Friday, November 14, 2008

Baseball cards

I got kind of a visitor from the past around a month ago. My younger son found a couple of shoe boxes of old sports cards that had been in storage for a long time.

He got them out and we enjoyed looking at the old cards together. Back when I was young I used to buy baseball, hockey and football cards at the local corner stores and from a dealer downtown called Wilkie's. I would tell my son little stories about some of the players, stuff like "he was really fast", "I didn't like him", "he was a good player", "he later played for the Expos", "he later became an announcer", "he's a coach today". And the old Rickey Henderson "today I am the greatest" story. Stuff like that.

Most of my baseball cards are from the 1979-1983 era. Virtually all of them are o pee chee. There's a very small number of Topps and Fleer that I got at Wilkie's. But OPC was all you could get in the corner stores at that time. Unfortunately my 1978 set [my favorite set from the past] which I remember I had nearly finished at the time seems to be lost to the sands of history. All that remains is 16 cars, most of which are badly damaged.

I did an inventory to see where I'm at and if any of them are close to being able to be finished. This is what I came up with.

1978: have 16 of 242
1979: have 240 of 374 (no doubles)
1980: have 132 of 396 (some doubles)
1981: have 193 of 396 (some doubles)
1982: have 200 of 396 (+ 38 doubles)
1983: have 145 of 396 (some doubles)
1984: have 36 of 396

1982, the summer after grade 7, was about the last time I made a real attempt to finish a baseball card set. Summer of 1983 was the last year I played organized baseball. By the summer after grade 9 [which was the best summer ever] I had other interests and I wasn't into baseball cards any more.

I've decided to try to finish the 1979 and 1982 sets because they are more than half done. I'm going to try for 1978 too because that set has sentimental value. I bought an album with 100 pages and I've got the ones I have sorted and loaded in. There's some pages pretty full 7-9 cards; and some pages pretty sparse 1-4 cards.

The other smaller sets I'll just keep in storage. I got a proper plastic card storage box at wal-mart for $6 to replace the baseball shoe box. Maybe I'll see a deal somewhere someday where I can get a block of quality 1980, 1981 or 1983 cards for a good price 5-10 cents each or less. Then I might think about trying to finish those sets.

Now that the inventory phase is done onto the collecting. I checked out kijij but there wasn't much there for the sets I'm interested in. I might post a WTB ad on kijiji and see if anything comes of that. I checked out a placed called D & M Sportscards in burnside. The guy there was pretty friendly and knowledgeable. He didn't have anything for o pee chee baseball in the years I'm interested in. He did give me the numbers for some people he knows who may have them though. That was nice of him. He also said there's a card show around once a month at the Forum multi purpose centre so I should check that out some time and see what's there. I did buy a Beckett's baseball price guide when I was there for $10. I definitely recommend D & M. Book prices don't look too bad for the series I'm interested in so that's good.

So baseball can be a nice project for the next while if I can make some progress with it or just lose interest in it. See what happens with baseball; after that I can still do football which is a bit simpler, and hockey which is a bit more complicated.

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