It didn't take me long, after writing this post and getting all lathered up and determined, to stake out what I could of the remaining 1977 Kellogg's cards on my want list.
"Well if they're going to make it difficult with 'the pop culture tax,' I am not going to give up! I'm going to go right at them!"
I immediately hopped on ebay to see what I could snag.
The first card off my want list that I found was Al Oliver. Purchased. Shipped.
The second card was Greg Luzinski. Purchased. Shipped.
The third card was Rick Manning. Purchased. Shipped.
The fourth card was Bill North. Purchased. Shipped.
This all happened on a Wednesday night. None of the cards cost me more than 3 or 4 bucks.
That left six more cards on my want list. One was George Brett, which was/is available but I'm going to have to pay 10 or 15 bucks for it, so I set that aside. Another is George Foster, which is the first card in the set and apparently that's going to be an obstacle for my second straight Kellogg's set pursuit. I don't understand the "first card" tax.
But the other four cards were available, all from the same seller, all through individual auctions, all of which expired within 20 minutes of each other on a Friday night.
For three of the cards, the Dock Ellis, Lyman Bostock and Mickey Rivers, I was the first bidder.
The other card from the seller was the Mark Fidrych rookie. Yup, the card that I anticipated being the last card I would need to complete the set and the card I told myself I would not allow to be the last card I needed.
While the Ellis, Bostock and Rivers cards were at 99 cents, the Fidrych card was already at $6.50 with several bids on it. So I placed that auction on my watch list and noted that I would have to focus on a narrow window between 7:10 and 7:30 p.m. because the Ellis was set to expire first, followed by the Bostock a few minutes later, followed by the Fidrych, barely 3 minutes later, and then the Rivers.
I don't have any bidding apps or sniping tools because, until the pandemic hit, I wasn't on ebay a whole lot. But maybe I should think about it.
That Friday I decided I would work half the day at home and the other in the office. But I forgot about the auction. And instead of working the first half of the day in the office and the second half at home, I started at home first and then realized when I was in the office, in the evening, that I had four auctions expiring!
Fortunately, it wasn't too busy in the office. I ended up getting the Ellis card for 99 cents. No other bidders. Same deal with the Bostock card. 2-for-2. Take that, pop culture tax.
Then, at the worst moment possible, someone in the office said something interesting. And I had to get in on the conversation. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I had been prepared to go as high as $25 for the Fidrych card and was ready to add my bid in the final seconds. But when I was sucked into that conversation the Fidrych card auction ended.
It sold for $24.50.
I could've had it. And I missed it.
In a flash, I won the following Rivers auction for 99 cents, but it hardly felt like a victory because I had to be so damn sociable and took my eye off that Fidrych card! Phooey!
Chastened, I put my full focus into the job for the rest of the evening. I drove back home in a melancholy haze. "I guess Fidrych WILL be the last card I need from the set," I thought.
When I got home, I opened up my laptop to check out a few blogs and videos. On a whim, I wandered over to ebay and, what the hell, I'll look up the '77 Kellogg's Mark Fidrych card.
My eyes connected with the first listing. It was an ideal specimen. "Buy It Now," it said. The price: 21 bucks.
I could have it for less than the Fidrych I missed!
Purchased! Shipped, shipped, shipped, SHIIIIIIIPPPPPED!!!!!!!
Never give up.
Normally this card would present me with a quandary.
I like to store all of my Kellogg's cards in similar fashion. Penny sleeves, top loaders, stacked neatly, every card the same. But to do that with the Fidrych, I would have to break it out of its graded prison.
I've broken many a card out of graded cases. I prefer to do so. But Kellogg's cards make me nervous, they're so temperamental. I busted out the last card I needed for the '76 Kellogg's set and it was quite harrowing. And to do that for a Fidrych rookie??? No, I'm not going to risk it.
This card is special anyway and it deserves a little extra place of honor as it sits with the rest of the set.
So that's where I am with the set. There is a George Brett card in a couple of shopping carts, I just need to decide which one to empty. The Foster card, without a doubt, will be the last one. Right now there is nothing online available for a price I want to spend.
But I'll get it done.
We set collectors are persistent types.