Thursday, April 23, 2015

Christmas in April (If I Had a Million Dollars)

The baseball card hobby makes it pretty easy to dream about cards you'll most likely never be able to afford.  Every so often - maybe once every year or two - I have one of those cardboard dreams that just feel so real you hope it's real life.  It usually involves me being at a card show or shop, and finding insane, but still kinda sorta realistic...ish, deals on great cards that I would love to own.

I came across this mind blowing ebay auction for what is apparently a 12 card holiday pack of 1952 Topps.  If you have a minute, take the time to read the auction description.

I'll never be able to afford a pack of 1952 anything.  And even if I could, I can't see myself paying that kind of money for cardboard, even if I was obscenely wealthy.  I'm just not wired that way.

But the thing that really caught my interest was just how strange the story is - original, nice grade Topps cards of a mysterious origin, probably sold anywhere between 1952 and 1962, or perhaps even all points in between.

Double the size of the 6 card nickel packs.

And add in the incredibly corny 1950's style graphics and shrink wrap, and it just seems like this perfect storm of nostalgia, pop history, and hobby drool puddling.

I'm sure anyone out there who can afford to shell out over a grand to try their luck on a pack of this is hoping for a Mantle.  Hell, even if its just a dozen commons it's still probably a better value than some of the super high end products on the shelves today.

But this just seemed too awesome not to share.  It's nothing I have seen before, and heck...if I ever did hit the lotto, maybe I would suck it up and try a pack.  In the mean time, please pass the towel to mop up this drool.


  1. It's interesting - there are a lot more of these Holiday packs popping up on eBay in the last 5 years or so. I'd have to dig around to find it, but there's a forum that was talking about exactly these cello packs, and they seemed to believe that they were relatively new creations.
    I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but I've only heard negative things about these. *Except for the folks that have purchased them and kept them sealed, they defended the purchase as a unique keepsake.
    The negative comments all say that the cards were more than likely packaged in the last few years (I think one person even posted a link to buy the candy cane designed cello bags and Santa tags to make your own) and will only contain commons.
    So, I think the cards are authentic, but the stories of the re-packs being from the 20th Century are probably not true. The condition of the cards you can't see on the scan are probably also a buyer beware situation. Any promise of a Mantle, Mays, Aaron or other star is probably wishful thinking.
    It's impossible to know if the seller is trying to pull a fast one, or purchased the items in good faith from someone else.

    If they *are* legit (It's possible!) then it would be amazing to see one in person.

    1. Interesting (though not surprising). It seems like an odd distribution avenue, since I was always under the impression the gum was the big draw for much of Topps' early history.

      My vintage buying is pretty much reserved for well loved copies with creases and soft corners. Even if they're essentially repacks, it's pretty impressive to find 52's in that that kind of shape.

    2. I think for $1000 you could get more than 12 1952 Topps Cards that would be better than anything these re-packs.

      I will say that the research on these that shows that there are some authentic repacks that were made in the 1960s and 1970s of older topps cards. The 1952 version might be too good to be true, especially given that there's a pretty famous story about what Sy Berger and Topps did with the inventory they weren't able to sell from that year.

      The problem is that it would be next to impossible to tell a real 60s/70s repack (which might actually include some amazing high dollar cards) from a fake repack made in the last couple years. Especially impossible if all you have to look at are pictures on eBay.

      I could be tempted to bid on something like this, but my highest bid would be based on the value of the cards I can see plus the value of 6 commons from that year. I would probably lose every auction, but I wouldn't worry about being suckered.

  2. Wow, I actually have that Dale Mitchell card. Anyone want to lend me a couple grand so I can find out what's in that rack pack?

  3. Vintage Fairfield repack? Whatever it is... it's pretty cool. Just not $1,026 cool. Well... at least in my book. On the other hand... I just dropped $200 on a base set from 2005... so I guess I can't be too judgy.

    1. There aren't many things, hobby related or otherwise, that are $1,000 cool in my book. Maybe a Clemente or Honus auto one of these days...otherwise, I like to stick to things that have far fewer zeroes.