Thursday, April 18, 2019

Passing Time At the Card Shop

Today's been a pretty gloomy New England day overall even though it hasn't rained so far at the time in which I'm writing this post. Still, clouds have been in the sky since I woke up this morning, and I don't think I'll be seeing the sun whatsoever until at least tomorrow.

In an effort to pass some time and open a couple packs of the recently-released 2019 Bowman Baseball cards, I took a quick trip to my LCS earlier today. Though I was only inside the card shop for around 20 minutes, it was a nice departure from the poor weather.

The new cards that I purchased will give me something to do tomorrow when I'll add them to my online inventories and put them in their respective collections. 

I've also started a rookie and prospect binder, for, after all these years, Topps' love for rookie cards has led me to change the way that I store a player's first-year card.

Maybe it's because I've put away a ton of dime cards over the last few days, but I wasn't feeling super inspired to search through the dime boxes. Instead, I visited the scattered 50 cents per card and price as marked boxes throughout the store.

The main difference between the dime and 50 cent boxes at my LCS is the products that are featured. Rightfully so, when you pay more per card than you do when searching through the dime bins, you'll come across more high-end products like Topps Finest and Bowman's Best.

The Altuve in the top left corner is a refractor from 2017 while the card in the bottom right corner is an insert from 2018 Topps Finest. The other 2 are replicas of the 1994-95 Finest Basketball cards, and the Ichiro insert is the only card on this page that cost me more than 50 cents ($1).

Albeit, I could've bought 25 dime cards for the same price as these 4 high-end inserts, but there comes a time when I have to choose quality over quantity. After all, it's not like I don't already have enough Ichiro or Buster Posey cards.

As I alluded to earlier, I've commenced the process of transferring my rookie and prospect cards into their own binder in order to keep these possibly valuable cards in prime condition. The only exceptions will be players I collect, but all other rookie and prospect cards, especially from the last couple of years, will be stored in this binder.

Topps has been hyping up the rookie card more so than ever before over the last few seasons, and 1st Bowman cards are not too far behind them. I figured it's time that I store these cards safely in sheets just in case one of these players ends up becoming the next Mike Trout.

That's why I sprung for an Eloy Jimenez chrome prospect card ($1) and a Victor Robles rookie from Series 1 (50 cents) at my LCS today. If they're available for a fair price, there's no harm in adding rookie or prospect cards to your collection, especially if the players have the potential to be superstars.

I may have only opened 1 "silver pack" of Topps cards in my entire life, but that hasn't stopped me from finding other means of adding these gorgeous cards to my collection. The dime bins at the Baseball card show, in particular, have been kind to me as have the various boxes of cards at my LCS.

There were around 6 or 7 cards from the 2017 silver pack promotion of players that I collect, forcing me to narrow down my choices to only 2 or 3 total cards. After much consideration, I decided to boost my gold tier player collections of guys who are still playing; Anthony Rizzo being one and Miguel Cabrera, who's turning 36 today, being another.

The final player that I chose was Joey Votto whose player collection is the 2nd largest out of any current MLB player now that Ichiro is retired. With 134 total cards in my Votto PC, the 2010 NL MVP award winner trails only Albert Pujols for most cards by a current player out of all the guys that I collect.

Moreover, Votto "accomplished" something last night that he hadn't done in any of his 6,829 career plate appearances; he popped out to the 1st baseman. That's right, after spending 11 full seasons in the majors, Votto fouled out to the Dodgers' 1st baseman Cody Bellinger for the first time in his career.

I can't believe how underrated of a player Joey Votto is. He's an established superstar with a career .310 average and likely a future Hall of Famer. As much as I'd like to see him win a ring, Votto's spend his whole career with the Cincinnati Reds, and I believe he wants to play there until he retires.

There was a time when both Hanley Ramirez and Joe Mauer were 2 of the brightest stars in all of Baseball. They made perennial trips to the All-Star game, won awards, and became the faces of their respective teams by breaking franchise records that they still hold to this day.

Although Mauer has since retired and Ramirez has jumped around with numerous teams, including his most recent stint with the Indians, I don't see a reason to ever stop collecting cards of these 2 former superstars. 

Hanley's one of my gold tier player collections with well over 100 total cards. On the other hand, Mauer is comfortably in the silver tier range with roughly 75 cards in his respective PC.

Aside from the outstanding product that was 2018 Panini Chronicles, Donruss Optic was the best effort made by Panini in 2018. When you consider the fact that they still have no logos to work with, I personally think that they did an excellent job, especially with all the different colored parallels.

For 50 cents apiece, I added a serial numbered card to 2 veteran player collections. Andrew McCutchen's aqua parallel of his DK card with the Giants is numbered out of 299 copies. On the other hand, the red parallel of Yadier Molina matches the red of his catcher's equipment and is numbered out of 199 copies.

Similar to Votto, Cutch and Yadi are established veterans who could eventually end up in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I know that Molina has a high chance because he's a catcher and there aren't many stars at that position anymore. As for McCutchen, he is an MVP award winner, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Last up is the only card that I paid more than $1 for today; a silver framed parallel of Clayton Kershaw from 2018 Panini Diamond Kings that's serial numbered out of just 99 copies. 

Panini's serial numbered cards always seem to be a very fair price, whether they're from Optic, Diamond Kings, Chronicles, or regular Donruss. I can usually expect to find numbered Panini cards for short money at the Baseball card show or the LCS. 

In this case, I coughed up $2 for this Kershaw, a price I would gladly pay again. After all, he's only the greatest pitcher of this generation.


  1. That Votto statistic is just ridiculous.

  2. I completely understand the quality over quantity philosophy. As much as I enjoy dime boxes... sometimes a handful of really nice cards trumps them.

    P.S. I'd trade for your overcast, gloomy day... for my hot weather any day of the week.

  3. I didn't know that they had made some newer Finest inserts, now I'm gonna have to keep an eye out for that Ichiro!