I've said it many times, my main collecting goal is to simply acquire cards I couldn't get when I was a 16 year old pimply adolescent (actually, my face was quite clear, but I figured the image would be more vivid). Collecting cardboard is really not an investment for me. You'll never see me buy a graded card (or only because it's available for cheap) and never will I send one to get graded. It's always nice to know that all the money I spend isn't wasted, of course, and that I have some that I could actually sell for something, but it's far from what makes me enjoy the hobby.
I love vintage cards because of their direct link to baseball history. And I like to imagine how kids of that time would idolize those 'cardboard Gods' and have fun with their cards. No money would be exchanged, of course, as it all came down to trading. As a teenager without any money, anything over $10 seemed expensive, especially for a card. I'd look at all those Griffey inserts, knowing I'd never have them (ha !), and those 3 or 4 figures in Beckett (ha !) for vintage cards made my head spin. And since I thought they were really out of my league, I never took an interest in them. Until recently when I came back into the hobby, and discovered that cards in crappy condition were only worth 5% or 10% of BV. That opened a brand new world for me. Because now I have some money (not a lot, let's not forget I sell books for a living, but enough to get by and have some extra cash. I don't have a family, no kids, no wife, which keeps my daily expenses at a minimum), I can start adding some nice crappy vintage to my collection.
And I love it.
My main objective for example a year ago was to own a Topps Ted Williams card. 54, 55 or 56 would do. I wasn't really serious about it, but I did look around regularly. There are rules that I try to follow : no more than $10 for a modern card (except if it's for one of my trading buddies) and no more than $20 for vintage (as it means a $200-400$ card in bv if I take a poor condition card). Except for a Mantle or a Ted Williams or a Robinson, where I'd be willing to go up to...wow...$50. Yeah I know, we're talking big money there. It's not a lot per se, and I can largely afford it, but to me it is for a single card.
And last month I felt it was the right time to try and add one to my collection.
Which I did.
I got a pretty good deal, as it cost me $45 shipped and it has no noticeable creases.
And it got here yesterday, after transiting through Comc. Just when I needed the distraction the most.
It's a beautiful card. It's a piece of history. And it's mine.