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  #1  
Old 08-14-2018, 08:03 PM
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vintagebaseballcardguy vintagebaseballcardguy is offline
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Default I looked back at my '54 Topps set and learned something

I readily admit that I'm not sure where I am going with this exactly, so bear with me. Much of what I am going to say will probably prompt a "duh!" from many of you but sometimes I just have to see things for myself. I think this might be a little bit of a spin-off from the thread about abandoning set building over on the pre-war board...maybe that got me to thinking about this. And since this isn't another PSA/SGC thread, that automatically makes it an ok thread! We have had some set building threads here in postwar land (and I have loved every single one of them). For years with sets I have worked on, I have largely rejected the idea of buying partials, lots, etc. in favor of agonizing and choosing each and every single card one at a time. For me at least, this led to spending more and bogging down and not finishing in many cases. I recently bought a partial 242/250 1954 Topps baseball set that has exmt cards and my Aaron is an SGC 3. The set has a lot of ex cards, and overall it is a pretty nice vgex set that I am proud to own. I actually need Lasorda and Hodges to finish. Of the 242 cards, there were about 20 that just didn't make the cut for a variety of condition issues that I just couldn't live with. They will get upgraded. However, there were about 25 others that, at the time, I was on the fence about whether or not I wanted to keep to include in my particular set. These cards had some very mild almost imperceptible wrinkle that could only be seen when held in light at a certain angle, less than perfect centering, etc.---stuff that OCD had a little struggle with at the time. As individuals on a site like the Battersbox, I probably wouldn't have purchased. OCD is an ugly thing!

I keep all of the raw cards in my sets in penny sleeves and Cardsaver Is in two row corrugated white cardboard boxes. Tonight I got the set out and looked through it, and it was glorious! Those borderline cards had just melted into the fabric of the set, and in many cases, I couldn't even remember or pick out which ones they were. The little pesky issues didn't matter any more.

My lesson: relax a little! I don't see it as lowering my standards. I see it as liberating, and I will always love this set for that reason. I bought the partial and culled out what I didn't want and compromised on a few borderline commons that I can live with and saved quite a bit of money. I know many of you guys have done this forever and are probably saying "duh," but this was a real eye opener for me.

Long live the set builders!
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2018, 09:07 PM
cesarcap cesarcap is offline
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This is a nice post. I have a few sets which I'm working on in all PSA AND raw, and 9 times out of 10, I will grab the binder full of raw cards even though most aren't as nice.

It's much easier to ENJOY the cards and the set--and before TPG was invented, just HAVING the cards and a complete set no matter what condition made me happy.

Of course I have mood swings too-when I say to myself geez, this one is worse than all his teammates or than all his binder neighbors, but then when I see how much it will cost w/ shipping and what I will do w/ the dupe, I SOMEtimes stop and just enjoy the cards again.
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2018, 09:10 PM
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So Iím down to 14 cards needed for my PSA Ď54 set. This includes needing Aaron, both Williams and Mays...as well as Kaline and Banks. But, I already have a Banks and Kaline that I havenít counted yet...



...so I really only need 12. My problem is do I just keep these in my set, or sell them and put them towards a PSA 6 or 7. For these high dollar cards, I have come to terms with the fact that I might have to settle for nicely centered examples in a 5 or 6. I certainly will be done sooner and I think the finished product will still be pretty damn eye pleasing...

Matt



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I collect Hal Chase, Diamond Stars (PSA 5 or better), 1951 Bowman (Raw Ex or better), 1954 Topps (PSA 7 or better), 1956 Topps (Raw Ex or better), 3x5 Hall of Fame Autographs and autographed Perez Steele Postcards. You can see my collection by going to http://www.collectorfocus.com/collection/BigSix.
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2018, 09:49 PM
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Cesar and Matt, I hear you and do the same thing. My sets are a mix of raw and graded. Most of my stars are graded. I even have some graded commons. I didn't plan on graded commons, but I got some deals along the way. Sometimes I look at a card and think it could stand to be improved but it's usually a common or not a key card, and there's no point. I am not trying to impress anyone and few others will ever even see my cards. Most of my collection is middle of the road mid-grade which is free of creases. There are exceptions. My Aaron is a 3. It has a little minor creasing near the top of the card and corner wear. If I wasn't so lazy, I would scan some pics. My Banks and Kaline are crease-free 4s. They give me a very presentable set. I could upgrade some or all of them, but I like them and would rather spend the money moving on to 1955 and my football exploits.

Matt, I have seen your set progress, and it is impressive! You have to do what makes you happy. I could be very content with your Big 3. There was a time when I thought I had to have 6s or better. Now I don't. Good luck with whatever you opt to do. It will be terrific either way!

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  #5  
Old 08-14-2018, 11:53 PM
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When I was just starting out building sets I got some great advice from a dealer at a show. He said "Don't sweat the commons too much. Go for stars .5 to 1 grade better than the commons." I have followed that ever since and been quite happy with the finished products ever since.
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2018, 09:43 AM
BillP BillP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagebaseballcardguy View Post
Cesar and Matt, I hear you and do the same thing. My sets are a mix of raw and graded. Most of my stars are graded. I even have some graded commons. I didn't plan on graded commons, but I got some deals along the way. Sometimes I look at a card and think it could stand to be improved but it's usually a common or not a key card, and there's no point. I am not trying to impress anyone and few others will ever even see my cards. Most of my collection is middle of the road mid-grade which is free of creases. There are exceptions. My Aaron is a 3. It has a little minor creasing near the top of the card and corner wear. If I wasn't so lazy, I would scan some pics. My Banks and Kaline are crease-free 4s. They give me a very presentable set. I could upgrade some or all of them, but I like them and would rather spend the money moving on to 1955 and my football exploits.

Matt, I have seen your set progress, and it is impressive! You have to do what makes you happy. I could be very content with your Big 3. There was a time when I thought I had to have 6s or better. Now I don't. Good luck with whatever you opt to do. It will be terrific either way!

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I put my 54 set together over time. I have this thing about fake cards so I really try to buy graded high priced stars. I don't want to get disappointed some day in that area and to be consistent I try to go with Psa only. Took me a while to find a decent aaron but I bought a 3.5 about 6 months ago and a 2 banks that's nicer than that. The commons are out there if your patient. I am a set collector although a do collect subsets, in particular the 66 high numbers of which I have 3 sets and continue to upgrade. So I have always been a set collector over a sub set or stars. Recently I was in the market for a 63 rose and debated buying a raw one from a reputable dealer, but in the end just couldn't bite. In part due to the debated over grade of the card when/if I went to sell it. so I bought a 5.5 and am happy with it. Same with my 67 seaver/carew/ b roby, and a lot of my 57,58,59 and 62's. Interested here folks opinion on trusting raw major star cards v graded as started above. Cheers bill
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2018, 01:55 PM
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Good perspective, Robert. I completed my 1953 Topps set earlier this year to bring my complete set collection to '53 thru '56. I sold off '57 thru '80 a couple of years ago...in part to finance the aforementioned set completions.

I also completed the 'Lower 310' of the 1952 set, but, due to the (IMO) outrageous pricing of the Mantle card, I have accepted that I will never complete that one.

Ten of my '54 cards are graded, but the rest would all be at least EX, with most at EX/MT - so I won't have any borderline cards as you do...but it cost me. I sure yours are fine and if you're happy with them, that's all that really counts...as you know, it is affordable to upgrade when you can.

1954 TOPPS - HENRY AARON - PSA-6.jpg
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:14 AM
JTysver JTysver is offline
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Liberating indeed. I build sets by buying lots and filling in when it is needed. Because I buy lots, I also build second sets which are lower grade. These are extremely liberating. I can buy an Aaron for $10 and a Mantle for $45 and knock the set off. I can take my main set, upgrade as I see fit and move those cards to my second set. If I wanted to liquidate, I can hold onto the second set and get money for the first set. I can buy a filler for the main set and wait until I upgrade it to move it to my second set.
The second sets have been more fun as the purpose is just to seek the card and not the condition. It is really why we collect.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2018, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by JTysver View Post
Liberating indeed. I build sets by buying lots and filling in when it is needed. Because I buy lots, I also build second sets which are lower grade. These are extremely liberating. I can buy an Aaron for $10 and a Mantle for $45 and knock the set off. I can take my main set, upgrade as I see fit and move those cards to my second set. If I wanted to liquidate, I can hold onto the second set and get money for the first set. I can buy a filler for the main set and wait until I upgrade it to move it to my second set.
The second sets have been more fun as the purpose is just to seek the card and not the condition. It is really why we collect.
Good post, Jay. The last part particularly nailed it for me. In the spirit of that, I am starting a 1958 Topps set in collector grade.

Last edited by vintagebaseballcardguy; 08-18-2018 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTysver View Post
Liberating indeed. I build sets by buying lots and filling in when it is needed. Because I buy lots, I also build second sets which are lower grade. These are extremely liberating. I can buy an Aaron for $10 and a Mantle for $45 and knock the set off. I can take my main set, upgrade as I see fit and move those cards to my second set. If I wanted to liquidate, I can hold onto the second set and get money for the first set. I can buy a filler for the main set and wait until I upgrade it to move it to my second set.
The second sets have been more fun as the purpose is just to seek the card and not the condition. It is really why we collect.
You know that 2nd set in lower grade is a great thing Jay! A Mantle for $45 is just so much fun to pick up. When I was building my wantlist I would wait until I had the Mantle (for $45 - 60) and then I would list the set. That way I knocked off the biggie right away. The condition is unimportant to me. I just want one of every card in the set. I'm glad to hear you Robert in feeling liberated by not obsessing over the grade. And I'm a bit partial to the 54 set as that's my favorite. And Matt, I've been following your progress in the PSA 7's as well and think they are great. Nice job so far man. What a set!
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