Sunday, August 31, 2008

Below The Mendoza Line

Editor's Note: I had planned on writing this article, but after seeing the pull that Mario got, it made it that much imperative, at least in my mind, that I write it.

Way back when in 1990, I started collecting sports cards.  Now, 18 years later after starting and stopping a few times, I'm still collecting sports cards.  However, I have a problem.  I've opened thousands of packs, hundreds of boxes.  I've bought odd lots and trades away cards for other cards and money so I could actually eat dinner one night, but that's a story for another time.  Sheer quantity is not something that I'm lacking in.  However, one thing that I am lacking in is quality hits.  One would think that after opening pack upon pack, especially in this day and age with the proliferation of inserts, I would have a few quality hits under my belt.  Now, you ask, what exactly am I defining as a quality hit.  I'm saying that a quality hit is an insert, generally a relic, autograph or a card that is produced in small quantity,  of a star player, a player I like or a player from the Braves.  In all of my years of collecting, I have in my possession just 4 quality hits in 18 years.  Sure, I have a lot of other hits and I do enjoy getting those, but to have the hits be of someone in the upper echelon, be it in your own mind or in the mind of the public at large, just takes it over the top.  I will now tell you of my 4 quality hits:

1) 2002 Leaf Gold Clubhouse Signatures Javier Vazquez #ed/25
I got this out of a K-Mart retail pack back in 2002.  This remains the best hit I have ever gotten.

2) 2007 Allen and Ginter Luis Castillo Mini Bazooka Back #ed/25
Again, this came out of a blaster and is a quality hit due to my love of A&G and it being low numbered.

3) 2008 Topper Heritage Brooks Robinson Flashback Relic
Again, from a blaster and from one of my favorite old timers

4) 2008 UD Spectrum Green Chipper Jones #ed/199
Another blaster pull and a semi-low number of these were produced, but it is my favorite player.

Oh sure, I have many other pulls and a few of them come close to being quality pulls (ie. 2008 GU UD Derek Jeter jersey, but it just doesn't excite me.  If it had a pinstripe, maybe).  Most of everything I have are mid to low level players who either don't do anything for me, or haven't done anything in the major leagues.  I don't know if it's just my bad luck or what, but I've never pulled an autograph or relic of a Braves player or of a player I like.  I've also never pulled any 1/1 or anything numbered less than 25.  No printing plates for me either.  I truly do enjoy collecting cards and collecting sets, but the feeling when you pull a card of your favorite player or someone from your favorite team that is "rare", you really can't beat that feeling.  I'm sure all the Joe Collectors are reading this and thinking I should go buy a box of Triple Threads or Sterling or something like that.  Quite frankly, I don't have that kind of money to spend on less that 15 cards and I'm not guaranteed a hit of an exciting player.  So I'll continue to buy boxes and try and build my sets, while still searching for that elusive biggest hit ever.  I'm assuming that sooner or later the law of averages will eventually catch up to me and I'll pull an Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn, and Hank Aaron triple cut signature from something one of these days.


dayf said...

Keep buying packs and you'll eventually pull an insane hit. The key is you're buying for the cards to build sets instead of chasing a money hit. That will make the killer hit that much better when it eventually happens.

Adam said...

Why are you buying retail if you want good pulls? Thats like buying a kia when you want a luxury car.

Russ said...

I buy retail to complete my sets and a few here and there just to see what the cards are like. It just so happens that all of my good pulls have come out of retail blasters/packs. I buy Hobby boxes all the time and have yet to get a great pull.

Russ said...

And also, I'm not buying strictly for the pulls. I'm buying usually to build sets. Like dayf says, buying to build sets and not really expecting great pulls is what makes them that much better