Tuesday, April 11, 2017
#157 Bob Usher
#157 Bob Usher
Progress: None, 2nd of this card
How acquired: 0.99¢ on ebay
This Bob Usher wasn't a card I was looking to upgrade (I'm not really looking to upgrade anything in this venture), but when I'm buying a card I need from a seller who combines shipping, I'm taking any and all of their other 52's I can grab for under $2. This Usher is actually worse off than my first copy, which has some issues of it's own, but when we're talking cents instead of dollars, I just put my head down and bid.
It's not just a matter of hoarding these things. I've recently started spending "real" money on a few 52's, like tank of gas or Friday night pizza delivery money. A year ago the most I had ever spent on a single card was around $30. I've doubled that number twice in 2017 already, albeit offset with eBay bucks (a '53 Paige, and a HOF'er in this set). To complete the first five series of this set (1-310), I figure I'm going to have to break the $100 mark at least twice. The Billy Martin doesn't seem to go below that mark, and the Willie Mays is going to at least triple it. Adding to the cost is that given that kind of money, I'm going to go with graded cards. I'll immediately crack them open, but I'll pay a few extra bucks for the piece of mind that they're the real deal.
Given my frugle collecting habits, the idea of dropping a card payment on the Willie Mays has been the source of both stress and excitement. As a kid, it was my pie in the sky fantasy card that I would highlight in Beckett monthlys as one I'd own some day. As a married adult and parent, it's a reckless misuse of money. I don't sell cards very often on ebay, but for the last two months I've been using my 50 free listings and when they offer 500 free listings, I scan as much as I can in the time the offer is open. I'm just selling what I deem to be "junk." Mostly inserts from the last ten years. I just recently the $100 mark in the Paypal account I set up for it. It's my "Willie Mays fund." Having never really sold cards before, I'm a little bit shocked at what actually sells.
Tying this back to Bob Usher, if/when I complete these first 1-310 cards in the set, it's the sort of thing I'll tell my wife and some friends about. They don't care about cards, so I pick my shots as to when to gloat. Ebay funded or not, they're going to notice my cost tracker on the right. And even over 10 years, the number is going to look big. So every 0.99¢ Usher is an opportunity to keep that average price per card number down.