The Grass Is Always Greener With Vintage

Gaining focus.

It's one of my top collecting goals moving forward. This year, I jumped all over the map after returning to the hobby following a three-decade nap. I sampled bits and pieces of nearly everything new.

I couldn't focus. I couldn't find my collecting wheelhouse.

The year wore on and I struggled to complete sets I liked. I changed my mind a few times about what I liked. I got a bit disorganized.

I waffled on Heritage before buying all-in and truly falling for it. I sort of liked Lineage but couldn't get past the simpleton backs. Still, I went full force collecting the retired guys in Lineage.

I had to cut corners somewhere so I soon backed away from the much beloved Allen & Ginter. I hung on to a few favorite players and chased inserts - many that I love. I still have plenty of A&G for trade.

Topps Chrome came along and I was hooked again. The feel of these cards lured me in but not so next year. Too expensive. I have other thoughts about where to allocate my collecting dollars.

To sum up the year: Series 1 (yay), Heritage (YAY!), Gypsy Queen (paper frames!), Series 2 (looks familiar but sure), Lineage (boo), A&G (meh), Kimball Champions (YAY!), sampling Bowman (ick), Topps Chrome (yay), Update (hey, it's cheap)... on and on it went.

But at some point, it occurred to me that while I enjoy many new baseball cards - I get a bigger thrill out of and working on completing the sets of my youth (1976-83) and finding baseball cards pre-dating those years - specifically quality vintage cards from my player and team collections.

This is where the ever-generous SewingMachineGuy comes into the picture. Look at what he included just for the heck of it - with a few cards I had requested!
James Raymond Greengrass (born Oct. 24, 1927) played five seasons, from 1952 until 1956, for the Reds (known as the Redlegs for part of his tenure) and Phillies. He hit a lifetime .269, 69 home runs and 282 RBIs.
Glorious vintage Cincinnati Red! This is a friggin' 1953 baseball card! In terms of vintage, it is like nothing I've owned before.

SewingMachineGuy again demonstrated extreme generosity. Just a few months ago, he threw in a George Kell autographed card, for cripe sake! Mr. Greengrass capped an already great packet of cards - that including three short prints to help me move closer on the Upper Deck Masterpieces '08 set

Mr. Greengrass came at just the right time. (Is there ever a wrong time for glorious vintage?)

He came to wake me up to what I knew all along. Vintage is king. Fact is, I just feel better when I spend money on quality old cards. That speaks volumes. 

He came to slap me around and remind me about the importance of focus. Thanks Mr. Greengrass and, oh yes, Mr. French.


  1. I too was all over the place, buying everything I could find when I returned to collecting - and this was after only 5 years out. It took me time, but I found focus for my collection based on what really interested me. That's a whole lot, now, but there is at least meaning behind my collections. Yet it was only in the past few months that I really started going after vintage. I say, collect what interests you, and just pick the best each year.

  2. I feel all over the place too. Yans cards...with no rhyme or reason.

  3. Can't go wrong with vintage. The older the better. I just prefer the old cardboard stock to today's premium. Nice Greengrass card!

  4. thanks for the feedback guys...

    Ryan: Yep, blogging has been great - but I realized that inadvertently it became easy to get caught up with what others are doing. Mostly, that's been good...kind of opened my eyes to what's out there nowadays. But I'm definitely eager to zero in more on vintage.

    TLC: It's easy to do. I think I'll feel better about my team collections once I take some time to catalog everything that's come in the past 9 months.

    Reds Card Collector: Thanks. Definitely agree about the old cardboard stock.

  5. Thanks for the kind words buddy.
    I too, get overwhelmed by all the choices available to collectors these days.
    Lately, I have been smitten with Topps Chrome Football for Pete's sake!


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