The Whitney Houston Dilemma (or, How Will I Know?)

When do you know?

I have 15 of 66 cards from the 1965 Topps Soupy Sales set. I’m not there.

I have 6 of 88 1957 Topps Hit Stars. Not yet.

I have 6 of 24 1968 Topps Posters, off condition donated by friends. I’m uncommitted.


1960 Leaf second series. I’m all in.

I wrote about the 1960 Leaf set in December. Soon after I posted, I grabbed a Harry Brecheen.


Then I picked up Henry Mason and Earl Torgeson in a COMC order. I told myself I was casually working on the set. That’s even in my name for the spreadsheet I created.

But am I? I bought a Faye Throneberry at COMC (not in hand yet), and then five from one eBay seller.


Now I’m 1/8 of the way there and going for it. (By the way, all the cards are standard shiny white. Not sure why they photographed so dingy. They’re nice, though not as nice as my first series.)

At less than $9 per card in EX to EXMT, I could happily acquire more commons, though this condition at that price is a challenge. The second series cards are out there, but tend to be listed for more. I’ve been lucky so far. Some cards will set me back – Sparky Anderson, Orlando Cepeda, Jim Bunning, the two Hal Smiths (one card), maybe Curt Flood.

I’m happy to be swept in by these cards. It’s a good, manageable project that crept up on me and, all of a sudden, I was in for keeps.

How do you know?

Author: Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.

7 thoughts on “The Whitney Houston Dilemma (or, How Will I Know?)”

  1. We need to talk about that Soupy Sales set. Those ‘reversed’ backs make it a giant pain in the you-know-what. I need to sort and figure out what I have.

    re: Leaf…were you bidding on that group of 9 second series that closed yesterday? I needed six so I didn’t go high enough to win it. Now I wish I had, dammit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m looking at getting one of each number, and not all variations. If you have dubs, let me know.
      I wasn’t bidding on that lot, so don’t blame me!


  2. I can see the allure of these. They are no nonsense, crisply photographed portraits that are not mere mug shots. I think you made a good decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been sitting on the fence for a while on whether I’m chasing a Campy master set or just picking up some deals here and there. Knowing the price of the Wilson Franks and 1952 Topps make me think it’s the latter, but the more Campy cards I get the more I’m feeling myself pulled in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To answer the “How do you know?” question ….

    When it makes my weekly search of eBay that I do on Mondays, I know. If it’s a “Hey, I haven’t bought any of this set/player in a while” type of search (1996 Leaf Signature autographs), or a “Let me buy as many cards from this seller to save on shipping” search, then I’ve probably hit a point of having crossed enough off the list that I want to continue, but I haven’t crossed enough of the list that it’s easy (or inexpensive) to continue. And if it’s a “Hey that’s an interesting item” that showed up during one of my regular/semi-regular searches, then I’m not in. Of course that last one can always end up leading back to the first one – a few years ago I decided I wanted a nice autograph of Mize (Johnny, not Casey), that led to some searching for a nice auto at a good price, and now Mize is a regular search.

    Liked by 1 person

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