Here are packs 23 and 24, followed by a quick summary of the experience and an explanation as to why I will never do this again!
I've gawked over these Timeless Teams cards whenever I've seen them on other blogs, but I never had any of my own until now. I couldn't resist adding this Hall of Famer (finally!) and his fantastic 1970's Pirates uniform for just a quarter. I like the backs of these cards almost as much as I do the front, as they feature nice stadium shots:
I showed a Doctor Octopus card from this set earlier in these posts and commented that I had picked up one more, and here it is. I guess I must like the villains more than the heroes in this set. This one was appropriate given that the Captain America movie came out this summer.
Doesn't look like this guy's going to pitch another inning for Boston this year. What a bummer.
The nice in-game action photo is the reason I snagged this one. According to the back Spencer was the most popular player on the Islanders during this era?
The last Gypsy Queen card in my box. I was able to make some nice additions to my GQ set with this project, all in all I picked up 3 inserts, 4 Framed Green retail and 6 Framed Paper parallels. The Framed Paper parallels are still amongst my favorite cards out of all the 2011 releases.
I thought this Cracker Jack mini of future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez was pretty cool. 2004 was the year the Red Sox finally ended their incredibly long World Series drought as well, which makes this one even nicer.
I was never fortunate enough to pull any of these Finest inserts from 1993-94 Stadium Club. Like most collectors I'm a sucker for early-90's shiny Finest goodness. I would love to pick up the other 11 cards from this set someday.
And now for the final pack, I saved 2 of my favorite cards from the entire haul for this one...
I had Clark's '95 Stadium Club Virtual Reality insert already, and now I have his First Day Issue parallel as well. I still need the base card though...
The first of two favorites that I saved for the last pack. Everything about this card is awesome. Lowell's sunglasses rule, and the back of the card is even better than the front:
This guy lettered in baseball, basketball, football, track and golf in high school, and his hobby is raising pigeons?!?!?! Now that's someone I'd make conversation with at a party!
Of course I had to pick up a Red Sox Timeless Teams card as well, with an awesome shot of Fenway Park on the back:
I don't collect 2001 Topps, Rickey Henderson, or Oakland Atheltics cards, but I couldn't pass this one up. A great shot of the stolen base king, just after breaking the career steals record.
The other card I saved for my final pack, and definitely my single favorite card from the entire lot. I have a few trophy cards like this from the early 70's O-Pee-Chee/Topps sets, but this one takes the cake. $7 is more than I'd generally pay for a single like this, but I've been searching for this card for a while and haven't been able to track it down elsewhere. Aside from that it's in incredibly good shape, with nice centering and 4 razor sharp corners. A welcome addition to the collection and a card I have no problem shelling out 7 bucks for...
The very last mini in my box is the Eiffel Tower, from the 2007 Allen & Ginter set. I've picked up a couple of Eiffel Tower cards since visiting France for the very first time earlier this summer. There aren't a ton of them out there.
The very last card in my box is a Turkey Red Brooks Robinson from 2010 Topps.
Pack 23: $2.70
Pack 24: $8.84
Running Total: $86.48
Well, that's a wrap folks! There were some pros, and one gigantic con to this experiment. The pros are pretty obvious:
- Finally got me to get off my butt and set up a COMC account, something I'd been delaying for years
- Had an awesome time picking out 169 unique cards to add to my collection.
- Made some good progress on various sets off my Want List, especially 1974-75 Topps hockey and 2011 Gypsy Queen baseball.
- Couldn't have been more pleased with the process of using COMC. The ability to make offers is great. The site is very addicting, easy to spend hours just browsing around and checking out cards, pun intended.
- The cards were packaged incredibly well for shipping. Great care was taken to ensure that the cards were not damaged in transit, in fact this might have been the most well-packaged bunch of cards I've received from anyone since getting back into collecting over 4 years ago.
- The project gave me good posting material for the blog for basically the entire month of August
To COMC's credit, they clearly state that their pricing structure is basically set up so that it's cost-effective to purchase cards that are a little greater in value, like $1 or more. In fact, the site in general is really meant for cards like this, and not cheaper singles or commons. I was fully aware of this before making any purchases and decided that I would go against common sense in order to build my "hobby box". That being said, it would be nice if COMC had some kind of shipping limit. No matter what the value of your purchases is, at some point it becomes a bit ridiculous to ship without some type of cap. Regardless of the value of the cards, charging close to $50 to ship less than 200 cards just seems a bit crazy. I will continue to use COMC to purchase those hard-to-find singles that are worth a few bucks, but for set filler commons and bulk orders like this I'll be sticking to Sportlots.
Even though I "took one for the blog" in paying the over-the-top shipping costs, I still had a great time picking out and showcasing all of these cards, much more fun than I think I would've had ripping an A & G hobby box. I hope you enjoyed reading these posts as much as I did putting them together. I've got plenty of time to come up with something new for next summer's A & G release...