Shine On You Crazy Diamond Stars ($10 Challenge)

Over the last three months, my trips to the card shops have been few and far between. With two kids now and a new career, the majority of my card-buying efforts have involved me clicking “bid” and then checking my mail box about a week later.  Now that is not to say I’ve not been buying anything. Hell, I’ve got plenty of new stuff to show. But for the purposes of this post, we’ll stick with some goodies I plucked on Monday from the card shop.

I’ve written about this shop time and time again. I love their selection of bargain vintage cards. They have some high-priced stuff for people who are concerned about the nuances between a PSA 4 and a PSA 5, or better. But for me, a rookie card collector who dabbles in battered vintage, I like to get the best bang for my buck.

I’ll say this: It’s a shame that Chris Olds over at Beckett isn’t running another of the $10 challenges this week. I think I would have had a good shot at the bragging rights. Unfortunately I missed the last contest, and there is not one running now … at least not officially. <<wink>>

So it is without further adieu I bring you the treasures of my hunt.

Being a rookie card collector, I’ve taken a real interest in the 1933 Goudey set. Beckett has chosen this set as the benchmark of vintage rookies. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig have rookies in this set. Hack Wilson too.

You know who else has a rookie in this set? Horace “Hod” Ford. That’s who.

One glance at the card and you know why this 77-year-old piece of cardboard only set me back $5. And it is the price point that made this card appealing to me. Someone asked me at the store if I even knew who Ford (or the others guy pictured on the two cards I’ll discuss shortly) was. I said, “No. But I’ll find out when I get home.”

Ford’s career spanned 15 seasons, which included two stints with the Boston Braves. He hit .263 and had one more homer than seasons played his entire career.  His career highlight? In 1928, he finished 22nd in the Most Valuable Player voting. He hit .241 that year. He must have been a hell of a defender.

Nonetheless, here is another official rookie that is getting checked off my endless checklist.

***

When I’m not chasing rookie cards, I like to obtain commons from vintage sets just to say I own a card from a particular make. Example these 1935 and 1936 Diamond Stars.

If these cards look familiar, they should. These Diamond Stars cards are produced by National Chicle, the brand that Topps tweaked for re-release in 2010.  Before Monday, I had only seen examples of these cards on the Internet and at The Met in New York. It’s not that these are rare, it’s that I never see them at affordable prices in places I frequent. The Joe Kuhel set me back $2, and Ray Hayworth $5.

Kuhel apparently was considered the best defensive first baseman of the 1930s, and hit .271 during his 18-year career. In 1936 — the year after this card was produced — Kuhel had his finest offensive season (.321 avg, 16 hr and 118 rbi) which lead to him placing sixth in the Most Valuable Player voting.

Hayworth was no superstar either, but he spent five decades in the game and held the distinguished record for most defensive chances by a catcher without committing an error. The record, which led to his glove being exhibited in the Baseball Hall of Fame, was later broken by Yogi Berra.

***

If you’re counting at home, my bill should have been $12; but this shop always gives discounts ranging from 10 to 20 percent, bringing my total to a tad under $10. In the end, I walked out with three cards — each more than seven decades old — which led to a history lesson on three players who most collectors/bloggers wouldn’t even spend two seconds thinking about.

One Response to “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Stars ($10 Challenge)”

  1. Play at the Plate Says:

    If my local LCS had anything like that, I’d never spend another dime at Walmart or Target on cards. Very nice!

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