Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Upgrade Mania

After chasing the '59 Topps set a card or two at a time I decided that a more efficient way to collect a set was to start with a large lot purchase. Doing so gets you a big jump on the set at a reasonable cost per card. Downside being that large but affordable lots invariably contain some filler cards that will need upgrading. That's even true in my case despite my rather liberal view of what makes a card 'acceptable'.

I employed the 'large lot' strategy with the 1960 Topps set, the Civil War News set and most recently with the 1958 Topps set. Each purchased lot definitely had a card or two that fell into the 'I won't even put this into the binder' category.

1960 Topps Don Elston.

This beauty came in my 200 card lot. All-in-all the cards were pretty sweet but this one? Yikes.

Actually the corners were pretty nice but I think I went to eBay the day the cards arrived and found a better one:

Softer corners but at least Elston has a face.  I like to pass along my vintage dupes but there was no way I could put that first one in a PWE. It went in the trash.

1958 Topps Hank Foiles.

The guy who sold me the big lot of '58s had them in a box in card number order. That meant that Hank Foiles here, card #4 in the set, was  right on top. I remember immediately thinking that I'd made a huge mistake. The cards in the listing looked to be in at least Fair shape, most looked better than that. But if this card was representative of what I was getting then even at under a buck a card I was going to be very disappointed.

Luckily the Foiles card was the worst card in the box. By quite a wide margin. Again I had to wonder why the seller had even bothered with it. I didn't do as I did with the '60 Elston and find a replacement right away but I found one for sale on eBay from a seller I've dealt with and loaded it in my cart. I bought it a few days later with some others. Again the replacement Foiles card isn't perfect but it is perfectly fine for my binder.

The new one looks even better when placed alongside the original.

1962 Civil War News 'The War Ends'.

This card came with the original lot I picked up on eBay that averaged about a dollar each. It may be definitely is the worst card I've ever paid for. I had fair warning though. The seller went out of his way to make the condition of some of the cards very clear. He even emailed me about it after I paid.

It was obviously trimmed to include the card number.

With the cost of nice ungraded cards from this set being pretty high (routinely in the $7 to $10+ range) I did well with the lot I bought. So I didn't feel bad for paying $8 for the replacement

It's off-center but nearly every card in the set was miscut, or so it seems from looking at what I have and what is for sale. But other than that it's the nicest example of the nearly 50 CWN cards I now have. Bottom line...CWN #82 went from worst to first in my binder.

I'll continue to play the upgrade game with my 1958 set. But other than the Foiles that will have to be when I'm finished with the thing. 


  1. Nice upgrades..that Elston was just awful. I Guess someone wasn't a fan.

    If you need some more 1960 (or 61) upgrades I have a few that might help: Vintage lot

    1. Thanks Chris. My 1960 set is done. 1961 is a far down the road project....far far far down the road!

  2. I've never done the large-lot purchases. I should start thinking about it.

    1. It makes sense economically but I have to admit I kind of feel like I'm taking a shortcut. Maybe it was the fact that it was my first vintage set 'chase' but tracking down the '59s as singles and in small groups was more fun than finishing off the '60 set.