Even Perfect Collections Come with a Crucial Reminder

Some collectors can spend decades building up their prized collection. While it always helps if you have more than an extra few dollars to spend here and there, some collectors never go all out in acquiring their prized collectibles. Some collectors may even take 50 years or more to get where they want their collection to end up. Just remember that you can’t take it with you — even if it’s the greatest collection on the planet.

The website Fansided recently featured a collection of Red Sox cards by a man named Mark Hoyle. The Red Sox collection is largely dominated by the great Ted Williams, but it also features greats like Cy Young, Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Dead Ball Era players, even modern and 2004 players. It’s supposed to be more than a century of baseball cards and memorabilia filling up nearly an entire room.

At the end of the day, Hoyle’s most sought after card is the 1939 Goudey Premium Ted Williams. This rookie card is extremely rare and Hoyle has been trying to get one of these cards for decades. Admittedly in the Fansided interview, he hasn’t even seen one other than in photos because there are (according to the article) less than 10 known examples of the card. The PSA population report shows a total of 16 base grades of this scarce card, as well as 3 “+” graded examples and 2 “Q” graded examples.

For a reference, the 1939 R303A Goudey Premiums Ted Williams PSA NM 7 below is from Heritage Auctions. This exact card sold for $24,000.00 back on May 6, 2021.

1939 Goudey Premiums Ted Williams

The story also brings up another collector named Matt Walker, who is also a die-hard Ted Williams fan. In fact, Walker’s quest for the perfect Ted Williams collection was featured by Collectors Dashboard not that long ago. This is a friendship that was born on social media and many of the interests are the same — including this elusive 1939 Goudey Premiums of Ted Williams. But just to show how rare this set is, the entire PSA population of the entire set is only 236 cards and that is after the 37 “+” grades and 5 “Q” grades.

And sadly, or more like tragically, Mark Hoyle has lost two sons with early deaths. He said that the hobby brought him solace during both tragedies. Another friend who was also met online died a week before Christmas, which “put a lot of things in perspective.” If you are a collector and one of your top collector friends passes away, well let’s leave that at that.

So, do you remember earlier about “you can’t take it with you” in the introduction? Fansided’s report shows that Hoyle’s children and 7 grandchildren aren’t into collecting like he is. The article even says:

There’s no concrete plan on where the cards will go, or who he’ll give them to, but there are a few ideas. “I’ll probably stay in it until I can’t do it anymore. And then I’ll probably start to unload a few things a little at a time.”

But that’s a thought for another time. Hoyle’s estimation is that he’ll be good to go for another “10 to 15 years.”

This was one of those articles that I read and thought I was going to be in love with a great collection. The reality is that it’s true. How you a true baseball collector NOT love that collection.

The other reality is that none of us can take our collections with us when we ultimately pass away. One of my good friends who was a another teenage card dealer at the same time as me is tragically no longer with us. Every time I go to a card show I almost expect to run into him before reality sets in. And every time I buy a new great card, or even just a fun card of little value, I want to call him. He had an extensive collection and it wasn’t just limited to sports cards and sports memorabilia.

As for myself, both of my young children constantly hound me for cards. They love them. Baseball, non-sports, Pokemon and so on. I just had to fend off an all-out assault just to not pay $225 for an ungraded Ted Williams card this last weekend. And I have been building a box of cards for each of them they will get when they are less prone to destroying them, losing them, damaging them, or trading them away for something of no consequence.

On the theme of “you cannot take it with you” I have made fairly detailed instructions about what to do with each genre of my collection. It’s not all going to just one seller. And some of the collection will be handed down, and some will be shared with some friends. And the rest will be sold. Hopefully I get to be there to see it, but who knows. Nonetheless, it’s a plan.

I truly enjoyed reading about Mark Hoyle’s great collection. The article at Fansided shouldn’t be taken in any other way than being a great collection. The tie in just hit real close to home and it’s something that everyone thinks about if they have extensive collections of anything that might be valuable and might need to be liquidated by someone else.