From a card show
Can anyone justify spending more than $40-$50 on a box of trading cards that probably features no more than 60 cards? You can turn a $90 box of cards into $15 in about 20 minutes.
I do realize that modern [as in the last five years or so] 'baseball card' collecting is designed for people with discretional spending money and a desire to gamble. I'm not one of those collectors, but I was going to slurge on a box of cards.
I was going to get 2006 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Update [$85], since the quad jersey/patch cards look pretty good, where there is one 'notable' patch piece running across the four square frames. There are also two autographs per box.
Being the indecisive collector, I also saw a hobby box of Bowman Draft and Prospects [$63] and was contemplating getting it instead since Bowman Draft and Prospects is one of those boxes that goes up in value [though I'm going to bust any box I purchase]. Will you be able to get one for $63 in three months?
While it isn't as 'sexy' as the other new products and as the MLBPA has altered the rookie-card rules, BDP still features first year cards from select 2006 draft picks with opportunities to pull versions that are signed.
I ultimately went with the BDP since it was cheaper, but perhaps, I can get lucky with some loose packs [if I was going to spend up to $85 anyway].
I don't know if you get the instant gratification with BDP because it features players that may never reach the Major Leagues, but you hope you pull something for later. I'm going to admit that I have no idea and don't really care who the other guys are in BDP, unless they are one of the higher profile prospects [Evan Longoria- who I curiously feel is the next Phil Nevin...].
Still, with Sweet Spot Update, you already know you are going to pull a Sweet Spot certified autograph insert card of a 2006 MLB rookie, that is a long reliever and had his rookie card in 2003. Maybe your second autograph will yield a Sweet Spot 'table'[mimicking a bat barrel] certified autograph card of another 2006 MLB rookie, maybe a 27-year old backup outfielder.
Your quad material card will be all jersey and of some Cuban player who will defect when he is 33 or 34.
My Bowman Draft and Prospect Pulls
Just listing the pulls that I care about as opposed to listing everything under the sun.
Chad Huffman autograph refractor [serial #'d 322/500]
Brian Bannister x-fractor [serial #'d 213/299] - print line across the surface, though it isn't a first year card.
Refractors - Carlos Villanueva and Adam Davis.
Randomness - my Futures Game jersey card was Kurt Suzuki [CSUF], the one guy I may have been looking for, though the card may only be worth $2. pulled a base, chrome and gold insert of Kyle Drabek...pulled a gold insert of Billy Rowell...pulled a base chrome rookie card of Mike Napoli...pulled a base of Hank Conger.
The condition of these cards seemed rough - there are occasional minor nicks, dings and scratches that probably knocks the cards' overall condition. It perhaps takes away from the collectibility of the product. I also wish there was one more certified autograph hit per each box.
Overall, it isn't really the cards that are hot, but the potential for future value that drive this product. It is like being attracted to someone because they belong in a certain clique.
I also bought four packs of 2006 SP Authentic [$4 each] - $4 a pack isn't that bad, but this is where I waste money, trying to get one of those By the Letter certified autograph inserts, which look pretty damn nice from loose packs.
After the damage was done, I did pull one lame auto [Chris Denorfia]. I also pulled a Heroes insert card of Ken Griffey Jr./Andruw Jones [SPAH-43].