Finally!!!!!!!

Jaybo374

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16 years ago, before I joined The Bench, I made a trade with a local card collector. I traded a 1975 Topps Mini George Brett for a lot of about 300 vintage cards, a mix of 1972 and 1969 Topps. From that moment I decided to build these two sets. Given that in addition to the scarcity of them due to the era from which they were produced and they were released in several series with high numbered cards having smaller production runs, I knew this would be difficult.

Last year I finished the 1969 set by purchasing the Bobby Cox RC. A few days ago I received the final one for the 1972 set...#698 Jerry Koosman In Action.

Most of these were acquired through trades here on The Bench; some purchased on eBay or COMC. Given how long it has taken me to complete this, I do feel a certain sense of of accomplishment.

I do want to thank (or given how long it took me to carefully put this together, curse) Jeff (aka Symphonic Metal) for being the local collector who got me started on this trek and along the way added to the collection and found upgrades.

This set has a few personal meanings to me. 1972 was the year I was born and although I don’t have a conscious memory of this year, I do feel connected.

The second is that I started collecting during the early 80s and many of the veterans and stars of my youth had cards from this sets which just looked strange to my youthful eyes. For example, Reggie Jackson to me was a Yankee or an Angel, what is he doing in an A’s uniform? The same with Rod Carew - Twins, Pete Rose - Reds, Steve Carlton - Cardinals, Tom Seaver - Mets. I think we all have a year of our “Baseball Birth” which to us is year zero. Anything before that might appear out of place or oddly archaic.

My current vintage challenge is completing a 1971 Topps set. Currently I am about halfway there.

Thanks for reading.

Jay
 

rotorob

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Jay -
Nice job, those sets with tough high numbers are truly an accomplishment to complete.

Great work and good luck on the 1971!
 

David K.

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Congratulations on finishing the sets! Best regards, David PS good luck on the 1971...isn't that the year of the black borders?
 

Jaybo374

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Congratulations on finishing the sets! Best regards, David PS good luck on the 1971...isn't that the year of the black borders?
That’s right. Makes it real tough to find cards in EX condition. I’ve come across too many that looked too pristine - razor sharp corners and such - and held them against other cards to discover that they were infinitesimally cropped. These I use as decorations in my home office/man cave.
 

katester44

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Congratulations - as someone who is currently working on both of those sets, I know of exactly what you speak.

I just recently wrapped up my 1978 set (still two upgrades needed, but now have all the cards), and have 9 sets left to go complete all sets back to my year of birth.
 

SymphonicMetal

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Funny you mention that trade as a few months ago I was wondering where on Earth I had gotten that Mini Brett from. And now I know! I have a pretty good memory for things like that (where I got certain cards from) but I had forgotten all about that trade until reading your post.

Speaking of the 1975 set, you are too young to remember that Brett was not the most sought after rookie in that set at one time. It was not the Yount, Rice, Gary Carter or Keith Hernandez either. It was Fred Lynn who was the be all and end all of RCs in that set for a couple of years.

You'll always remember finding that very last card for finishing those type of sets. Congrats on finishing the 1972 Topps even though the last card you needed did not qualify as a White Whale!
 

Jaybo374

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Funny you mention that trade as a few months ago I was wondering where on Earth I had gotten that Mini Brett from. And now I know! I have a pretty good memory for things like that (where I got certain cards from) but I had forgotten all about that trade until reading your post.

Speaking of the 1975 set, you are too young to remember that Brett was not the most sought after rookie in that set at one time. It was not the Yount, Rice, Gary Carter or Keith Hernandez either. It was Fred Lynn who was the be all and end all of RCs in that set for a couple of years.

You'll always remember finding that very last card for finishing those type of sets. Congrats on finishing the 1972 Topps even though the last card you needed did not qualify as a White Whale!

The Koosman was certainly not at the price point as say a 69 Ryan, Jackson or Mantle - my previous white whales. However it was from the standpoint that no one ,and I mean no one, had one for trade and every time I saw one I liked for sale was just too expensive to justify its purchase.

In hindsight the 75 set does look like a great set. Dozens of HOF and RCs of all those you mentioned. When I started following baseball and the Red Sox as a kid in Massachusetts, Lynn was freshly traded to the Angels so I have no active memory of him playing for Boston. However, in Little League whenever a kid showed the skill to gracefully glide in the outfield to track down fly balls, the coaches would always conjure comparisons to Fred Lynn.

Thanks again, Jeff.
 

Boots

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Jay:
Congratulations! Those are beautiful sets and you'll enjoy looking at them and remembering for years.
I share your pain about finding that last card, particularly when it is of a New York player. It seems that there is a dearth of them in this area, perhaps due to the number of fans around.
I remember needing a 1971 Al Weis. I could not find one at all, no less one in nice shape. this was back in the day when Ed Keeetz was holding large (100+ tables) monthly shows at the Polish American C.C. in Albany, and I went to everyone. I was on vacation down in North Carolina, and saw a small card shop in a strip mall. I went in and looked around and, lo and behold, there were not one, but two of the '71 Weis cards! I guess not many Mets fans in Cary, N.C. at the time!
I may have some '71s to help you out. I'll take a look.
Again, Congrats!
Boots
 

Jaybo374

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Jay:
Congratulations! Those are beautiful sets and you'll enjoy looking at them and remembering for years.
I share your pain about finding that last card, particularly when it is of a New York player. It seems that there is a dearth of them in this area, perhaps due to the number of fans around.
I remember needing a 1971 Al Weis. I could not find one at all, no less one in nice shape. this was back in the day when Ed Keeetz was holding large (100+ tables) monthly shows at the Polish American C.C. in Albany, and I went to everyone. I was on vacation down in North Carolina, and saw a small card shop in a strip mall. I went in and looked around and, lo and behold, there were not one, but two of the '71 Weis cards! I guess not many Mets fans in Cary, N.C. at the time!
I may have some '71s to help you out. I'll take a look.
Again, Congrats!
Boots
Great story! It’s amazing how it’s in the most unlikely places that we find these treasures.

A few years back a friend of mine in Connecticut found several boxes containing a couple thousand cards in a dumpster of all places. They looked all right to him and gave to me since he didn’t know anything about them. When I delved into them I got three Bradshaw RCs along with a virtually compete set of 71 Topps football, a bunch of late 60s basketball and early 70s hockey and my favorite, hundreds of vintage baseball. Most have been flipped to enhance my PC.

Hope we can make a deal sometime for some 71s.

Thanks,

Jay
 
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t.rooster

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Nice going Jay! I also have been traveling the 1972 path for awhile. Instead of '69, I have the 1970 albatross around my neck. I need about 56 cards each to complete each set w/ half being upgrades. Big congratulations....
~Rooster.
P.S. That '71 set gives me hives, just so hard to find them in decent condition with that black background. Also, if you live on the west coast, as I do, that set was never manufactured and promoted out here, it stayed east of the Mississippi, so an extra challenge for us westerners. It's the only 1970s set I haven't tried to complete. Good luck!
 

hdjstuff

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At least you fellers can find all the cards for your birth year set.... I was born in 1952.... rather difficult finding those in any condition that someone would want to collect.

Good hunting!

Duane
 

HoosierBuddy

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Hrm. This is something that I've actually never considered attempting. But it does sound interesting. And, luckily enough, there's not really any big cards in my birth-year set. The highest value cards in the set are only $30. This is something I may have to attempt.
 

SymphonicMetal

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Funny the shows at the Albany Polish Community Center have been mentioned by two different members on two different topics! Boots mentioned it here and I mentioned it on the topic concerning the 39th Annual National Sports Collector's show. I was at the 2nd National in Detroit in 1981 and I compared the size of that show to the ones in the Polish Center in Albany. The last time I went to one of those shows was in 1996 when Jim Brown was signing and for the first and only time in my life I paid for an autograph. I just HAD to have Jim Brown's autograph and get it in person.

I have a local friend who used to set up and do the regional circuit for card shows. It took him 3 or 4 years to find the last 1970 Topps Baseball card I needed for my set which was the Oscar Gamble RC and he got it from a fellow dealer at the Polish Community Center show. That was in the pre internet days and that card was hard to find even when dealers had a lot of 1970 Topps high numbers.

I can attest to the dumpster find by Jay's friend. I just completed a mid grade 1971 Topps football set that I started because Jay traded me the "Big Four" cards from that set (Bradshaw, Greene, OJ and Namath). I got the last card a month ago from Bosco1 in a PWE trade. Jay's 1971 Topps Football were surprisingly nice especially when considering the solid color borders and the fact they were found in a dumpster!!!!

.
 
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