As most of you know I am not only a blogger extraordinaire, but I am also a seller on Sportlots. I started blogging in 2011 and I didn't start selling on Sportlots until 2018, but buying on Sportlots predates both. That website is one of the main sites that got me interested in cards again after my childhood phase ended in 1993 or so. In 2006, I discovered it when I was sitting in a college English class taking notes and wondering exactly why I was paying to be bored. During a particularly boring lecture about a novel written a millennium or two ago, I starting surfing the web. I was one of the first at my university to take notes on a laptop and I didn't make a habit of drifting off, except in English classes and one philosophy class that I just despised. Anyway, I somehow ended up finding Sportlots and I started buying cards of my favorite basketball player that had recently retired, Jamal Mashburn. Eventually that led to a lot of purchases of Mashburn and many other Pitino-era Kentucky Wildcats. I stopped buying around 2008 or so once college (and the student loan money) stopped, but I came back to it when I got back into baseball in 2010 right before the blog started.
Why am I boring you with that life story? Because I wanted to give a little background about how much of an influence Sportlots has had on my collecting career. And because I have decided to start a new monthly feature called Spending the Sportlots Dough. Since I started selling on Sportlots under the ID zebuflew, I have done pretty well. Some months much better than others, but overall usually enough money to buy a fair share of cards. It's not nearly enough money to make a living with, but that's not why I am doing it. I am selling cards simply to bankroll buying cards. Sportlots collects all payments from buyers and holds it until the end of the month. Then they give sellers all the money, minus fees, on the 1st of the month. In this and future posts, I am going to showcase what I bought with my Sportlots monthly payment. Sounds fun, right?
April was a pretty good month. Sales were down from a spectacular March, but were still well above average for me. The 70 cards I sold in April included 3 2019 Topps Update Vlad Guerrero Jr.s, 3 2017 Topps Photo Variation Jesse Winkers (which I speculatively bought cheap last summer), 4 2016 Bowman Chrome Trevor Storys, and a couple of various 2018 Shohei Ohtani rookies. So I had a decent amount to play with in the beginning of May.
I have gone through phases with what I buy with my Sportlots money. I started out buying cheap unopened boxes just to increase my inventory on the site, but last spring brought about the extinction of the "cheap unopened box," so I had to shift plans. If I didn't buy boxes, I would usually just buy credit on COMC and buy Rockies and/or Kentucky cards. But then COMC was really close to the epicenter of COVID and well, you guys know what they are all about now. So I had to shift once again. Currently my plans revolve around either just spending the money back on Sportlots with different sellers, purchasing an order from a Beckett marketplace seller, or just buying single and lots on eBay.
This month I went the eBay route and I focused exclusively on bumping up my Rookie Cup collection. I had a decent amount, so I knew I could get a handful of the tougher RCs that I had been missing. I ended up trading those 70 cards for 7 Rookie Cup cards and I could not be happier with the deal. Let's take a look at what I picked up with April's sales.
1971 Topps Bernie Carbo
This was probably the least difficult to acquire that I picked up. I honestly don't know why this card took so long for me to find. I got this one for under $3 shipped. This is not the end for 1971.
1971 Topps Dave Cash
Dave Cash was a decent player in the 1970s, but this card was difficult to find at a good price not because of who was pictured on it, but because of the number on the back. Cash is a high number. Not the ultra rare Series 7 high numbers, but the almost as rare Series 6 high numbers. I got this one in really good shape for a little over $10. Higher than I really wanted to pay, but happy to have this one. This one finished the 71 cup set for me in real time, but it is not the last one to be shown here tonight.
1969 Topps Bobby Cox
This card really kind of annoys me. The only this card was hard to find at a good price was due to his managerial career. Cox was a one year wonder as a player, and to be honest he probably didn't even deserve the RC honor. I remember growing up, this card could have easily been found in nickel boxes. Or even 2 for a nickel boxes. Yes I am old. But once his Braves started winning the NL East every year, this card suddenly developed a new life in the 90s and 2000s. Then when he got into the Hall, the card shot up even more. This one is in okay shape with just a very little paper loss on the back and it still set me back a $10 bill and change.
1962 Topps Billy Williams
Now we can start with the big boys. I absolutely love this card. 1962 is my second favorite Topps design of all time. I have always loved it. And this "Sweet Billy" card finishes off the entire 1962 cup set for me. It is my first, and so far only, 60s cup set to be completed. It's in really good shape and I was thrilled to find it for $13 shipped.
1968 Topps Rod Carew
This was the final of the 7 cards to be purchased and to arrive in hand for me. It didn't finish off a team set for me. I still need the Tom Seaver and Lee May cards from 1968. But this is still a very nice card of a HOFer that has always been one of my favorites. I missed the bulk of his career, but his last year was my first year, so Carew has always been on my personal radar. The epic story of his getting a heart and kidney from a former NFL player that passed away from a brain aneurysm only adds to his awesomeness. The left/right centering is poor, but I am happy that I got this one for a shade under $14 shipped.
1971 Topps Thurman Munson
This card is on the top of a lot of people's list for best Rookie Cup card of all time. It's not at the top of my list, but it is WAY up there. What can I say about the photo that has never written before? Absolutely nothing. If a normal picture is worth 1,000 words, that one is worth 10,000. I got this well loved card for a little under $12 shipped. 1971 was the second of three cup sets that I finished off with these seven cards.
1979 Topps Ozzie Smith
This card was the biggest purchase that I made this month and one of the biggest I have made for the entire collection. I can't remember, but I think I spent a little more on my 1978 Eddie Murray, but I did it wasn't much more. I got this one for a little under $25 shipped. This is another one of those cards that just rocketed in value after a HOF election. Growing up, the 79 set was often considered a set without a big rookie. 77 had Murphy, 78 had Murray, 80 had Rickey, 81 had Raines, 82 had Ripken, but 1979 was often overlooked much like Ozzie always was in the card community. I am happy that this card has become the classic that it is, I just wish I had procured a copy of it before that happened. This card is actually quite famous for not being centered well in most cases, but I think I got a decent centering. It isn't 50-50, but not as bad as a lot of Ozzie rookies I have seen. This one finished off the 1979 cup set for me.
All in all, I am thrilled to swap some Vlad Jr, Jesse Winker, and Trevor Story cards for these guys. I seriously doubt in 20 years if those currently hot rookies will maintain their current values, but I am pretty sure if cards are still being collected that the ones I picked up this month will still be in demand. The three cup sets that I finished off brings me down to 10 needed sets, 11 if you count the series 2 2021 cards. It also brings me down to a total of 33 cup cards needed for a complete run. I am fully finished with the 1971-2020 sets though. I gotta say that it will be very difficult to top this with May's sales. Although halfway through the month, I am about halfway to the April sales number, so it is possible.
Thanx for reading.