It wasn't that long ago that I started collecting obscure 70s baseball player Mike Reinbach. He was the first guy from my high school to play in the major leagues, getting a cup of coffee with the Orioles in 1974. He later became a star playing in Japan during the late 70s, and a decade later went out in a Thelma & Louise style blaze of glory, driving his car off a cliff.
He doesn't have many cards on the market. One minor league card. Two or three Japanese cards. An all-time Orioles card. And a Venezuelan sticker.
While I haven't been collecting him long enough to have "white whales" really, I didn't expect I'd ever come across that sticker, at least not so quickly. But I had an eBay saved search, and when one popped up recently, I went for it.
|1973-1974 Venezuelan League Sticker MIKE REINBACH # 104
The seller was in Venezuela and told me he is the original owner, buying the card 41 years ago. So that's pretty cool.
Here's more info paraphrased from the auction page:
Issued during the 1973-1974 Venezuelan Winter League season and following the Topps baseball cards tradition, a set of 241 cards was produced and distributed in Venezuela. These are very rare stickers for the Venezuelan Winter League and as was the case with the Topps stickers, there were issued with albums to be pasted into, and they are all blank backed. Part of the marketing strategy to sell the stickers was to exchange a prize for a completed album, such as a bicycle, sporting goods, or money. Because of this buyback strategy, most of the sets were taken out of circulation and destroyed. The total print run was approximately 7,000, with considerably less thought to exist today.Player: Mike Reinbach # 104 Team: Magallanes Navigators
Total size: 90mm x 64mm Spanish Text
Distributed by Digallo C.A. only for the Venezuelan Market.
Despite being sent from Venezuela, the card arrived very quickly thanks to FedEx International shipping (The stack of paperwork with it was crazy, including a photocopy of the seller's ID card). All told, the purchase set me back $24. Which isn't cheap for an essentially forgotten player, but again, it's a neat, obscure item.
Very happy to not only add the first Venezuelan card to my collection, but a key need for my Mike Reinbach supercollection. This puts me at 50%, now owning 3 of his 6 known cards, with the PC also bolstered by an autographed index card and a photo negative from the Topps vault, featured last time.