Some Random (and Not-So-Random) eBay Pickups
September 19th, 2011 by slangon

A few weeks ago, I ended up snatching up a bunch of cheap-o rookie cards of guys who have been pretty damn good over the last couple of decades. Some of the guys whose cards I got are pretty much sure-fire Hall of Famers, once they become eligible. Others probably won’t get into the Hall unless they pony up $19.50 ($17.50 if they happen to be AAA members). I’m still pretty glad that I picked up those ticket-buying shlubs, though. Although they might not be quite good enough to be enshrined with the other greats or perhaps are too tainted by scandal, they’ve still infuriated me, put me in awe, or somehow or another kept me entertained over the course of the last 20 years or so.

That got me thinking about rookie cards of other guys who, while they might not be a Hall of Famer or a Met or one of my favorite players, I’ve taken a shine to for some reason or another. Once that thought train pulled out of the station, I immediately though about Boog Powell. I believe I might’ve mentioned somewhere that despite the fact that Boog was done playing well before I became aware of baseball, at some point I heard that name and instantly became fascinated. I decided that a Boog Powell rookie card would be something that I would like to own. Of course me being a cheapskate combined with the fact that a card like that doesn’t really fulfill any of my collecting goals, if I wanted it, it would have to be ridiculously cheap. I took a gander on eBay, halfway expecting to not find anything anywhere close to what I was willing to pay. To my surprise, I saw one.

There was a halfway decent looking Boog rookie starting at $0.49 with no bids and about 3 or 4 days to go. Once I saw how much time was left I immediately figured that by the time it got close, the price would be driven way up, but hit the watch button anyway. As is my wont to do, I also looked to see what other cards the seller had that I might be interested in just to potentially ease the shipping burden. He/she happened to have a handful of cards that I thought were pretty cool and pretty cheap, but again, I figured by the time the auction got close to ending would be out of my range.

D-Day arrived, and lo and behold, all the cards were still pretty cheap. I figured out how much I was willing to shell out for each card, entered my bids with about an hour and a half to go and tried to forget about them. A little bit later, an email showed up in my mailbox that started off “You won this item on eBay”. A few minutes later another on arrived. Then another, and another. In the end, I won all 7 cards that I bid on and paid what I felt were cheap prices for them all.

Let’s start with the card that started it all.

I didn’t end up getting this for the initial $0.49, but it wasn’t too much more. In the end, this bad boy ran me $1.34. By the way, according to the Sports Then and Now blog:

Though his given name was John Wesley Powell, he earned the nickname “Boog” as a kid due to his mischievous nature. He seemed to always be getting into something and became known as Booger, as in, “What’s that little Booger doing now?” The nickname was eventually shortened to Boog, probably around the time he got big enough to beat the snot out of anyone who would dare call him Booger.

I guess as a rookie, you don’t have enough pull to get your nickname on your baseball card. It was firmly in place by the following year, though.

I was also able to grab another card that I needed for my 1962 Mets team set, which had pretty much become hard-to-find high numbers at this point. Not that Gus here was necessarily a hard-to-find high number. I guess he was really a semi-high number. From here on in, though, it’s all pain in the ass cards. At least there’s only 5 left.

I also got a couple of these awesome In Action cards from the ’62 set, including this one of The Killer sending one into orbit. He swung so hard he lost his sleeves. I think it’s pretty awesome that when you look at that first image, you can really see why there’s a rumor about Killebrew being the model for the MLB logo.

I also like that they included his All-Star Game stats as a separate section on the back. Of course he went on to play in 9 more All-Star Games after this card came out and drove his batting average up to .308, but oddly only hit 2 more home runs.

I also snagged this In Action card of Stan the Man. Stan looks as though he got a pretty good hold of one as well, but didn’t loose his sleeves. This was his 21st season after all. Loosing one’s sleeves is such a rookie move.

Oddly enough, considering that he’s in a 3 way tie with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays for most All-Star Games played in a career, Topps chose not to include Stan’s All-Star game stats. I guess trying to fit 24 All-Star Games worth of stats along with 21 seasons worth of stats on the back of a 2.5″ x 3.5″ piece of cardboard can get a little hairy. By the way, I know neither of these are pristine, and the Musial card has some pretty gnarly registration issues, but $0.49 a pop for these 2. Not bad.

I also was able to score a couple of League Leader cards. Yep. You guessed it. Also from the ’62 set.

Apparently, 1961 was really good year to be a Dodgers fan. Three Dodgers pitchers on 1 League Leader card is pretty awesome. That dude in the Reds cap kind of messes it up though. Hmmm. I think I just came up with another episode of What Were They Thinking.

One thing that I love about these old leader cards, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in the past, is how on the back they list the Top 50 or so leaders in whatever statistical category it happens to be. I just find it pretty humorous to see guys like Koufax and Drysdale, who really do have impressive numbers, and then guys like Don Nottebart or Don Elston, who seemingly have not so impressive numbers. Then you realize that Don Nottebart and Don Elston were relief pitchers and then those numbers don’t seem so bad.

I also snagged this awesome Home Run Leaders card. You’ve got to love a vintage League Leader card when all the guys showed on it are all Hall of Famers. I’m not sure why exactly this is, but out of all the older Topps League Leader cards I own, and I have a fairly good collection of them from throughout the years, I feel like I have way more pitching related leader cards than offensive leader cards. I’d imagine that has a lot to do with Tom Seaver.

I thought the back of this one was really cool too, the way they cut it down to the Top 25 but included everyone who hit a Grand Slam that year. I don’t recall ever seeing anything like that, but then again, I don’t think I have too many Home Run Leader cards from back in the day. I also think it just looks cool visually what with the red column and the black column.

The final card that I picked up happens to also be the only card that’s not from 1962 and I’d say is also the only one out of the bunch that’s really rather ratty looking. Ironically, it’s also the one that I paid the most for.

I’d have to say that 1961 is one of my least favorite Topps sets from the 60’s, but I really like this particular card. I don’t know if it’s because it happens to be Duke Snider, or if it’s because the photo happens to be so classic looking. Probably it being Duke Snider is what makes the photo so classic looking. Either way, despite all the dings and wrinkles, this is one awesome card.

So that does it. 7 cards. All close to 50 years old. 8 Hall of Famers. A guy named Boog. All for $6.63. The only drawback was that the seller happened to be in Canada so the shipping was a tiny bit high at $4.75. Still and all, for $11.38 in total, thats not too shabby.

One Response to “Some Random (and Not-So-Random) eBay Pickups”

  1. Nice pickups. One of my big off-season collecting goals is to get organized and make an effort to complete some of my 1960s Mets team sets.

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