here, I am trying to complete a 1977 O-Pee-Chee Blue Jays team set all in PSA 8. I'm actually not one to collect a lot of graded cards. I have a small prewar player collection, about half of which is graded, but I don't actively seek graded cards. And I have never sent anything in to be graded, either.
Now this isn't to say I have any issues with grading or grading companies. The truth is, I simply don't want to pay for grading or the shipping involved. When I buy cards, I focus on the card. If it's graded, cool. If not, that's fine too. With prewar cards, depending on the issue, I may *prefer* it to be graded if I am not sure about judging the authenticity, but if the price is right, I don't care either way.
So how did we get here, then?
Back before I started this blog, I was looking for some inspiration. I had rediscovered my previous Blue Jays collection, and was kicking around the idea of restarting that collection. I maintain a prewar player collection, and add to it occasionally, but also liked the idea of something that I be more active with, and build on a slightly cheaper scale. I think how I focus my Jays collection will continue to evolve, but that's another story. We're talking about graded cards here, I think.
So while looking for that inspiration I learned that the Jays team set in 1977 OPC set differs from the Topps set. Thanks to The Shlabotnik Report for the enlightenment. That got me thinking about collecting the 1977 OPC set (I already have the Topps set). But I wanted to do something with it to make it more challenging. And actually, I was, and still am, considering some way of framing and displaying the set once it's complete.
That's where the desire for grading comes in. Seeking the cards all in a given grade will provide a bit of a challenge. Not so challenging that it's impossible to complete (tried that once...thought it'd be cool to collect an N172 Old Judge Toronto team set...it's only 3 cards after all), but challenging enough that it's not just about throwing out some cash to buy the cards. So a quick look on eBay to get some idea of relative pricing, and a quick look on the PSA population reports to see if every card exists in any particular grade, and here we are.
The entire 27-card team set exists in PSA 8. The pop reports when I looked did not have the entire team set available in 7, 9 or 10. Now, that doesn't guarantee that I will track down every card in an 8, either, but there's at least a chance. And since I don't want to be sending cards away to PSA hoping for specific grades, that counts for something. Plus, the price point is right for me. A PSA 10 will easily run $50 a card. At that price, I can be adding cards to my prewar collection instead (that's actually what I'd rather do if I'm spending $50 on cards in one shot). Even a 9 is closer to $20 than $10. A PSA 8, however, is generally under $10, and in many cases only $6 or $7. That's right in my wheel house.
So what happens next?
Right. I did title this post 'coming soon', didn't I?
Part of the draw of a challenging project is to draw out the acquisitions to afford time in between each pickup to research the players I've added. I'm familiar with some of these guys, but others I've never heard of. As inaugural members of the Toronto Blue Jays, I figure many of these guys have to have been the first to do something in the Jays organization. And I'm sure many of them have interesting stories of how they ended up on an expansion franchise.
So with the Inaugurals series, I'm hoping to feature a particular card that I've added to my 1977 OPC Set, and research and share any interesting stuff that I've learned about the player/card in question. That's assuming I can find any off-beat interesting information about anyone. In adding a research component to this project, I figure it'll make it more interesting, but also give me another way to enjoy my collection by other ways than just adding to it.
We'll see. Stay tuned, though, and if I don't crack under the pressure I'm adding by announcing this, I'll have the first few posts out in short order.
Thanks for reading!