So, the last time I checked in, I mentioned I was buying baseball cards again. Well, turns out it’s really friggin fun, so I’m spending way too much money on it and need to cut back. My reasoning behind my little binge was that, since I hadn’t dabbled in the world of cards since I was 8, I kinda wanted to see what was out there. So, I bought a little of this, a little of that, and I think I’ve settled on what kinds of cards I’m looking to collect long term. Red Sox cards, team sets and the occasional relic/autograph. What that means is that packs, blasters and hobby boxes are pretty much a waste of time and money for me. I don’t intend to pick up the entire 300+ card set of whatever is the hot product of the month. So, I’ve decided to myself that if/when I do pick up a random product it will be a) for fun, b) not for collecting and c) just to see what it’s like. It’s simply easier and more cost effective to purchase the complete set of a series on ebay for $5.99 than it is to buy a blaster box for $20 or a hobby box for $80 and get complete garbage.
Case in point. This morning I picked up a $20 blaster box of Bowman Platinum. Bowman is an offshoot (resurrected brand) of Topps and focuses on rookies and prospects. Glancing at the checklist for the set, there are only 8 current Red Sox players (the set does have some current MLB player along with the rookies and prospects) and 4 prospects. There’s only 100 base cards in the entire thing. The box I bought was $20. After opening the box, realizing I liked the product, and searching for it on ebay I was able to purchase the 8 Red Sox players from a dealer for $5 shipped. I could have saved $15, but at the same time, I would have never known how cool these cards were. So, $15 well spent? Yeah, I’d say so. I got paid today, have the spare $15 and don’t mind spending it for the fun thrill to open some packs. I’d put a value on that. $15 is also about what I spent on lunch. So $20 isn’t really the end of the world. One blaster box, every pay day (2 weeks) isn’t going to hurt, and makes me happy, so I’m good with it.
So, Bowman Platinum is definitely a cool product, and one I’m going to keep on my radar going forward. Allen & Ginter however, I’m completely over. I got a box of that as well and got completely hosed. No autos, no relics, 2 stupid short prints, tons of dupes. That was it. I also got two completely identical packs. The same cards. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t hit the exact same pack in a previous box. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that 3 identical packs, separated by boxes, time and distribution location, are an indication of exactly how poor and “not random” Topps quality control is. I’m going to find the few Red Sox cards I need to complete this years set and then never buy it again. I was all excited it because of it’s retro feel, the thicker weighted cards, the higher production value, but was really disappointed in the end result. I’ve had more fun buying completely basic “base” Topps cards this year than I have with Allen & Ginter boxes.
Anyway, I’ll be on the look out for base sets of various products from now on and just troll ebay every once in a while for parallels or cool relics. That’s all that really appeal to me at the moment. I also have a lot to go backwards and catch up on. I’m already done with 2011 Topps Series 1 & 2 (just waiting on the update/traded player cards this fall), Topps Chrome, and Bowman Platinum (with the purchase of the a fore mentioned team set). All I need to find is a couple A&G cards and about 1/3 of the remaining Gypsy Queen cards and I’ll be pretty much done with 2011. Then I guess I’ll try and do 2010 and keep moving backwards, but I’ve already got a couple of those sets as well. I’m not sure how far I want to go back, but I’m thinking 2000-2003 is probably about it. Nothing from the 90’s appeals to me.
I also wanted to show off some random stuff I’ve hit in various boxes. Like I said, I was kinda buying a little of everything. I picked up a box of just about every line I came across at Target or Walmart. Upper Deck, Bowman, Topps, A&G, Opening Day, Chrome, etc, etc. I’ve put up a Google Photos gallery with “trade bait” (link in the sidebar) that shows some of them, and what I’m posting now is just what I’ve taken photos of with my phone, so it’s far from exhaustive (and leaves out 99% of the base cards I’ve found), but it kinda gives you an idea.