Random Thoughts - I'm trying to go through my mind, thinking up things with this card collecting hobby. Hopefully, the ideas I'm throwing out will be of use, even though much of it is just me venting on different things.
Oddball options for vintage cards
1.) 1968 Topps Game Mickey Mantle PSA '7' $35
2.) 1959 Fleer Ted Williams PSA '6 or 7' $10-$20
3.) 1964 Topps Giants Roberto Clemente PSA '7' $35
4.) 1964 Topps Giants Mickey Mantle PSA '7' $60
A.) These are not the hardest to find cards - they are abundant in supply compared to regular Topps cards released. Except for ultra 'scarce' issues, most collectors people want regular player era cards.
B.) I'm not going to spending too much time, wondering about specifics - you want something 'old and vintage,' even if just in spirit, but not have to settle for a beater 'type' of card. Compared to a random, modern purchase, any of these cards may not be bad choices for someone who is looking to collect vintage cards in a beginner's sort of way.
C.) I think Mantle would be worth picking up if you were looking for the personal collection - you can't find a decent looking card of Mantle from his playing days for around $60. You can perhaps find an affordable, midlevel graded Clemente, but for the average collector, finding a nice looking Mantle will probably cost three times as much.
1.) Vintage cards - having a nostalgic piece of cardboard history in your hand.
2.) Rookie cards - knowing you have a player's rookie card/first-year/fy parallel/xrc; especially of an established player or someone who has seemed to do it all.
3.) Buying the card - meaning you don't waste time with gambling to pull something out of unopened product. If you can make the choice, buy a card [or non-card sports memorabilia item] for your personal collection in lieu of the chase.
3B.) I love the hype of some of the newer Upper Deck products - with their tins [2007 Sweet Spot Classic, Sweet Spot, upcoming Black product] containing some combination of one to only several cards. I like the idea of just the hits and because you aren't stuck with no chance at all unless you get a box of something. Ironically, you have to buy a full tin of just a few cards. At least it detracts you from spending on loose packs. Let's get real however. $100 for a pack of several cards is something a better collector than me can afford. I've seen the promos of the new Upper Deck Black [baseball] floating around [in video format through video sharing sites] and $125 for a pack containing one card is crazy. I think collectors are going to collect what they want and if it means spending so much to get so little; you find a way to justify it. On the other hand, let us take a step back and consider other choices for around the same neighborhood of today's latest and greatest baseball cards.
4.) Autographs - certified ink, on single cards and also non-card items. It doesn't even have to be certified as long as you are sure it is real [such as stuff you get signed by yourself].
5.) Autographs - finding cards and other items and getting them inked up.
6.) Regional - having a connection or theme to follow attached with your local team or local players from your area.
7.) Award winners - having a connection or theme and watching things come together when you pick up cards representing MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year award winners.
8.) Less is more - though sometimes you get impulsive, try to not go crazy.
9.) Flipping through cards from a 'bargain bin -' and actually finding a card you have to pick up for your collection without hesitation. It is like you found something another collector missed.
10.) Busting boxes, breaking open random packs, particularly stuff you've never had a chance to open - doing it in a fun way, without worrying about making your $$$ back.