After reading one of Dave’s posts last week over at Fielders Choice I realized that my collecting last year was all over the map as well. Topps, Upper Deck, Baseball, Hockey, packs, boxes, blasters - basically however I could get cards I got them. That left me with a lot incomplete sets and a lot of wasted money. So after much thought, well at least 10 minutes I came up with a plan.
The number one tenet of CB’s Collecting Strategy of 2009 - no blasters. Blasters became the temptation buy of 2008 for me. Twenty bucks for 7 packs (plus one bonus pack!) and a generic memorabilia card seemed like a good deal. Then I started checking boxes in the shop and online. Why drop a twenty on 8 packs every week when I could get 36 packs for around $50 if I was a smart buyer. So blasters are out.
The number two tent of CB’s Collecting Strategy of 2009 - pick one or the other. Either Topps or Upper Deck base. Trying to complete both base sets wastes times and money. So after reviewing the previews for both and reading some of the early reviews I went with Topps. I’ll still go for the Rays and O’s in Upper Deck, but I’ll try and pick those up in trades rather than in packs.
Of course I’ve run into a problem with that already. I’ll get to that in a little bit.
The number three tenet of CB’s Collection Strategy of 2009. Limit what I buy and stick to it. No dabbling into four or five sets “to see what they’re like”. That led me on this insane quest to finish the Heritage High Number series from 2008. I didn’t care for Heritage’s base so why am I collecting what is basically an update series to that set - because I got bored that’s why. Instead of focusing on completing the sets I had from earlier this year I was tempted by the shiny new product on the shelves. None of that this year.
So that’s it. Three basic guidelines to hopefully control my spending and help focus my collection. I also want to give away 5,000 cards, but that’s a separate challenge. Due to a bad bet and helping some young cousins start their collection I’ve knocked about 800 cards out already. Hopefully, some football collectors will help take some cards off of my hands.
Of course the best laid plans are subject to unexpected obstacles. For instance my strategy was to collect Topps base series one as my first set this year. I got off to a strong start last week picking up some packs at the local Target. I think I ended up getting about 12 packs or so. No big hits, but I did get the David Price rookie and a Pee Wee Reese short print.
Wednesday I decided to run to the hobby shop at lunch to pick up some more packs. My teammate is getting back into the hobby as well so I told him I’d pick a couple of packs for him as well. I got to my local shop and looked at the baseball section. 2009 Upper Deck was there, as was the devils sugar - Heritage High Number, but an empty space where I could only guess 2009 Topps should be.
I asked the owner if had any and he said nope and he wasn’t planning on getting any more. According to him his distributor would only let him buy a case at $100 bucks a box. He didn’t want to spend that kind of money for a base set so he was waiting for more to show up or hoped that he could get a good deal on a retail box. A retail box? I could go to Target for that.
So not wanting to leave empty handed I bought two Upper Deck hobby packs (breaking tent number 3) and some Heritage. No big hits in any of the packs. I stopped at Target on the way back to work and they were totally out of Topps 2009 as well. A stop at a different Target after work also revealed no Topps.
Frustrated and jonesing for some Topps I made my first foray into online box buying. I picked up a box of 2009 Topps from Dave and Adams Card World and also a box of 2008 Upper Deck Series Two. At $75 for the Topps I’m half tempted to take it to the shop owner and offer it to him for $95 to see if he’d take it.
Who am I kidding I’m going to enjoy ripping those packs open!
In order to make amends for breaking tenet number three I’m going to give away the Upper Deck packs I bought today - well everything except for the two O’s and two Rays that I got. Think of this as a mini contest. The first person to leave a comment with the correct answer to the question below will win the following:
#79 David Eckstein
#100 Edwin Encarnacion
#136 Kenny Rogers
#199 Rafael Furcal
#101 Jeff Keppiinger
#404 Phil Coke - RC
#458 Angels Team Leaders
#OPC-19 Felix Hernandez
#100 UD 20th Anniversery Mania - Orlando Magic
#486 Matt Holliday Team Checklist
#402 Matt Antonelli - RC
#221 Jason Kendall
#272 Andy Pettitte
#235 Fernando Tatis
#344 Troy Glaus
#378 Milton Bradley
#327 Randy Winn
#310 Tom Gorzelanny
#396 Austin Kearns
#289 Joe Blanton
#279 Justin Duchscherer
#296 Shane Victorino
#262 Robinson Cano
#433 Mets Team Leaders
#USA-7 Casey Weathers
YSL 6683 Alex Rodriguez
#493 Carlos Quentin Team Checklist
#178 Vladimir Guerreo
#115 Matt Holliday
#139 Todd Jones
#195 Matt Kemp
#58 Jason Bay
#67 Geovany Soto
#4 Dan Haren
#395 Ryan Zimmerman
And the question is:
In 1978 the Baltimore Orioles drafted future icon Cal Ripken, Jr. in the second round. He was their 4th pick of the draft. What three players did the O’s draft before picking the future Hall of Famer?
Leave your answer in the comments. First to get the right names wins the cards.