In today's hobby, set collecting seems, to this writer, to be a genre that is slowly dying. With the invention of the insert card and other chaseable cards, today's collector is at a crossroads. How can a hobbyist truly collect a complete set with the ease they could in days of yore? As a member of this demographic I find myself wincing in pain with the release of most new product. I have chosen to take the path less traveled and return to collecting sets of a vintage era. My first mile marker on the road to a complete vintage set came this year. It was a long drawn out mile, but worth the energy expended. I present my achievement to you in all of its vintage glory.
1961 Fleer Baseball Greats
At the young age of 18 I was given the opportunity to work at my local card shop (LCS). I had frequented it for 4 years previous, but had never considered it as a place to gain employment. With my college career starting soon, I decided to inquire about a part time summer position at Ramsey's. When Mr. Ramsey agreed to let me work there part time during that summer of 1988, I had no idea what it would lead to. During my first day on the job I was told all of the storage boxes under the counter were at my disposal and to let Mr. Ramsey know if there were any that I wanted and an arrangement could be made. After a few days I decided to take him up on his offer and was glad I did. As thumbed through the huge boxes, the 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats cards hit me like a brick.
#75 Babe Ruth
As the summer came to a close, and my schooling took precedence, I had pulled 45 or so cards from the box. I was told to "take them no questions asked". At that point I still had no plans to complete the set. My goal was to just sit on them and take advantage of their value in a few years. Years went by before I even looked at them again. In 2001, thirteen years later, I was in the process of a move and noticed them in my banana boxes full of cardboard. By this time Ebay had been invented. I decided I would use my tax return income to attempt to complete this lovely set. Within a month I had a total of 85 cards out of the 152 card set. Things were looking up. Card shows were nonexistent for me at this time(and still are today). Ebay seemed like the easiest way to pick up needed cards. In subsequent years I would pick up 5 or 6 in this manner. In February of this year I pulled all my cardboard out and noticed i needed 4 or 5 more to complete the set. Cards on Ebay were not really moving at all. Picking up the last card on Valentines Day was a great feeling. Completing any set makes a collector feel good. A vintage set such as this, in my opinion, is even more fulfilling. I will now present to you, in all its beauty, the 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats.