Just some random recollecting....

Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site; Aug 11 2005, 04:52 PM]
(Answering a disgruntled collector who had no luck in chasing insert and superstar rookie cards through packs and boxes)

You are NOT done. You've just experienced what many have. You worried more about future value than enjoying what you have now. Wrong minset to have in this hobby. If you can talk yourself into 'collecting because I like the things I collect', then you are well on your way to having a better collection and the value will take care of itself.

Believe you me, I was a collector during the insert craze of the 90s. I thought 'Yeah! Scarce inserts will go up in value because EVERYBODY wants them!' I only learned too late that everybody wants them while they're HOT, not forever.

Dude, just do what I did. Take a small break from collecting. I took a break for 5 years. Then go back to it with a current price guide and pick out everything that is $20+. Put those aside. Then ask yourself - What would I collect if I wanted to start all over again? What particular theme would I use to keep it organized?

Well, I started over again this year and everything I acquired this year is on my webpage. Go on, you can take a peek. There are quite a few items there nobody really cares about, but I am one happy S.O.B. because I like owning those items. I promised myself no more packs or boxes, no more of that lottery crap! I will buy the singles I want the most and I don't care how much it costs because I would have spent the same amount of money and gotten junk. Which would I rather have - the single I want most or a bunch of semi-star commons? I'm not worried about whether or not it will make a profit, just as long as I am happy with them. Compact. Neat. Organized. :)

I still have a bunch of 90s crap that I have to go through.

Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site; Jul 26 2005, 11:38 PM]
(Answering "Breaking packs/boxes or buying singles/lots?")

I used to buy boxes/packs. The thinking was maybe I could cheat the odds and get the card I wanted AND having a set or two thrown in with a few inserts for the same price if I were to pay for that single. Boy, was I WRONG! I had crap and commons all over the place. Then I started chasing RCs. What a mistake THAT was. Sure, you could have buy early and have windfall profits, but only if you could find a buyer at your asking price. This was pre-eBay. I got so fed up with all the junk I collected that with the money I spent I could have had the top RCs Jordan, Gretzky, a few Clemens, a few nice vintage cards, without all the crap. And that small collection would have appreciated many times over than the garbage I ripped open.

I am much happier now that I took a step back and started collecting only the singles I wanted. Not everything revolves around the RC. You can still buy many nice AU cards because of the many designs to choose from, all at a fraction of what the RC might have cost.

I think AU cards are here to stay. The autograph was the first piece of memorabilia to be collected.

Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site; Apr 26 2005, 03:44 PM]
(Responding to "Why Did I Do That?")

1992 to 1999:

Chasing rookies and inserts via packs.....

Listening to my friend (the one who got me into collecting) for
not buying a 'certain set' of baseball cards because 'it would not be worth
anything in the future'. I mean, I LOVE the set design and it was $35 for
700+ cards. I sure wish I bought that 1992 Bowman set....

Stupid 1990's inserts, thinking they would be oh-so-scarce and in demand
later in the future.... Boy, was I wrong!

Ryan Leaf cards & inserts..... J.D. Drew cards & inserts..... Latrell Sprewell
cards & inserts.....

With the money I have wasted, I could have had a nice Jordan RC, a nice
Gretzky RC, and a few nice tobacco cards.

Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site; Jun 8 2005, 10:34 AM]
(Responding to "Card of the Week")

"Nomo-mania: But was he the first?"

Back in 1994, there was a Japanese pitching sensation making his debut in the major leagues. What made him more intriguing was that he was an import from across the "other ocean". Hideo Nomo aka Tornado. His wind-up was different and he had a good start in the majors. Everyone was after his cards. All of a sudden, Japanese baseball cards popped up on the scene and there was a frenzy to get those. But wait a minute.... I know I've seen a picture of a Japanese baseball player elsewhere on an older baseball card just a few years earlier. I looked through all my Becketts and collection books, but didn't find it. It drove me nuts! Everyone was saying that Nomo was the first Japanese baseball player in MLB history, but that wasn't true! I wanted to jump on something that I know would become a hot item. I almost gave up and one night I just surrendered and just decided to read my Collecting Baseball Cards books. But I didn't want to hear about "investing" and so forth, so I read "The Bubblegum Guide To Baseball Cards" which I found entertaining (and is the basis of the idea for 'Card Of The Week'). Flipping through it - lo and behold - I found it!!!! The picture I've seen loooooooong before Nomo came onto the scene - 1965 Topps #282 Masanori Murakami! I was so hyped because I KNEW where to look for this one (and this was in the days long before eBay). I was wondering who else knew..... I didn't sleep that night. The next day on my lunchbreak, I headed for this antique shop that sold old toys and WWI/WWII items. I knew this guy had 1965 baseball cards because I was there two months earlier. I asked if he had any unopened packs, he said no. I was ready to pay $200 for one unopened 1965 Topps pack. The guy told me "Are you crazy? Mantle is in there! Of course I had to open 'em!" He could have made a profit selling that WHOLE BOX at $200/pack. Ugh.... Anyway, he kept cards in a binder in numerical order. BANG! Found #282. The card was going for $5 at the time, but he asked $8. He didn't really know the exact book value but he knew rookie cards were in demand. I took all three cards. After the season was over, that card jumped to $40. I guess the cat was out of the bag.

Masanori Murakami only played two seasons in the majors with the SF Giants before the Japanese government called him back. They didn't want someone that good not play for their homeland. He was the first Japanese baseball player in the majors. It was said that he and Yogi Berra, at the time, were the only major league baseball players who could not speak a word of english.


Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site; Nov 9 2008, 11:10 AM]

If you are collecting because of 'potential', then that is the price to pay should something happen. Most high prices for young players come from the hype of potential and those prices are what they should be only when that player has achieved something, not before. Something tells me you are thinking time and money invested does not equal the return you are hoping for.

Maybe it's time to move onto a 'proven' player or an HOFer. You can always collect on a theme or your own rules. Just cherry-pick the items that interest you the most.

Need an example? I started REALLY LATE in collecting Ichiro. There are HUNDREDS of Ichiro collectors out there. Most of the 1/1s have been scarfed up. This guy has now many 200+ hit seasons? However, instead of spending money on just cards, I'd get autographs on ONE individually different item - one ball, one bat, one card, one pair of batting gloves. Still looking for the batting gloves. :) Really tiny collection, but the quality is there. See how different it can be? It's not just cards. Use your imagination.

The rookies today still have much to accomplish. It really is FUN watching them play and that is the way to collect them - it should be FUN.


Tiny article about my Ichiro collection on page 20 in the 2007 April issue Beckett.

Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site; Dec 10 2008, 02:44 PM]
(Responding to "What will you collect in 2009?")


Several ideas:
- start collecting Johnny Kling (pro baseball player that turned pro billiards) [prewar]
- see if there will be any actual GU cards of Colt Brennan
- see if there are any 2007 Ted Ginn GU/on-card AU cards I don't have
- whatever is on my wantlist

Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site; Jan 18 2009, 09:38 AM]
(Responding to "How did you get started in Collecting?")

In 1977 I was 9 and was exposed to baseball cards for the first time. I was a flipper for about 2 years. Then got re-introduced December 1991 when I was 22. I thought they looked pretty cool in those lucite screwdown holders and became enamored when my friend mentioned that rookie cards become valuable. The very first SINGLE I bought was a 1991 Stadium Club Randall Cunningham.

Well, a lot has happened since then. I went through these phases:
- Insertmania
- Scarcest RCs
- 1st refractor parallels
- bought packs and boxes to try and beat out the high insert prices
I didn't get much enjoyment out of them so I quit in 1999 when I was 31.

Lessons learned: Those inserts I tried to beat out by buying packs and boxes now go for a fraction of what they once were. Most items will NEVER hold their value - they always start out high and then you can buy them for much less down the road. I never built sets, so it just accumulated as junk. I will never buy a box to chase after something ever again. Singles means never having to say you're sorry.

And then got re-introduced in 2005 when I was 36 and went through these phases after putting in thought:
- Museum-type collection
- Player collections
- Team collections
- Rainbow collections

But it just grew too fast for me - again.

Lesson learned: Don't veer off the path; it's easy to get swept up in the moment/trend. Other items may look enticing, but stick with what you are focusing on. Love what you do because you enjoy it. Greed will make it worse.

So here I am in 2009. 40 years old. I bore down. Now I placed restrictions on myself and would select only the pieces that interest me and could possibly hold value at the same time. It took some thinking to do, but I think I have it down now....

- absolutely no sticker autos
- absolutely no manufactured ANYTHING (numbered rarity, patches)
- I will respect the sport by accepting only whole game-used equipment
- no game-used cards (see previous statement)
- no event-used cards (wow, he wore it once <_< )
- the only thing I will accept on a card is an autograph written right on the card or nothing at all
- the RC doesn't matter to me anymore, only that it's nice-looking with an autograph on it (some of this year's RCs are just plain ugly!)

Stay on the path....

Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site; Jun 15 2009, 05:12 PM]
Responding to:
If there were no....

.... autographed cards.
.... autographed rookie cards.
.... game-used cards.
.... game-used rookie cards.
.... serial-numbered cards below 10,000.

And there were only base, RCs and insert/chase cards.....
What would you be collecting?

I would have probably continued with collecting:

Team sets
- Bengals, even though they are horrid and I love/hate them

Tobacco cards
- T206 team sets (portraits only)
- horse racing cigarette cards, hopefully complete sets

- affordable Mickey Mantle cards (like the WS cards)
- any baseball card that appeared on a TV show or movie (i.e. 1962 Topps Roger Maris in an episode of ST:TNG [that was the actual card owned by Gene Roddenberry] or 1954(?) Bowman Willie Mays in DS9)

Indiana Jones

Old stuff
Transactions: 4
[Another Site ;Jun 29 2010, 07:33 AM]
(Responding to "Holding a card too long or not long enough?")

I did this once. I was collecting two "gems in the rough basketball players back in 1993. One was Latrell Sprewell. This guy moved like a young Jordan. Wirey and quick. But he had no hype coming in. He came in under the radar until his 41-point torching of the Knicks. How could a rookie do that to the top physical defensive team in the league?

The other was the hype machine - Harold Miner aka Baby Jordan. I had quite a LOT of RCs and Classic AU cards of him. But when I seen him play, he was NOTHING compared to Latrell. Harold was just average at best. I could see the writing on the wall. So I sold everything I had of his at 50% BV right after he won the Slam Dunk contest. They ate it up. He fizzled that summer.

I kept Sprewell and he spiked up a few years later and then he went nutso and tried to choke his coach, thus his card dropping back down to their before-he-was-popular prices. Still, Sprewell was one of my favorite "Could Have Been" players along with Richard Dumas.

Richard Dumas was another who I thought would pan out nicely. He had skillz! But he also had a drug problem. Such a waste of talent.