Tuesday 5 January 2016

Final purchases of 2015

Happy New Year, and all the best to everyone in 2016!

My year finished with my laptop needing to be replaced. Should I be happy that it was five years old? I mean, it seems that it should have lasted longer than that, but it was more cost efficient to buy a new laptop than to repair the old one. Now to get one of my computer friends to help me pull all the old information off of the old one and transfer it to the new one.

I have a bunch of posts that I want to make with new collecting goals for the year, and to pick a wallet card to participate with other bloggers this year. I also have two football product reviews that I want to post. First, however, I'll begin the year with more vintage purchases that I ended the year with, from two stores in the Phoenix area, and from two online auctions won.

Top: 1951 Bowman #39
Middle: 1952 Bowman Small #s 26, 50, 74
Bottom: 1954 Bowman #s 95, 90
It was nice to find a selection of old Bowman cards. Part of what I was looking for was to add new players to my Browns collection. Among these six players, all are new to my collection except for Sandusky and Hanulak.

The Ken Carpenter card is the only Browns card I have of him in my collection. (I own one of his CFL cards.) After the 1953 season, Carpenter left the NFL for the CFL and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

I don't mind the creases in the Thompson card - they give it character and keep the price down on 53 year old cardboard.

If not for using the Trading Card Database to create a wantlist, I might not have realized that the Joe Campanella card was a Browns card. However, on the back, his team is given as the Cleveland Browns. Good enough for me! Along with the Bowman Large card from the same year, they are his only Browns cards.

This is Jerry Hilgenberg's only card. Not only was he drafted by the Browns after his college career in Iowa, he was also drafted by the U.S. Air Force. He never played pro football. In 1992, however, his son Jay played a season with the Browns.
Top: 1955 Bowman #s 37, 156
Bottom: Bowman #s 150, 146
I'm always happy to add cards from Hall of Famers' playing careers, and the great thing is that this isn't the only Lou Groza card that I bought.

After 1955, football cards switched from Bowman to Topps. The cards below all seemed so familiar...
Left (top to bottom): 1957 Topps #s 76, 28, 147, 102
Right (top to bottom): 1956 Topps #s 93, 81
Of course, they seemed familiar because in 1994 Topps put out reprint sets for both 1956 and 1957. And as sharp and clean as those reprints are, I am thrilled to add the originals to my collection. And those Groza and Ratterman poses seem to be duplicates of the earlier Bowman cards.
Top: 1958 Topps #s 128, 52, 17
Bottom: 1959 Topps #s 77, 54, 26
Although it was nice to add three vintage Groza's to my collection, the next scan has the most expensive card that I purchased on this trip.

I was not expecting to complete my 1961 Fleer team set. I bought the bottom cards from one store, leaving only the Jim Brown card to buy. Who knew that the next store I went into would have the missing Jim Brown in one its cases. I think fate was telling me I had to complete the team set.

The line going through the card is a printing line, not a crease, which must have been common as the Shofner and Fiss cards each have printing lines on them as well. The edges and corners are a little fuzzy but again, it is what kept it affordable. I paid $35 for the Jim Brown card, but didn't know when I would see another one so felt that it was worth buying myself a Christmas present.

Jim Shofner was the interim head coach of the Browns in 1990 after Bud Carson was fired.

An interesting sidenote to Vince Costello is that in his retirement he put out collectible Hall of Fame figurines, one of which I showed in a previous post on Otto Graham.
Top (l - r): 1963 Topps #22, 1965 Philadelphia #39
Bottom (l - r): 1966 Philadelphia #43, 1967 Philadelphia #41
As I was doing my imitation of a kid in a candy store going through all these cards, I realized that I was approaching my spending limit so I decided to only buy ones that I could make an excuse to myself for.

Before this purchase, I didn't own any cards of Don Fleming, or Ross Fichtner and figured I couldn't pass up adding them at $1 and $2 respectively. And I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to buy a needed card of the last Browns QB to win a championship for $2. As for Ernie Green? Well, I wasn't going to pass his card up at $1.50. I left other slightly more expensive cards I needed behind. Hopefully I can pick some of them up on my next Arizona trip to see my mom in March.

These, however, were just the last player cards I bought. I also picked up the following team cards for $2 each.
Top (l - r): 1964 Philadelphia #41, 1965 Philadelphia #29
Bottom (l - r): 1966 Philadelphia #40, 1965 Philadelphia #42
As a team collector, I miss the idea of there being team cards, but if I was opening product to collect whole sets, I don't know if I would want to see valuable slots in the set going to them. There are so many veterans that don't get cards already. Although that could be alleviated by not having so many rookies in the set, especially the undrafted ones that don't end up making teams. But that is an idea for another day.

At the start of my post, I said that I had also won a couple of online auctions. They were for the following two Leroy Kelly cards:
L-R: 1967 Philadelphia #43; 1971 Dell Photos
On Sportlots I won an auction for Leroy Kelly's RC for $8 plus shipping. It is nice to fill the RC hole of a Hall of Fame player.

The second card is an oddball, a Dell Photos card that had to be freed from its plastic prison after a nice ebay win that included free shipping. For those that track completed team sets, this was a team set of one so it is now finished. It is also the only card from this post from after I was born.

A very successful Christmas of getting myself what I wanted, and a good way to finish off 2015!


  1. Great haul, Angus. I remember Walt Michaels as being the Jets head coach back in the early days of the "New York Sack Exchange" with Klecko and Gastineau. Good times!

  2. Wow! Great stuff Angus. Glad you found some LCS in Phoenix.