Wednesday, March 7, 2012

1984 Donruss Greg Gagne

Just wanted to talk about one of my latest purchases - a 1984 Donruss Greg Gagne RC PSA 9.  Seems like a pretty insignificant card eh?  Not so much to me or to quite a few other collectors.

If you're in any way familiar with the 84 Donruss set, or any early 80's set, these cards are notorious for being horribly off centered. The Greg Gagne RC has got to be one of the toughest in the set to find well centered.  Of the 34 cards of Gagne that PSA has graded, only 3 have come back as 10's, and only 14 as 9's.  I have bought many of these cards raw and I have yet to find one well centered enough to be a 9.  Luckily I saw this one pop up on eBay and I snagged it. The low population cards from some of these sets can create some pretty high demand.  Three years ago a PSA 10 of this card sold for $192.  I have seen standing offers of up to $1500 from a couple 84 Donruss set collectors that are looking to buy a 10 off someone.  $1500!!!!!  Pretty crazy for a 1984 card if you ask me!  I could buy 10's from the 60's for less than that.....

And why this card?  I am a graded card collector, and this card is part of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame set on the PSA Registry. This is one piece of a 16 card set of all the players that have been inducted into the Twins Team Hall of Fame.  And best of all it's the final piece to this set for me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My 2012 Topps Baseball Series 1 Hobby Box Break

I've been busier than expected lately, so I'm a little slow getting this box break out.  I already showed my "hit" I got in the box, but I haven't disclosed the rest.  So here we go....

I really wasn't too excited with what I got in this box.  No shortprints (I was hoping for the Rally Squirrel SP), and nothing of significant value. The memorabilia card I pulled only has a value of $8. The only real cards of note are a few Golden Moments and Golden Greats of Jeter, Ripken, Nolan Ryan, Mantle, and Pujols.  Other than that it was pretty weak.  The Golden Giveaway cards (6) were good, because as soon as I get them they hit eBay.  I did the 2010 Million Card Giveaway, and I haven't really been interested in doing it since then. The cash is worth more to me than the cards I get.

So overall, my box contained a total value of $349.65, which actually isn't bad for around 360 cards.  The average pack value was $9.71, with the most valuable pack being $15.20, and the least being $4.60.  The $15 pack has 3 inserts (a $6 Ripken Golden Great) and several $1+ cards.  Amazingly this pack had more in it that the pack with the memorabilia card!

So here's my numerical summary:

  • Total Value: $349.65
  • Total Cost: $61.00
  • Value/Cost Ratio: 5.731
  • Average Pack Value: $9.71
  • Average Value per Card: $0.98
 The Value/Cost Ratio isn't bad, but I think it's pretty deceiving.  If you would figure selling everything at 25% of book value, you wouldn't make much.  With nothing in this box that got me excited, I give this box a C+.

I have one more hobby box to tally, and I really don't think that the results are going to be much better.  Safe to say I am finished buying Series 1.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My so-called "hit" from 2012 Topps - Box 1

So here is my hit that I was extremely disappointed with from my first box.  I'm still tallying up my box results, so I thought I might as well show a little bit of what I got...

I'm trying to figure out what "game" this "memorabilia" had to be used in.......My guess is it's not a jersey.  For all I know it's probably the sweat-stained armpit section of his undershirt.......Thank you very much Topps for making me think of sweaty armpits everytime I see Dan Uggla....Another justification of why I hate game-used cards.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2012 Topps Baseball Series 1 Review

I finally received a couple hobby boxes of 2012 Topps Series 1 yesterday, so I was pretty excited to start ripping and see what I found.  Don't know why but it seems like it's been tough to get my hands on these, at least around where I live. The local card store (if you call 25 miles away local) wasn't planning on having these boxes until Feb. 15th, so I decided to take another route - hello eBay. Anyway, I plan to post some more details on my rip in a couple days, but for now I at least wanted to publish my thoughts on the set.

Gotta be honest, I'm really not that thrilled with this set.  Overall I like the design, but I get the feeling that Topps went a little on the cheaper side with this set. There are plenty of inserts, but for the most part they just seem cheap and boring to me. I've been getting more and more tired of the inserts that Topps is offering, and I think this year they have taken me over the edge. The Golden Moments and Golden Greats inserts are probably the least desirable that I have ever seen.  They just feel like "filler" to me. The same goes for the Classic Walkoffs.  I hold the Gold Standard cards in a little higher regard.  They are simple, but for some reason the player pictures they used were somewhat appealing to me.  Same goes with the Timeless Talents.  Not a bad looking card, but I'm not gonna push my way in line to get first dibs at the card show.  The Golden Futures card have some decent eye appeal; the dominant black color is something that I like. 

 The only insert that I really dig so far is the 87 Topps Minis.  Probably one of my favorite sets from when I was a kid.  Another topic for another time though.  The minis hold pretty true to the original 87 release, with the best part being the back of cards.  They give you that old school look and feel that really was there in '87, much like Topps Heritage cards try to emulate.  I give Topps an "A" on this insert.

I'll say it now, and probably say it again, but I HATE game-used material cards.  When I publish my break, I'll throw a scan of one of my pulls, and you will probably understand where I'm coming from.  The game-used card I pulled was absolutely HORRIBLE.  Stay tuned......

So to close out, how do I rate this release?  I would give it a "B-".  I had much more fun opening 2010 and 2011 Topps.  I was hoping to be impressed, but I was far from it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Blaster Box Rip

Cruising Wal-Mart the other day I came across a few blaster boxes of '11 Allen & Ginter that were marked down 25% ($14.98), so I figured I might as well take a shot a one and see how I fare.  I've bought a couple of them in the past and had decent luck (a couple Framed Relic cards and some other decent inserts).

I've always wondered what the return on investment would be from one of the these boxes because, to be honest, these are retail and not hobby boxes, so the chances of high end cards are much smaller. But for the person that is content with buying a few boxes and packs here and there, it's a fun way to work on a set.

Anyway, I documented what each pack contained and looked up the values from the Beckett website (you need to subscribe to the online price guide if you want to do it yourself).  To save some space, I'll only hit the highlights from each pack, report the total value from the pack, and the average value per card.

Pack #1 - Total Value $9
  • Russell Martin SP
  • Brandon Snyder Original Back Mini Insert
  • Gordon Beckham Hometown Heroes Insert
Pack #2 -  Total Value $4.20
  • Josh Hamilton Hometown Heroes Insert
  • Michael Bourn Original Back Mini
Pack #3 - Total Value $9.75
  • Cody Ross SP
  • Ascent of Man AOM11 Insert
  • Minds that Made the Future Insert
  • Adam Jones Ginter Back Mini Insert
Pack #4 - Total Value $6.95
  • Aroldis Chapman RC
  • Portraits of Penultimacy PP8 Mini Insert
  • Troy Tulowitzski Hometown Heroes Insert
Pack #5 - Total Value $8.95
  • Drew Storen SP
  • Brett Wallace Original Back Mini Insert
  • Jayson Werth Hometown Heroes Insert
Pack #6 - Total Value $21.05
  • Mickey Mantle Code Card ($15)
  • Ryan Howard Highlight Sketches Insert
  • Step Right Up Mini Insert
  • Cliff Lee Hometown Heroes Insert
Pack #7 - Total Value $8.40
  • Jason Heyward SP
  • Floating Fortresses Insert
  • Uninvited Guests Mini Insert
Pack #8 - Total Value $4.55
  • Carlos Quentin Black Mini Insert
  • Adrian Gonzalez Hometown Heroes Insert

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Welcome to my blog, which is, as you probably guessed from the title, all about baseball cards!  I've been a baseball card collector for years with varying interests; anything from the new cards going back to vintage graded cards. Due to my obsession with this hobby, I've decided to start a blog to provide some of my insights on the hobby, and to hopefully give a different perspective to readers. I don't know what direction this blog will take me, but in my mind I have numerous ideas that will hopefully keep many people interested.

Some of those ideas are:
  • Analyzing box breaks and pack openings- anything from retail to hobby boxes. I want to be able to touch the common collector all the way to the advanced (If I can!).  I may buy a blaster box at Wal-mart and take a look at my return based on value, or a couple random packs.....who knows? My main goal is to hopefully rank boxes and packs so people can see where they can get the most bang for their buck.
  • Providing some history on past sales - I watch LOTS of auctions, and because I'm a numbers guy I love to evaluate pricing trends for cards, especially PSA graded material.  I can't touch on everything, so if you have any requests, let me know and I can make an effort to do some research.
  • Product reviews - I know....everyone does why not add another opinion?
  • Featured Sets - I may do a write-up on a set now and then that is near and dear to me, or may be of interest to others. It could be anything from a 50's Topps set up to present day.

Of course I'm always open to suggestions on more content that you would be interested in seeing.

Until next time! - Steve