Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All-Star Fan-Fest 2007

The All-Star Game. In San Francisco. What could be better? Well for all the Barry Bonds haters in the world, I am sure anything would be better. As a long time Giants fan however, I was in heaven. Not the kind of heaven that would permit me to drop a few thousand on a ticket or anything, but enough to join the festivities at Fan-Fest. So I bought my tickets on-line, told my Wife it would be the experience of a life time, hoped in the car and made the hour and a half drive to the City. I hadn't bought a pack of cards in years, probably about ten years to be exact, but I had read on-line that Topps and Upperdeck were going to have pack redemption set up at their booths, and that Tim Lincecum was going to be one of the cards available. Having loved collecting in the past, the thought of an exclusive Lincecum card only available to those at Fan-Fest really got me going. I guess it didn't matter to me that all the cards I still had in screw downs and top loaders were worth less then a tenth of what they were worth when I stored them away. I never really stopped to wonder why my $300 cards were worth $30. All I knew was this was true collecting. I didn't care about the worth of the card, or the rarity, I just wanted that Lincecum card.... for me. That is what this hobby was supposed to be about right? The cards you wanted cause they meant something to YOU. Not the card shop owner, or that nameless person on ebay, but cause you wanted it?

Anyway.... I was excited. We got down to Fan-Fest and made a mad dash to the Topps booth where we were informed that they weren't selling the packs, those needed to be bought from the dealers at the show, but we did need to open them at the Topps booth. So after scouting out a dealer and purchasing some (what I know now was overpriced) packs of Topps Series 2, we returned to the booth were we had to stand behind a guy opening a full box of Heritage and redeeming every five packs for a Mantle card (still the obsession with Mantle?). So after the Mantle guy got his 5 or so redemption cards (for himself I am sure, there is know way he was going to sell those right?) I stepped up with my few packs and went through the motions of opening packs I had no interest in, so I could hand the wrappers over for my prized Lincecum. Then something tragic happened. My Wife discovered opening packs could be FUN! After we got our first Lincecum card it seemed that our mission was accomplished, but the buzz of opening packs hung in the air and there were more cards available for redemption. Here is where the train jumped the track. Rather then buying some more packs and going back and getting my favorite player Barry Bonds one time redemption card, we went back for a second Lincecum so that we could try our luck on ebay, and thus the innocence was lost.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sucker Born Every Minute

This is my story. I am a sucker. I hate to say it, but I am. I was born at the exact right time to be sucked up into the world of baseball cards in the late 1980’s. The industry was red hot, people said investing in baseball cards was more profitable then playing the stock market. There was money to be made and rookie cards to be collected. In 1989 I was 14 years old. I didn’t care about stock markets, and I didn’t care about making a fortune, but what I did care about was ripping packs, and pulling the players I idolized as a young sports fan. I had already been collecting cards for years, but somehow things were changing. In the little California town I grew up in there were Card Stores everywhere! In a town of about 30,000 people there were 5 card stores. In the County there must have been close to 30, and if you felt like driving to the City (San Francisco), God knows how many you would find. Little did we know we were headed toward disaster.

None of this explains how I am a sucker of course. Lots of people were caught up at this time. Tons of worthless cards still sit unopened in wax boxes around the country. I am by no means the only person who got taken in the hype perpetuated by the Upper Deck craze of ’89. Why I am a sucker is because even after seeing my ’84 Fleer Extended Kirby Puckett go from booking for $750 down to it’s current $80 listing…. I am back. How I could let this happen is a mystery. The only thing I do know is that I am a collector. I love to collect things, and I am a sports fan.

In the days that lay ahead, I will chronicle my journey down a path with no end. Unlike some other Card Bloggers out there though, I am not trying to hold my obsession in check. I respect the guys of “A Pack A Day” for there ability to still enjoy opening up a pack of 1993 Topps Series II Football, but for me, I am jumping back in with both knees tucked in a cannonball position. This is not to say that I am a big time collector. I am no whale, and won’t be shelling out $350 on a one pack box anytime soon. You will find me somewhere in between. I will be posting box breaks, reviews, and thoughts on the industry. Maybe doing this will help me believe there is a future for the industry after all. Or perhaps it will help me see the folly of my ways. Whatever happens I will remain a sucker, this much I know for sure.

Next Up: How Tim Lincecum ruined my life. (or made it better)