Thursday, October 22, 2020

Another White Whale

 It's amazing the things Player Collectors consider a white whale.  If you would have told me as a kid that I would covet the stiffener that someone received from the laundromat I would have thought you were crazy.  Heck, I bet if you told the owners of said laundromat that their stiffeners would be highly sought after they would have thought you were crazy.  But here we are in 2020 where craziness abounds. 

That is a 1964 KDKA Pittsburgh Pirates Portrait of Bill Virdon.  (90% of it anyway.  It is bigger than my scanner's bed)  These were advertisements for the Pirates Broadcasting partners but they were actually issued by Sweet Clean Laundry as stiffeners for men's shirts.  Nowhere on the card does it mention the laundromat only KDKA, hence the name.  My Standard says that these cards are 8"x11-7/8".  Mine is a little bit off.  Mine is right at 12" up and down but across it is 8" along the bottom but closer to 8-1/8" at the top.

I have known that this existed for close to 25 years but had never seen one.  I have only seen a few of the KDKAs on ebay before but never the Virdon.  As soon as I saw it I scooped it up.  What I am going to do with it now is a different story.  It is just the wrong size.  8x11 fits in a binder, 8x12 fits nowhere.  It got shipped to me in a 12x15 top loader which is where it is going to stay for now. Maybe I'll frame it I don't know yet.  That might work if I got it autographed.  

So what's the next white whale?  I don't know.  A few of the Virdon's I do not have are unobtainable.  I know were a few 1/1s are but the guy is a Pirates Collector and isn't going to get rid of them. Most of the rest of my Virdon "wants" are team issues that I can't identify.  Heck I may already own them but can't find a resource that tells me the 75 Astros Team Issued Postcard looks like ____.   

I know that a 1961 Harmony Milk Virdon exists even though the SCBC says that it doesn't.  Something that doesn't exist but does, that may be my next white whale.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Joy of a Completed Team Set Year's Worth of Team Sets

I have ignored new cards for quite a few years now. I don't mean just not buying them; I mean I paid zero attention. I don't think I could identify even Topps base cards between 2016 and 2019. All those other sets, no way. Heck except for the usual suspects like Bowman, Heritage, and A&G I don't even know what other cards were produced in those years. For the last 5 years or so I have focused my collection totally on Virdons and Vintage.  Nothing else even made it on my radar.  Since I started ignoring new stuff my Virdon and Vintage Red Sox have took off.

After ignoring new cards for years I now know all the 2019 Red Sox cards because I have them. All of them. At least all of them that I want to say I collect. How did I get them all? Well I did something I said I would never do. I bought them all in complete team sets. I have bought a few team sets over the years but never all of them. I know, sacrilege right? 

Here's the list of what I got:

Topps Series 1, 2, & U/H
Allen & Ginter
Big League
Chrome & Chrome Update
Gold Label
Gypsy Queen
Heritage Minors
Museum Collection
Opening Day

Bowman is out in the cold, I didn't understand all the Bowman sets when I was paying attention every year and I'm not going to go back and retroactively try to figure out 2019.  Maybe I'll go back and add regular Bowman and Bowman Chrome but probably not.

For Topps, A&G, and Heritage I bought Master Team Sets.  Which translates to: includes all the base cards, SPs, and "regular" inserts.  You know the cheap inserts that are treated like regular base cards.

All of it cost me about $120.  I know I couldn't have hand completed them all for $120 and I would have been chasing them for years.  The cheapest I got was Big League.  It was an 18 card set and it ran me a whopping 2.10 AFTER shipping.

Heritage with all it's inserts and SPs cost me the most at $34.  I know from previous years collecting Heritage it would cost me almost as much to build.  Considering I haven't completed a Heritage Team set since it's inception it is safe to say this one would have hung around waiting to be completed for years and years. 

Stadium Club is hands down my favorite team set of the year.  It is a good mix of new and old and the old are not images that I have seen over and over again.

There was a 2 way tie for my favorite: Mookie and Fisk.  That Fisk is a photo I haven't seen before.

My least favorite card was the Boggs signing autographs.  I give it props for being a new image but I don't like cards of players signing autographs.  Yes I realize I am the only card blogger in history that doesn't like my cards to have players signing cards on them. 

I know that most bloggers, if not all, won't even consider collecting like this.  I get it.  I thought the same way too.  But I have to admit this was great!  How many team set builders know what it is like to wrap up a whole year worth of team sets?  I now do and it's wonderful.  Heck I will probably start working backwards and fill in other years I missed out on.   

But really the best part of knocking them out all at once is that I focused on vintage stuff for the whole year.  I completed a truly epic team set this year.  One of those bucket list team sets.  I'll probably post it after I free some cards from their prisons.  (If you read this Hoyle don't spoil it.  I think your the only person that knew I was chasing it.)