Friday, April 13, 2012

the condition threshold

I mentioned the other day that I would post about my 'condition threshold, based off a post that Nick did over at Dime Boxes.

Nick talks about condition being a big factor in the collecting world today and he's right. With so many "collectors" going nuts over graded cards both old and new, I feel that the cards themselves get lost in the shuffle.

Sure we all like mint cards but when it comes to superstars from the 60's and before, we all can't afford to get mint copies and beat ones do perfectly. Besides, what story does a mint card have to tell? Not a very interesting one if you ask me.

So inspired by his post, here are some of my beaters. I'm glad to own every one of them and wouldn't have them any other way. Well, if I found some nice ones cheap then maybe but that's unlikely.

Some of my newest additions and a few I've had for a little while:
This 1968 Kaline is actually in decent shape, if it weren't for the crease going across the entire card, amusingly enough right where a mustache would be if he had one.

This 1958 Stan Musial All-Star has seen better days even without the paint(?) in his bottom left corner. It's ok though, I won him cheap at $2.84.

This 1964 Roger Maris was the most beat card in my collection for a long time and until the rest of these cards in this post came into my hands within the past month, that held true. It was intentional though, I saw the Maris on eBay for maybe $5. I knew its round cornered, miscut personality had to make its way into my collection.

Whitey's 1963 books pretty high I think but I got this one for about $10 at the local shop. Can't beat that.

This 1964 Ernie Banks was obtained the same day as the Ford and the Kaline above, all from the local shop. How do you make an Ernie Banks card even better? Try stapling it to things about 500 times and you've got a card as cool as this one.

Hank. I'll take an Aaron in ANY condition and this 1962 is definitely no exception. This card is awesome. Creases, soft corners, paper loss, its got it all.

So what could be worse off than that Hank? Well how about the card below?

Wow is this card ready to fall apart. I got this 1958 Mickey Mantle All-Star from the same seller on eBay that sold me the Musial above. I got this card for $8.50. Its shredded and looks like it was in battle at one point. Seriously.

So that's about it. All I can say is that condition for older cards are not a concern for me in the least. I mean, clearly right? Look at that Mantle that would make many a collector cry in their Frosted Mini Wheats. Let them have their "mint", overpriced cards. We'll take the beaters, thanks.


  1. As usual, a fantastic post.

    Of the ones you posted, the only one I own is the '64 Maris (a fantastic gift from my dad).

    I would've loved to come across those Musial and Mantle cards. I'm still looking to pick up my first actual Musial.

    Love the Ford, I own a couple beat-up issues of him as well.

    As you said, mint cards don't have much of a story to them. I 100% agree.

  2. Love the deals and the character. Gorgeous vintage, in my opinion. If only Kaline would've given the stash a try, who knows how many records he would've broken.