This is what’s great about the hobby #9

November 18, 2015 § 1 Comment

As someone with PTSD, there are very few places where I can find peace when I need it. Since I am not coaching this season, I have 3 places that I can go. One of those places is my favorite card shop.

I have covered in the past how I hate mystery packs. They never give value and a lot of the people selling them are unethical. Fortunately not everyone is like that, because my favorite card shop has mystery packs that have really paid off for me.  Here is how Alex at Valley Sports Cards does it. He puts together packs for 10 bucks from one sport. Each pack includes 2 relics, several rookie cards, a raffle ticket, and a board of death.  On top of that, he has cards in his display case that say 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize. Right now for basketball there is a Scottie Pippen autograph as 1st prize for the basketball packs. The thing with that board of death is that in a handful of packs there is prize message on there saying that you won 1st prize (or 2nd or 3rd). He holds about 2 raffles a year. They are like big parties where he celebrates his customers and rewards them. He raffles good stuff like Jordan, Kershaw, and Magic Johnson autographs. There are customers that come acting like they are entitled to win everything, but Alex (and his wife who is just as amazing) take such good care of his customers that the appreciation is a 2 way street for 99.9% of the customers. I won a Pau Gasol signed basketball from one of the raffles, thanks to all the tickets that I had compiled from his mystery packs.
I love buying these packs because Alex does not put junk in there. Among the highlights of cards that I have got in the packs alone: Bobby Doer autograph, Wade Boggs jersey, Sam Bradford dual jersey, piece of a Super Bowl pylon, etc. Not all are great, but that is very rare. There are days when I walk away thinking that I got a dud pack but those days are pretty rare. I have bought so many packs and won some good stuff: Bob Griese autograph, Steve Young autograph, Alex Rodriguez booklet, etc.

As a low end collector, I hate walking into his shop with only dollar bin items so I try to buy one every time that I come in as reciprocation for how well Alex and his wife have treated me over time. I am not going to lie, I look at the prizes showcased to see if there is anything good; but very rarely is buying those my single reason for buying one of the packs.

So let’s take a look at how I did from my visit over the weekend:

Pack 1
20151117_150024

The Isiah Thomas autograph is numbered to 25

20151117_145926

I hit a choice of 3rd prize from this pack and chose something good…

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