6.02.2011

1958 Topps
Sam Jones

It's called "The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book." And on page 45, a 1958 Topps Sad Sam Jones.

I first saw the card when I was a kid, I knew some day I would have it. Even though he looked so sad, he made me smile.

It's not like it's a particularly expensive card. And it's not like I didn't try to get one before this beauty arrived in the mail yesterday.

A few years back I walked into my Local Baseball Card Shop and asked the clerk if he had a 1958 card of Sad Sam Jones. I know he was thinking: who? But he directed me to a box of late-50s commons. After searching for a few minutes, I found good ol' Sam. It was probably in worse condition than this card.

I asked the clerk, "How much?"

He looked into a price guide and said something to the effect of $15. I almost choked.

Needless to say, I didn't get Sad Sam that day. And then I got to thinking: When is the next time someone is going to walk into this store and ask for a 1958 Topps Sam Jones? Answer: Never.

And so I bet Sam is still sitting in that box of commons. I'm sure he'll be there forever. I don't think I ever went back to that shop for a baseball card again.

Fifteen dollars? Are you kidding me.

By the way, this card cost me $1 on eBay. Overpriced? Some may say so. But at least it didn't make me lose my lunch.

1 comment:

Matt said...

First, I was equally intrigued by this man’s utterly doleful visage. . . .

Second—and perhaps you know/knew this and were subtly implying a connection—but your post inspired some late night searching on my part. I was amused to see there actually was a nicknamed Sad Sam Jones player—but well before the Sam Jones posted here.

Third, I have very, very recently taken to dabbling in collecting cards—and necessarily limiting myself to a niche and interest of mine in early major league African Am. ballplayers. But I had no idea that your pictured Sam Jones was such until I saw another card of his from a few years earlier when he appears more darkly complexioned. And it turns out he was the first African Am. to pitch a no hitter in the majors—if wiki. is to be trusted.

Finally, though this should probably go first and foremost: I have often and sadly found good writing and good blog writing to be quite thankless tasks. I think you possess both of those more exceptional qualities—and I want to say thank you. Please, however gradually time permits, please keep this blog up & running. These artifacts you discover, no, curate, are so artful in their storied destruction: for example, that Roy Campanella card is a veritable Jackson Pollock of creases and wrinkles. In fact, I really think that your accounts and these images would make a fascinating little book one day if a gutsy editor/publisher were to take a chance on it. . . .

In the meantime, perhaps one day in the not-too-distant future you may accept site donations in the way of cards that lie in comparable, beauteous ruin. (And, hopefully, I and/or others might stumble upon such pieces to pass along.) Take care and keep up the great work,

Matt
(videovampire.wordpress.com)