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Thread: Collector's Corner Showcase, Volume 5: TNP777

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    Post Collector's Corner Showcase, Volume 5: TNP777

    I guess I share a special link with Geordie. We were back to back in the June or July multi sport Beckett as Supercollector's (he of Brett Butler and I of some scrub). Gives me great honor and pleasure to give his 'story':


    1) When did you start collecting Dodgers team sets?

    It started on a small scale in high school. I had team sets from 1978 through 1982, but then stopped collecting as a junior. Girls & stuff, y'know? Right before I joined the Air Force in 1984 I traded almost all of what I had accumulated (lots football and basketball cards, plus most of my baseball collection) for $20 and good part of a '66 Dodger set, including the Koufax. I kept all of my Dodger cards. Looking back it was probably the worst trade I ever made. The football and basketball cards ended up being worth something, but back then it seemed you couldn't give them away.


    2) What was the turning point in your collecting? What put you over the edge and made you completely focus on vintage Dodger team sets?

    I'll answer this incrementally. I think it was around 1993 or so that I got the bug again. By then I was out of the Air Force and married with a couple of children. I found my Dodger cards when I was going through a box of stuff I had stashed in my closet. I bought a copy of SCD and started buying a few cards to finish up a couple of early '80s sets and also bought a few complete sets from nearby years - I think from Kit Young. In 1996 I was in the sales department for one of the local cell phone companies (CellularOne) and we had started selling dialup internet service. As an employee I got internet for free and eventually discovered a group called OBC, which stands for Old Baseball Cards (oldbaseball.com). I joined up in December 1996, and very quickly Dodgers cards started showing up from the 70s, and even a few from the 60s. OBC is a trading group, but trading is a loose term. Usually cardboard is sent with nothing in return necessarily expected. It all kinda has a way of evening out. Anyway, When I joined my focus was to finish up all Dodgers sets starting with 1970, plus maybe finish up my birth year 1966 set. In my mind, the rest of the 60s were out of reach for the most part. I mean, we're talking Koufax and Drysdale cards - nobody's gonna send me those, right? So the 70s sets get done quickly and the 60s sets are starting to take a beating. Okay, might as well shoot for the complete run of 60s sets, but I'm stopping there - ain't no way people are going to send early Koufaxes or Jackies or Dukes or Campies. Wrong again, Geordie.


    Now, to give a definitive answer to this question, the huge turning point was the day a '55 Koufax showed up in the mail. As I said earlier, OBC is loosely based on trading, and what goes around has a good chance of coming around. I was in a local card shop (long since gone) and the owner had a '68 Koosman RC on sale for $50. A guy I knew in MA needed the Ryan to complete the set, so I bought it and sent it off. Felt great to contribute, and I had no expectation of anything in return. This particular guy had already been more than generous to my collection anyway, so in my mind I'm just evening up the score a little. A few weeks or so later I get a PWE (the preferred method of sending in OBC) and inside is the Koufax. Another member from the Midwest had seen what I had sent (we always send out "thank-you's" via a Thanks server) and decided to make my day. And how! To me, the '55 Koufax was the Holy Grail of Dodgers cards. No way would I ever be able to afford one, either in cash or an arranged trade. And get one as a random act of kindness. Uh uh, not happening.




    That was the day I knew that it was possible - an entire run of Topps Dodgers sets from 1953 to the present. Why not the '52? I mean, you would like I had learned my lesson and not limit myself to what was actually attainable, but the '52 Dodgers set? Nope. Half the 33-card set is high numbers (including Campy, Pee Wee and Jackie), not to mention the #1 Pafko.


    I soon expanded my wantlist to include the Bowman issues, and started to slooooooowly pick up T206s.


    3) What has been the high point in collecting ?

    There have been so many. Finishing the T206 Superbas set probably tops the list, though. Those that have them will agree - tobacco cards are so damn cool! Another high point was finishing the complete '57 set. I think that's my favorite vintage set overall.

    The low point? I don't know that I can think of one. Maybe when I lost out on a tough card? Truth is, it always showed up later on.


    4) What deal did you have slip through the cracks that you regret ? Why didn't it work out?

    I can't think of one that has anything to do with Dodgers sets. I collect modern Dodgers sets, and even with almost all of the parallels (save the 1/1s), if I miss out on a card it will eventually show back up. I guess I'd answer this question by going to what a lot of you know me as: the Brett Butler collector. The 1997 Fleer Flair set introduced me to parallels, and that year had 1/1 Legacy Masterpieces. Each player in the set had three different cards to chase, and each of those card has three parallels: base, Legacy, and Legacy Masterpiece. When the set came out, I was brand new to eBay and quickly located one of the Masterpieces. I didn't have the balls to bid high, and it probably wouldn't have mattered as I never would have sniffed the ending bid of over $200. I was floored. $200 for a Brett Butler card? It is a question that came up years later as another of the Masterpieces showed up several years ago. Remembering the first time around, I resolved that this time I was gonna bid to win. Yeah, right. My $250 snipe was topped, probably by the same overseas bidder that won the first one in '97.


    5) What's your favorite piece / card in your collection ? Why ?

    The '55 Koufax I spoke about earlier. I don't think I'll ever forget the thrill of seeing that thing come out of the envelope. If I ever had to get rid of everything, I'd like to think it would be the one card I'd hold back. It has round corners, paper loss, creases everywhere, and it is beautiful!


    6) What's your wife/family think of your obsession (or collecting)?

    My wife is tolerant for the most part. There have been several times over the years when I would go on a buying spree and spent too much money. That has slackened considerably, so she's more accepting as cards trickle in. The Dodgers sets are just about done (just a few more '52s), so I'll either just stop and enjoy what I have or maybe start a new set - maybe T3s or Cracker Jacks. My kids have always been indifferent for the most part. Once in a while I'd get something really cool in the mail and have to share it with them. As kids, they'd get mildly excited with/for me, but now that they are adults I don't even bother sharing.


    7) What's your white whale or just a card you can't seemingly track down or acquire?

    I guess it is the T205 Wilhelm with a complete "suffered" in the bio on the back. There is a recognized "Suffe ed" variation that is pretty plentiful. The other is fairly scarce and always pricey. Another answer would be the '52 Topps Jackie Robinson, but those are always available. It's just finding one at the price I'm willing to pay (which ain't much).


    8) Have you met the player you collect and what was the experience like ? (For set collectors, it'd be asking about meeting other set collector's of said set and having discussions with them).

    Going to back to Butler, I've had the chance to meet and talk with him a few times when he was the manager of the Reno Aces. Whenever the Aces would come to Fresno to play the Grizzlies, I'd bring something cool for him to sign. I've had him sign a few jerseys, a couple of bats and some cards. Meeting him was cool, I guess. I'd love to have had longer to just shoot the breeze, but he had a job to do. The first time I met him was cool - genuine smile, firm handshake and was more than willing to sign and talk little.


    Meeting other people who share the same collecting interest has been fantastic. I've made lots of really good friends through collecting.


    9) What is your biggest pet peeve about collecting?

    I can't say that I have one.


    10) How have forums / eBay / COMC helped your collecting of? How have they hurt ?

    Being involved in online communities has been huge, of course. The aforementioned OBC was the biggest help, and I have had the pleasure of meeting dozens of OBCers through the years, either when they were traveling near me, or I happened to be traveling, or during a National or our former yearly get-togethers in Vegas. I have had the pleasure of meeting several guys from other forums as well, most notably through the PSA boards. There are many of those guys that have become friends outside of card collecting. We check in on each other regularly through text or phone calls, and a few of them I have been able to put a face to a name. That's always nice. eBay of course is the ultimate card shop. It has been a huge help in tracking down missing pieces to my collection.


    As far as hurting, I can't really think of any online experience or transaction that has hurt, other than spending too damn much money on eBay and risking the wrath of "she who must be obeyed". I've "met" my share of people who I don't particularly care for, but that's going to be true of any group of people that get together for a common purpose.


    11) How much competition do you face in your collecting of Dodgers/Butler? How often do you check forums / auction sites for your player ?

    Thankfully almost none. When it comes to Dodgers, if I miss out on a card, another will eventually come along. For Butler, I'm pretty much it. That's a HUGE blessing. It is really, really rare that I miss out on something I want, simply because there's really nobody else out there. If I do, it's to someone that is tracking down an elusive card to finish up a larger set, and not because he collects Butler.


    I check eBay at least twice a day in the hopes that one of the few cataloged Butlers I'm looking for will pop up, or an obscure variation that I've never seen before, or for something new from the Topps Vault. I check in on CU and FCB daily, but that's mostly just to see what people are talking about or to see what new stuff others have managed to land. I love seeing what the player collections from the 80s and 90s pull in. I'm immensely jealous of those that collect a player that has a few thousand cards to chase, but also grateful at the same time. That type of player would probably have lots of people chasing his cards, and that means competition, and that means I either have zero hope of getting to 100% or it's gonna cost me a sh**load of dough to get there.


    12) Any thoughts of ever giving up the collection?

    Not really. Only two things would happen to make me consider it - either I'm in desperate financial trouble or I'm nearing the end of my life. If it's the first one, then they'll have to go. The second situation is gonna happen, no denying that. My son has zero interest in my collection, but my daughter might be interested simply because she knows how much fun I've had with it and she'd want to keep a part of me. I dunno - tough thing to think about. Gonna have to tackle it some day, though.


    13) How has the generosity of FCB'ers or other forum / site members helped your collection ? Elaborate.

    My collection wouldn't be near what it is without the help and generosity of people from many forums. Again, OBC tops the list, and it's not close. However, every so often I'll get a PM from a player collector on FCB that ran across something he thought would be a good fit, or a PM from CU with the same intent. The camaraderie of the online card collecting community cannot be minimized. Every, and I do mean every, time I get a PM from one of you it brings a big smile to my face. I'm always thrilled that someone would take the time out of their day to think of me and my collection and then reach out to see if they can help.


    Guys, it's been an honor to be nominated to talk about my (our) hobby. It's really cool being known as "the Butler guy", or the guy with the cool T206 signature, or whatever. Thanks for letting me share a little about what brought my collection to this point.


    The BEST Josh Johnson collection you'll ever see

    JJ count: Total Cards: 2,443 Autographs = 886, 1/1's = 125, Patches = 228, Jerseys = 209, Buttons = 2 and MLB Logoman = 1

    Also collecting: Dennis Northcutt, Titus Young, Bilal Powell, Josh McCown, T.J. Graham, Gino Guidugli, A.J. Vanegas, Tony Zych, Philip Pfeiffer & Mike Sims-Walker.

    Trade list linkage

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    Senior Member Lancemountain's Avatar
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    nice! good job

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    Senior Member michaelstepper's Avatar
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    Great read once again.
    Thanks for doing these.
    I've been on the forum 4 years now? I feel like I've just signed up learning about the "older" class
    "Avoid the clap" - Jimmy Dugan

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    Senior Member Brewer Andy's Avatar
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    Great stories Geordie. The passion comes through the words, thanks for sharing! Love this hobby
    SCREW PHOTOBUCKET
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    Hall of Unending Gratitude: dazed, magicpapa, uniquebaseballcards, and the vigilant eye of tonsofcommons

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    Senior Member Gwynn545's Avatar
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    Cool! I just signed up for OBC! Hope a Koufax rookie shows up in my box! Brett Butler should be in the HOF.... Just because of your collection
    Thanks again for these! Good read!!!

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    Senior Member ASTROBURN's Avatar
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    nice read. Thanks for doing another interview!

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    Good stuff, that was an interesting read. Thanks @TNP777 and @AmishDave!
    Jonny Gomes Collection:
    501/510 (98%)_______134 1/1s_______313 Autos_______25 Bats_______17 Jerseys

    Wantlist: Reward Offered

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    Senior Member TNP777's Avatar
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    Time to shamelessly bump my own thread!

    I always thought that if I was to be featured in this series I would talk about my Butler collection. While I am extremely proud of my player collection, I thought it would be quite a bit of fun to talk about my old Dodgers. I have had so much fun adding to this collection over the years and it really is a treat to go back every now and again and look at Dodgers history.

    Those of you that have never done so, click on the T206s in my sig and have a look at my collection of well-loved cardboard. There are other pages linked at the top, including a complete run of 1948-1955 Bowman and several decades of Topps cards.

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    Senior Member Lancemountain's Avatar
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    thats a great website, really

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    Senior Member Gwynn545's Avatar
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    Yep! Good stuff!!

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