Making a Change to My Lifelong Project…..

Collecting is all about having fun. To me it is about having fun and being challenged. There is nothing quite like the feeling of completing a set that I have been working on for years.

When I was ten years old, you may remember me telling you of a time that I looked at a 1957 Topps set that belonged to my friend's dad. I wanted to have that set and after I graduated from Texas Tech and entered the real world, I pieced one together over the years. During this time, I have also been working on other Topps sets and decided a long time ago that I was going to go for every Topps set from 1952 to present in EX or better condition. Well, over the years I have amassed quite a collection. I now have complete sets of 1957, 1959, and all sets from 1968 to present. However, a couple of years ago I decided that the 1952, 1953, and 1954 Topps set were going to be too difficult to complete, so I sold those partial sets. I then decided that my new goal was to own every Topps set in EX or better condition from 1955 to present. I have been working diligently on this project and here is my progress as of today:

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As you can see, I am at 90% or higher on most of these sets so I am beginning to see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. However, most of these cards are so expensive that it will definitely take me some time to complete these. An interesting fact about my collection is that I have every Topps base card that books for $10 or less. :)

But a few days ago, I got to thinking about my collection. I miss the cards from 1952, 1953, and 1954 that I sold. I do not regret selling them because I knew that I would NEVER have complete sets in EX or better condition from those years. Sometimes I would go on EBay and see what some of the key cards would go for such as Mantle's rookie in PSA 5 or better. I could buy a new car for what one of those recently went for. Obviously I would never be able to even think about going for the 1952 set in that condition. I then began to think, "What if I were to lower my condition standards on just the 1952, 1953, and 1954 sets?" I mean, are cards lower than PSA 5 quality really that bad to look at? I visited a card store that had a bunch of beat up vintage from those years and yes they were very ugly. I decided I would just have to stick to my goal of 1955 to present. However, that night, I looked on EBay and came across this card:

1954 Topps #20 Warren Spahn PSA 3

1954 Topps #20 Warren Spahn

This card has a high book value of $125. To me, it presents well, especially in the PSA holder. I mean sure the corners are rounded and the card is off centered but if I want to work on this set, I know that I have to lower my condition requirements of EX or better. The more I studied this card, the more I decided to go ahead and place a low bid on it. I was surprised that I actually ended up winning this card with a final price of $15.50. I then thought more about how I was going to go after the 1954 set. I decided that all cards will have to be at least a PSA 3. In fact, I think I will just focus on getting only PSA 3 cards. Once I decided on this, I looked up the value of all cards from the 1954 Topps set. I made a list of the ones that were more valuable than the Spahn. Here it is:

#1 Ted Williams $800
#10 Jackie Robinson $400
#32 Duke Snider $200
#37 Whitey Ford $200
#50 Yogi Berra $300
#90 Willie Mays $800
#94 Ernie Banks $1,500
#128 Hank Aaron $1,800
#132 Tommy Lasorda $250
#201 Al Kaline $700
#250 Ted Williams $1,000

I was surprised to learn that if I go for a 1954 Topps set in PSA 3 condition, there were only 11 cards priced higher than the Spahn. Since I got the Spahn for what I consider a deal at $15.50, I should be able to get 238 cards for the same price or lower. Obviously, most of them should go for lower since Spahn is a Hall of Famer! The seller I won this card from also had this one that I picked up from him:

1954 Topps #7 Ted Kluzewski

I ended up getting Kluszewski for $4.99. Doesn't a PSA holder cost more than that? Besides, Kluzewski isn't a common -- the high book for his card is $50. So at that ratio, I should get $15 commons graded a PSA 3 at $1.50 each? Wishful thinking!

Of all my Topps sets from 1955 to present, not a single card is in a PSA holder. I have them all in binders that are dust free and protected very well from warping or light. However, I have made the decision to keep all cards obtained from 1954 and older in PSA holders. I just think that the holder itself makes the card present better. Maybe once I complete the 1954 Topps set, I will have it custom framed or something. I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas!



1954 TOPPS BASEBALL CARD LOT OF 6: JIM HEGAN, JIM LEMON, BILL GLYNN, BOB KENNEDY
1954 TOPPS BASEBALL CARD LOT OF 6: JIM HEGAN, JIM LEMON, BILL GLYNN, BOB KENNEDY
$9.99
Time Remaining: 34m

1954 Topps #23 Luke Easter SGC 82 (PSA 6.5)
1954 Topps #23 Luke Easter SGC 82 (PSA 6.5)
$14.99
Time Remaining: 43m

1954 Topps #37 Whitey Ford PSA 4.5 VG-EX+
1954 Topps #37 Whitey Ford PSA 4.5 VG-EX+
$29.25
Time Remaining: 43m

1954 Topps #45 Richie Ashburn PSA 4 VG-EX
1954 Topps #45 Richie Ashburn PSA 4 VG-EX
$14.95
Time Remaining: 43m

1954 TOPPS BASEBALL ~ #50 ~ YOGI BERRA ~ NEW YORK YANKEES ~ BOTH VARIATIONS
1954 TOPPS BASEBALL ~ #50 ~ YOGI BERRA ~ NEW YORK YANKEES ~ BOTH VARIATIONS
$250.00
Time Remaining: 44m
Buy It Now for only: $250.00

1954 TOPPS ~ #37 ~ WHITEY FORD ~ HOF ~ NEW YORK YANKEES ~ KSA 8.5 NEARMINT-MINT+
1954 TOPPS ~ #37 ~ WHITEY FORD ~ HOF ~ NEW YORK YANKEES ~ KSA 8.5 NEARMINT-MINT+
$450.00
Time Remaining: 48m
Buy It Now for only: $450.00

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