Getting closer

Jeff Katz (@SplitSeason1981) has been in the process of upgrading his sets (I had sent him a few upgrade cards as part a previous trade) and generously offered to fill a few of the holes in my Giants wantlist with some of his now-replaced cards.

Because these are fairly low-grade cards condition-wise, they fall into the kind of hole where the value-to-shipping price ratio means that they aren’t really sellable online except as part of a large batch. This makes them perfect mailday cards since people like me are more than happy to get them for the cost of shipping.

Two 1968 League Leader cards featuring Giants. McCormick kind of amazingly lead the league in wins in 1967. McCovey meanwhile is further down the Home Run chart and has been relegated to a super-tiny photo on the card.

These two cards mean I’m now only missing three cards from this year’s Giants team set. Two of those three (NL Strikeout Leaders and the Juan Marichal checklist) are pretty cheap. The third on the other hand is the Killebrew, Mantle, and Mays card. Not cheap at all.

The good news though is that I’m done with the base cards and can now consider re-sorting everything from being alphabetical by last name to an order which is more representative of the Giants’ 1968 season. Whether this is by lineup order or something else is what I still need to figure out although going by lineup order will be tough since the only second baseman in the checklist spent the entire 1968 season in the minors.

The 1969 cards are more interesting. This time Marichal led the league in wins and the three-player leaders card is nowhere near as busy as the four-player 1968 cards. The Giants Heroes card is wonderful in how it looks like they’re just having a lot of fun.

The McCovey All Star though is my favorite of the batch. It’s a great design which holds up despite being pretty beat up. It’s interesting how much more accepting I am of beat up cards of star players. Some of this is purely value-based reasons where I know the beat up cards are all I can afford. But with the stars there’s also a sense that they were used more—whether put on display, traded, carried around, etc.—instead of being dumped in a shoebox or flipped on the playground.

These three take me to needing just five from that year. My 1969 needs are much more consistent with what I expect my entire wantlist to eventually look like: Hall of Famers (in this case just Mays and Marichal) and high numbers (including the double-whammy of a high-numbered rookie in Bobby Bonds). In fact most of my 1960–1973* want list at this point is close to this level of completeness. 1962 and 1963 are the only years where I have a lot of commons left to get.

*1973 being the last year of high numbers and the 1950s being a completely different level of collecting for me.

That I tend to leave the most-expensive cards for last means that this kind of low-grade help is tough to come by. I’m glad Jeff was able to help and it’s always fun to get a team set this close to the finish line.


Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at, and the web at

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