Blog Bat Around: My $50,000 eBay Loot

Fifty-thousand dollars is a lot of money.  It could easily be spent on one card or a ton of cards.  If I had 50k to spend on eBay and only 15 minutes to use it I would make a few purchases, but I probably wouldn’t even come close to spending it all.  Instead I would use a portion to help better The Hobby by removing fake cards from circulation.

Lets begin with what I would purchase for my personal collection.  I would amass the most complete Harry Kalas collection anyone could ever obtain.  The first cards I would go after would be his 2004 & 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot autographs.  The base versions sell for around $90.00 a piece.  These would then be followed by all the various ink/stitch color variations Upper Deck came up with between the two Sweet Spot sets.  Kalas has a total of about 11 cards for collectors to find.  Besides some of the Sweet Spot autographs, his most rare autograph comes from 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game.  It would be the dual autograph of Schmidt and Kalas which is limited to only 25 copies.  I have never seen one up for sale, but if one did surface I’m sure it would hit $400.00+.  In addition to the Harry Kalas cards, I’d like to throw in an Alexander Cartwright cut signature too.  Specifically the one found in 2007 Donruss/Playoff National Treasures.

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I’m not that big of a vintage collector.  I usually prefer some of the more modern stuff.  With that being said, I would purchase some vintage cards.  I would like to add a Connie Mack 1887-90 Old Judge card to my collection.  Old Judge tobacco cards were some of the first mass produced baseball cards in history.  Being able to own any Old Judge card can be a cornerstone to a collection, but finding one of a HOF player is even better.  Depending on the condition, they can easily reach into the thousands.  Some of the other rare vintage cards I would add to my collection include a Cap Anson 1888 Goodwin Champions #2 and a Mike “King” Kelly 1887 Allen & Ginter tobacco insert.

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If I had the 50k today, I’d probably just stick with baseball stuff.  I might pick up a Jake Scott 2002 Topps Ring of Honor autograph though.  All in all, I’m estimating my loot would cost around $30,000 to $35,0000.  That means I could possibly have $15,000 to $20,000 let over.  Do you want to know what I’d do with that money?  I would purchase as many counterfeit cards I could find on eBay just to take them out of circulation.  I know handing money over to a forger sounds terrible, but at least the cards would be destroyed where no other uneducated collector find out down the road that great card they bought isn’t real.  It would even be better if an organization could be formed after this to help remove all fakes from the marketplace.  Perhaps after obtaining each counterfeit card, that seller could be banned from eBay for life.

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Serial Number Scammers & More

Last night SCU reported about a Brady Quinn 2007 LCM Freshman Fabric rookie jersey/autograph that had been up for sale on eBay.  The problem with this card is that Donruss never made any autographs like this.  Scammers are now creating counterfeit sticker autographs.  One of SCU readers suggested a way that someone might go about removing a crappy autograph from a sticker to replace it with a forged one of a better player, and then over at VOTC they created a video giving it a try.  After watching that video it really makes you think twice about buying another sticker autograph online.  This just makes on-card autographs look even better.  Congrats to SCU and VOTC for doing such great detective work.

Digging a little deeper I found this auction run by the same person who sold the Quinn.  This Yogi Berra ’08 Sports Legends auto #’ed 1/1 doesn’t look to have the “shiny” border like the other autographs #’ed 1/1 from this product.  At first I thought it might be the scan, but then another red flag popped-up when I looked at the back.  The serial number is hand written with a marker, not stamped like the other 1/1 autographs.  The final nail in the coffin would be the fact that the person with the high bid on the Berra has their I.D. kept private just like the Quinn auction.  The only other hand-numbered 1/1 autograph from Sports Legends that I could find was this Jerry West.  At first glance it looks to be from a different seller, but you can see they recently changed their I.D. and are located in Baltimore, MD.  The Berra auto is located in Elkridge, MD which is not that far from Baltimore.  I’ll report the Berra to eBay and hope they take it down.

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This is what an authentic 2008 Sports Legends autograph #’ed 1/1 should look like.

Blog Bat Around – Sports Card Info

(This post is a response to Sports Cards Uncensored)

The year was 1989.  People were flocking to the movies to see Batman and Ghostbusters II.  Nintendo released the first version of the GameBoy, and I attended my very first sports memorabilia show.

When I was only three years old, I attended my very first sports memorabilia show at the local mall.  I don’t remember a lot about it, except that Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer Willie Stargell was signing autographs.  I can remember being pushed around in my stroller and looking at a lot of things, but I really didn’t  have any idea what was going on.   When it was time to get in line to meet Willie Stargell, for some crazy reason I started to cry.  I kept crying the whole we were in line and even when Stargell was signing my baseball.

Even though I didn’t really start getting involved in collecting sports cards and memorabilia until about nine years later, I kept the baseball he autographed for me.  It still looks the same as it did the day he signed it.  It will remain in my personal collection forever -where it can be found sitting safely atop one of my shelves, safely tucked away inside a protective ball cube.  Right now I don’t collect Pittsburgh Pirates memorabilia, but I consider this ball the centerpiece of my collection because it is the very first piece of sports memorabilia I ever received.

The hobby is filled with a lot of different collectors.  Some are out just for the money, and others are in it for the fun.  I hate to say it, but I think more people are entering the hobby for the wrong reasons.  Sports cards should, and will always be part of America.  People need to sit back, relax, and not get ticked off when they break a box and don’t pull that one-of-one.

Just in case you’re wondering.  The only time I cry at a sports memorabilia shows now, is when its time to leave or I’m out of money.

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