Saturday, January 5, 2013

1973 Topps Set Quest - Post 1

One of my goals during 2013 will be to try and complete this 1973 set through card number 528.  The final series consisting of cards 529-660 are more difficult to obtain and more pricing and while I will be looking to add those to my set, my focal point during 2013 will be on the cards through 528.   This set is comprised as 4 series and for comparison sake, series 3 commons book for $1.25 and series 4 book for $3.  Also the high series has the Mike Schmidt rookie which will be the priciest card for the set.  2013 will hopefully see me go for the quantity and in 2014 I will focus on the quality high numbers.

Here are my recent pick ups in the quest to complete this set.  I believe all of them came from Sportlots.

 So I start of the post saying I am focusing on the non-high number cards and what is my first scan?  3 high number cards. Rusty and Fred were both photographed in old Yankee Stadium it appears. The Rookie Shortstop card features 3 players that never became huge stars but both Frias and Guerrero ended up playing for 8-9 years and played in around 700 games. I got the Rookie Shortstops for $1.30.  The other two were a quarter each plus $0.50 shipping each.
 Next up is a nice Walter Johnson card celebrating the Big Train as the All-Time Shutout Leader.  He has 2 cards in this subset including one for being the Strikeout Leader.  I won't be featuring too many of these in this Set Quest series of posts as I already have all but 1.  I still need the Babe Ruth All-Time RBI leader.  However once I secure the Ruth card, this might be a good subset to earn a full dedicated blog post.  I scored this card for $1.
The final trio of cards feature some pretty sweet 1973 star power.  Let's start with Yaz.  Pretty cool photo from spring training with a batting net in the background and most of a catcher.  Yaz's face in this photo captures him in the way I perceive him to be, fairly stoic and just there to do his job and do it well.  When I visited Cooperstown a couple years back I made some purchases at a Yastrzemski named sports card shop that is owned my a relative of Carl. I struck up a conversation with the guy - great guy who also gave me some good deals on vintage cards - and I guess Yaz has only been to Cooperstown a select few times.  Wants to avoid the crowds and would rather keep to himself.  He doesn't have too many certified card autos out there either.  This one set me back $5.40.

Picked up this Hank Aaron as well and it was near the end of his career after he had shifted to First Base.  The card features the former HR King prepping to catch a pop up and showcases his first baseman's mitt. As a former first baseman myself, I always enjoy a nice look at the unique leather for the position.  I picked this one up for $5.24.

 Speaking of star power, it doesn't get much bigger that the Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays.  As a Giants fan it seems wrong seeing him in his Mets uniform, he certainly seems like someone who should have stayed with one team for his entire career. Prior to going after this set I had several chances to pick this card up but it never really fit into my collection and always disappointed me a little due to his exile to the Mets.  Willie set me back $8.25.
My final pick up to share is Mr. Roberto Clemente.  Roberto is one of the most admired men in baseball history and is known for his play on the field, charitable work off the field and his too early and tragic death while going on a humanitarian trip.  I recently ran across an article about the bat used for Clemente's 3000th and final hit that was very interesting.  If you haven't read it I would recommend you check it out.  This is one of the most expensive cards in the set and I picked it up for $17.95.  If I was patient, I probably could have done better but I got into somewhat of a bidding war.  Plus I was able to combine shipping with 3 additional cards and the majority of the shipping was allotted to this card so it is somewhat artificially high. 

These recent purchases focused on a lot of the higher end cards in the set.  There are 22 cards in the set that book for over $10. I obviously won't be basing my purchases on book value but it is a good way to gauge my progress and understand which cards will set me back the most.  The Yaz, Aaron, Mays and Clemente all fall into this category which leaves with only 10 to secure (Fisk, Seaver, Bench, Reggie, Bob Boone RC, Ruth All-Time RBI, High Number Checklist, Dwight Evans RC, SO Leaders - Carlton/Ryan and the Schmidt Rookie.  Among the higher valued cards, I have already picked up the Gossage RC, the HR Leaders featuring Mays/Aaron/Ruth, Pete Rose and Nolan Ryan.

Here are some stats to start tracking my progress:

Total Cards added in this post - 8
Total Cards from 1-528 added in this post - 5
Cards added with BV $10 or higher in this post - 4
Progress on cards with BV $10 or higher - 12/22
Updated status towards 2013 goal - 466/528
Updated status towards complete set - 505/660

If you have any of my wants for trade let me know.  I will keep my progress updated on the blog as well and my want list up to date.

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