Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and others highlight Chicagoland Collection
February 14, 2020
Plenty of Travel
We share stories about collections that we buy and some of the interesting travel that it takes to get there. Over the years, we've figured out some of the best ways to get to places and places to avoid while traveling there. After plenty of travel this winter for collections from Oklahoma to Massachusetts, we had a collector contact us from just outside of Chicago with a small group of 1933 Goudey cards and a few handfuls of other Hall of Famers. We reviewed the images of the collection and worked out some preliminary values based upon the condition of the cards that were viewed in images that the seller provided us. We discussed the values and what our tentative offer would be and we had a meeting of the minds and a preliminary agreement in place. However, the volume of the collection and assumed value of the balance of the newer cards in the collection was one that made shipping it a concern. After reviewing the values and the sellers proximity and access from O'Hare airport, we decided that it would be easiest to fly out, rent a vehicle and drive the 20 or so minutes to the seller's home to review and finalize the purchase of the collection.
Travel and evaluations are something that we're pretty familiar with and time in the car (truck) or in the airport comes with the territory. This collection presented the rare opportunity of a quick trip in and out despite being about a third of the way across the country. Many times, even when flying in, there is a decent amount of travel or navigating through busy cities or around congested airports.
One Day Trip
This collection and trip came together pretty quickly. The images were of cards that had a pretty consistent range of grades and the evaluation was rather easy and left little room for upside or downside, so our preliminary offer was pretty much a given. The seller agreed with our evaluation, valuation and offer, so we had an agreement pending in-hand inspection.
We recently purchased a nearly complete set of 1933 Goudey cards that had been trimmed from a collector north of Boston, MA. This Chicagoland collection also included a nice assortment of 1933 Goudey cards, and while a much smaller group, it featured cards that had not been trimmed. The Goudey portion of the collection consisted of about 50 cards with more than half of them being Hall of Famers. Included in the Hall of Famers were two Babe Ruth cards and one Lou Gehrig card. Other stars included Tris Speaker, Bill Dickey, Bill Terry, Tony Lazzeri, Waite Hoyt, Rogers Hornsby, Hack Wilson and many others.
More Than Goudey
There were also plenty of other star cards including Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and of course, Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks! Additionally, there were boxes of other cards including several hundred vintage from the 1950's and early 1960's as well as cards as thousands of cards from the 1970s.
How Did They Get There
Reviewing the collection, there were plenty of boxes with assorted cards, stars, vintage commons, as well as boxes broken down by year. However, in one small box, which contained maybe 550-600 cards, there was a run of commons from the 1960's and within this box, there were several groups of commons from 1961 through 1968 that featured smaller groups of minty fresh cards. They stood out like a sore thumb mixed in with other cards ranging from VG to EX. Anyone that has opened a box with high grade cards knows exactly what they look like and how much they can stand out -- especially when compared to cards that exhibit moderate to extreme wear.
When asked if the remembered how they came about, the seller said that in the early 1980's, he used to travel to a local swap meet and spend a couple of dollars for a small lot of commons. He thinks that these small groups of really sharp cards may have come from those swap meets. Regardless, it was pretty cool finding some really sharp commons -- ranging from about 20 to 50 of each year from 1961 through 1968.
Some Left Behind
While we always want to buy entire collections, sometimes space may limit our ability to buy it all. In this case, there was about another 15,000 cards and unopened wax packs that we would have normally made an offer on and attempted to purchase, but the travel restrictions made it highly improbable.
We reviewed the extra cards (mostly mid 1970's to mid 1980's) and talked about the value of this portion of the collection and the best way for the seller to liquidate them for the highest possible return with the least amount of inconvenience. He seemed appreciative and we really believe that in this case, he will do better than what we could've paid him for the cards because of the expense of returning them to our Somerset, NJ office.
Delays Going Home
Chicago is known as "The Windy City." Imagine the irony of being delayed in Chicago because of excessive winds back home in New Jersey. A storm front going through the east coast caused massive delays into the NY/NJ area airports and delayed our flight out of Chicago nearly 5 hours. Eventually, we got on the plane and returned home safely with another collection!
Video of "The Windy City - Windy Day Collection"
Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You
Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.
We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year. Next year, 2020, The National will be at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ. It has also been in Cleveland, Chicago and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.
We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!
Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.
Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself
We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.
We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.
We Are Always Buying
Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.
Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.