Rather, there were 2 reasons for my first visit to the Baseball card show for the first time in a month and a half.
The 1st reason was that my Dad and I were both searching for a certain item that I'll recap tomorrow. The 2nd deciding factor was that we wanted to catch up with the vendors at the show whom we hadn't chatted with in a while.
Not only did we find the item that we desired, but the 2 of us searched through an impressive dime bin before departing soon after. The box that we looked through seemed to have a ton of rookie and prospect cards, but that isn't really what my collection is centered around.
Instead, I simply searched for cards of players that I collect and left the rest up to whatever I could find in this box. As always, the bin that I searched through had specific trends, including players and sets that appeared very often.
In this case, Vladimir Guerrero was one of those players who appeared quite often across my search through this dime bin. I was very pleased to track down new cards for this player collection considering that, for whatever reason, I haven't been finding too many Guerrero cards in the dime bins.
Given that the Expos are my favorite all-time ballclub behind the Red Sox and the Cubs, I was happy to find numerous cards showing Guerrero in a Montreal jersey. There are many strong candidates, but the card in the bottom left corner is my favorite of the group, even though I don't know what set it's from.
Theoretically, I should be saving this card for last since it's definitely one of the best cards of the entire purchase, but it seems more fitting to have it alongside the other Vladimir Guerrero cards. From the 1995 Best set, this prospect card is the very first card listed of Vladdy on COMC.
The design is pretty standard no matter how you look at it. Therefore, the best part of this card is that it's a prospect card of one of my favorite all-time players rather than having a compelling design or an intriguing photograph.
As expected in a modern Baseball card dime box, there was no shortage of different parallels/refractors available, some of which were serial numbered; others were not.
While I agree that Topps over-produces parallel cards (cough cough insert parallels cough cough), a simple gold bordered card or a base refractor never hurt anybody. Not to mention that I boosted my CC Sabathia player collection, a PC that I don't get the chance to add to all that often.
As I continued to make my way through the dime bins, I observed more and more trends that were taking place. First, I found a sizeable number of Vladimir Guerrero cards. Next, there was a surplus of different Panini Diamond Kings inserts from the past few years.
Just like my CC Sabathia collection, it's not super often that I add to my Tony Perez and Orlando Cepeda PCs. Additionally, I'm usually skeptical of willingly purchasing unlicensed cards unless they're above my expectations.
Needless to say, these Diamond Kings inserts, featuring retired players, were able to fit the bill.
Although these Gypsy Queen inserts only lasted 1 year, I still applaud the effort of Topps' artists for taking the time to create these beautiful cards 2 years after the set's release. Labeled as Hand-Drawn Art Reproductions, each player in this set receives not 1, but 2 different cards, featuring different pictures and colors in the background.
My guess is that these cards were too reminiscent of Allen & Ginter cards to return for another year, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating the attention to detail on these gorgeous inserts.
As long as I'm discussing insert cards from 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen, it's critical that I point out one of the most creative card sets that I've ever seen; the Fortune Teller insert cards. Returning to Gypsy Queen for a 3rd straight year in 2019, these unique cards make bold predictions about what players will achieve by the end of their season.
The 2017 card design isn't anything out of the ordinary, but the cards get the job done. Both the 2018 and 2019 styles embody the Gypsy Queen product way more. Out of all the decisions that I made today regarding dime cards, adding all of these Fortune Teller inserts to my stack was one of the easiest choices that I had to make.
The 2018 Bowman Platinum product featured one of the most interesting set designs of last year. Showcasing a black background combined with a colorful swirl, these cards depart from the traditional rainbow foil cardstock that we've become so accustomed to seeing.
Even though I obtained only a handful of 2018 Bowman Platinum cards last year, I ranked this product at #6 on my sets of 2018 ranking, ahead of cards like Topps Big League. Now, after seeing even more of these cards in person, I'm confident that I made the right choice, judging solely by the base set design.
Unlike the 2018 Bowman Platinum set, I didn't think too highly of the 2017 Topps Gold Label set when it was released. In fact, I placed this product 2nd to last at #15 back when I ranked the sets of 2017. Since then, I've come to appreciate this set more than I originally did, mainly due to all the retired players in this product.
The Gold Label set is separated by different classes with 1 being the most common, followed by 2, and 3 being the rarest class within the product. All of the cards above are from the 1st class, something you can notice by the faint writing on the lefthand side of the cards.
There were no class 3 cards available in this dime box, but I found an equal number of class 2 cards as class 1. Although the only difference, to my knowledge, is the choice of images, these cards are slightly rarer than the first group, but that's not something that I care too much about, especially when we're talking about dime cards.
I'm not sure if this is coincidental, but all of the class 2 cards above feature alternate jerseys. On the other hand, the group of class 1 cards is composed solely of home uniforms. It's quite possible that the rarer cards in the set feature more intriguing uniforms and photographs.
As I discussed earlier, this dime box included an insane number of rookie and prospect cards, a dream come true for a lot of collectors. Personally, I'm more into finding cards that I like rather than building up rookie and prospect card collections, but I did select a few standouts to add to my stack.
Among them was a card of Corey Seager that I don't have in my collection yet, a rookie card from the 2016 Bowman set.
I'd safely bet that I'll never open a 1-pack box of Topps Inception ever in my life unless I win the lottery jackpot. Like most of Topps' high-end products, I rely heavily on the dime bins to provide me a sample of what the product looks like.
Even though the 2018 Inception set was released roughly 1 year ago, it doesn't bother me whatsoever that I'm getting my first look at the product today. The base cards look so impressive that it almost makes me want to buy a box of these high-end cards.
Finally, to end the look at this wide variety of dime cards, I have one final high-end card, this time from 2013 Topps Tribute. This may not be my first World Baseball Classic card from Topps Tribute, but Stanton is the best player that I've landed so far.
Representing Team USA, this card will be an excellent addition to my Giancarlo Stanton PC which is currently hovering around 65 total cards.
Per usual, I was very pleased with the outcome of this trip to the dime bins. However, the main thing that I came to the card show for earlier today is yet to be shown. That's something that I'll be saving for tomorrow.