I was thrilled when I heard the news...$50,000 on ebay for sports related memorabilia. It seems I left my speech in the other shirt's front pocket. Luckily, there's no time for speeches in this scenario. I do what I always do in these unlikely events. I snag the closest blueberry muffins and sit down for the long haul. I was totally unprepared.
THE VINTAGE ICON
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 4-$13,750
This has always been the card I wanted. It just completes a collection. I've always said that if I ever got one, I would hold it for one year and then sell it again. Would I really be able to do that though? This is a test.
THE MODERN ICON
2001 Bowman Chrome Set (with BGS 9 Albert Pujols)-$5500
The card that launched 1000 ships of limited edition auto rookies. Luckily, there was a set available for a lower price than what the Pujols alone recently sold for plus it's from the 2001 year when everything started going numbered rookie crazy.
THE MODERN ROOKIE
2005 Bowman Chrome Ryan Braun Refractor PSA 9-$399.95
I've just always wanted this card. Being a refractor just makes it look nice. Check out Braun's stats, who do they remind you of? A more strikeout prone Ralph Kiner? A more average oriented Willie McCovey? The kid has talent.
THE CHILDHOOD DREAM
1993 Finest Refractor Cal Ripken Jr. $548
During the baseball card boom, 1993 Finest was the hardest pack ever to find. I've seen unopened packs twice in my life. At a card show in 1994 ($30 a pack) and in a card shop in 1996 ($35 a pack). All this, for the chance to pull a refractor that was inserted once or twice per 18 pack box. I want the one refractor that made it all go (the possibly short printed less than the standard 241 print run), Cal Ripken mid-streak refractor.
THE VINTAGE ROOKIES
1955 Topps Sandy Koufax PSA 7.5 $1549.99
1954 Topps Hank Aaron PSA 8 $5799
1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson SGC 80 $1800
These three vintage rookies have always carried a lot of weight in my mind. Sandy Koufax was the pitcher that my father said was the greatest he ever saw. Hank Aaron was the past and future home run king for many and is one of the better looking cards of the era. I may have been influenced by the date, but I was thrilled to find the Robinson offered. Plus, the smiling visage on the card is pleasing.
THE AESTHETIC VINTAGE SET
1956 Topps Set $5600
I had the key cards I wanted from 1954 and 1955, so I decided to get the whole 1956 Topps set next. I really like the Willie Mays card in this set.
1965 Topps Steve Carlton PSA 9 $799.99
1973 Topps Mike Schmidt BGS 10 $899.99
1949 Bowman Robin Roberts SGC 40 $100
I then went for the iconic Phillies rookies, as expected. I'm not much for graded cards, but when there's a limit, you have to fill it up.
THE BOWMAN SETS
1992 Bowman Set $150
1995 Bowman Set $150
1995 Bowman's Best Set $249
1948 Bowman Set (all PSA 8) $11999
The 1992 Bowman set was the modern advent of the prospecting before they reach the majors set that really influences the hobby to this day. 1995 Bowman and Bowman's Best have the only RC of Andruw Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Scott Rolen, and Bobby Abreu. Plus, they were always tantalizingly close and rising in price (see Tales of a Former Bowman Collector series on the sidebar). The 1948 Bowman set is the first vintage established set, need I say more?
Mike Schmidt Signed Jersey $399.99
Steve Carlton Signed Powder Blue Jersey $299
I finish up with two Phillies icons jerseys to hang on the wall. I think I need a new room for my memorabilia after this.
This was fun, but the clock never stopped ticking. There was only about a minute to spare to contemplate other directions to go.
Total: approximately: $49, 900