Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mailbox Joys: Bargain Bin Lollar

I sought out the 1974 Kellogg's Fisk and bid on it. Usually, if a seller offers combined shipping, I'll take a glance at the other items they have for sale. Sometimes, you find things that you may not know that you need. With over 100 years of White Sox baseball, there are quite a few items and I can't be expected to do a search on every single one of them.

I found this 1954 Topps Sherm Lollar in those auctions. When I ran across it, there was around 18 hours left and no bids. It looked like a card in decent shape, so I put in a token bid. I fully expected to be outbid. I've been outbid on every 2009 Allen & Ginter rip card, both ripped and unripped. Why should this card be any different?

The Fisk ended and I had won it without a last minute bidder even driving the price up. I was ecstatic! That was the card that I really wanted, so my attention shifted to the 1954 Topps Lollar. I was still the high bidder with less than an hour left to go.

Surely, someone would come out of the woodwork and drive the price up. Someone would swoop in at the last second and outbid me with no time to put in a counter bid. The seconds seemed like minutes and the minutes seemed like hours. I was so close to the card that I had nonchalantly bid on that I could smell victory.

As the minutes dwindled away, I was fearful that I would get sniped again. I had nothing to lose. I had bid on this as a whim, so if I lost it, so be it. You and I both know that bids that start out that way have a tendency to quickly turn to the most important event in your life, the closer the clock ticks away to zero. It was quickly becoming that way.

With a minute left to go, I realized exactly what I had bid on. It was of a seven time All-Star with a World Series ring from the 1947 Yankees. It was a decent condition early Topps release of a player storied in White Sox lore. I began to get really nervous.

What had began as a lark had turned into a high stakes investment in emotion and time. I hadn't planned this, but if I didn't get this, I would be a little bummed. To be this seconds away, only to have it ripped away from me, would be heartbreaking.

The seconds ticked away until the final refresh happened. It's at this point that I braced myself. I have lost many cards on the final refresh. Something happens in that final few precious seconds that always manages to sour my mood. I had a little bit of a cushion, but not much. I didn't bid to win. I just bid for fun, so it could very well be lost.

When I saw the those sweet words urging me to pay for my purchase, I breathed a sigh of relief. I had won and on my terms. No overbidding. No regrets. I scrolled down to see what price I had won the card for. 99 cents.

It still amazes me that cards over fifty years old could sell that cheaply in this condition. Am I complaining? Not one bit! I just got a bargain and combined it with another bargain. This is truly a mailbox joy!


eRox said...

I know the feeling all too well. Nice catch!

I've been piecing together the '55 set the same way: tossing in a token bid and taking what comes.

Captain Canuck said...


MattR said...

Very nice. I've been doing that with the occasional pre-1973 Giants card.

Brian said...

The Ebay shakes...I know them well.

Anonymous said...

I miss that feeling of rising nervous anticipation, and the climax of sweet sweet victory, but I can do without the disappointment of losing at the last possible second.

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