Friday, August 16, 2013
FILLING A HOLE IN THE 500 HR CLUB
If you've read this blog more than a few times, you've probably deduced I revere the 14 original 500 Home Run Club members*. A fantasy want-list is obtaining a card during the career of each.
I moved a step closer a couple weeks ago, thanks to Greg Morris Cards.
You're looking at a 1939 Play Ball Mel Ott, maybe the most underrated member who clubbed 511 homers in 22 years -- all for the New York Baseball Giants. Ott had 336 homers heading into his 14th season in '39. He joined The Club on Aug. 1, 1945, homering off the Braves' Johnny Hutchings. He was the third member, behind Babe Ruth (1929) and Jimmie Foxx (1940).
A quick look and you'd guess I probably spent a mint on this near-mint beauty. How does $36 sound, under my limit of getting serious vintage for less than two blaster boxes? The reason?
Look closely and you'll see a tack hole under the bill of his cap.
Pretty unnoticeable, huh? And it wasn't filled in with a black Sharpie, either. Looks more like a minute print defect. Same on the back, too. Greg stated in the listing "Looks NR Mint, but has Pin Hole.'' Many dealers wouldn't have noted this, but it's another reason why Greg Morris Cards rules supreme. I scored another 500 Clubber from him for way under book because of a slight wrinkle on an otherwise beautiful piece of cardboard that was disclosed in the listing.
Tack holes kill values, but I was still shocked the Ott didn't go for way more. This pierced '39 classic now slots as not only the oldest card in my collection, but also my oldest Hall of Fame card.
I'm left with chasing three of the original 14: Ruth, Foxx and Ted Williams. If I can score them, they'll likely have a hole or two but better than holes in the collection. Regardless, would it be too much to ask to get them each for the cost of two blasters? Probably.
*Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), Frank Robinson (586), Harmon Killebrew (573), Reggie Jackson (563), Mike Schmidt (548), Mickey Mantle (536), Jimmie Foxx (534), Ted Williams (521), Willie McCovey (521), Eddie Mathews (512), Ernie Banks (512), Mel Ott (511).