Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cobb Was an Asshole, so Let's Enjoy Pee Wee

Yesterday I posted about my conflict with collecting Cobb, how I have trouble simply forgetting about Cobb as the person and just admiring the amazing way he played the game. Really, I don't know if I admire the way anyone played more than I admire Cobb's scrappy, aggressive, hustling style, but I don't know if I despise any Tiger player's off-field behavior more. It's the extreme racism, especially, that makes it hard for me to forgive and separate.

Anyway, you readers should go and check out the comments other bloggers left on yesterday's post, that offer great insight into this collecting quandary. And, Nick over at Dime Boxes wrote a truly eloquent post picking up this topic. Read it here.

A few Dodgers collectors chimed in yesterday, and to you guys, I imagine how nice it must be to have such a rich history of admirable humans playing for your team. My favorite, a man I can admire for both his playing and off-field heroics, is Pee Wee Reese.

I don't collect him extensively, but if I find his cards at a decent bargain, I snag them up, because this guy was amazing. How he embraced Jackie from the start, that took a lot of courage, but I don't think he even looked at it that way, as being brave, it was just a thing that you do, treating a human as a human, respecting a great player for being a great player. So, how can we not all love snagging cards of a guy like that where there's no conflict between on-field and off-field behavior?

Here's my newest Pee Wee acquisition. I found it in my LCS' beat-up vintage box, which they keep in the back room and I make them drag out for me each time I'm there. They don't have any prices marked, so I pull the most destroyed cards I can find and we haggle. I usually hate doing this, but they're fair and funny about it. And with this card, the guy looked up the book value, $200, and shook his head. He said he would feel bad charging me 10% or even a ten-spot on this. I said, Yeah it's pretty trimmed. He said, Trimmed? This card is hacked! He asked me for a fiver, and I said, Hell yes.

When I got this home, I showed the wife, who usually rolls her eyes at my cards, although she says she can understand vintage, even likes Diamond Stars and tobacco cards. I thought she'd dig this, but she couldn't believe I paid 5 bucks for destroyed cardboard. Creases, brutal trimming, a hole punch. I say awesome deal, because it's Pee Wee, and no one can say he didn't play the game the way it was meant to be played or that he wasn't a hell of a human being.

I envy you Dodgers fans for having fellas like Pee Wee. At least we have Kaline, maybe. More on this later.

So, would you guys pay $5 for this card? And maybe you don't have issues separating assholes from astounding careers, but how about the reverse? Are you more inclined to collect players that were good people?


  1. Nice. yep I'd pay $5 maybe even up to $10.

  2. Great pickup!

    I paid $5 for a trimmed copy of that '55 Bowman Reese at a card show a while back. I'd definitely fork over another five bucks for that '51 Bowman Pee Wee as well.

    And to answer your last question, I am more inclined to collect players that were good people. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Roberto Clemente is my all-time favorite player, and a lot of that is due to his off-field persona.

  3. I don't think I've ever seen a Bowman from that set that ISN'T beat up, so, hell yeah, I'd spend 5 bucks for that.

    I do tend to collect players (Dodgers) that are seemingly decent people. I don't really put any thought into it though, it just kind of happens.

  4. Nice find... I'd definitely add that to the vintage binder for $5.