Imagine you're at a card show and you've discovered a dime box. You're in the middle of pawing through row after row of discounted cardboard. Heaven, right?
But life isn't perfect so there are some minor issues. Dudes keep bumping you. There are all those Bowman cards of former prospects you don't know. And what's with the junk wax? 1987 Topps? 1990 Donruss? Come on, they're not even worth a dime. Who doesn't have those?
Now, imagine that you're at that same dime box, still leafing through and that's when the dealer says your name. You look up. And he's standing there in front of you with a stack of dime box cards, all from your favorite team, and he hands them to you. Now THAT'S heaven.
I don't have to sort through all the unwanteds? All that 2016 Topps? You've sifted through it for me?
Well that's what happened to me.
The BaseballCardStore.Ca, which we all know as the online dime box store, has been pretty productive for me in the last year. It's taken some effort searching through their site to weed out all of that Dodger junk wax, but I've found stuff I've wanted enough times to return to the site. And, Steven, who runs the show, has proven to be quite accommodating, even sending me a card I needed to complete a set before it could be added to his inventory and snapped up immediately.
Then the folks there did one better. They made a virtual house call.
About two months ago, Steven contacted me and asked whether I'd be interested in looking over a list of cards before he moved them to the baseballcardstore site. He then sent a list of more than 300 Dodger cards to review.
After going through those and picking the ones I wanted (there were about 13, so that tells you how many cards I have already and also how pervasive junk wax is), Steven sent me smaller lists of Dodgers every couple of weeks or so with me selecting just the cards I needed and adding them to my virtual pile.
This was perfect, because my biggest problem with searching for Dodgers on the site is that I know there are cards there that I needed -- and all for a dime -- but I struggle to find them. I really appreciate someone being my curator.
All told, there were 49 Dodger cards that I needed. So I settled up, paid the shockingly small sum, and received my shipment that just arrived Saturday. Now, that indeed is service.
Let's take a look:
These are the needed cards that I expect to find when searching through the online dime box. Cards from the late '90s. I don't necessarily expect to find Press Proofs from 1995 Donruss but I do like nice surprises for 10 cents.
I appreciate Steven selecting minor league cards for me and putting them in the Dodgers column because I do consider them Dodgers and both of these were needs.
These are actually for the 1991 Line Drive set that I will build someday.
These two were the best of the minor league cards. That fielding Raul Mondesi card is one fantastic night card. It's pretty crazy, almost chaotic.
Another appreciated gold mine of 10-cent cards came from that 2000-05 era, another collecting black hole for me. Given how difficult cards from this period are to find sometimes, I never expect them to be this cheap, so I'm quite happy about these.
I mean, when am I ever going to search out my 2002 Upper Deck Ballpark Idols card needs? Never. The answer to that is never. But thanks to those emailed lists, I didn't have to and a set I know nothing about is part of my collection.
Ten-cent Hideo Nomo cards. Who doesn't want those?
Now we're at the inserts-and-parallels segment of the program. Inserts don't want you to pay only 10 cents for them. They demand much, much more, hiding in random packs and then making side deals with online card sites for inflated prices. This Shawn Green Bat's Incredible insert is between 69 cents and a buck on Sportslots. It's sold out on COMC. I got it for a dime.
I'm sure you would have had to hand over all the monies to add one of these Team Tomorrow inserts to your collection in 1996. It's mine for almost nothing. Sure, part of that reason is because it's Karim Garcia on the card. But it's still snazzy.
Around the same time that Steven emailed me, I was looking to add the 2009 Upper Deck OPC Greg Maddux card to my set as I had just discovered it existed. I looked on ebay and there was one card available for 9 bucks (still there). Screw that! I found the mini parallel for a lot cheaper and figured that would tide me over. Then I received that first emailed list -- and the full-size Maddux was on it, for a dime. Now isn't that the best middle finger to the ebay man.
Parallels for a dime are a lot of fun because I usually like them enough to pay way too much for them. They're also pretty and often numbered and, you guys, these shouldn't be a dime!!
Two iconic '90s Dodger cards, both in parallel form, both that I didn't have, both for two nickels.
When these were included on one of the email lists, I was confused. They were listed as 2007 Fleer but "white logo variation" was added.
I will never claim to be an expert on 2007 Fleer, but I didn't know anything about logo variations in that set. Neither did Steven, it turns out until he was inventorying the cards. But, yeah, there are variations and, yeah, I needed them. Here are the cards I had:
Note the logo difference. Man, I'm glad I discovered this when the cards were only 10 cents!
Some late 1980s Broder cards were included in the lists. I know people don't like to spend much for unlicensed cards like this, but I don't mind. Especially when they're 10 cents.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was when I saw late 1970s TCMA cards on the list. TCMA! I LOVE THOSE THINGS! FOR 10 CENTS!
I was suddenly sorry that I had already accumulated so many Dodgers from the TCMA '50s and 1960s sets. I wanted to pick them all up, and I probably should have because they were 10 CENTS!!!
I was also sorry that I had never once typed "TCMA" into the baseballcardstore search bar.
Like with a real dime box, I brought home a small number of dupes because I didn't realize I had them already. But it's never a problem when the cards are just 10 cents. It's especially not a problem when the cards are sent to your door.
In the middle of all of this, Steven also sent a couple of us bloggers a note that he would be streaming a box break of 2021 Topps and he put me down for the Dodgers! For free!
I wasn't able to watch the break but when the dime box cards arrived, so did the 2021 Dodgers.
Yup, I have these already, but it's still nice to get them, especially the way that I did (I still want as many of that Corey Seager card as I can get).
A couple of Dodgers inserts were pulled for me, too, and that Clayton Kershaw card from the very odd Through the Years Topps insert set is a nice new pick up for me. Kershaw card No. 804 in the collection.
I really appreciate this gesture. It's clear that the folks at the baseballcardstore care about collectors, especially those collectors who are trying to get through this hobby cheaply. Steve has been super friendly in my interactions and it does make me want to go through that baseballcardstore site again soon to see what else I can.
Although I feel a bit spoiled now.