Don’t worry, I don’t have the time to send out a ton of messages.
About a month ago, Walmart.com restocked their random hockey packs and I grabbed one figuring the fun grade was worth the $20.
Here is the pack breakdown:
7 – 1997-98 Leaf
5 – 1997-98 Pinnacle Hossa, Marleau rookies
3 – 2007-08 Fleer Ultra Price, Kane rookies
9 – 2006-07 Victory Malkin, Kopitar, Kessel rookies
6 – Pinnacle Mint
7 – 1991 Score Series 1 Weight, Hasek
6 – 1991-92 Series 1 Pro Set Weight, Hasek
4 – 1990-91 Series 2 Pro Set Jagr, Fedorov
4 – 1990 Pro Set
Here is some of the notable items that I pulled from it:
Coins: Daniel Alfredsson, Saku Koivu, Paul Coffey, Chris Osgood, Jeremy Roenick
Leaf: Banner Season Teemu Selanne , numbered to 3500
Joe Thornton Pinnacle rookie, not treated as his rookie by collectors but the card says rookie; also got a Chris Phillips rookie from that set
Ovechkin Fleer Ultra gold
Sergei Fedorov Pro Set rookie
Victory yielded a Matt Carle rookie, Ryan Miller Next in Line, and Daniel Alfredsson Game Breakers
Quebec Nordiques Team Facts from Pro Set
2 Wayne Gretzky cards
As a collector it was a fun trip down memory lane. My teams have evolved but I was reminded just how much I loved watching the Ottawa Senators growing up. The Daniel Alfredsson coin was something that I would have bought on my own as a collector. If I pulled the Wayne Gretzky cards when the set came out, I would have been over the moon.
If I opened the packs when they came out, I would have done amazing. As a result, I can’t complain. However this is modern collecting and this was full of junk packs. I got exactly what I paid for.
This was a $100 bucks. I grabbed it because ‘First Off the Line’ was a collecting bucket list item.
2 Garrett Hampson autos with 1 being a redemption and a David Fletcher auto. Stephen Gonsalves Rated Rookie numbered to 7. I wasn’t expecting 3 huge names but this is a major bust. Major is an understatement. At a little more than $4.15 a card, I doubt that I can get that for the cards above. Plus, I got a redemption, what a joke.
The cards below are all numbered to 99. I am not sure if each color has 150 cards or if the spread it out and certain card numbers go to a certain color. Regardless, not my cup of tea.
I am so pissed off. More at myself than at Panini. I am not in position to spend a $100 bucks and I certainly feel like my FOTL premium was lacking. I was saving this to open for when I needed a smile, instead I find myself more pissed. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go slam my head through a wall.
I grabbed this from WalMart.com for $10, basically so I could ship something else and not pay shipping. I price difference was that I could pay shipping and get that item or I could not pay shipping. That, and I was also curious about the camo parallels.
Pack 1 only yielded a Casey Mize insert.
Pack 2 felt like it has 2 packs worth of inserts and chrome in it. It certainly had double the first pack.
I was very disappointed at how ugly the ‘camo’ inserts were. They aren’t camo, they are dark green.
This had 2 packs.
One pack was just inserts. None of the inserts had the feel of the normal hobby pack.
The hit was a Max Kepler jersey swatch. Also got an Judge parallel.
Not bad for a $20 blaster but having got into some cards from hobby packs, the differences are night and day in regards to quality of cards. Even the thickness of the hit showed as it was so thin, I thought that I was getting an autograph.
I don’t know about you but there are some experiences that happen as an adult that I can never get used too. One that happened to me again recently is when I am the most level headed person in an interaction.
10 months ago, I posted a bunch of items on Offer Up. I sold some but because I posted about a dozen items, some didn’t sell. After a while, I deleted the app off my phone entirely. The items have since been donated.
Every now and then I got messages on an item. Since the messages went to my lowest priority email account, this meant that days went by before I even knew there was a message. I end up removing the item off the site when this happened and said that it was no longer available.
Well about 10 days ago, a new guy messaged me on OfferUp. I Tweeted that these messages started at night. As I am going through my email, I saw that they started on Sunday morning at 8 am. By the afternoon, I had 6 of them. You guys know my Sunday mornings can be crazy as I am Vice President of a church. So I couldn’t get to my messages for a while. Even then, give people time. We all have lives.
So let’s dive into what he sent me:
“Hi, is this still available?”
Okay, token first message, no big deal.
“If still available I live in Simi Valley I would like to get them for my son thanks”
Simi Valley is my town. Okay, no big deal. He probably just wants me to know that he is legit. At this time, I am just getting up. Since this is my least priority email, I am not checking this like I am my business emails. With this being a Sunday morning, I check that inbox before I get caffeine in me.
“I can pick them up today”
Pushing it with the third message but no big deal to me. Regardless, church is in service so I am not getting to these messages for another hour.
4 messages in 2 hours. Come on dude. Now, even if I had the item, I am not sending it. I get spelling mistakes but even then, I have enough common sense to not correct spelling mistakes if it means my fourth email in 2 hours.
At noon, I see these messages. I ignore them as I had a long day. I hope that he gets the message.
“Hello my name is (name removed) are the cards still available”
They are not as I donated them. At this point, even if I had them, I would not sell them to this guy. This is the fifth message. Come on man.
“My son is begging me to get them if so I’ll buy them”
This is the sixth message. My guess is that he doesn’t have a kid. The picture shows early 2000s basketball common cards. I have yet to meet a kid who likes these. I have been coaching basketball the past 2 seasons, and I can’t even give them to my players.
Look 6 messages is fine if it is over 3 days but even then, that is pushing it. 6 messages in 12 hours when I haven’t replied; crazy.
So would you have messaged tried to make a deal with this guy if you had the item? If you made it this far, you know that I wouldn’t.
With the exception of the classic Street Fighter 2, I am not a fan of video games. That said, I do help raise my 11 year old nephews. When Panini released Fortnite trading cards, I saw an avenue to share my collecting with them.
They didn’t seem too interested in boxes when I offered to grab them one but I did grab some packs from Dollar Tree packs for them. Here is what was in them.
They still don’t seem interested in them. These are Dollar Tree packs that we are talking about though. One was at least curious enough to keep the cards next to his computer while he plays.
Chronicles basketball was released this week. It was the rare release where both retail and hobby hit at the same time. I am a basketball collector and this passed my regret test. I also saw that Luminance was in these so I am chasing and Anfernee Simons Luminance rookie.
Sorry about the picture quality in this one. Porter Jr. bronze parallel. 2 Gilgeous-Alexander rookies. The checklist is rookie heavy.
Not one, not two, but three Gilgeous-Alexander cards. Good thing that I like him.
My mom saw the remnants of the packs as I had them on the dining room table. She commented how awesome it was that they put the variety in. She doesn’t know a thing about basketball but she looked through them. For those unaware, in the early 90s, my mom and I collected together. We never collected basketball at all. It was nice to share a collecting moment with her.
These were oddly priced. Instead of the usual fat pack price at $4.99, these were $5.49. That extra 50 cents instead of a dollar more seemed odd to me, not that I am complaining.
The cards here probably lack value as the printing is out of control. Still if you are a player collector, this will be a fun set.
This is an assessment of 2 retail packs versus 2 hobby packs. Both pretty much offer the same amount of cards. Hobby packs have been going for $10 to $15 while the ballpark price on retail jumbo is $5.
Retail has 15 inserts per pack as opposed to hobby having 5. My hobby pack that yielded an auto, but only had 4 inserts. Hobby does offer 10 rookies per pack versus the 6 each that I got. I have opened up about 10 retail packs and have yet to get a hit.
If you are putting together a set like I am, retail is a great way to go. The inserts in Score this year are fun. Aren’t products that breakers hate fun? Is that why I am enjoying the product this year?
A ton of the bigger rookies will get overproduced. Score is fun in the sense that it is one of the final filters before these players start to make a name for themselves. If you are a player collector of a future bust then this will be a good set to come back too.
For once, I don’t have a conclusion. It depends on your collecting goals. I can’t tell you which way to go as both offer benefits; especially to this collector. All I can say is that if you are a hit chaser, avoid retail packs at all costs.
TLDR: I know that you came here for pictures of cards and they are on the bottom.
Here is a little nugget for you: I hate vacations. It has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t like being around people. It has nothing to do with wanting to stay home. It has everything to do with knowing how I work. I struggle falling asleep in my own bed, and it is impossible to fall asleep in hotel beds. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing but I always found myself stressed out on them. So that had nothing to do with anything, other than to set up that the fact that I took a vacation must have said a lot about how I was feeling.
In June, the pastor wasn’t in at my church. I didn’t realize it at the time but it soon became apparent that all of the heavy lifting at church, and even more so, a ton of minor details needed my attention there. I do a ton there as it is. Anyway, doing all of that made me realize that I needed to get the heck away. So I saw a card show was going on in Anaheim. I have been dying to get back to an Indian casino, and I sorely missed living in Lancaster when the Jethawks were a few blocks from my place. So I set it up. I would head to Lake Elsinore on Friday to hit the Pechanga Indian casino and a Lake Elsinore Storm game, followed by two sports card pit stops fifty miles away from there in Anaheim. As an added benefit, the Storm were playing the Jethawks. I would have gone to an Angels game but they weren’t in town.
I wasn’t sure about doing this but I found a great AirBNB with a private floor for sixty percent less than hotel rates were going for on Independence Day weekend. I was avoiding staying in someone’s home at all cost but it worked out great and when a buddy of mine told me that the people that host usually have things down as they do this a lot, I wasn’t worried. The people I stayed with were amazing and I already miss their dogs.
So I make the hundred plus mile journey, and the vacation is already off to a nice start. Driving long distance wears me out, and I hit a bit of rush hour. I have a bad right knee and driving has been known to bring out its worst. I was sad to leave my pets but I must have been in a good mood if the driving didn’t bug me. I get to the home that I am staying at, and one of their dogs greets me at my car. He looks exactly like my dog but a different color. I get settled, leave all of my stuff their including cards that I bought to trade on Saturday. After ten minutes, I leave to buy a Storm ticket and hit the casino. The Storm ticket was nineteen bucks and I got a padded seat in the second row behind home plate.
Side tangent: yes I did this alone. I needed a break and needed to do things on my terms. If I wanted to stay at the casino for ten minutes, I could. If I wanted to stay for ten hours, I could without worrying. Also, I had three very specific interest and lets be frank, if I took someone they would be miserable at some point. I say this is my first vacation but I have taken vacations with other people; this is MY vacation if you understand that.
I get to the casino and it is crazy in there. Every table is full. Every machine is taken. It reeks of smoke and everyone is fifty years older than me. Did I mention that I hate slot machines because there is no skill involved? Even the empty machines are taken by people who are somehow allowed to play three games at once. I find a poker machine on the opposite end of the casino from where I parked and settle in. I came for the experience and slow play twenty bucks as long as possible; that ends up being ten minutes. I lose interest and go back to the car but had two hours to kill before the game.
So what is one to do when they have two hours to kill in Temecula? Find a card shop. I end up spending ten bucks on base cards I needed to finish of my 2019 Score Football set. They had eighty percent of what I needed. I also spent another ten on new Panthers offensive lineman Greg Little’s autograph. Don’t worry, I didn’t mistakenly grab the former Browns player of the same name. I tried hard making friends with the people there but they had no interest in talking.
‘Do you guys break here?’
‘What is selling here?’
‘Oh, I see that you are doing eBay, what is your eBay name?’
‘What are people fans of in this area?’
This hobby is so full introverts that you make this introvert feel like a social butterfly at times. Whatever. They squeezed me a little on the price of the base cards because they knew that I needed them but I still had a good experience. I will be honest, I would have bought packs if they showed a little gesture of caring about me as a customer or talked to me for longer than one sentence answers.
I get to the ballpark and on the way there, I see that little things like the Walgreens down the street has made their building resemble a baseball stadium. Maybe it is because I was itching to go to a minor league game but I find the stadium amazing. Little things like the sights and sounds of the game were awesome. It is cool how these teams really value to local community and make an effort to connect with them. Yes I came from a few counties over but to see the local city council people get noticed on the field is something that I know that my community would appreciate. Its not just that. When I was in Lancaster, the Jethawks always opened with an exhibition game against a local college team. It is nice to see a team have a give and take with the community instead of what it feels like in the major leagues where you pay a premium and only get to see the best talent. Here, you get the talent who will be in the major leagues plus a place that goes out of your way to make you feel welcome regardless if you are a season ticket holder or someone sitting in the lawn. Another great thing is the promotions they have with local businesses. I know they pay for sponsorships but I have walked out of games with amazing coupons to places that I go to. At my very first minor league game, they gave out frozen yogurt as we were leaving; and I am not talking about coupons.
If you follow me, you may have noticed that something crazy at the ballpark happened. The biggest earthquake in California hit in about the fifth inning. The players didn’t even notice and two pitches went by during the earthquake itself. Unlike the NBA summer league where a game got canceled in the middle of the game, this game went on. Unless it got mentioned on the radio broadcast, no one mentioned it from the team at the stadium. Being a veteran of minor league games, I like how people around you aren’t afraid to get to know you. My section really came together after the quake. Heck, we bonded during it when we asked each other if it was really happening or if the earthquake was in our heads. If an earthquake or anything happened at a Dodgers game, would the people next to you ask if your family is alright after they see you texting them? Heck, would they even be quiet when you are on the phone with people making sure they are alright?
I was thinking about grabbing some funnel cake and cheating on my celiac disease by grabbing some fresh funnel cake but the earthquake killed my appetite. So I guess the earthquake did me a favor in that sense, as my body literally has an allergic reaction with my intestines swelling when I eat gluten because of the disease. The game ended with fireworks and thankfully fireworks that were launched from center field and not from a disaster.
The next day, I wake up and head to Anaheim for a card show. I didn’t buy anything but that was because I was not interested in forcing things. Perhaps if they had dime or dollar boxes. The dealers were nice and they had deals, they just didn’t have deals that suited my personal collection; and if they did then it was from cards they already had. I did give out a few AngryCardCollector stickers though.
My next stop was the Frank and Son collectible show. Oh man, what an utter disaster. There isn’t any parking there so I had to park two blocks away. When I did get in, everything was crammed. I can only imagine how bad it is there when they do signings. About eighty percent of the place is Pokemon or Magic cards. The other twenty percent is sports card dealers who act like they hate people. I tried to get a word in to ask a few people if they had certain things but they didn’t even look at me because they were too busy talking to their friends. It’s like dude, ‘I am making eye contact with you while wearing a Carolina Panthers shirt.’ I clearly am someone who could give you business. I couldn’t even get these guys to look at me. This happened at at least three stalls. If I could go back, I would reward the store owner who asked if he could help me while I was eyeing the Garbage Pail Kids and Ninja Turtles packs that I didn’t buy. I get that the hobby attracts introverts but if you want to make a sale, at least make eye contact with a potential customer. This is why I call out the hobby cronyism so much; is it so hard to treat everyone with respect? That friend you are talking to will be there if you make him wait a minute but will the customer? I get not talking to everyone or not being a people person but even with the guys in Temecula, they at least directed me. There was a ton of people there, I get it but I was one of the people who spent more than five seconds eyeing your product. I didn’t get that here at the places where I wanted to buy cards. My best interaction with a sports card dealer was from a kid who had to be younger than ten years old. Every time a few customers took interest at his table, he said the very basic ‘if you have any questions, ask me.’ Even then, his dad was too busy talking to a friend while he said it. You guys give a ton of grief and say a lot of negative stuff about the youth of today but all I see are kids who are or will make the world a better place; they certainly made it a better place at Frank and Son. How fitting is it that I am talking about a son at a table at Frank and Son?
I did buy two boxes and a couple of Funko’s. The Funko’s were impulse buys but I was on vacation. Of course, both of those were sports ones, Cam Newton and Jose Altuve. Altuve was an impulse but I saw him as a Jethawk so I felt that it was apropos. As a final hurrah, I grabbed a box of 2018 Pro Debut for $60.
That last picture features 2 players that I saw play on Friday in Ryan Vilade and Luis Campusano. The very last pack that I opened from the box yielded a Ryan Vilade relic. I found it very fitting and a nice way to end my vacation.