Monday, May 13, 2013

Why I'm Quitting Packs: Spoils from eBay and the Card Show

Let's face it: I'm addicted to opening packs.  I love it - it gets me some great trade fodder as well as great cards I didn't know I wanted.  It keeps me up-to-date on the sport and the state of the hobby in general.  Plus it gives me something to gripe about which is an essential part of blogging.


One of my collecting goals of late has been a shift in focus from current packs and repack boxes to more specialized, discerning purchases that will yield more Griffeys.

And the result has been a rousing success. 

I've been spending my cash on specific cards (COMC, for example) and auction lots as opposed to busting packs.  Hence, the last few days have seen a huge influx of fresh Griffeys from multiple sources that included trades, a bit of eBay sniping, and a visit to the monthly local card show. 

Trades get their own post, but here are the card show and eBay spoils.

I skipped it last month in favor of a few big COMC purchases, but this past Saturday between shipping trade packages at the post office and my buddy's bachelor party on Bourbon St., I was able to squeeze in a few hours of card show.

First, I got this for 15 cents:


It's not what you think - this is an advertisement card printed to look like the real deal.  The back includes a price list of different baseball card sets from the 70's and 80's.  It looks even less authentic in person, plus it is less sturdy than a real '89 UD card.  I'll cover this more when it makes its way into an oddball card post.

I nabbed a lot of oversize cards at this particular show.  Above is card #1 through 11 of some Upper Deck set showcasing memorable Griffey dingers.  Mr. Murray is there for scale....

A few more giants.  These stretch the abilities of lenticular technology to show Griffey's swing in it's entirety.

Even more big 'uns.  That one on the left is another advertisement oddball, this time for lithographs by the artist that painted that particular card.

This dealer did it right.  He had a few stacks of Griffeys with super cheap price stickers
that I couldn't pass up.  I nabbed every one I thought I may be missing.
Again, he had a ton of oddballs, and that Topps Chrome was a quarter.

He even had some King B jerky cards.  I was taken aback by these - I've never see them for sale like this anywhere, let alone down South where King B wasn't even available.  We proceeded to talk about jerky for 10 minutes.

This is an upgrade.

I already own one of these that someone once sold for 60 cents.  I know this because they stuck a price sticker right on the card front.  Sadists.....

This is my big trophy from the show.  I'd seen it at the same show two months prior but didn't have enough cash to land it.  This time I was ready.  The dealer was shocked I remembered the card two months later.

It wasn't just Griffeys, though.  Here's everything else I found to spend money on:


Ron Swoboda is a minor celebrity in New Orleans.  Apparently he was also a member
of the '69 Mets.  Amazin'.
R.I.P. Charles Muncie.  He passed away only 3 days after I bought that card....

That was not the only vintage I picked up, but everything else is slated for specific bloggers, so you'll just have to wait for them to post about it (and me to ship it which will probably take far longer).

A few of my football-minded friends call me "Hooshma-zo"
because of this guy.
Moving on, I've also been participating in the occassional eBay auction.  In the past week I've landed 5 smaller auctions and one kinda big one.   Without giving too much away (all of these will eventually be covered in the blog), here are a few highlights from those auction wins:

One auction contained the Finest cards from the first three years of the brand's existence.  Out of these I only had the '93 in my collection, so these were very exciting additions.

I already have this, but it's just an awesome card.  There was an autographed version of this, too - it was among the first autographed Griffeys available in packs.

This is one of those weird oversized Topps cards.  I never bothered to pick one up, but now I'm stuck with it.  You may recognize that close-up picture from another Topps card that would come out years later.....
Two rookie reprints, one Scoremasters rookie, and a sweet Star interview card.

Everything else listed here is from the big win which was over 250 cards.  Take a look:

Eddie is working overtime showing scale.

Sadly that PowerDeck jewel case was empty.  Still, it's got Griffey on it, so it gets to stay.

This is a picture of the 250 Griffeys that came with that auction.  The stack on the left is cards I needed - the right is cards I already had.  I was blown away by how many were new to me.  I was expecting a bunch of commons and overproduction cards, but there were tons of inserts and parallels here.  Can you spot the bunny rabbit?

On all six eBay auctions I averaged 25.5 cents per Griffey and ended up with just under 500 Griffeys total.  About 40% were new to me which is a pretty amazing ratio considering how many I have.

Busting packs is fun and exciting; but it doesn't touch eBay, COMC, my LCS, and card shows when it comes to value and average price per card.  I will admit here that I picked up a bunch of packs of '91 Studio and '94 Stadium Club for 25 cents each.  For a quarter I don't even count it as pack busting.


  1. That was quite the array of Griffeys! Love any mention of Hoyt Wilhelm around the blogs as well.

    I like to bust packs every once in a while, but, like you, I've made the transition to mainly picking up singles with my extra cash lately. Singles win out every time.

  2. What is that Tris Speaker card?

  3. There's something about oversized cards and discs that make me giddy. Nice purchases.