What would you do with $1000 in 1977?

Big John seems to smile less on his Toronto cards.No matter - we liked him anyway.

This card makes me laugh.

It has nothing to do with John Mayberry, who had a pretty good run as an elitish power hitter between 1972 and 1976 and was solid to above-average after that.  He was even a very good Blue Jay for a handful of seasons before being moved to create space for Willie Upshaw.

My amusement is all to do with the cartoon on the back.  (Sorry about the miscut – this is OPC, after all.)

I’m sure there are a large number of investments one could have made in 1977 that would have netted a substantial return, had one only known (a fledgling MicroSoft, anyone?), but dropping a grand on an Honus Wagner would have returned anywhere from a couple hundred thousand dollars to over a million.

Growing up with two languages crammed in smallish spaces, I always found Topps cards full of wasted space. They could have written twice as much.

Technically, it says that the card sells for over one thousand, but that still means it comes in under the next round number.  That could be $1100 or even $1500, depending how you choose your round numbers.  Even so, it’s a pretty solid ROI.

Anyone who collected cards before things went insane around 1990 will have a number of stories of “the ones that got away.”  My worst is probably a very nice 1951-52 Parkhurst Howe RC that was selling for $135 around 1988.  Went back the following week with the cash and it was gone.  What irks me is that the guy would have held it for me if I had asked, but I didn’t.

I should note that the drawing doesn’t look a thing like the actual Wagner.  Maybe you could get them for $1000 because they were very poor counterfeits.

For more about John Mayberry, check out his Baseball Reference page.  I was kind of shocked.  John was in the top three for RBI and OPS three times, top seven in home runs six times (twice as a Jay) and led the AL in on-base percentage in 1973.  Hwe was second in MVP voting in 1975.  Big John was a force to be reckoned with.

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