Thursday, May 24, 2012

Some eBay Lemons and a Lemon

So I'm sure plenty of you bloggers out there have done what I'm doing today. I'm looking through my scans file, picking out cards I haven't posted about, and then trying to imagine how they will come together in a post. It's a bit of house-cleaning, and a bit of collage inspiration.

After going through a few unused scans, I thought I'd review a few eBay purchases. Some that are nothing special:

I snagged this off eBay for around a buck shipped. It's not a bad deal. I'm just not a huge fan of Magglio. I mean, I appreciated the great seasons he had with the Tigers, his impressive overall career, and especially how hard he worked to keep trying to come back from injuries. So, I'm pretty happy with picking up a GU of his that's numbered to 75. It's nice, but it's not a card that wows me. It's more of eBay compulsion, a line of thinking that gets into my head and says, Hey, it's a Tiger and it's game-used and it's a dollar so why not? This isn't necessarily buyer's remorse, it's more of buyer's ennui, buyer's blasé. You all know what I'm talking about, right?

Here's another example of what I'm talking about. I picked this up in the off-season, when I was still excited about V-Mart in the 5-spot and before we signed Prince. I needed a V-Mart GU, I thought. And I like this super-shiny card, but now it's just been sitting in the scans folder, and just sitting in a top-loader somewhere. It was around a buck shipped, so I don't really regret the purchase, but I'm left feeling...meh. Now, I could get excited about this card once Victor gets healthy and if he ever catches again, which seems a little doubtful.

This is the last example of my collecting ennui. I mean, why am I posting about cards that kind of bore me? Why the hell would you want to see them? Well, I'm making a point here, I hope. This card has some nice history, since Andrew was another one of those prospects with such high expectations that he could only disappoint, and because he was a big part of the Miguel Cabrera trade. But I'm just not all too sure why I bought it, besides the fact that it was an affordable Tigers auto. Miller looks like he's finding his place in relief with the Red Sox now, and that's nice, but that doesn't change the meh-inducing effect of this eBay purchase.

So, I'm being cynical. And that needs to stop. These hum-drum semi-buyer's-remorse cards need a pick-me-up. So let me tell you a story about a risk I took on eBay. A dealer had an auction for a mystery 1952 Bowman card. The listing said something like, "Who knows what you'll get." Now, of course that sounds like the set up to some complete disappointment. But I love 1952 Bowman, and the auction had no bids for a starting price of two dollars. I took a chance and won it at the starting price, and I got this:

Not only did I get Bob Lemon--one of the best hitting pitchers of all-time and a hall-of-famer--this card's also in fantastic shape. I was expecting some random nobody from this auction, some beat-up no-name the dealer couldn't sell on eBay for a buck. Now, this is the mark of an awesome seller, the joys of eBay, and the complete excitement from this collector.

So, what has this Vealtone learned? Go for the mystery auction? Yeah right. Few sellers are saints like this guy was. Stop buying boring cards that barely fit into your collection just because they're a good deal? Nope. I'm sure I'll still do plenty of that; I'm a sucker for a bargain. Maybe the best moral here is to stick with vintage. I don't think I've ever really been disappointed with a vintage purchase, and, you never know: Sometimes life gives you lemons and then it gives you Bob Lemon and then you go drink some lemonade. Yes, I believe a clear point has been made now.


  1. I have many of the buyer's blasé cards you speak about. For me, as a team collector, it comes with the territory. I have a binder full of cards like that because of the uniform, not the player. I have no regrets about those types of cards either, at bargain prices they are kind of fun to go after. Just my thoughts.

  2. Very nice Lemon!

    If you are feeling bored with V-Mart, it would fit nicely in my Tribe collection !