It's not yet Christmas, but my wife comes from a different religious background...and Chanukkah came early this year. For my gift, she won this eBay auction for a lot of baseball cards.
Since the auction description won't be available forever, here's what the seller wrote:
"Hi! Up for bid is a lot of 133 1966 Topps baseball cards, including Mickey Mantle, Ron Santo, Bill Mazeroski, Ferguson Jenkins rookie, Roy White rookie, Buc Belters (2), Gil Hodges (3), Elston Howard (2), Strikeout leaders (Koufax/Gibson) and RBI-HR leaders (Mays). Also includes the following semi-high numbers in nice shape: 516 Eddie Bressoud, 498 Pirates Rookie Stars, 461 Roy Face, and 519 Bob Friend. Condition runs the gambit, most are in nice shape after 44 years. A couple dozen or so have creases or tape, many have corner issues. Some duplicates. Mantle is not in great shape, with a few creases and green paper glued on the back (I can e-mail a scan on request)(same with Jenkins rookie, all of the rest of the cards have clean backs). A great starter set!!!
As a bonus, I will include 19 1954-1956 Topps baseball cards (poor condition)!!!
Buyer adds $8 for shipping. Continental U.S. bidders only (lower 48 states). PayPal only. Good luck!!!"
The seller didn't mention Mantle or Jenkins in the auction title. He also didn't include separate pictures of those cards. As a result, my wife was the only bidder and the auction ended at its opening $49.99 price. So, it arrived here last week and I was given the gift on the last day of Channukah.
The final tally, including shipping was $57.99 for a total of 152 cards (including the poor 1950s toss-ins). That comes to 38 cents a card. Not bad, except this is all I was able to take off my wantlist:
Three cards from the stack of 1966 Topps cards, plus:
So...if I were to go to a seller and ask for the 31 cards added to my binder -- including a Mantle -- it probably would have cost me more than what my wife paid to get these. What's more is that I've added over 100 cards to my dupes box (which should lead to some more cards later), including the very first time I've ever been able to place a vintage Mantle there. Wow. Plus, tossing a rookie card of Fergie Jenkins and a few other cards featuring stars and Hall of Famers into the box will give me better trade fodder than some of the dog-eared and written-on cards that are in there already.
Thanks, Ellen. I'm not usually the type to be impressed by gifts, but that was a real surprise. I guess I should also thank the seller who neglected to put Mantle's name in the auction title.
Anybody looking for some '66 Topps cards? Drop me an email. (Just remove the number and spam control to get the correct address.)