It’s official — we’re now well into the second half of the 2018 baseball season.

It was easier to deny a few weeks ago, but with the All-Star game behind us, about 100 games per team in the books, and Hall of Fame inductions just ahead, we can no longer escape reality.

And, for a goodly number of us, it’s time to face the fact that our teams probably are playing for next year or beyond.

So, where do we go to drown our sorrows?

Well, to old baseball cards, of course! After all, nothing soothes the soul like diving into a big ol’ pile of classic cardboard.

For evidence of that, check out these cool vintage lots that changed hands during the week ending July 22, 2018.

(Note that these listings contain affiliate links, which means if you click over to eBay and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)

1974 Topps Willie McCovey PSA 10

1974 Topps Willie McCovey PSA 10

Willie McCovey built his Hall of Fame resume slamming home runs into the depths of Candlestick Park and “stretching” his lithe body at first base for the San Francisco Giants.

But, from 1974 to 1976, McCovey plied his trade for the down-state San Diego Padres.

Topps gave a nod to the off-season move by airbrushing mustard onto McCovey’s duds and by gracing him with the coveted “Washington Nat’l League” error designation.

This eBay lot offered up the more common (and correct) “San Diego Padres” version, but it became a heavyweight the second PSA graded it a perfect 10.

With a population of just two, it’s little wonder this one brought just a penny shy of two grand.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1985 Topps Baseball Sealed Rack Case

1985 Topps Baseball Sealed Rack Case

If you were a hardcore collector in the mid-1980s, any sight or mention of 1985 Topps baseball cards likely still sends a shiver down your spine.

All three sets were absolutely loaded with early-career superstars and big-name rookie cards that year, but Topps added the bonus of U.S. Olympic cards to its mix.

That meant that, in addition to guys like Dwight Gooden, Eric Davis, Kirby Puckett, and Roger Clemens, pre-rookies like Mark McGwire, Oddibe McDowell, and Cory Snyder were up for grabs every time you cracked open a pack.

This eBay lot provided plenty of chances to fill your cardboard coffers courtesy of an unopened rack case.

In “case” you’re counting at home, that’s 3456 cards of promise (3 boxes, 24 packs per box, 48 cards per box).

All it would have cost you to own this one was $1000.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1937 Donut Corporation of America Thrilling Moments Complete Set with Babe Ruth

1937 Donut Corporation of America Thrilling Moments Complete Set with Babe Ruth

In 1937, the Donut Corporation of America somehow managed to break through the cardboard repression of the Great Depression to issue a set of “Thrilling Moments” cards on the sides of their product boxes.

The thrilling moments run the gamut from inventions to war to … Babe Ruth’s exploits. (Read more about the set here.)

This particular set, offered on eBay last week, is handcut and glued into the accompanying album.

Not idea conditional, but …

It’s the presence of the Bambino here that typically piques baseball collector interest, of course, and the Babe helped drive this set to $1200 on the strength of 12 bid.

$1200 – 8 bids

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1941 Play Ball Near Complete Set (#17 in PSA Set Registry)

1941 Play Ball Ted Williams

Issued on the brink of America’s entry into World War II, the 1941 Play Ball set has grown into a classic over the course of the last 75+ years.

It’s helped by a strong design that features very colorful photography and backgrounds, as well BIG cards of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio (as well as DiMaggio brothers Dom and Vince).

The set is also home to the Pee Wee Reese rookie card.

This eBay lot featured the 17th-ranked 1941 Play Ball set in the PSA set registry, grading out at nearly PSA 6 on the average.

The Williams and Reese cards come in at exactly PSA 6.

Of course, it’s a HUGE ding that the one missing card is the Joe D. card, but nine bids still pushed this baby to $6750.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

1963 Tommy Harper Topps All-Star Rookie Trophy

1963 Tommy Harper Topps All-Star Rookie Trophy

You know those little Topps All-Star Rookie trophies that have shown up on early-career cards from time to time through the decades?

Thought so.

Did you know that Topps gives each player on their All-Star Rookie team a real trophy?

Not sure I did, either, until I came across this listing.

Up for bid was Tommy Harper’s actual Topps All-Star Rookie trophy from 1963, along with a letter of provenance from Harper itself.

So, what is something like this — a piece of hobby and baseball history — worth?

Apparently, $1800.

See the original eBay listing here (affiliate link).

(Check out our other posts about card values here.)