Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cheap wax hell

On Ebay, I picked up the following pack lots - I've always been burned picking up a bunch of packs, with the idea I'm going to pull something of note or at least something better the discount price is not telling me.

I do think the mid 1990s were the peak as far as nice, modern baseball cards being printed - you can argue there are better types of cards today as far as being autographed, being a parallel or having game-used swatches, but nothing compares with the 1990s as far as aesthetics and actual graphics are concerned.

Each lot had a different s/h cost and I thought I'd be only paying the highest cost [$6.95], but the combined shipping on the invoice is $13 - I'm sure you can ship everything in one box [actually the seller shipped it in two boxes] and I think if you buy multiple items from one seller, they should be able to only charge you one s/h fee. I e-mailed the seller after the auction had ended the response was it is $6.95 [highest] for the first auction and $3 each for next two.

The total ended up being 45 packs [about 492 cards] for $37 - you got punked already since these are not the latest and greatest, but you like the pain of confusion [lack of clarity] leading to impulsiveness. Where are my priorities? What can I really do empower myself in this endeavor called collecting?

10 other things you can pick up [at the very least] -
A.) 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson PSA graded rookie card
B.) 1982 Topps Cal Ripken Jr. PSA graded rookie card
C.) 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn PSA graded rookie card
D.) 1984 Topps John Elway PSA graded rookie card
E.) 1984 Topps Dan Marino PSA graded rookie card

1995 Pinnacle, 1997 Pinnacle, 1997 New Pinnacle & 1997 Leaf packs [20 packs/8-12 cards in each pack; $7.99 plus $6.95 s/h] - one of the things I'm cautiously aware of is always being burned picking up a bunch of 'close out' packs, with the idea I'm going to pull something of note or at least something better the discount price is not telling me.

When I got these in the mailbox, I just started ripping and ripping - it looks like these packs were recovered firebombed hobby shop. I listed the notable cards I got out of each pack [though the order I might have opened them might not be in order] as far as semistars/all-star types as well as random common cards I collect for whatever reason or the other [that may not be fully explained in this paragraph].

5 packs of 1995 Pinnacle [12 cards per pack] -

Series I Hobby
Pack one - Don Mattingly, Garret Anderson, Chuck Knoblauch [awesome action], Milt Thompson [awesome outfield action], Ricky Bones [pitchers hitting], Bryce Florie [beyond the glory], Rick Wilkins [tools of ignorance].
Pack two - Bernard Gilkey [hats off], Jim Edmonds [awesome outfield action], Greg Colbrunn [awesome action], Gary Sheffield, Paul Konerko, Mo Vaughn [awesome action], Pat Kelly [awesome action]
Pack three - Jim Thome [high toppers], Joe Carter, Ken Caminiti [awesome action], Leo Gomez [Puerto Rico], Fausto Cruz [foreign born - Dominican Republic], Doug Drabek [hats off], Tony Phillips [awesome action], Darren Daulton [hats off]
Pack four - Jay Bell [awesome action], Tom Pagnozzi [tools of ignorance], Danny Bautista [awesome outfield action], Chipper Jones, Brent Gates Upstarts US7 insert [retro uniforms], Kevin Stocker [awesome action], Todd Zeile [awesome action], Ozzie Guillen [high toppers].
Pack five - Joe Carter, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Ken Caminiti [awesome action]

Comments - nothing too exciting in here.

6 packs of 1997 Pinnacle [10 cards per pack]

Pack one
- Fernando Vina [awesome action], Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Juan Gonzalez [retro uniforms], Andruw Jones, Nomar Garciaparra, Ray Durham [awesome action]
Pack two - Joey Cora [awesome action], Darin Erstad [Museum Collection parallel], Bobby Abreu
Pack three - Chuck Knoblauch [Clout Nine subset]
Pack four - Mike Piazza, John Smoltz, Eddie Murray
Pack five - Fernando Vina [awesome action], Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Juan Gonzalez [retro uniforms],
Pack six - WORST PACK AS FAR AS THE CARDS INSIDE ARE CONCERNED; are any salvagable? Think of gum stains on old Topps cards, only with ink remnants from other cards in the pack.

Comments - cards have not aged well in 10 years of being banged around in unopened pack form. Most have stuck to each other and left imprints from one card to the next. IF I'd left these cards unopened for the next 10 years, they would have probably been virtually unrecognizable.

6 packs of 1997 New Pinnacle [10 cards per pack]

Pack one [red pack, listed as a hobby] - Hideo Nomo, Rico Brogna [awesome action], Mike Piazza [tools of ignorance], Jason Dickson [foreign born], Marc Newfield [Orange County ties], Mark Wohlers [beyond the glory], Bernard Gilkey [awesome outfield action]
Pack two - Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro, Andruw Jones [pack coverboy], Barry Larkin, Darin Erstad, Gary Sheffield, Randy Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra
Pack three - John Smoltz, Joe Carter, Roger Clemens [push ups on reverse], Brant Brown [awesome action], Mike Mussina, Scott Rolen [checklist], David Justice, David Cone, Mark McGwire [infamous, with Jason Giambi]
Pack four - Gary Sheffield [East Meets West subset], Alex Rodriguez [East Meets West subset], Mark McGwire [Aura subset], Jason Dickson [foreign born - Canada], Bernard Gilkey [awesome outfield action], Marc Newfield [Orange County ties

Pack five - Pedro [dinged], Larry Walker [broken bat shot], Jason Giambi, Juan Gonzalez [Aura subset], Robb Nen [Orange County], Mike Piazza [Aura subset], Marty Cordova [Orange County ties]
Pack six - Mark Grace, Paul O'Neill, Moises Alou, Billy Wagner, Jose Canseco [hats off picture on reverse], Eric Davis [broken bat shot], Ken Griffey Jr.

Comments - nice to see some old, but newly discovered collecting topics cards

3 packs of 1997 Leaf [cards per pack]

Pack one - Carlos Delgado, Eddie Murray, Randy Johnson, Tim Salmon
Pack two - Greg Maddux, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Rich Becker [hats off], Vladimir Guerrero
Pack three - Chipper Jones [Legacy subset], Barry Bonds, Lance Johnson [awesome action]

Comments - there are actually 10 cards to a pack

1995 Upper Deck Minor League packs [14 packs/12 cards in each pack; $7.99 plus $5.95 s/h] - the design mimics the 1995 Major League set, but features minor leaguers. Even though it is worthless, I should be able to pull a number nice looking cards, featuring 'Major League stars' pictured as minor leaguers.

Pack one - Michael Jordan
Pack two - Paul Konerko [checklist]
Pack three - Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter [Road to the Show subset]
Pack four - Nothing of note
Pack five - Paul Konerko [Draft Class subset]
Pack six - Brian Giles, Kimera Bartee x2

Pack seven - Craig Griffey, Derek Jeter, Ben Grieve
Pack eight - Johnny Damon [Road to the Show subset], Trot Nixon, Paul Konerko
Pack nine - Chris Carpenter
Pack 10 - Nothing of note

Pack 11 - Edgardo Alfonso, Jermaine Dye
Pack 12 - Dante Powell - went to Cal State Fullerton
Pack 13 - Ruben Rivera
Pack 14 - Derek Jeter

Comments - this was probably the best packs I busted out of the 45 packs I got since they were the cleanest. While hardly valuable, I got some nice looking minor league era cards of Major League veterans and stars.

1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 Upper Deck baseball packs [11 packs/10-12 cards in each pack; $7.99 plus $4.95 s/h] - I'm not exactly focused on the quality of the pulls, just the desire to rip packs. Hopefully the packs I receive will be clean, so the cards I pull won't be damaged.

4 packs of 1995 Upper Deck Baseball [12 cards per pack]

Retail Series II
Pack one - Jimmy Hurst [high toppers], Hideo Nomo [dinged], David Justice, Shawn Green
Pack two - Kirby Puckett, Pat Kelly [awesome action], Royce Clayton [awesome action], Carlos Perez [infamous]
Pack three - nothing of note
Pack four - Cecil Fielder, Carlos Baerga [broken bat shot on the reverse image], Ed Sprague [broken bat shot], Ivan Rodriguez [tools of ignorance], Paul Molitor [signing autographs]

Comments - not a lot of stars at all, even guys who starred in the mid 1990s and would be considered 'has beens' today.

1 pack of 1996 Upper Deck Baseball [10 cards per pack]

Pack one - Roger Clemens [Best of a Generation subset], Greg Maddux [Strange but True subset], Mark McGwire [x2], Trevor Hoffman, Sandy Alomar [tools of ignorance]

Comments - two McGwires in the same pack

1 pack of 1997 Upper Deck Baseball [12 cards per pack]

Pack one - Darryl Strawberry [high toppers], Garret Anderson, Greg Maddux, Ken Griffey Jr. [Hot Commodities insert]

Comments - nice to pull a Junior insert, though it is worth about two quarters.

3 packs of 1998 Upper Deck Baseball [10 cards per pack]

Retail Series II
Pack one - Chipper Jones, Edgar Renteria [awesome action, 1997 postseason subset card], Delino DeShields [signing autographs on the reverse image], Paco Martin [awesome action]
Pack two - Juan Encarnacion [Rookie Preview insert], Nomar Garciaparra [Echelon logo], Juan Gonzalez [Prime Nine insert], Mike Piazza, Mark Loretta [bonus baby], Brian Jordan [signing autographs]
Pack three - Frank Thomas, Kenny Lofton, Julian Tavarez [pitchers hitting]

Comments - nothing too exciting; seems to be the theme in these breaks.

2 packs of 1999 Upper Deck Baseball [10 cards per pack]

Retail Series I
Pack one
- Scott Rolen [hats off]
Pack two - Brad Fullmer [hats off], Rickey Henderson, Sammy Sosa [Foreign Focus subset], Darryl Strawberry [bonus baby; Derek Jeter makes a cameo in the background, even though the image zooms in on Strawberry signing an autograph in the dugout], Will Clark, Jose Canseco.

Comments - nothing too exciting

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