30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

A Vintage Card Affair

I've always considered myself a pretty consistent guy, who doesn't embrace a lot of change.  When I find something I enjoy... I often become a loyal fanMcDonald's French fries, Olukai flip flops, Apple products, Honda/Toyota cars, the Beastie Boys, and Chobani Greek yogurt are all examples of things I've stuck with since I started enjoying them.

When it comes to collecting and the big card companies... I've always been a Topps guy.

But recently... I snuck behind Topps' back and started checking out early 50's Bowmans.  The 1951 design is my personal favorite with the player's name written in white font inside of the black box.  The paintings used for this set (along with the 1950 and 1952 sets) are absolutely gorgeous.

Unfortunately the idea of building this set is nothing more than a pipe dream as it contains two rookie cards I'll never be able to afford: Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.

That being said... I set out to add a couple of examples from this set.  It didn't take me long to target two specific cards: #31 and #134Both cards depict hall of famers... and utilize two of my favorite paintings from the set.

1951 Bowman #31

Who doesn't appreciate a piece of cardboard featuring a catcher peeling off his catcher's mask as he focuses intently on the pop fly?

I've been targeting a Campanella since the beginning of summer, but I couldn't find one I liked within my budget.  Then two weeks ago, I decided to take advantage of a 10x eBay Bucks offer and picked this card up for $81 (+ $4 shipping).  I also had $52.58 remaining on one of my $100 eBay gift cards, so I actually paid $32.42 for this card.

Here's the other vintage Bowman I recently added to my collection::

1951 Bowman #134

This was the card that inspired my hunt for a couple of 1951 Bowmans.  The painting featuring Spahn winding up is fantastic... and was a little more affordable than the Campanella.  I purchased this card back in July for $47 (free shipping).

Now that I have both of these cards, I'll be putting future Bowman purchases on the back burner.  I still have three $100 eBay gift cards remaining, so I'm going to try and target a 1973 Topps set to finish off the run of 1972 to 1987 Topps sets.  The other thing I'd like to do before the end of 2019 would be add another 1956 Topps hall of famer to my collection.  In other words, I'll be heading back to my childhood love.

What about you?

Do you happen to have an all-time favorite trading card company?

If I had to pick a company outside of Topps, I'd go with Upper Deck.  I miss them not having an MLB license.  Hard to believe that it's already been ten years since Topps and MLB signed an exclusive contract.

Hopefully in ten years, I'm still around collecting... and MLB has ended their exclusive relationship with Topps

Well today kicks off The Long Haul.  Between now and Thanksgiving break, there's only one holidayFun... fun... fun.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

A few weeks ago, Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown asked his readers if they had any suggestions for dealing with scratched plastic card holders.  Since I deal with graded card holders, this caught my attention and I decided to do a little research on the issue.

I watched a YouTube video where a guy removed a scratch from a graded comic book holder using a plastic polish kit from Novus.  I picked it up off of Amazon and tried it out on my 1951 Bowman Campanella.  Here's a look at the before and after images:

It's hard to tell, but when I received this card... the holder had a bunch of tiny scratches.  After spending about ten minutes buffing and cleaning the plastic, it ended up coming out pretty clean.  I've already cleaned up three other graded card holders.

I'm not going to say it'll remove every single scratch, but it definitely does the job on lighter scratches and was a solid investment.


  1. Oh my goodness, those two cards are fantastic. My two (attainable) favorites from that set. Just terrific cards, congrats on picking them up.

    To answer your question... I really liked the first year or so of Upper Deck designs. I was very impressed with them at the time. But they are also largely responsible for me giving up my complete Orioles collection by way of the Ben McDonald rookie error fiasco in 1990. So there is no way they would be my favorite.

    That 'honor' goes to Philadelphia Gum. I loved their football card sets in the 60s. They also did some interesting non-sports sets like 'War Bulletin' that I casually collect but will likely never finish.

  2. Nice job with the cleaning! Looks good.

  3. Yeah, I really like Bowman - the little ones (1948 - 1952) especially. Of the "new" brands, I would say that I miss score. Their designs were usually simple and put the focus on the player / action. And I am a sucker for a good blurb on the back of a card. Early Bowman and Score in the 80s / 90s were the best.

    I will look to add that awesome Campy some day - I do want to build the 1951 Bowman set too (might have to fill in with some reprints)!

  4. Early Bowman, specifically '51 and '52 is about as beautiful as it gets.

    Anyone over the age of 40 is likely to answer: "Topps" to your question. You grew up with it, there was no other, you form a connection that never ends.

    Fleer would be a distant second.

  5. I love both that Campanell and that Spahn!

    I have always felt the 1950-1952 Bowmans were among the best sets of the 50s. I have a Campanella from the 1952 Bowman set which is also pretty nice, though that 51 with him in catching gear is hard to beat!

    My favorite trading card company would probably be Calbee. Though its hard to identify a specific maker, since set quality varies so much and there are sets from different makers and different years that I like a lot.

  6. Fleer for me, especially towards their end. Upper deck took them over and began using the Fleer photography immediately and you knew it.

  7. It's hard to argue against Topps being my favorite company given its impact and longevity -- outside of Topps, though, I actually think my favorite brand might be Pacific just because of how weird and innovative it was.

  8. I like the early Goudey/Indian Gum cards (1930s). No matter what the subject matter, the illustrations were always amazing. I have also been a fan of Pacific, I was bummed when they closed down.

  9. I think I am going to have to go with Topps. Those 1951 Bowman are beauties. The 51B Mantle and Mays keep skyrocketing making it more and more unaffordable every year.

  10. I knew Sean would beat me to it but my favorite card company is probably Calbee although Yamakatsu would be a close second.

    There's a pretty good 1951 Bowman reprint set out there that might be a little more affordable. Just something to consider.

  11. I have never seen a holder with scratches on it unless it's a top loader. Those always get tons. Beautiful card you got!

  12. I was definitely a Topps kid back in the 1980s. When Upper Deck released their first baseball set I kind of pooh-poohed it (those packs were expensive!), but they really raised the bar when it came to image quality and variety.

    As for the two Bowmans you picked up, wow! Can't go wrong with those two guys, and those two images. Nice work.

  13. I first started collecting in 1981. My sentimental favorite has always been Donruss. Especially 81-86. After that I lost interest in their sets

  14. Great stuff. And thanks for the info re: your experience getting out case scratches. I'll definitely have to pick up one of those Novus kits soon.

  15. I feel like my favorite card brand varies by era. For example, in the late 1990s I loved Pacific, easily my favorite brand. Some great looking Bowmans, great cards from the 1950s.

  16. I've always treated Topps as the Card of Record but when you get to 1955 and earlier Bowman is legit. 49-53 Bowman in particular is a fantastic run which for me beats the pants off of all of Topps's 1950s offerings except for 1956.

    Also I just picked up a 51 Bobby Thompson with my latest ebay bucks for GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT reasons and it makes me very happy.

    With sets from my youth, while I was loyal to Topps I certainly loved 88-91 Score and yeah 89-93 Upper Deck was pretty sweet too.

  17. commishbob - i'll have to look into this war bulletin set. as for mcdonald... i remember you either commenting about that fiasco... or reading a post on your blog

    the lost collector - yeah, i was happy with the results

    brian - have fun with that set should you decide to build it. if i ever win the lottery, that would be one of the sets i bought

    night owl - great point on the over 40 thing. i think upper deck would be a distant 2nd.

    sean - nice call on the calbee. they're like the japanese version of kellogg's cards

    johnnys trading spot - i'll always have a soft spot for fleer, since it was the first baseball set i ever owned

    nick - my favorite thing about pacific was the well cropped photography. wish topps would learn something from them

    corky - good call on goudey/indian gum cards. they're beautiful

    sumomenkoman - haven't even bothered to look at the mantle and mays prices... but i know they're way out of my price range

    npb card guy - yamakatsu? never heard of them. gonna have to look them up

    sport card collectors - i've purchased several graded cards off of ebay and they arrived scratched. now i have a remedy ;)

    gregory - i couldn't afford 89ud either... and i worked at a card shop

    baltmoss68 - i started collecting baseball cards in 1981 too!

    defgav - hope it works for you as well as it worked for me

    the snorting bull - was just telling nick how much i loved pacific awesome photography

    nick vossbrink - i was just flipping through some cards and i stumbled across some 1990 score. great looking design.