Friday, September 21, 2012

Capless Al Bridwell: One and Done

The best eBay auctions go as follows.

1. Find card
2. Add to watch list
3. Stalk more than appropriate over five to seven period.
4. Bid last day
5. Win card for opening bid.
6. Immediately pay for card.
7. Repeat while awaiting delivery.

This usually works for some cards (Hockey relics of retired players, Mike Scott cards) and not for others (tobacco cards).  Usually what happens is I bid, then bid again, then curse at the price and the other bidder and reach back for a third (or fourth) bid, before I walk away with either a new card or a twinge of disappointment that one more bid would have been enough.   


Last Sunday, I threw out an opening bid for the Al Bridwell (No Cap) listed above and won the card with the minimum, which is quite satisfying for myself, but not so for the poor seller.  Looking at the card prior to purchase, I assumed it was a standard low-grade card, fit for my set.  However, once in my possession and scanned as above, you can see the right-hand side of the card is trimmed.  The upper right hand corner is significantly further to the right than the lower right hand corner.  So, at some point in time, someone trimmed this poor, low-grade card.

As a rule, trimming a card is a significant problem, as the card no longer measures to specification.  In fact, if you send a trimmed card for grading, the best you can realistically hope for is a grade of Authentic.  There are a fairly large number of collectors who scrupulously avoid these cards.  In higher grades, I find trimming to be desirable, as it makes what would otherwise be a very expensive card, quite affordable.  In this instance, I was slightly disappointed, but realistically, I would have purchased the card with or without the trimming. 

As to Al Bridwell himself, I did know something about him prior to purchasing the card.  Bridwell was a shortstop for  number of National League teams between 1905 and 1913.  His play, while rarely stellar, was good enough to get him two cards in the T206 set.  His most famous moment was hitting the single leading to the "Merkle Boner".  Of course, for me, Al Bridwell will always be known as the guy I confuse with Doc Crandall, leading to the purchase of more Doc Crandall cards than I needed. 

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