In January 2021, I wrote about the Sports Cards I Would Buy if I had a Million Dollars. While fantasizing about what you would buy if you won the lottery is fun, it isn’t very realistic. So I thought I would share a more reasonable list this time of the ten oddball baseball cards I would buy if I had $1k to spend on cards.
I always like to give myself a few ground rules when I do these sorts of things. This time I am looking to get variety, a few big-name players, but mostly a broad spectrum of the types of oddball baseball cards that exist.
1947 Bond Bread John Sain
Given all the recent discussion about rounded vs. squared borders on Twitter, I thought I’d start this faux collection with a nice example of a Bond Bread card.
Running Total: $47
1948 R346 Blue Tint #29 Lou Gehrig
The R346 Blue Tint set was one of the first I studied when I started documenting oddball cards on the Archive, and I also wrote about a nice set that REA sold in my 9th Post War Cards Newsletter. This set is a pure oddball because no one knows who made them. And being able to add a Gehrig card within a $1k budget is a good get.
Running Total: $205
1954 Wilson Franks Bob Feller
A good oddball collection has to have a hot dog card, and the two big ones are the Wilson Frank and Stahl-Meyer sets. Both are really pricey, but Feller is an affordable star pickup for this pretend collection.
Running Total: $517
1955 Rawlings Musiał #2A Portrait
Pricing the 1955 Rawlings Musial cards these days is pretty tough. A small number of devoted Musial Collectors have unintentionally been driving up their prices, but this excellent example sold for $76 within the past two years. Collectors cut the cards from boxes of Rawlings baseball gloves that Musial endorsed.
Running Total: $593
1959 Home Run Derby Wally Post
The 1959 Home Run Derby set is one of the most popular and expensive post-war oddball sets. Star cards from the American Motor’s set would blow my budget, but this Wally Post example sold for an affordable price.
Running Total: $743
1964 Wheaties Stamps Harmon Killebrew
Another category of oddball cards is stamps, and most of them are pretty inexpensive. I especially like the 1964 set’s album.
Running Total: $760
1968 – 70 Partridge Meats John Bench
The Partridge meats set was made for Reds players to sign when they appear at Kroger grocery stores; I think they’re gorgeous cards.
Running Total: $914
1975 Hostess #80 Robin Yount
I thought it would be a good idea to include a bazooka or hostess box cut card on the list, and adding another Hall of Famer with Robin Yount doubles the impact of this card on this 10-card collection.
Running Total: $969
1978 Papa Gino’s Discs #14 Jim Rice
I also had to include a disc in this exercise for variety. Papa Gino’s discs were a regional promotion, primarily in the Boston area, produced by MSA, who had partnerships with various Players’ Unions (that’s why most MSA cards have team logos airbrushed off of them).
Running Total: $985
1978 TCMA The 1960’s #262 Mickey Mantle
Ok, this card takes me just over my $1k budget, but I think you can throw me a bone when it’s a Mickey Mantle card under $100. Also, TCMA brought so many cool cards to collectors it strengthened this collection
Running Total: $1016
The cool thing about oddball cards is that there are so many varieties, and you can stretch $1k into multiple excellent cards. And if your bankroll is lower, I showed a few cards well under the $50 price point, too.
To learn more about oddball cards, check out the Oddball Archive; happy collecting!