostly older stuff oh.
We both agree that just about anything made in the nineties, cards and comics, is considered junk today. It seems we were ten years off.

Anyways, I saw him about a month ago and he did mention virtual cards coming on the scene. That was new news to me.
I haven't searched it yet, but I'm guessing they all come in mint condition. Smile

As a hobby I say go for it. Just don't bank on sending your kids to college with the profits.
It could happen but there are much better ways to 'invest' money.

Not sure what your grandpa meant with Flipping cards, but just guessing, I would say tossing them toward a hat placed on the floor. The nearest one to the hat won the cards. I never played the card game, but I can remember pitching coins to see who could come closest to the edge of the wall.


A collecting tip: Save your pennies dated 1981 and early. Copper is on the rise. Some are hoarding nickels too.

Coin collecting is not for me, but if I had my collecting days to do over, I think I would have looked into currency collecting.
Wish I had a truck load of old bills, special serial numbered bills, star notes, etc, to sell on ebay today.

Not to mention, just the smell of old hundred dollar bills turns me on. Smile




Tom
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LobowolfXXX
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I don't know how others did it, but we'd each take a card and toss it in the air, and one guy woukd call "match" or "no match.". Both face up or down was a match. Winner got both cards.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
TomBoleware
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Hard for me to remember much these days, but now that you mention it, 'matching cards' does ring a bell. I bet that was it.

Another little side: My brother mentioned several times to me over the years that his wire's dad had played ball when he was young. No big deal because he (my sports stupid brother) made it sound like the man played softball or something. Come to find out, it was Bob Grim. He pitched for the New York Yankees and was rookie of the year in 1954. He wore a world series ring from 55. He threw his arm out early in his career and ended up being traded to Kansas City where he coached until he retired from baseball.

I finally got to meet him in 1996. He gave me several of his signed cards, a glove, and he talked about playing with Mantle and all the other heavy hitters back in the days. He returned to his home in Kansas City and died a few weeks after the visit. Weird how it worked out that way.


Tom
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When you come to the point where you have no need to impress anybody, your freedom will begin.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2012-06-29 23:13, LobowolfXXX wrote:
I don't know how others did it, but we'd each take a card and toss it in the air, and one guy woukd call "match" or "no match.". Both face up or down was a match. Winner got both cards.


Yes between that and the spokes of my bicycle....grrrrr
Danny Doyle
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We used to flip cards the way Lobo described back when I was in grammar school in the late fifties/early sixties. We also would take turns scaling them at a wall. When one card landed on another, or touched more than one, the thrower would win those cards plus his own back. This version could be played by several kids at a time.

I probably had, at one time, every major ball player's card available. Of course, none of us had any idea that we were destroying future fortunes by tossing them at walls, etc. My mother finally gave all my "kid stuff" away when I went off to join the Navy in 1968.

Oh well.
satellite23
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Wow, great stories guys.

Tom: That's really cool about Bob Grim. He is one of those guys who I know a bit about in baseball history. Also, it just so happens that the local baseball card shop also buys and sells old money (such as coins and paper money). I used to have a penny collection, and I'm pretty sure I had some from pre-81. I also had an old Indian penny or something, not sure what it's value is. I bet I could find the book that the pennies were in, I was taking a look at it not too long ago.

Anyways, after I get my Moonlight Grahams, I think I want to get one or more of these sentimental cards for one reason or another:

Brandon Phillips Expos (not many people know that BP played in Montreal)

Adam Dunn White Sox (I live in Cincinnati. When I was little, maybe five or six, I went to my first Reds game. Adam Dunn hit a grand slam and became my favorite player. Honestly, that is the only thing I remember about the game that day. When I used to collect, I had an Dunn from every other MLB team he played for except Chicago.)

Barry Bonds 2001 Giants (come on, if you don't know why, look it up.)--Awesome how I have some Bonds cards before he apparently began juicing, too. I also have White Sox Sosa and Athletics McGwire.

Finally, I want a cooler Pete Rose card. Seriously, I live in the exact same area where he did. I have one card that I bought at a Reds game for $10 in a nice case and everything--1986 card. But I want something more than that, just not sure what.
Dannydoyle
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Rose cards are all too easy to find now LOL.

The dude darn nearended a career at an ALL STAR GAME! I am sure you have seen this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fj2B9z4Dbw

Interesting "Charlie Hustle" story. That nic name was given to guys at the time who were fake hustle artists. Guys who hustled when the coach was looking and lagged when they didn't. It was an insult. Pete Rose used to run to first on a walk. So they started calling him Charlie Hustle. As it works out he wasn't doing it for the coach, he was just "that guy". So they kept calling him it, but it wasn't an insult. He was the first guy in last guy out sort of dude.

Shame what happened to him. But I am still a fan.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
satellite23
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Quote:
On 2012-06-30 10:44, Dannydoyle wrote:
Rose cards are all too easy to find now LOL.

The dude darn nearended a career at an ALL STAR GAME! I am sure you have seen this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fj2B9z4Dbw


Seen too many times...but still awesome nonetheless. Smile

I remember seeing a huge documentary about Pete Rose on the Reds TV station once, and I think I watched the entire thing. I never realized just how much he hustled and how durable he was until I saw this documentary.

I really hope Pete Rose gets reinstated one day, and I honestly think he will too.
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