The Traveller Returns…

A few of you (my wife, my dog, my barman) may have noticed my absence of late. This was due to a family wedding in Norway – the single most expensive land I’ve ever been to in my life. 22 quid for a pint of stout and a bottle of cider in Trondheim!! When I think of the cards I could have bought with what I’ve spent this past week…

Anyway, I did return to a nice little treat in the mailbox. No, the neighbour’s cat hadn’t been up to his tricks again. It was a card from Jim & Steve’s Baseball Card Shop – a dealer on Beckett Marketplace. The card in question was the toughest of the five remaining 1966 Topps on my wantlist – #561 Choo Choo Coleman. I was lucky enough to be viewing the site at just the right time and was able to nab ol’ Choo Choo in EX condition for just under 20 bucks.

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1966 Topps #561 Choo Choo (Who Who?) Coleman

Now who the hell is Choo Choo Coleman you may well ask. Well, I may well ask the same thing! Coleman didn’t really amount to much in his major league career. He played just over 200 games over four seasons with the Phillies and Mets, popping nine homers and garnering a lusty batting average of .197

For some reason though, Coleman’s 1966 card sells for three figure sums in NrMt condition. Why? Well, there seems to be two trains of thought on this. One is that the card is a genuine “super” short print – a card that is printed not only in shorter numbers than the rest of the series, but also in shorted numbers than the rest of the short prints! There are one or two other cards among the 1966T high numbers that are thought to be among this group and as a result, prices tend to be notably higher than the other SPs. The other possible explanation is an interesting one…

There are rumours that a collector (or collectors) in the States are creating an artificial premium for these cards by cornering the market on them… in other words, buying up as many of them as possible over the past few years, forcing prices up by making an already scarce card even harder to find. Now this may or may not be true. Perhaps its just speculation based on similar situations which are generally acknowledged to be genuine. Read here about the 1966T #591 Bart Shirley/Grant Jackson RC. There is also a guy who seems to buy every 1964T #103 Curt Flood card… seemingly he has well over 1000 of them.

Whatever the reason, I’m just glad that Choo Choo now resides in my 1966 Topps binder.

Just four more spaces to fill…

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