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And still I am going to open a vintage cello ...

After blogging last week about a collector who got hosed (initially – he ultimately got his money back) by a bogus box of unopened 1971 O-Pee-Chee Baseball, I stumbled across a thread this week on the Collectors Universe Sports Card and Memorabilia Forum –


that reminded me why unopened material has such power over collectors.

The guy had a 1965 Topps Cello and for legitimate reasons detailed on the site decided he would open it. I could add that just wanting to open it would be an adequately legitimate reason all by itself, but there were other factors in play that made it an even less complicated decision than it might otherwise have been.

With great deliberation and fanfare, the guy opened the pack and one-by-one scanned and posted the results, starting with the 1965 Transfer decal or whatever the hell they call those things.

His process of unveiling the fruits of his undertaking was roundly and justifiably applauded by those on the forum lucky enough to take part in real time; I thought it was great fun even though I only took part in unreal time a few days later.

I suppose the temptation for the uninitiated would be to call the results disappointing, since several of the best cards in the pack were off center, and I suppose from a pure economics standpoint that’s true. But we don’t know how much the guy had into it, though I suppose he probably would have done better to simply have left it in the GAI holder.

Still, it makes me think there could be a good market for group purchases, like folks chipping in on large lottery ticket purchases on a weekly basis. I know this kind of thing has been going on for virtually the whole four decades of an organized hobby, but the Internet aspect adds a whole new dimension to the deal.

I’ve got half a mind to buy a nice unopened vintage pack and then see how many colleagues want a piece of the action. This would be a nonprofit venture, simply for the sake of eliminating the pesky considerations that would involve.

If 20 people ponied up $40 apiece, that would be $800, probably enough to pick up a really nice early 1960s cello. Following the format that the guy used for the 1965 Topps Cello, or something like it, we would open the pack and post the procedure online for all to see and enjoy.

If we got lucky and nailed some specimens obviously in need of third-party grading, we would send them off and cross our fingers. Whatever the outcome, the cards would be offered either as a single lot or multiple lots in our next Auction, with all of the proceeds going to the National Military Family Association.

Just a thought.