Card of the Moment #1
September 24th, 2009 by slangon

So it would seem that my acquisition of new cards has slowed to a trickle for reasons beyond my control (i.e. cut backs at work). In honor of that, I’ve decided to start highlighting some of the more interesting cards in my collection. After all, isn’t that what we as collectors really want to do? Show off some cool card that we have?

I’ve decided to call this little feature “Card of the Moment” for 2 reasons. One, I was torn between “Card of the Week” and “Card of the Day”. I figured I probably wouldn’t post a new card every day, but I would probably post more than one a week. Secondly, like most things in my life, I might be really into a particular card right this second, but later on might not really dig it as much. So without further ado, I give you my Card of the Moment #1.

1966 Topps #1 Willie Mays


Why did I pick this one as the inaugural card? Well, first of all, it’s card #1 in the 1966 set. That was a nice little perk. But first and foremost, I thought it was apropos because it really sums up the spirit of why I started this blog in the first place. It was one of the first cards that I bought for the express purpose of owning a beat-to-hell example of a really awesome card that I otherwise would never be able to afford

I got this card a while ago off of eBay. I forget the exact amount that I paid for it, but I do know it was around $3 with shipping. I remember actually being a little surprised that I won the auction, too. I probably put in a high bid of $4 – $5, but at the time I just assumed that I would end up getting sniped in the end. I guess I figured lots of other folks would be wanting a beat-to-shit Willie Mays. I guess not.

This card is certainly well loved, as I’m sure any old card of The Say-Hey Kid would have been. But this particular card has all the scars that go along with having been loved. Rounded corners – check. Creases – check. Paper loss – check.

As I mentioned here before, whenever I come across an old beat-up card, I always like to try and figure out what happened to it, like a little mystery. I like to make up some back story for the card and the accompanying damage. With this card, I don’t think there’s really that much of a mystery. I’d say this is a classic example of card-flipping and bicycle spokes.

Aside from this being a card of one of the greatest ballplayers ever, I’m pretty partial to the ’66 design. The front is pretty simple and straight-forward. Nice solid blocks of bright color. White border bonded with a super thin black border. Okay photography.


The back really does it for me, with the exception of that weird orange/pink color. The Topps logo/card number is just outstanding. (By the way, dayf over at Cardboard Junkie did a really cool piece on the way Topps numbered their cards through the years. It’s a must read for anyone interested in baseball card design.) I’m always a sucker for those little comics that they used to put on cards to illustrate some tidbit about the player. Normally, I like when it’s some weird obscure item, but I guess belting 52 homers to lead the majors is pretty cool, too, especially in a pitching dominated era.

It’s also nice when a players full stats are included. It really makes you appreciate Willie when you realize that his career numbers here are unbelievable, but he still played another 8 years. And he missed almost 2 years for military service. I mean, he was already over 2,000 hits and over 500 homers. And he still had 8 years to go?!?!? He had more hits than games played. Over 300 more. What the hell, Willie? And the man made 24 consecutive All-Star Games*. 24! Consecutive!

All in all, I don’t care that this card looks like someone crumpled it up and tried to play garbage can hoops with it. It is really one of my favorite cards in my whole collection.

So there you have it folks. The first installment of The Card of the Moment. Stayed tuned for more.

* By the way, in researching this, I was a little surprised to learn that between 1959 and 1962, there were 2 All-Star Games every year, which would explain how Willie Mays made 24 All-Star Games in the course of 20 years. I did not know that. I guess you really do learn something new every day.

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