Saturday, June 20, 2015

Plying My Trade for Cards

In my working life, I'm an IT guy. That means that in my personal life I'm asked quite often for advice, favors and help with computer problems.  Most recently, I was able to help out the owner of my favorite local hobby shop after a laptop crash, and in return he was generous enough to give me a nice chunk of store credit!

I had some time to stop by yesterday evening after work to redeem some credit.  Here's what I picked out...

I don't usually buy much unopened product, and when I do it's almost always retail.  Since I was basically getting free cards though, I decided to take a stab at the recently-released 2015 Topps Series 2 in the form of a jumbo pack.  The shop owner, John, had a brand new, unopened jumbo box and I chose the very top pack on the left after he removed the shrink wrap.  For $12 and change it was a nice way to get a good sampling of base cards.

There are 50 cards in the pack, and even after accounting for inserts you still end up with 40+ base cards.  Love the retro jersey on this Jed Lowrie.

In the interest of brevity I'm not going to show you all the cards.  Besides, I'm sure you've seen them on 20 other blogs by now.  This was probably my favorite photograph in the entire pack though, what a shot!

I'd give the runner-up prize to this Andrelton Simmons, who is not in contact with the ground in any way here...

I was fortunate enough to pull two Red Sox cards; aging closer Koji Uehara...

...and Justin Masterson, who was the very last card in the brick.  Although he's been atrocious this year, it was kind of cool to pull my first Justin Masterson Red Sox card in years.

The inserts/parallels were lacking, but I totally expected this.  My gold parallel was a pitcher I've never heard of, and I can't recall ever enjoying the inserts from a Topps flagship set unfortunately.  I did get one I'll be sending out in a trade soon, and the rest are off to my Zistle trade list.

The one insert I'll actually be keeping is this Stan Lee First Pitch.  I was never much of a comic guy (baseball cards have always appealed to me more), but I like this card nonetheless for some reason.  Maybe from watching Mallrats about 1,000 times as a teenager?

Obviously I picked the right pack from the box, as you only get one autograph per jumbo box, and it happened to be a Red Sox card!  The most random thing is that when I was at the shop I spent about 10 minutes talking about Matt Barnes with the owner, as he had just purchased a large Barnes collection.  Half an hour later I opened my pack at home, and out spilled this card.  What a coincidence.

That was a successful peek at Series 2, really glad I decided to grab a pack.  I'll probably buy a little more of this via retail since the price may be cheaper per card, then try trading for the rest of the set.

Since I was at the shop and had some time, of course I picked out some singles for myself and some others I trade with as well.  Here are a few keepers for me from the quarter box...

I definitely had quite a bit of '93 Fleer Ultra in my childhood collection, but I honestly did not recall this Dennis Eckersley insert set.

I grabbed both of the cards from the shop that featured him with Boston, and it looks like I have one more to chase down at some point.

Here's another insert set I don't recall having seen before, 1993-94 Pinnacle Super Rookies.  I've mentioned it before, but I was always a big Renberg fan as a kid so I grab his cards whenever I can.  I wasn't leaving this one behind for a quarter.

I grabbed this Marc-Andre Fleury Retro parallel from 2010-11 O-Pee-Chee just because it seemed like a great deal for 25 cents.  At some point I'll probably end up trading it away.

I've been picking away at the 1994-95 Parkhurst Missing Link set for a long time now.  I was relatively certain I didn't have this Jacques Plante, and it turns out I was correct.  Nice to land one of the bigger names from the checklist on the cheap.

I'm not entirely sure why this Taylor Hall card ended up in my stack.  Maybe I subconsciously believe the Bruins will trade for him in the off-season.

I'm considering starting a collection or binder of cards that feature photos of players with the Stanley Cup, the greatest trophy in sports.

To that end, these two Cup Celebrations inserts from 2006-07 Upper Deck Power Play were easy choices.

Here's probably my favorite quarter box pick-up of the day.  While it's not the right Whalers (Detroit Whalers, not Hartford), it's close.  Also, Bryan Berard hails from the tiny little state I call home, Rhode Island!

I picked up five cards that were slightly more expensive, probably $1.50 each if you average it out.  The first was this Torey Krug rookie from 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee.  I've opened a lot of this stuff in re-packs, but was never fortunate enough to land this one.  Glad to finally have a copy.

I've talked many times about how I'm a bit of a parallel junkie, so I didn't hesitate to snag this Mike Napoli yellow parallel from last year's Bowman set.  Though Napoli is having a terrible season, like many of his teammates, I still like this card which is serial numbered to 99.

Here's a nice purple prospects parallel of a guy who's really been hot at the plate the last couple of weeks.  In fact, Mookie Betts just launched one into the left field seats to start tonight's game against the Royals as I type this post.  I still view Mookie as one of the best young players in the league.

Going back in time, here's a much earlier parallel, an Artist's Proof card from 1995 Pinnacle.  These came one-per-box, and feature silver foil rather than gold.  That is one hell of a stretch there from Otis Nixon.

Last, but certainly not least, an Orange Refractor of pitcher Jamie Callahan from 2013 Bowman Chrome.  I've never heard of this guy, and he's having a rough season at single-A ball (0-5 with an ERA of 7.00+, ouch!), so why did I buy this card?  Well, it's numbered to just 25 copies, so it seemed like a worthwhile pickup based on scarcity alone.

I'd call that a successful trip to the hobby shop.  Especially since everything in this post, with the 2015 Topps Series 2 jumbo pack included, set me back around the price of a retail blaster with tax.  Even more successful given that it didn't really cost me anything, and I've still got plenty of store credit left to go.  Maybe I need to make myself a t-shirt with a picture of a laptop on it that says "WILL WORK FOR CARDS"...

8 comments:

Mark Kaz said...

Tremendous luck on pulling the Barnes auto! Awesome!

Marc said...

Sweet pull on that Barnes. Fairly certain that Fleer had Eckersley autograph cards inserted into packs. Soon you'll be hearing Bruins trade Lucic along with Eriksson and Smith to Edmonton for Taylor Hall.

Jupiterhill said...

The Moustakas card is one I can't wait to get. Tonight is Mike Moustakas bobblehead night at Kauffman Stadium against Boston. The bobblehead is based off the photo and catch.

Tim B. said...

Congrats on the great pull! Love the Cup Celebrations too, good stuff!

John Miller said...

Simmons shot is great, falls into the Superman category/mini collection. Oh yeah, I gave that collection to someone already.

Sal said...

Never saw those All Sport PPF cards before. Interesting.

Captain Canuck said...

if you need Missing Link cards I have a stack of duplicates. Hit me up with a list before I mail them out for autos.....

I also have a few Yellow Champs cards. With and without animals. Let me know what you need....

buckstorecards said...

Technically, that's a Plymouth Whalers card. The team has relocated to Flint as of this off-season, and will be the Firebirds.

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