A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Not Mint Condition

At the beginning of the year, I made the goal to have a whole page of vintage Jerry Coleman cards.  Not stuff that had come out since he became the broadcaster of the Padres (or even from his stint as the manager of the team), but from his playing days as a Yankee.

Nine vintage cards from a career that spanned from 1949 to 1957 is a tall order on a budget like mine.  My parents would not be born for three years after Jerry retired!  But the way to get it done is to have a saved search for "Jerry Coleman" and have it listed from cheapest to most expensive.  Usually, I only look at the first few listings whenever new stuff pops up, because it quickly escalates out of my price range.

But whenever it says the words "poor" in the listing, I know I've got a shot.

"Poor" is how many would describe this 1951 Berk-Ross card.  It is extremely off center and to say it's corners are "rounded" would be putting it kindly.  I might use the word "frayed".  But "poor" would also be a good adjective to describe me, and I am not the least bit picky about condition.  I really don't have much of a choice.  Sometimes I look at the pictures of the vintage cards I have and think, "You know, in hand, it doesn't look as bad as this photo."  This is not one of those times.  This card is worn.  And it's pretty awesome.

It's been noted that this year, Topps added "WAR" (wins above replacement) as a stat to the back of the card.  We've come a long way as far as stats on the back, haven't we?  While I don't know how accurate that stat is/can be, it's a little more informative than the stat on the back: Hit .287 in 153 games.  I suppose that the best part of the back would be Member of the New York Yankees World Champions.

This 1951 Topps Red Back card was also listed as "poor", and only set me back $3 and change, shipped.  It is in much better condition than the Berk-Ross.  The main difference here is that here, his name is spelled "Gerry" (twice) and it looks like a playing card.  I've seen modern cards with this "retro" design, but this is the first I've ever owned or held.  I like it.  The cartoon batter in the top right looks like he's frozen as a ball whizzes past his head, not sure what's up with that.

Little to nothing happening on the back of this card, but still a pretty cool design when you consider it's from 1951.  Looks very "Official".

With these two cards, I'm down to one more to achieve my goal of a complete page.  From what I can tell, there are only a few cards left to "chase".  I put chase in parenthesis, since it will probably be the slowest race ever.  Very rarely do cards like fall into my price parameters.  Here are all the remaining ones that are currently on eBay, along with the cheapest price for each one:

1949 Bowman #225 - $25.97
1950 Bowman #47 - $9.75
1952 Berk-Ross - $23.51
1952 Topps #237 - $9.00

Well, two of those are actually under $10, which isn't too bad.  Still, I'll keep my eyes peeled for something a little more affordable.  I guess what makes it hard to pull the trigger one any of these, even the cheaper ones, is that I just like the ones I already have so much better.

These Bowman cards from '51 and '52 are just too awesome to compare to anything else.

I guess while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and show a little something that I acquired via a twitter acquaintance.  Wasn't a trade, had to pay for it, but it was a good deal.

RIP Jerry.


  1. I have a '56 if you want it. It's in nice shape

    1. Thanks man! Very kind of you, but I've already got one. Not in great shape, but I kind of like that about it. Makes me less worried that I'M going to be the one to mess it up.

  2. Those are some really neat Colemans. I've always wanted to track down a card from the '51 Topps Red/Blue Back set.

  3. Great cards. I need to save a similar eBay search to collect some vintage Jerrys.

  4. It's amazing to see those young pictures of Gerry Coleman and to realize all that he'd already exeprienced in life. Great pick-ups of a great ballplayer.

  5. "This card is worn. And it's pretty awesome." Absolutely. Nice find!

  6. I recently picked up some early 50's Bowmans from a guy at the flea market. He had one or two Yankees left. The next time I'm out there, I'll check to see if he has the 50B you're looking for.