Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Getting More For Less

One thing that I like the most about buying cards for a dime or a quarter each is the number of cards you're getting for such a low price. Think about it, dime cards allow you to pick out the cards that you want to get, and aren't risky to buy like boxes. What you see is what you get, and with dime cards, the possibilities are endless.

For the holidays, my dad and I went to the card shop and instantly sat down at the dime bin, hoping it had been updated since we were there last, and it had been. So we each pulled up a chair and looked through what ended up being one of the best dime bins I've ever looked through. 

It started out like a seemingly regular dime bin. Some of the first cards I saw and purchased were cards I recognized. They were the American Sluggers inserts from 2002 Topps American Pie. I had seen and acquired some of these cards before, however, I learned today that there are different colored parallels in this set. 

The yellows were pretty cool, but the blue parallels were definitely one of my favorites. Especially because the players I got, Duke Snider and Harmon Killebrew, are both wearing blue jerseys. It was also very interesting that I got blue parallels of these 2 considering that they were some of the first players I collected, along with Ivan Rodriguez, Catfish Hunter, and Hanley Ramirez.

The greyish-white parallels were more plentiful than the blue and yellow parallels, but I don't mind that at all. I really enjoy all these cards and I'm glad to get these cards of players I couldn't get other parallels of like Sandberg and Dawson. 

However, the dark red parallels were by far my favorite. The shade is one that I don't think I've ever seen in a baseball card product, and it looks nice. I especially like the Frank Robinson card as the shade matches the color of the Indians logo very well. It's also nice to see Frank Howard and the crazy Senators logo included in this set as well.

After going crazy with the American Pie inserts, I moved on to other cards for my player collections. I was quickly able to not only add 2 1987 Topps Traded cards to my Steve Carlton and Reggie Jackson collections respectively, but I also learned that Steve Carlton played for the Indians. This was something I never knew prior to today, and probably would never know if not for the power of baseball cards. 

These 2015 Allen & Ginter Starting Point cards were almost as plentiful as the American Pie inserts and were some of the better cards of the whole purchase. Each card includes the team and year that a certain star player made their debut, an idea copied and not done as well when it was produced in 2016 Topps. Regardless, the Allen & Ginter cards look great, but they weren't the only Allen & Ginter inserts I got.

The What a Day inserts from 2017 Allen & Ginter were also available in the dime bins, and each of the 4 available was of players I collect. These cards are also based on certain dates, but these cards highlight exceptional performances on a certain day by a star player, both current and retired.

However, not everything I got was a specific set. There were a fair amount of oddballs like the Leather & Lumber Larkin and the 2001 Topps Archive Marichal. I've been keen on getting 2016 National Baseball Card Day cards after I missed out on that promotion. The Freddie Freeman I believe is my 4th or 5th card from that set. And I didn't even know Joe Mauer was having cards made in sets like Upper Deck SPX back in 2004.

But for the most part, the cards I got were from the same insert or base sets. Another example of this was the 2014 Topps World Heroes insert set. They show stars that made the Fall Classic and even include a nice detail of that years' World Series Logo (the 1973 one with Reggie Jackson is by far my favorite).

Speaking of A's cards, there were even cards from the recently released Panini Chronicles in the dime bin. The 2 I got were the same card of Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, and they are both numbered to 999. Definitely, something I wasn't expecting to see, especially in a dime bin.

Fond Farewells were another very common insert in these bins. They focused on the retirement of well-liked and well-respected players. The cards are a bit bland and boring, but I still got 4 new cards, all of Hall of Famers. Plus, 2014 Topps was rather bland and boring itself, so it kind of sheds light on what cards were like back in 2014. 

But my favorite designed cards I got were the 2015 Topps Heritage New Age Performers. The design on these cards is by far my favorite New Age Performers design I've ever seen. The cards are so sleek and have a different pop of color on many cards, highlighting how much cards changed in 2015. I may even have to add the remainder of these cards to my want list because this set is definitely something I'd love to complete. 

But just when I thought these bins couldn't get any better, I stumbled upon some high-end cards. And not just somewhat high-end...

I'm talking Topps Tribute high-end. Apologies for the foil making Jake Arrieta's name hard to see, but  I was so impressed and a bit shocked to see 2017 Topps Tribute base cards available for 10 cents each. Even if base cards aren't highly sought-after in high-end sets, I still can't believe that these were a dime each.

And not just players I collect from 2017, but 2016 Topps Tribute as well. Add to that the fact that I got 3 Cubs and 1 Red Sox player, this couldn't get any better.

But somehow it did, it got much better. Please don't ask me how somebody can sell 6 base cards from Topps Museum for 10 cents each because I don't really understand it. With that being said, I'm completely thrilled to add these high-end cards to my collection, especially the Hank Aaron considering that he's one of my favorite players of all-time. Still, each and every one of these cards is incredibly special, so much so that I don't even need to collect Gary Sanchez to add this card to my collection.

After building up quite a large total, I thought the miracles were over when I picked up the final stack of dime cards. However, I was wrong

I was completely wrong indeed. 

Maybe I can try to understand how high-end base ends up in dime bins, but high-end parallels numbered to 99 in dime bins is nothing short of shocking and very special. It's also very cool, to me at least, that I was able to get the green parallel of the card that I talked about in my 2nd blog post, another time in which I was able to acquire high-end cards through the dime bins. 

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