Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why I Buy Older Cards - An Experiment

When I stopped by the local hobby shop a few weeks ago, I decided to try a little experiment. I picked up one hobby pack of Topps Heritage for $5. I also grabbed a rack pack of 1984 Topps baseball, which cost half the amount of the Heritage pack at $2.50. I've picked up quite a few of these '84 rack packs over time and they've always been fun to rip. I figured this would be a good way to illustrate why I gravitate towards older cards, and man was I right!

Let's take a look at the Heritage pack first...

Nine cards for $5, so we're talking more than 50 cents per individual card...

#85 - Ike Davis

Fantastic, a boring card of a hat-less player!

#347 - Nyjer Morgan

#307 - Jair Jurrjens

I do have to say in all fairness that I love the 1962 Topps backs.

#427 - Will Rhymes (Short Print)

#88 - Joe Girardi

#353 - Neil Walker

#16 - John Jaso

#270 - Ronny Cedeno

#5 - Clayton Kershaw

And we finish things off with probably the best card in the pack.


Still awake? Not exactly the world's most exciting pack. Do I feel like I got a decent return on my $5? Nope! Now let's look at the '84 rack pack. For just $2.50 I got over 50 cards, meaning each individual card cost me less than 5 cents compared to more than 50 cents per card with Heritage. Let's see what the pack yielded...

1st Section

Glossy All-Stars #4 - George Brett

Each rack pack comes with one Glossy All-Star card. I chose George Brett, let's hope he treats me well.

#485 - Rick Rhoden
#332 - Kevin Gross

#708 - NL ERA Leaders

Can't beat two first ballot Hall-of-Famers on one card.

#69 - Rod Scurry

#704 - NL RBI Leaders

#640 - Lance Parrish
#618 - Dickie Noles
#433 - Rich Hebner
#684 - Bob Shirley

#705 - NL Stolen Base Leaders

#699 - Dave Rucker
#99 - Craig Lefferts
#185 - Sixto Lezcano
#247 - Onix Concepcion
#659 - Duane Walker
#343 - Mark Davis
#252 - Larry Christenson
#257 - Julio Cruz

The first section was so-so, the League Leaders cards are nice. On to section 2...

2nd Section

#612 - Harry Spilman
#657 - Thad Bosley
#342 - Tim Foli

#150 - Dale Murphy

Nice, Murphy was coming off of 2 straight NL MVP seasons in '82 and '83.

#196 - Don Slaught
#738 - Bill Schroeder
#53 - Juan Beniquez

#130 - Ozzie Smith

Normally this would be card of the pack for me hands down, but there's a card in section 3 that beats even Ozzie here...

#491 - Bobby Castillo
#575 - Jim Clancy

#782 - Steve Balboni

Not exactly a picture perfect swing from Steve Balboni.

#469 - Tom O'Malley
#193 - Darrell Brown
#203 - Matt Keough
#172 - Frank DiPino
#146 - Ed Romero
#603 - Renie Martin
#624 - Terry Harper
#39 - Garth Iorg

Ozzie was definitely the star of the middle section, I'm always happy to add a new Wizard to the collection.

3rd Section

#115 - Andre Thornton

#8 - Don Mattingly Rookie!

I don't think you can get a better 1984 Topps pack than this! It's exciting to pull one of the better 80's Topps rookies from a pack. This one's in great shape too, with sharp corners and pretty good centering. I've pulled Ripken and Gwynn rookies from Topps packs and now I can add Don here to the list.


#656 - Bryn Smith
#425 - Steve Howe
#93 - Bob Knepper

#350 - George Foster

#749 - Doug Flynn
#642 - Tom Underwood

#348 - Toby Harrah

Toby looks like an NHL player sporting a playoff beard.

#275 - Len Matuszek

#68 - Luis Salazar

#620 - Al Oliver
#65 - Kirk Gibson
#385 - Tony Perez
#145 - Gary Lavelle

#408 - Lou Piniella

#538 - Kevin Bass
#245 - Rick Sutcliffe

So there you have it, a 2011 Heritage pack vs. a 1984 Topps rack pack. I know that I was extremely lucky to pull the Mattingly rookie, but I would go so far as to say that I'd still take the rack pack over the Heritage pack even without that card. The Ozzie Smith alone is a card I'll always keep, and I can't say that for any of the Heritage cards.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a knock on Heritage and I realize every collector is different (which is why this hobby is so great). How about you, would you take the Heritage pack or the rack pack?

9 comments:

Hackenbush said...

I'd definitely take the 84's. Another tactic is to just buy the cards from Heritage that you really want. So far I have 4 in my COMC "to be shipped" inventory. Total cost with shipping will be just $1.40. That's 35 cents a card and I got to hand pick them. As you say, we all have our ways of collecting. None wrong, just different.

1967ers said...

I'd go with the old pack, too. I gave up on new wax a couple of years ago. Now, I just let someone else put the set together and pick up what I want directly. It's easier.

Limits the amounts of traders I get, though.

Captain Canuck said...

must be nice to be able to have the choice.
it ain't that way around here my friend....

Dave H said...

I wish hockey rack packs from the 80's were that cheap! 82-83 Racks will run you about 30+ a piece around here!

But I agree, vintage won that battle for sure!

1967ers said...

I don't think I've seen an '82-83 rack pack since ... (ponders) ... '82-83.

I remember buying one because it had Richard Brodeur on the front and he'd been eluding me.

Sal said...

Mattingly! Shave those sideburns!

Dave H said...

I saw someone selling a 35 dollar 82-83 Rack pack at the swap meet last weekend. There was a Hawerchuk team leader card and a few commons on the visible portions. If I didn't have the set and doubles of almost every card I would have probably bought it just for the fun of it.

Sal said...

I see 1982-83 OPC Hockey Rack Packs at that big show I go to 2 times a year. Some dealer who overprices everything has them, and wants about $40 for one. Honestly, I just want a picture of it for the Wrapper Gallery.

lonestarr said...

Nice pull!

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