30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, December 15, 2014

Breakin' The Law

Rules are important to maintain order within a civilization.  In terms of collecting, sometimes I'll create a rule for myself to keep me from making poor decisions I'll end up regretting in the future.

Here are a few rules I've established for myself:

1.  Avoid spending more than a few dollars on any given memorabilia card.
2.  Avoid the temptation to dive into baseball "prospecting".
3.  Avoid having someone else "bust my box" for me.
4.  Avoid purchasing autographs signed on "stickers".
5.  Avoid busting full priced blaster boxes.
6.  Avoid the "investment" philosophy.
7.  Avoid "group" breaks, unless their for charity.

And finally the one that pertains to today's post:  Avoid purchasing cut-signatures of active signers.

Now before I offend anyone... I totally understand their place in the hobby.  If someone wants to cut up a photo or a check and insert them into a trading card, that's their business.  Heck... my buddy often grabs signatures on index cards when he finds himself without a photo of the athlete and he creates these amazing displays with them.

Personally... it's just not my thing.  If I'm going to spend my hard earned money on a athlete's signature, then I'll usually save up and purchase a pack pulled, hard signed autograph that I enjoy looking at while holding in my hand.

However... every now and then... I'll get rebellious and break my own rules.  And that's exactly what took place last week.

I stumbled across a complete set of 2014 HA Originals in one of my saved eBay searches.  The set contains twenty-four cut-signatures ranging from Lou Brock to Frank Thomas:

Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, and Chris Chambliss

Carlton Fisk, Bob Gibson, Dwight Gooden, and Goose Gossage

Ray Knight, Reggie Jackson, Tony Kubek, and Tony La Russa

Juan Marichal, Graig Nettles, Gaylord Perry, and Lou Piniella

Tim Raines, Pete Rose, Gary Sheffield, and Ozzie Smith

Darryl Strawberry, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, and Frank Thomas

Now like I said... normally this kind of set wouldn't interest me.  Nonetheless, I really like the design of the embedded miniature card and the checklist is pretty solid.  Most importantly... the price was right.

The damage?  $104 (+ $13 shipping).  That's less than $5 per autograph delivered, which is why I broke my own rule and made the purchase.

And believe it or not... the set actually looks nicer in person.  My only complaint is the Pete Rose signature which has been partially cut off.  But I'm thinking that my conscience will let me live with this purchase.

What about you?

Do you have any hobby rules that you've established for yourself?  If so, what are they?

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. I have a new rule. Check my "have" list for my PC before bidding on eBay. I keep winning cards only to find out I already have them. It's gotta stop.

    1. I probably do this three to five times a year and I'm sure we're not the only ones.

  2. It absolutely helps that you were able to grab the entire set, there I also rationalized it for you. Great grabs.

    1. Thanks! It is kinda cool to have the complete set.

  3. Love the red backgrounds on the card slabs. $5 an autograph is a pretty good deal too given some of the names in the set.

    1. I like that about the cards too. I'd actually love to display these... but I'd hate to see the autographs fade... and I have no room in my office.

  4. Great pickup, those cut-autos remind of the historical cut-autos Tri-Star sometimes does where they slab cut-autos with T206's and '34 Goudeys.

    As for rules I keep breaking the ones I set for me but I still have two.
    1). Luis Torrens, Hiroki Kuroda, Luis Torrens, Dellin Betances and Luis Torrens.
    2). If I deem that a card would be better suited in another collector's collection than mine, I should send it over to that person no matter how important it may have been to me.

    1. Your rule #2 is awesome. I'm not sure I could live by it... since it would mean me giving away 90% of my collection, but it's definitely cool nonetheless.

  5. Those look fantastic! Great deal as well!

  6. I think you got a nice deal on the collection. Hard to feel bad about a collection costing less that $5 an auto.

    I don't really have any hard rules for myself other than I don't let myself open expensive boxes. When I'm buying cards on eBay I always make sure to check completed auction prices and too trust the little alarm in my head if I'm spending too much.

    1. I share the same "expensive boxes" rule... although I just recently paid $50 for a rack pack ;)

  7. That is a cool collection and the price is definitely well within reason for what you got. With rules I keep them pretty simple mainly sticking within a set price range, no impulse buys and now I only focus on specific players or teams.

    1. I think one of my unwritten hobby goals for 2015 will be to only target the teams and players I collect. My problem is that my cardboard ADD kicks in and I get easily distracted by cool cards.