Sunday, February 22, 2015

Upgraded to a Better Class

Just before I met my wife in 2009, I was traveling a ton for work and for enjoyment. My travel was so frequent on Delta that I qualified as Platinum Medallion (before Delta devalued Platinum Medallion by adding the Diamond Medallion level as one step higher than Platinum).

The reason that frequent travelers like having "status" on an airline is simple: most of the time, as a Platinum Medallion traveler, I would receive free upgrades to first class even if I was traveling clear across the country. Now, the only status I have on Delta is Silver Medallion, which is good for...well, there are some places where I get to check my bag in a different location and I can get on the plane in Zone 1 so I can stow a carry-on.  And, that's about it.

Upgrades are good. Is there ever a time where someone offered you an upgrade and you would turn it down? Sure, if you're traveling with your significant other and the two of you would be split up for a flight, maybe you'd turn down the upgrade, but otherwise, nearly every upgrade conceivable is a good thing.

The same applies in card collecting. Unless every card in your collection is a graded Gem Mint 10 -- which, since I own a grand total of one graded card, I can vouch for myself not having that collection -- then you and me both are on the lookout for a condition upgrade for cards we know are in rough shape.

One of those "rough shape" cards for me has been my Robin Yount 1979 Hostess card. This is a card I have had since, as an 8-year-old, I cut it off a box of Ho-Ho's:
We have deep creases, part of the card gone, corners rounded away -- truly the definition of "well-loved."  If that card were from an 1880s Allen & Ginter set, it would not be a badge of shame to have it in my collection. But it's from 1979.

As a further aside, Ho-Ho's might be my favorite snack from my childhood. Who can beat whipped cream wrapped in a devil's food chocolate cake, then dipped in chocolate?

Anyway, I recently received an e-mail from the proprietor of Von's Cards asking me if I needed the 1979 Hostess Robin Yount card. Von and I have crossed paths a few times at the local card show here in Roswell, including one show where I was helping his teenage daughter find some cards that she liked in a dime box.  

Von warned me that the card had a crease on it, but I told him not to worry -- that I was almost positive that the card would be in better shape than my current version.  I guessed correctly on that:

Yeah, there's a crease on the bottom, but this card has sharper corners and the card is pretty much intact! Of course that is an upgrade from the old card.

Von, thank you very much for the upgrade. Upgrades are always good.


  1. Nice Yount.
    I didn't collect cards until I was on my way out of high school so I'm kind of curious as to whether or not collectors actually want to upgrade/replace cards that have been with them since childhood for the sake of getting the same card in better condition. I'd assume that a card that's been with you since your were younger would hold more sentimental meaning to you.

    On a sidenote, I'm getting really hungry after looking at that box and might pick up a box of good old diabetes at Stop & Shop later today.

    1. Considering the beating I put on the cards I had as a kid, I tend to know which ones I need to upgrade and which ones are fine. The cards I have with sentimental meaning tend to be the ones I have that are autographed.

    2. I don't think a new card would replace my childhood cards, but it might bump one out of a set binder and back into the 'sentimental cards' box.

  2. Mmmmm Ho Hos. While we're at it might as well throw in some devil dogs

  3. Nice upgrade. If it weren't for Kellogg's... Hostess cards would reign king of the oddballs in my cardboard world.

  4. Thankfully I wasn't too hard on my cards as a child and most have stood the test of time. The bad thing is the early ones are mainly junk wax.

  5. UPgrades are good. Upgrades to those foodstuffs cards is an extra treat (pardon the very intended pun). Oddly though sometimes holding onto the original card for its history and character is worth more than spending the effort to find an upgrade.

  6. in contrast to the other comments, hey if you are ready to part with the original yount, I'm game.