Klein’s Korner: Mid-Month Updates – June 2018 – While I have been enjoying the slightly deeper dives into one topic, this month has been unusually active for various topics so why not create a mid-month Korner.
We’ll begin with this banner shot from my show on June 9-10. The last two times we’ve displayed the GTS banner, the shows have been well above average for most of the dealers and almost all of the collectors. We drew between 180 and 200 people for the two day show and most of the collectors came and spent good money. We’re appreciative of any dealer who sets up, and any collector who attends.
Our show is not based on brand new cards or players but there is some element towards that part of the hobby. I just wanted to say a few things about the recent injury to Shohei Ohtani. We are still waiting to see if he will require Tommy John surgery or if, as several pitchers before him with similar type injuries have been able to continue their mound work without going under the knife. Either way, there is no doubt that the biggest new-card hobby story of 2018 has come to a bit of a halt. It is easy for me to say “do not panic” but I do not have thousands of dollars already laid out for new product.
I will state there are always positives out of any situation and the development of other 2018 rookies will ease some of the pain. Recently Juan Soto, at the age of 19, blasted two homers in a game at Yankee Stadium. Since 1969, the only other players to pull off that feat are Robin Yount and Ken Griffey Jr. When you are compared to two Hall of Famers, that is certainly a good sign. In addition, Ronald Acuna looks good for the future. Speaking of Yankee Stadium, let’s not forget Gleyber Torres. There will be others as well so while the Ohtani hype may leave, someone will take his place.
An astute dealer might be able to pick up new 2018 boxes at reduced costs on the secondary market to mitigate some of their costs and be able to still make their margin and lower prices to the end consumer. As the end consumer, that strategy is a win.
We noted four different Frank Thomas collectors who attended this weekend. Thinking about this and even though one of the four was visiting from out of state, this makes a ton of sense. Since Mr. Thomas is back doing commercials, he is again in the public eye. In addition, we always use a 20-year rule for collectors returning to the hobby. Thomas has never had a hint of steroid suspicion and if Griffey gets too expensive, Thomas is next in line. Makes perfect sense to me
We talked about Reel Radio and Richard Irwin recently in terms of not having a succession plan. Sadly, Uncle Ricky passed on earlier this month and if I were an amateur psychologist I would say once Reel Radio went away, Ricky no longer really felt like he should go on. Truly sad and I do hope the treasure trove of air checks he possessed will end up with someone who can tend to them and make them available to listeners such as myself who loved getting up on Sunday mornings and seeing what surprise Ricky had for us this week.
If you are reading this column, you are probably aware of the BGS backlog and their attempts to get that back under control. I hope for everyone’s sake they are able to get and stay at a more manageable number. BGS realizes 11 months is way too long for a consumer to receive their cards. I just hope for their sake that by the National their backlog is significantly reduced.
And, on a personal opinion, did any card company ever have a worse year for the flagship sets than Fleer did in 1991? While 1990 was not a great year for their designs, 1991 was even worse. And not only were the designs ugly but also they were produced on an seemingly endless loop. How many 1991 commons have you seen in your life? If you have been in the business for more than a couple of years, I bet you have seen the endless loop of those ugly cards and the other over produced 1991 cards.
Speaking of 1991, I’m convinced there are well over 300 variations in 1991 Topps. A true master set might not cost you a ton of money (if you can find the legendary Oil Can Boyd variation cheaply) but is certainly a labor of love. I recently talked about 1962 Topps and my efforts in the nascent hobby days to create a master set. Well, even though we have more knowledge, good luck on that process. The commons are so cheap that most vendors won’t bring them to a card show and so you either have to get lucky at a card show or go to a local store if you are lucky enough to have one nearby and they put them in order.
Next column will be a pre-National column and please enjoy the hobby! Check out my previous article HERE.
Rich’s vast experience and knowledge of the hobby has been well documented through the years. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Klein’s Korner. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Rich Klein is a free-lance writer living in Plano TX with his wife and two dogs. He has been involved in the hobby since the 1970’s and has written within the hobby for more than 30 years. He spent more than 15 years working in the price guide department at Beckett Publications and is currently a catalog maintenance expert at COMC. All views expressed in Klein’s Korner are solely those of Mr. Klein and are not related to GTS. He can be reached at Sabrgeek@aol.com.
Klein’s Korner: Mid-Month Updates – June 2018
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