Return to the card shop

This past weekend, for the first time in ages, I returned to my local card shop – All Star Cards, in Santee, CA.  It’d been a while – definitely not since January 2011 – and it was my first trip since the skyrocketing prices of the short lived “Stephen Strasburg era” of the hobby, which REALLY turned me away.  It was too harsh a reminder the ‘bubble’, and subsequent burst, of the hobby just a decade or so ago.

But with baseball season in full swing, I’d begun to feel the baseball card itch, so I packed up the little guy and off we went!  He actually hasn’t been since before he learned to walk, which makes it AT LEAST seven months since our last trip.  Anyway…

Our haul.

I’d wanted a pack of 2010 NCAA Sweet Spot since college football season, so I was pleasantly surprised to see these packs “discounted” below their original MSRPs.  So much for the baseball card itch, eh?

I pulled the normal, uninteresting base cards, of course, but I swung and missed (… there’s a baseball reference!) on an autographed mini helmet.  Instead, I pulled a Mike Wallace event used jersey.  Guaranteed worn in the Rookie Premiere event! Woooooo!!!  Seriously, though – can’t we just stick to the vague “game used” swatches?  The “event worn” stuff just doesn’t have the appeal.

I certainly didn’t drag little Joseph along without intentions of getting him some fun stuff, too.  Naturally, we hit up the bargain table.  First up:  a discounted Greg Oden MacFarlane figure!  $3… imagine that.

Also, some packs.  Two, from 2011 Topps Opening Day.

As it usually goes, these items left me with an uneven total, which I don’t like.  To round out the purchase, I’d initially decided to purchase ONE pack from something new.  Ginter has yet to be released, which would’ve been an easy choice, so instead I looked to Gypsie Queen… which is $7 a pack.  Seven. dollars.  What the hell?  There aren’t any Strasburg autographs inside, as far as I know, so what’s up with the exorbitant price tag?  No thanks.  I turned around (literally – the bargain table is across from the baseball card packs) and saw this:

ProSet Guiness Book of Records cards!  A whole box!  36 packs, 10 cards per pack, 100 card set.  By that math, I should easily be able to put two sets together.  If I’m lucky, I’ll squeeze three out of the box.  This purchase was a no-brainer.

I left the shop with mixed feelings.  The Sweet Spot definitely left me with a sense of buyer’s remorse, which is what slowed down my purchasing a few months ago.  I don’t like the feeling of getting nothing for my money, which is what tends to happen with unopened wax.  So maybe I should stick to singles, which is the exact realization I came to many months ago.  I also loved the junk wax purchase, as these – in their unopened forms – look awesome in the man cave card shop.   No, I won’t get $5 in monetary value out of the World Records box, but I also wasn’t getting $7 out of the Gypsie Queen box, either.

Besides, the World Record cards are more fun, and that’s what this hobby is all about.

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5 Responses

  1. See I disagree. I prefer knowing that the player actually wore the thing to the concept of game used. It could be “lunchtime worn” and I’d prefer that to a card that guaranteed its relic was used at some point by someone.

    • The problem with ‘event worn’ is that I’ve seen the videos where a player is putting on and immediately taking off hundreds of jerseys just to say they were “worn”. It’s not like he wore ONE jersey all day long, and that’s what is getting shredded. So the jerseys are hardly event worn.

      I don’t know. I wish they could just stick to actual, game used pieces by the player pictured, and just have less overall relic cards in packs. I get that the companies were just trying to keep up with demand for relic cards, but I think they’ve gone a bit too far. It stings to say that – I’m as big a fan of relic cards as there is, I’ve got hundreds of them, but they’re getting to the point of ridiculous. The card industry has become its own worst enemy.

  2. Atta boy…getting back in the groove. And with football cards to boot! Well played.

    But yeah, Sweet Spot…despite how excited people like you were for it…just wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.

    Nice $5 with the Pro Set cards though. That should give you and Lil’ Joe a bunch of fun.

    • I would’ve been pumped if I’d pulled an autographed mini helmet, but I didn’t. At least they were ‘on sale’… $15 for the pack. Not terrible, I suppose. There were two packs left in the box and I let lil’ Joe pick.

      He owes me $15.

  3. I’d be all over the $5 box of Pro Set Guiness Book of Records cards… amazing find. I’m headed over to Craigslist in hopes of finding a box.

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