January 02, 2010
The Dangerous Allure of Jerry Lynch
Is it the scripty names? The low budget headshots? The blue outlines for American Leaguers and red for National?
What is it about this set that makes this grown man swoon?
I'll tell you what. It's cheap. Super cheap, in fact. I may be blowing my cover here, but arm yourself with the right reference guides and you can buy the rare ones for practically nothin' from the rubes on eBay. It's a good-looking set, too. Clean lines, small Post logo, real team insignia and uniforms––none of that crap from the Eighties and Nineties, after Major League Baseball added a (TM) to everything and made it so the third-parties didn't want to pay the licensing fees. And this one's an old set, and a short one, too. Just 200 cards. And did I mention it's cheap?
If you're looking for a fun, ground-floor set to get in on, make it a Post Cereal set from the 1960s. I chose 1962. It's got unexpected rarities (like Jerry Lynch), big names that are relatively easy to find, two versions of the Mantle and Maris cards, a host of errors, and the wonderful phenomenon of the hand-cut card.
Ah yes, the joys of cutting your own cards! I remember a certain Will Clark card I cut off the back of a Drake's Cakes when I was 9 years old. It had more angles and jagged edges than a rectangle is supposed to have...
Unless you had steady surgeon's hands or had a parent do the work, you got a ragged piece of cardboard. But that's the fun of it. Besides, who wanted to wait for a parent? I needed that Will Clark card in my grubby stack of cards now!
And no matter where you find these early-Sixties Post cards, be it in the dime bin at a show or a ten-dollar lot on eBay, they are always a bit ragged. Sure, being born of cereal-box-grade cardboard didn't help (feels a bit flimsier than standard Topps baseball cards of the day), but it's the knowledge that kids in the Sixties were every bit as impatient to get at their cards as I was, twenty-five years later, that puts this set on a higher plane.
So goodnight, you backs of cereal boxes, you hand-cut kings of nostalgia.