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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Postwar Baseball Cards Forum (Pre-1980)

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2019, 08:42 PM
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Default Collecting Hank Aaron and Willie Mays

I don't intend for this to be one of those "whose card will be worth more in 10 years" threads. I am curious as to how you guys perceive these two HOFers and their cards and how you think the market perceives them? With the exception of his rookie ( which has been on the move lately), Aaron's cards have always seemed like bargains to me. There also seems to be good deals to be had for Mays cards as well.

Along with Jackie, these are the players who will comprise most of my 1950s collecting efforts moving forward. IMO, they both offer many nice regular issue Topps cards (along with Willie's early Bowmans). As of now, the only Mays card I own is his '53 Topps. With Aaron, I have a rookie and a second year. So, there's plenty of options.

I would be interested in your thoughts.

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  #2  
Old 04-13-2019, 12:24 AM
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Six one way, half-dozen the other. I collected both guys until I met both. Mays was a jerk, Aaron was nice. Now I have Mays cards but collect Aaron cards and premiums and oddball stuff. Viewed w/o the emotion, though, I think they are perceived about the same. Mays has a few more early cards including that Bowman RC, the semi-high 1952 Topps, the 53 with the brutal full bleed black box, and a high # 1955, all of which Aaron doesn't have. Setting those aside, they are about the same.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2019, 12:25 AM
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Iíve been thinking of taking a similar collecting approach. Iím a Cubs fan, so I would like to add Banks in there as well. I really like the idea of putting together a nice Topps/Bowman run of Aaron, Mays, Banks, and Robinson. These are classic cards that can be had for a fraction of Mantle but represent some of the best careers in a time when baseball was at the top of American sports. I think itís a great idea!


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  #4  
Old 04-13-2019, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by IgnatiusJReilly View Post
Iíve been thinking of taking a similar collecting approach. Iím a Cubs fan, so I would like to add Banks in there as well. I really like the idea of putting together a nice Topps/Bowman run of Aaron, Mays, Banks, and Robinson. These are classic cards that can be had for a fraction of Mantle but represent some of the best careers in a time when baseball was at the top of American sports. I think itís a great idea!


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My postwar collecting focus over the years has been very, very broad, but Mays and Aaron cards, along with Robinson, have emerged as a focus for me. I am not sure I like the early Bowman issues of Mays enough to drop the money for them. Though I would be happy adding his 1954-1957 Topps cards to the 1953 Topps I already have. Conveniently, I also am not a big fan of his '52 Topps card. The 1956-1958 Topps cards of Aaron are also targets to go along with what I have. I like each player's '55 Bowman, too.

Like you said, they are cheaper to collect than Mantle, which just serves as an added bonus.

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  #5  
Old 04-13-2019, 09:42 AM
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I collect aaron but not mays
although i'm a giants fans but his card i mean he just look too ugly. And he don't show up locally for autographs much
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2019, 06:56 PM
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I collect both Mays and Aaron. I am just one card away from finishing my Willie run. Unfortunately for me it is his 51 Bowman. I have a ways to go with Aaron but will eventually finish. I remember Aaron more as a kid growing up mainly because of his home run chase but always liked Willie more. Thought this thread could use a couple of picts. Two of my favorite cards.

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  #7  
Old 04-13-2019, 08:05 PM
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I collect both Mays and Aaron. I am just one card away from finishing my Willie run. Unfortunately for me it is his 51 Bowman. I have a ways to go with Aaron but will eventually finish. I remember Aaron more as a kid growing up mainly because of his home run chase but always liked Willie more. Thought this thread could use a couple of picts. Two of my favorite cards.





How is that Aaron a 1? Nice card!


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  #8  
Old 04-13-2019, 08:31 PM
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How is that Aaron a 1? Nice card!


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The back is fine it is the the very small and hard to see pinhole located just top left of the cap.
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2019, 05:50 AM
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When I got back into the hobby in the early 80s, Mays was about the same as Mantle, Aaron was about the same as Clemente. Not so today. They were great players, but their legacies have faded. Don't expect much return if you are buying cards outside of their RC. They may seem under priced, but I have heard that for 35 years. Mantle, Clemente and Jackie Robinson are the post war players that I will put my money in. Mays and Aaron, Musial and Ted Williams lack the same popularity in the hobby as the big 3. I don't expect that to change.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2019, 07:33 AM
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Default psa crappy site

I love PSA loop hole (or is it pin hole? )

I've seen PSA grade cards missing chunks as - good 2

While pinholes automatically get slammed as a - 1 poor

I'll buy those all day long.

Then again, I avoid any PSA based on grading. They're wrong, in the sport I collect, most of the time. Lol
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  #11  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:32 AM
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I will give a hint which one I enjoy collecting more...

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  #12  
Old 04-14-2019, 01:11 PM
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[quote=jason.1969;1870119]I will give a hint which one I enjoy collecting more...

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Jason,

Beautiful display of Hank Aaron run of cards. I mostly am active on the memorabilia side but as of late have gotten back to my roots of card collecting. I've been adding some raw 60's and 70's era star cards to my collection of cards my brothers and I pulled from packs during that time period. Most are VG to Ex Mint (a few near mint)but I enjoy them and can care a less of their value. We flipped them traded them and unfortunately wrote on a few of them. Still lucky to have them and add to the collection for a fairly cheap price.
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2019, 05:18 PM
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I cannot think of any major league player that "worked so hard" at killing his legacy, erasing great memories, sledge-hammering his statue that Willie's long-time fans had built within their tender minds to him, then murdering hundreds, if not thousands, of "little boys within grown men" at autograph shows than "Say Hey" Willie Mays. In the late 1980s, I virtually gave away all my cards of Willie Mays in the pages of Sports Collectors Digest, and Mr. Mays has not done a single, solitary thing to cause me a moment's regret.

As for Mr. Henry Aaron, a year or two ago I purchased his gorgeous, mesmerizing 1967 Coca-Cola premium, printed by Dexter Press. I want to have PSA grade that beauty. You'd of had to guzzle a whole slew 'o Coke to get all the bottle caps, and probably draw a few faces reserved for the places of the very short-printed Braves caps, to fill the Atlanta Braves Coca-Cola cap saver sheet. Once the saver sheet was filled, and if the relatively brief deadline had not passed, redeem it at your local (actually, GEORGIA OR SOUTHEAST STATES ONLY-ONLY-ONLY!) Coke bottler to receive a "free" 12-card premium set of your Atlanta Braves. Nestled within the set was their star, Henry Aaron. His face reflects a hero wanting to graciously smile back at his adoring little fans, who thought the world of him. Yes sir, I prize that '67 Coca-Cola Hank Aaron premium highly; not the sort of prize you see staring at you every day on eBay, not to mention the National Sports Collectors Convention. Didn't cost me a lot, and yes, I think it's got potential to increase in value nicely, but that is not why I bought it. I bought it because I like Henry and how he looks on the premium, period. I love the challenging regional promotion from whence it came, period. Lastly, I like that the item has remained a scarce, somewhat rare Hank Aaron piece THAT WILL STAND OUT IN ANY DISPLAY OR ASSEMBLAGE OF HANK AARON CARDS.

And how does your Willie Mays look on his Coca-Cola premium? I was going to write, "No comment", but decided it would be more appropriate to accurately depict how Willie strikes me on his Coke premium that kids would also have had to guzzle tall glass after tall glass, and thus work hard to get those precious cards (and cavities!!!!!)-----flavorful adjectives and a description as "disinteresting", "disappointing", "dilapidated", downright "sad-faced" and "diametrically opposed to saying 'Kansas City!", as Henry Aaron was. Perchance that last one flew over your head---walk to your closest mirror and say "Kansas City!" and watch your expression light up.

I've had to force myself to think of Willie Mays so long here I have to stop now and burp, or perhaps it will be the dreaded barf.

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Last edited by brian1961; 04-16-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-15-2019, 03:52 PM
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I think what Aaron was forced to endure, while chasing Ruth's all time HR mark, will endear him to fans for years to come. The hate mail and racism was horrible and Aaron handled it with professionalism and didn't tell a lot of people at the time. He just went out and did his job every day. With the 45 year anniversary of his historic home run just passing, and soon to be 50th, I think a whole new generation will be made aware of Aaron's greatness. This includes both on the field and off the field...especially how he handled himself in the face of racism. This is right along the lines of the great Jackie Robinson.

As far as Mays, he is on my personal top 5 list of greatest of all time. However, as Brian said above, Mays has been so rude and outright mean to so many fans for so many years...people are just turned off by him. I think you will see Aaron's stock rise in years to come.
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2019, 09:48 PM
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I've put together Topps/Bowman checklists of Mantle, Mays, Koufax, Clemente and Aaron and am slowly knocking off cards from the list. Looking at the lists as a whole, what strikes me is the affordability and attractiveness of some of -the All-Star, multiplayer and highlight cards of these guys. Cards like the '62 Mantle/Mays or '58 Braves Fence Busters or '63 Dodgers Big Three or the '58 Mick All-Star.
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  #16  
Old 04-16-2019, 11:37 AM
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It's been a while since I was setting up on the show circuit, but I don't believe much has changed. Purely from a collector demand perspective - Mantle is king followed by Clemente. Mays and Aaron were a relatively distant second.
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  #17  
Old 04-16-2019, 12:22 PM
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Though I'm an Aaron guy, I do hope folks will consider the BS Mays had to deal with in his career and in life. Bitterness makes sense in that context.

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  #18  
Old 04-16-2019, 04:59 PM
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Though I'm an Aaron guy, I do hope folks will consider the BS Mays had to deal with in his career and in life. Bitterness makes sense in that context.

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Jason - I'm glad I'm not the only Board member who realizes that.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:11 PM
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Among my favorite Hammers:

1966 Topps- HANK AARON PSA-8.jpg1967 Topps- HANK AARON PSA-8.jpg

1973 Topps- HANK AARON PSA-9.jpg1974 Topps- HANK AARON PSA-9.jpg
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:14 PM
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...and some Say-Heys:

1952 TOPPS - WILLIE MAYS PSA-6.jpg1953 TOPPS - WILLIE MAYS PSA-5.jpg

1954 BOWMAN - WILLIE MAYS PSA-8.jpg1955 Topps Willie Mays PSA-7.jpg

1973 Topps- WLLLIE MAYS PSA-8.jpg
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:50 PM
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A trio of my favorites...

1965aaron170.jpg1972mays49psaoc.jpg1964aaronmaystopsinnl423psa.jpg
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:36 PM
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Jason - I'm glad I'm not the only Board member who realizes that.
Frankly, I was not aware that Mr. Mays had to deal with an abundance of BS over the course of his lengthy career. His managers all thought highly of him. As far as I know, his teammates liked him OK. The fans in New York particularly loved him. Frisco fans were expecting a kazillion home runs, etc. When the numbers were modest, Mr. Mays began to hear cascades of boos. Mr. Mays didn't cotton to that. Mr. Mays became quite disgruntled, and even coerced owner Horace Stoneham to move the fences in at Candlestick Park to accommodate his best power zone. With fences moved in, 40 homers became commonplace.

Then came the 1962 World Series. Lotsa pressure throughout the Series that took the full seven games to decide. Result: no home runs, 3 runs scored, batted .250, 1 RBI. Sour performance was not lost on the Frisco boo-birds. Mr. Mays was not the only Giant to not produce at crunch time. A young Willie McCovey hit .200, but he did hit a home run, and almost broke the decisive seventh game apart with his rifle shot right into Bobby Richardson's mitt. Be that as it may, Mays was by far the recognized leader of the Giants, and he failed. That's not my point here, for Willie made up for it with many more glorious seasons, and prodigious lifetime numbers that stand far above most who've played the game.

Fast forward to the 80s, 90s, and the new Miliennium. Collectors and fans wanted the autograph of Willie Mays, wanted to meet him for a few seconds, wanted to express in a few words how much he meant to them. Do ya think any of those Frisco boo-birds would pay 80 clams, or whatever it cost to get Mr. Mays's autograph?

Ha!

The people forming long lines to meet Willie Mays and buy his autograph were his many thousands of adoring fans, whether they saw him play, or brought a son or daughter to see their father's sports hero. THESE WERE THE PEOPLE WHO LOVED WILLIE, WHO PAID HIS SALARY, WHO WERE PULLING FOR HIM THROUGH THICK AND THIN.

So how does Mr. Mays respond to all this easy money and attention from his fans?

He showers them with rudeness, cold calculating rebuffs, and sends them away with crushed spirits, in shock and shaking their heads wondering, "WHAT DID I DO WRONG?" A very painful bad memory that will last them the rest of their life.

And you my fellow collectors have the temerity to defend such blatant disrespect and an ungrateful heart?

If your life is so colored by bitterness over failed marriages, and a career with so little bling, but then you take it out on the fans who loved you and are paying you serious money to meet you and get your autograph, there's nothing positive that can be said.

----Brian Powell
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:45 PM
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Regardless of what life dealt Willie or Hank, the test of a man is what he does with adversity. Willie let it turn him into a dick.

I was a Mays fan as a kid when he returned to NYC with the Mets, and I was so excited when I got to finally meet and greet one of my boyhood idols at a card show many years later. Just like so many other boys in mens' bodies, I worked up my courage and tried to express how much Mays meant to me and how honored I was to meet him. He said...nothing. He didn't even acknowledge my existence. Just rolled the signed baseball down the table to the handler. Felt just terrible; I paid someone to insult me. Well, I sold off my entire Mays collection including that Willie-Mickey-Duke signed baseball.

I met Hank Aaron around the same time at another show. His flight was late from Atlanta and he arrived at the show three hours late. He thanked the group for staying around to get his autograph, and when I got up to the front of the line and fan-boyed about how I idolized him as a kid he looked at me and actually spoke to me graciously. I still have the card and ticket, and will until I die:



Anyone who thinks Hank Aaron had it easy in the South Atlantic League and in the Jim Crow years is nuts, not to mention the abuse he endured during the home run chase. What he did with his experiences is the difference between him and Mays. Willie was probably a better ballplayer at his peak but he was never as good a person.

In the end, it does all come down to basic personality traits. In terms of fame, Aaron and Mays do not compare to Muhammad Ali, yet Ali was absolutely the best to his fans because he was a gregarious, outgoing man. You never hear stories of Ali being rude, ignoring kids, etc. Quite the opposite. Same with Babe Ruth.

I realize this has gone far afield from cards, but it does explain some of Mays' lack of popularity for collectors. You have to acknowledge his greatness but the rest of the package doesn't leave you feeling good. Take Roberto Clemente as a contrast. Clemente died heroically, which cemented his legacy among collectors and makes his stuff more desirable than it should be given his relative place in the rankings of great players (39th in career WAR; Mays is 5th, Aaron 7th). Yet as a man, Clemente was someone you'd want your son to emulate.
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2019, 06:01 PM
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Finally got to meet Willie Mays and he was a nice as you could hope for. Maybe itís you not him. To everyone saying he was a jerk to them.

More recently Iíve met Chipper Jones who people also say is a a hole but guess what ? Itís not true he was very nice to me and my son.

So far only one person has been anything but nice and its Juan marachal. Who was not a jerk by any means just didnít have anything to say.

Most people are not going by a what others have to say about Mays as much as they are looking at his career and legacy which is unmatched.

Hank aaron is rude according to many and a racist but you donít hear that as much .
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:16 PM
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Frankly these kinds of stories are another great exmplar of why I never could get into autographs, or I guess move any further towards humanizing my cardboard heroes in the hobby. As a kid in the late 1980's and early 90's, I met both Bob Feller and Duke Snider at card shows in NC and got their autos. (For what it's worth, both of them were nice to me). But for some reason I was always drawn more to the cards and the memories / nostalgia evoked by the era and the pieces of history themselves than the actual players. Sure the players matter, if they didn't I'd be a lot wealthier now chasing down vintage commons than Mantle, Mays, and Clemente cards - but for me for whatever reason I never cared to get that close. I relish the stats and the on-field accomplishments, but realize on some level that they are human when not on the field and I guess it's the knowledge of that possible hearbreak there which kept me from getting any closer. Mantle was alive and doing card shows when I first got into the hobby, but I never pursued that - even back then there were plentiful stories about his ability to be a dick (or just drunken idiot) to everyone too. Like any kid in that era who had a subscription to Beckett - I worshiped the Mick as if he were still playing alongside my 80's heroes, and I can't imagine what that would have been like had I had a bad experience.

This kind of brings up another topic indirectly related to the nostalgia and why we collect - what details "do it for you" exactly? Not to get too personal, but what's behind that dopamine hit when you look at your favorite vintage cards? Is it the players and the type of characters they were? Or is it the era and the sense of time gone by - the kids that may have ripped your cards from their original wax or cello, and what all that must have been like? As a fan of the game first and foremost for me, it will always be about both - but increasingly I like to wonder and marvel about the era and history that surrounded the cards when they were new.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jchcollins View Post
Frankly these kinds of stories are another great exmplar of why I never could get into autographs, or I guess move any further towards humanizing my cardboard heroes in the hobby. As a kid in the late 1980's and early 90's, I met both Bob Feller and Duke Snider at card shows in NC and got their autos. (For what it's worth, both of them were nice to me). But for some reason I was always drawn more to the cards and the memories / nostalgia evoked by the era and the pieces of history themselves than the actual players. Sure the players matter, if they didn't I'd be a lot wealthier now chasing down vintage commons than Mantle, Mays, and Clemente cards - but for me for whatever reason I never cared to get that close. I relish the stats and the on-field accomplishments, but realize on some level that they are human when not on the field and I guess it's the knowledge of that possible hearbreak there which kept me from getting any closer. Mantle was alive and doing card shows when I first got into the hobby, but I never pursued that - even back then there were plentiful stories about his ability to be a dick (or just drunken idiot) to everyone too. Like any kid in that era who had a subscription to Beckett - I worshiped the Mick as if he were still playing alongside my 80's heroes, and I can't imagine what that would have been like had I had a bad experience.

This kind of brings up another topic indirectly related to the nostalgia and why we collect - what details "do it for you" exactly? Not to get too personal, but what's behind that dopamine hit when you look at your favorite vintage cards? Is it the players and the type of characters they were? Or is it the era and the sense of time gone by - the kids that may have ripped your cards from their original wax or cello, and what all that must have been like? As a fan of the game first and foremost for me, it will always be about both - but increasingly I like to wonder and marvel about the era and history that surrounded the cards when they were new.
Well shoot, John, you just wrote out what I have been trying to verbalize on some level for a long time. When it gets right down to it, I don't believe I ever wanted to get that close either. Since I started this thread about Aaron and Mays I will use Willie as an example of this. I guess here and there I have heard stories about Mays' attitude, but somehow I have always managed to separate the cards themselves from the actual player and his personality. The cards, especially 50s cards, evoke feelings in me that I can't rationally explain. When I see those golden colors from 1955 Topps or the combined portrait and action pose of a 1956 Topps, I am just in awe--particularly when it is Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Clemente, etc. I am just a couple of years older than you so I know all about the 80s heroes. I enjoyed those guys a lot. However, the stars of the 50s and their cards are nearly mythical to me. Like you said, it is the nostalgia, how I can only imagine how it must have been. I never was an autograph seeker either. The cards themselves were somehow enough on their own. This probably sounds naive to those who had direct personal encounters, but it is what makes me tick.

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  #27  
Old 05-13-2019, 07:26 PM
MikeGarcia MikeGarcia is offline
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Default An Overlooked Set...



..I've always liked the look of these......remind me to buy a new scanner...

..
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  #28  
Old 05-14-2019, 05:56 PM
MarcosCards MarcosCards is offline
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Default Dopamine Hit

Originally Posted by jchollins
ď...but what's behind that dopamine hit when you look at your favorite vintage cards?Ē

Oooh, I like the term dopamine hit to describe the unexplainable rush when looking at favorite vintage cards. I know that volumes have been written about this phenomena ó on this forum and elsewhere. And, of course, the reaction is different and personal for each collector.

Fortunately, I have all the cards from my childhood collection (early 1960s ó when Mays and Aaron were in their prime). Whenever I go through my cards, sweet memories of the lazy, carefree summer days of my childhood come flooding back. After a while, I realize my face kinda hurts from all the smiling. Oh to have access to a time machine ó and the discretionary income that I now have.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:39 PM
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samosa4u samosa4u is offline
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I think the Hank Aaron rookie is a good buy right now. I didn't want to start shopping for them once PSA 3 examples start hitting $2,000 US, so I decided to pick up a few nice ones early this year. I might buy a couple more this summer.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:34 PM
VintageVinnie VintageVinnie is offline
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Numeric grade aside, try for centered examples, especially from the '54 set where centering is an issue on all the cards.
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