Friday, May 22, 2015

Swapping out my Willie / Tapping into the Reserve

You may recall back in February I showed off the new "best card of my collection", that being a gorgeous Willie Mays 2003 Retired auto refractor #'d 24(jersey number eBay 1/1!) out of 25. Well, there's a guy out there trying to complete the 03 Retired refractor auto set, just as I am for 2004. He made his intentions known for working out a deal for the Willie. I politely declined his advances for a while, but he eventually made me an offer I couldn't refuse (no, nothing mafia related, just a bunch of money).

And so it is with a heavy heart (and wallet) that I announce the Willie is mine no more. While it was a lovely card, it wasn't exactly a perfect fit for my collection. I'm not really working on completing that set (though I keep my eyes open for killer deals), and Mays isn't even a "guy I collect"! So given the opportunity to sell it for twice what I paid just a couple months prior.. well, I just couldn't pass that up. (Anybody out there with 2003 Retired refractors to sell, let me know and I'll get you in touch with my guy.)

Anyways, with the ample proceeds funding my cardboard habit, I've brought in a few nice cards to my collection (see my prior post with recent 2004 Retired pickups). Another favorite set of mine is 2001+2002 Topps Archives Reserve ("Reserve" means it's basically an all chrome refractor set; a smaller, fancier version of Archives). I've put together both base sets and shown them off here and here.

I won't focus on it till I put my 2004 Retired Refractors set to bed, but I can see myself having a long-term goal to own every Archives Reserve card.. like, a Reserve Master Set.. including all the autos, relics, and even the football set and its hits. It's a daunting chase, to be sure, but I just love those cards, so I'm sure it would be satisfying for me.

Sometimes I take a curious look on eBay for deals toward this goal. And well, who should I find but a Willie Mays auto from 2001 Reserve. Seemed to be a reasonable price (less than a third of what I sold my previous Mays auto for). Helps make up for that loss and knocks a big card off my long-term Reserve Master Set, making it a good fit for me.

So yeah, I bought it and gave it a Glamour Shots photoshoot, so let's get on with it!

Great looking reprint of Willie's iconic 1952 Topps card. Maybe not as staggering as my last Mays auto, but definitely satisfactory for my needs. I don't care much about grading, so it doesn't bug me that it only got an 8 (which is "bad" as far as grading modern cards goes. 8=bad, 9=good, 10=great). Reserve is known for often being off-center, though this Willie seems fine to me. The signature could be a bit bigger and bolder, but it's not too bad. I'll keep it slabbed for storage/protection reasons, but but again, whatever. Very happy with this card!

As far as other progress on my Reserve Master Set, I also tracked down a very elusive Gwynn.

This is from the "red-headed stepchild" of the Reserve family: 2001 Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints. It's a 20-card set only available inserted as bonus cards in factory Limited Edition set ("Fancy Pants version of flagship"); the auction was a 2-card lot that also included the Limited Edition base Gwynn. I've got 4 of the 20 Reserve Future Rookie cards now. They aren't numbered, but I'd put the run around just 200-300 each (just a guess). They would have looked a lot better were these refractors, not just drab grey chrome cards, but hey, they've got the "Archives Reserve" logo on them, so gotta count them as part of the master set. The Jeter will be the priciest outta this little set. But the Gwynn is hands down my favorite from it, so I'm glad to pick this one up. (Gwynn was still active in 2001, his final year, so that's why he didn't get included in the regular version of Archives/Reserve along with rookie peers Boggs and Sandberg. Too bad.. I'd really like a refractor reprint of his '83 Topps card.. Do any exist? I haven't come across one. Tons of other reprints of that card out there, but none with a nice rainbow shine to it.)

And hey, look at this! I even picked up a Reserve football card recently.

full disclosure: this card isn't in-hand yet. This is the eBay picture.
This might be my best football card now. Beautiful auto of the late William "Refrigerator" Perry (I could have sworn I heard about him passing away a couple years ago, but happy to learn I'm wrong. He's still around but doesn't sign much these days). I've mentioned before that I loved The Fridge when I was a little kid.. not because I gave a crap about sports back then, but because he was a G.I. Joe guy (action figure available by special send-away offer) and I was nuts for G.I. Joes as a tyke. Great looking card and a strong first step with the football line of Reserve. Between the sickening end to this past Super Bowl, all the Deflategate bullshit, and the increasing likelihood of the Chargers moving out of San Diego, my interest in/opinion of the NFL is at an all-time low. I've even fleetingly considered dumping my entire football card collection. But nah, I'd miss it too much, particularly the old school guys and awesome cards like this one.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great holiday weekend, everybody!


  1. You made a heckuva deal Gavin! The new Mays is pretty sweet on its own.

  2. The *late* William "Refrigerator" Perry? Do you know something the rest of us don't?

    1. No he's dead. *****TRUST ME******


      ha, no, maybe I got mixed up. But chances are he'll die someday.

    2. Last I'd heard, The Fridge is now "the House" and still lays bricks for a living near his hometown of Seneca, South Carolina.

      But, you are correct -- someday, William Perry will die. It's like you can see the future! :-)

  3. querido amigo tengo la 11/20 , 12/20 , y la 13/20 todas en perfecto estado. topps archive.
    cuanto pagarias por ellas