Monday, July 18, 2016
The streak is over
This is the card-buying season for me. I have time, I have money, I had a birthday. The rest of the year I'll be scrambling constantly, scraping to get by, with people telling me how lousy I am. So I need to appreciate this moment while it's here.
Each year, I choose to appreciate it by purchasing cards. I placed a COMC.com order earlier today and you'll see the contents in a couple weeks. To bide my time, I went to the usual retail outlets for cards.
The ritual began a couple weeks ago with a blaster of brand-new 2016 Stadium Club. I went to Walmart, grabbed the first box of SC I saw and got lucky. I pulled an autograph.
That didn't last long in my possession. It's been traded for a load of goodies that you could see as early as tomorrow. But it made me realize how cool it was to pull an autograph, just from the reaction you get (and the trades that might turn up).
About five days later, I was in Walgreen's, looking for junk food for the All-Star Game feast. I decided to check the toy aisle to see if there were repack boxes still there (junk wax to go with junk food!).
I spotted one and bought it. And I tweeted out the 10 best cards from what was a pretty darn good Fairfield repack.
The best card was -- yup -- another autograph.
That is from 2011 Obak. Normally it's not a product that interests me, but, damn, if you were around in the early '90s collecting cards, Ben McDonald was not to be ignored. His base cards were going for psycho money for a brief period, as the No. 1 pick in 1989 (I think he has some error cards, too).
That's a pretty cool card out of a repack box, and extended my streak of "card packages opened that contained autograph cards" to two straight, something that has never happened in the history of me opening cards.
So, I admit, I started getting cocky. I started thinking I could pull an autograph out of every retail pack.
My next chance for an autograph pull was on my birthday, on Saturday. My daughter gifted me with three packs of 2016 Heritage. It's almost impossible to pull an autograph out of a loose Target pack of Heritage, but, like I said, I was cocky.
I fully expected an autograph to come out of one of those three packs.
The best card was this:
That's actually pretty good pack selection by my offspring, and a much preferred card to an autograph since I'm collecting the Stand-Up set, and I anticipated Bryant being the most difficult one to land. Six down and nine to go!
But I still didn't consider that the end to my autograph streak because I didn't buy the pack. There was still hope. (Well, there's always hope, that's why we buy packs).
The next opportunity was today. Armed with my Target gift card, I ran a couple of errands, including buying out the store of white vinegar (if you ever have had moss problems, you know what the vinegar is for). On my way back to the card aisle, I spotted a $5 bill on the floor. More free card-buying money!
I went to the card aisle and grabbed another Stadium Club blaster and a Series 2 fat pack because I need that First Pitch Lea Thompson card.
I gave the clerk my gift card, she rang up my purchases and said, "$30 total. After the $25 gift card it comes to $5." Brilliant. I handed her the $5 I just found and didn't spend a cent.
The Series 2 pack was disappointing because "disappointing" is flagship's middle name.
Two Dodgers that I needed. At least that's something. Obviously I wasn't getting an autograph out of that pack.
The Stadium Club blaster was next and I certainly was expecting a lot pulling back-to-back autographs out of Stadium Club blasters.
The first thing I noticed was how many dupes I was pulling. The final tally was 14 dupes out of 40 cards. That's 35 percent, and all I've bought is two blasters, from different stores. Glad I'm not trying to complete the set this time.
The second thing I noticed was it was a very Dodger friendly box.
Those were all needs, and the Seager a very special need, since everyone is likely hoarding Seagers by now.
When I got through opening all the cards, I noticed that none of them were autographed. Sadly, the streak was over.
The best I could do was another Edgar Martinez parallel:
You can't tell, but that is the rainbow foil parallel.
They are numbered to 25 this year.
That doesn't mean a lot to me because Stadium Club parallels have always been so uninspired. I believe the Member's Choice parallels are one per case or something astronomical and all it is is a stamp on the card. You could get collectors in the '90s to collect anything.
This probably means someone wants me to be an Edgar Martinez 2016 Stadium Club super-collector. Two blasters and I already have the rainbow foil and black-letter parallels.
Yeah, I still haven't pulled the base Martinez card, but that OK.
The autograph streak is over, but the Edgar Martinez streak has just begun!