Wednesday, March 21, 2018

One Tough Chipper

A while back I made the questionable decision to try collecting the 2011 Topps Chrome Atomic Refractor format.  I knew at the outset this would be quite a challenge.  Each card is serial-numbered to /225, which doesn't sound too bad and is by far and away the most prolific of any Atomic Refractor parallel that I'm aware of.  Even still, with a 220-card checklist this is no small endeavor.

I'm now over the 80% complete mark with the set, which is pretty damn good if I do say so myself.  This is the point though where a lot of the low-hanging fruit has already been plucked and set building something like this becomes a real challenge.  Case in point...Chipper Jones:

How about that card?  A real beauty, huh?  Well, apparently a lot of other folks think so as well.  Long ago, back when I was only about 50% complete on the set, I'd recognized that Chipper might be one of the tougher remaining names on the checklist.  So, I set a saved eBay search for this exact card and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  This is no exaggeration, I did not get a hit for 14 months.  Not a single one listed for any price, and not a one on COMC or Sportlots in that entire time span either.

Finally, a few months back, I got a hit.  Was listed at a 99 cents opening bid with $3 shipping.  This was it.  I set the sniping program I use to bid up to a full $10 on the card.  After all, I know Jones is popular but who's going to pay more than $13 shipped for a mid-range parallel from seven years ago?  I'd be able to cross card #2 off my Atomic Refractor want list at long last.  As it turns out someone was willing to pay that much for the card.  In fact, a couple of people were.  If I recall correctly the card went for somewhere in the $13-14 (plus shipping) range.

I was a bit deflated to be honest.  I felt kinda dumb that a card I'd been searching more than a year for fell through my grasp over just a few dollars.

As luck would have it, I didn't have to wait another 14 months this time, as another copy was listed within weeks of that first auction ending.  This time I was willing to go all the way up to $20 if need be (I knew collecting this set was a stupid idea).  Thankfully it didn't come down to that, as I brought home this copy for $7 and change.  Sweet!

That's the story of how Chipper Jones became the 179th 2011 Topps Chrome Atomic Refractor in my collection.  41 more to go!

Thanks as always for stopping by!


Chris said...

Ah, the perils of non-traditional set building...those tricky, budget-busting singles. Your patience paid off with this Chipper though.

I thought I had an Atomic Refractor from this set, but I checked and it's not serial #d...apparently it's a retail Xfractor :/

John Miller said...

I don't have a single one of the Braves Atomic Refractors from that set. Maybe, not any of the sets. Congrats on the grab!

Billy Kingsley said...

That's a great looking card. I've never met a refractor I didn't like.

Matthew Scott said...

Always tough when you need guys like Chipper, Griffey, Jeter etc. So many people collect them and drive up the prices. Congrats on the addition. What a great looking card.

Fuji said...

Congratulations! That's quite the project you're building. It's kinda nice to see a Chipper #'d to 225 still being able to get $7 to $13. Especially since lately... I've been seeing some insane card show purchases lately that includes a 52B Casey Stengel for a buck, and a 66T Buyback Bert Campaneris for a dime.

Kin said...

Great story, and you got it for the lower price....SWEET! That's a beautiful looking card. You have a kick-butt scanner!

Coast To Posts said...

Dude, you have so much progress on collecting that set! The cards look great by the way.

I remember having the Chipper Jones 1991 Topps card when’s I was a kid; it’s his rookie card yeah? Had to Wikipedia when he retired after reading that the above refractor card was a 2011 product - I didn’t know he was still in the league right up until 2012! He definitely enjoyed a lengthly career.

bwvjones said...

What a beauty!!

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