Like many collectors, eBay has become the lifeblood for a collector. It can offer you almost anything for your collecting needs. It has become an economic benchmark for hobbyists. Beckett may say a particular card is worth something, but eBay reflects the actual peaks and valleys that we as collectors now dictate. The online auction site has opened up avenues to find some of the most random and obscure cards that one would be hard pressed to locate within 100 miles of LCSs and Card shows. Certainly, this is akin to the treasures found by Ali Baba!! (Even moreso if your password to log into eBay is "Open_Sesame!") However, we are not alone in this auction realm and we have all experienced having the proverbial rug, or card, pulled out from our grasp with mere seconds on the clock or had our hopes of getting a certain gem for short money only to get into the dread "bidding war." I am not a "curse guy," I just tend not to swear. My "F word" tends to be "Friggin." I will admit that I have hollered the non-edited by Walmart word around quite a bit when I lost out on an auction, or I had to go more than the opening bid on an item.
Now as a collector of Joe Carter, one would think there would not be much of a hot bed of interest for his cards. Let me state, that is not the case. I have had to be on my toes if I wanted to acquire some of his cardboard, much to my chagrin. "What type of malcontent would want cards of a long retired .259 career hitter that is not even on the HOF ballot??!! shouts a collector of a long retired .259 hitter that is not even on the HOF ballot. Now as a guy who does not swear to often, my wife has gotten used to the random "F@HQ!!!!!" emanating from my office. "You get outbid again?" she would state with about as much feigned interest as she could. "Who the *#$#*$^ else would want that card beside me??!!!" I know exactly the type, they are the type that have no rhyme or reason, they just want to see the collecting world burn!!! What do these people do when they are not squashing the hopes and dreams of cheap collectors? This...
A couple months back, I had pulled out my lantern and began a search for an honest man. Okay, I actually just googled "Joe Carter Collection" in an attempt to see what information I could glean from this search. It lead me to this blog: http://torontobluejayscollection.blogspot.ca/
Here I found Richard, who like myself, has been an on again, off again collector. A guy who as this hobby grew and expanded had to downsize and focus on something in particular, and his was deciding to just collect Joe Carter. Now being from the land of Poutine and Molson, being a Carter guy made a whole lot more sense than some shmoe in the Boston area. I read all his posts saw how pumped he was in starting his collection and his efforts to spread his former collection of Blue Jays to other collectors. Richard without knowing introduced me to Zistle, which has been a fun site for me to catalog my stuff and trade bait. Now as a collector of many things, I know how much I like having stuff that I enjoy. That being said, I also like to find homes for things that will be loved and appreciated. A while back I sold a box full of carded Marvel Comic action figures to a friend of mine whom remarked that I could have gotten more for one figure selling it on eBay than I did selling him the entire lot. I just said, "I like to put things where they belong." I potentially, could have gotten more, but I would rather see then go to a friend who will enjoy and appreciate them (And I know he is not made of money) than just sell them to whomever is the highest bidder on the internet.
So as a Carter collector, I have thousands of duplicates sitting in monster boxes. I took to digging through to find any cards I had that Richard did not, and I reached out to him wanting to send them to him. (How often do you find someone that can appreciate a career .259 hitter??) Over that time, Richard and I have corresponded regularly, keeping each other up to date on how their Carter acquisitions were going. Then it dawned on me when he rambled off the last few card he had gotten, and I realized, "THIS WAS MY SATURN!!!" This was my "nemesis" who I was bidding against so many times. Equally stated, I was his! So many times, as Richard waited to add a Carter card to his collection, only to see HIS hopes dashed as I sniped the card away from him. (And I am sure I did it to him, far more times than he did it to me!!)
This past week has been hell as I suffered a rather traumatic freak accident that required emergency surgery, so I have not done much with cards until today. I had a follow up doctor visit and grabbed my mail as well and found a envelope from Mount Crumpet. Sure enough, my friend Richard sent a package of Carter cards that have long eluded me.
A couple more goodies courtesy of the marketing one can do when your team wins the World Series. The one on the left is an issue from Demptser's which is a bakery which apparently has been "Nourishing Canadians one loaf at a time." For a food issue card, this is a nice card with a rather sleek design. The card on the right is also a regional food issue, but only in name only. This is a 1994 Oh Henry card, but Oh Henry was merely a sponsor (The money backer in this case) as this is what called a "Police Safety Set" The idea was that local fire or police could hand these cards out to kids. Early cards would have some sage wisdom printed on the back. In my area, we never had "Police sets" and if a cop approached me as a kid, it certainly was not to hand me some baseball cards. I always like these type of sets. Collecting wise, it said you "arrived" if you were fanatic enough to track down a police set. Like a great blogger once stated, these have everything you want in a regional release. "Low-quality cardboard, low quality-printing, a design that just screams "love me or hate me" - I love regional issues, because they are so exclusive! They are rarely worth much money, but certainly not the easiest things to track down.
The Upper Deck card I swore I had, but I had the relic version with the jersey swatch, so it is nice to add the base insert. (If it is possible to be a base and insert at the same time.)
This card here might be throwing you off. One would think as a player collector, that I would already have all of the base cards, which I do, but this gem was INCREDIBLY tough to find.
Thank you Richard for your generosity and kindness. I look forward to our correspondences and I look forward to working together to build both our collections. I already have a stack of cards that I will be sending to "Mount Crumpet."