Sunday, August 12, 2012

Par For The Course

I think it really takes a special person to collect golf cards.  Specifically, collecting golf cards prior to the Tiger Woods era.  Let's face it, golf is not the most action-packed, exciting sport to watch or to even play for that matter.  It is most definitely one of the hardest sports to master.  If you are anything like me, you enjoy the game but it frustrates the crap out of you.  After about 8 or 9 holes, it essentially becomes just a day out of the office.

I'm no expert on the sport or for that matter, the golf sports card market.  But just based on my own observations, up until Tiger exploded onto the scene, it seemed golf cards were only for the hardcore fans because I know of no casual collectors.  I'm sure most collectors know or at least have seen pictures of the golf cards in the Goudy Sport King sets of the 1930s and the US Carmel set in 1932.  Some of those are iconic in the sports card world.  I believe the first recorded set of golf cards was a cigarette set from 1901.  But up until we had "personality" guys like Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer, I don't really think golf had the attention that it does today.  

Since Tiger, there have been golf sets released on a fairly regular basis and the sport has taken a huge leap in popularity.  When you check the master checklist, there are now over 12,000 golf exclusive cards (meaning they came from a golf only set).  11,600 of those were since 1981.  Plus are numerous sets like Sport Kings, Allen & Ginter, and Goodwin Champions that regularly include golf subjects.  

But even still, there isn't the target audience in the card market like the other sports.  Golf takes a back seat (way back seat) to baseball, football, hockey, basketball, even NASCAR.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most collector's out there probably either don't own a golf card or if they do, they probably could tell you every one of them.

Up until the Garage came into existence, I don't remember owning a single golf card, other than this one.  

I don't really remember how I got it but I'm sure it was in a trade.  But that card was long gone before I started blogging.  I think I remember trading this one away for some 1992 Upper Deck Baseball commons or something like that.  

While in the Garage, some golf cards surfaced that I figured I would share with everyone.  Including the one above, there were these.

The Chi Chi Pro Set along with the Ben Crenshaw were in a little folder marked by the Pro Set logo.  I can only assume this was some type of promotional giveaway or a prototype released to dealers.  The Tom Watson is a 1981 Donruss card.  When I looked it up, it is apparently considered his "rookie" card.

 And then there was this little box

Obviously the set is still sealed and I have no intention of opening it.  I am guessing the Pro Set cards above came out of this set.  Since it is blurry, there are 100 cards in this set which include 75 PGA Tour cards and 25 Senior Tour cards.  It also says "1 Collectible" on the bottom.  I'm not really sure what that means.

I guess you never know what you'll find in the Garage.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Still kicking...

It's been ages since I last posted on the card garage.  Not because the garage is no more.  I just haven't had a whole lot of non-primary-hobby-collecting-time-and-energy to go through things out there.  But I would like to start doing so again at some point because looking through all that stuff is fun and I always find interesting and different things.

A couple updates for anyone that might care.  The garage was expanded a couple times since the last post on here.  There is now somewhere in the range of a million cards or more out there.  At first I thought that was an exaggeration but I don't think it is.  There were two other "collection" purchases made in the last year that added to the enormousness.

As a result, I installed shelves along one entire side of the garage to house all of the cardboard wonders.  I also had to remove many of the boxes that were moved inside the house out of fear of domestic violence.  So shelving was the logical step and it looks way better than it did before.

I was putting stuff on the shelves this morning and as I was going through some of the boxes, I noticed a few cards that I had never seen before.  I figured I would share here since this is my outlet for all things that come out of the garage.

These were the first two out of the box.  When I first saw these I was kind of mesmerized because I had never seen a set like this before (actually if you look around the blogosphere, countless collectors have featured this set...I'm just oblivious).  The cards are from the 2001 Upper Deck Cooperstown Collection Hall of Famers Set.  This was issued as a hobby only set when it was released.  The boxes can still be obtained from places like Dave & Adam's but they are still over a hundred bucks!!  And remember, if you do pull the trigger on one of these and you get a redemption are SOL.

To give you an idea of what we have here, the set is broken down into 90 cards that feature the greatest players, builders, and moments in baseball history.  There are four different categories of cards in the set.

The main vets are cards 1-50,

a subset called Origins Of The Game make up 51-60,

The National Pastime make up 61-80

and the Hall of Records finish out the set with 81-90. 

Despite the fact that a bunch of the photos are a little grainy and some of the design placement could use some work (especially on the backs), I think this set is one of the nicest sets I have seen in a long time (pretty good considering it is almost 12 years old).   The photos that are used on these aren't the typical ones you find in retro sets and Upper Deck did a real nice job of capturing some history that has long been forgotten by many baseball fans.  

The best part, for me anyway, is that these are the kinds of things that randomly pop up when opening boxes.  These were in a couple jewel box cases at the bottom of a Home Depot shipping box that was otherwise filled with early 90s overproduction era stuff in both baseball and basketball.  

You never know what you will find in the Card Garage.