Saturday, March 16, 2013

Gold at the end of the rainbow

As I mentioned the other day, being a team collector has its benefits and drawbacks.  Perhaps the biggest drawback is that even if you have the deepest of pockets, your collection will never be 100% complete.  More realistically, that means that your card budget, no matter how big or how small, is always going to be stretched thin.

For me, that has undoubtedly had the biggest impact on what I consider low-high end cards.  Those $5-20 cards - game used/autos, low numbered parallels of star players, plain white swatch game used cards out of high end products.  Those are the cards I frequently pass on.  I trade having the "flashy" cards for having a more complete and well rounded collection.  Or at least I like to think I do.  After all, funds for that one Neil Walker gu/auto could instead be used to knock out much of a team set of Topps Gold, or to pick up a couple nice colored refractors. 

And of course there are exceptions to these budget tendencies, but by in large, I have come to accept that I am frequently going to pass on some really cool cards.

But every once in a while, once of those cards boomerangs into my price range.  And those are glorious, glorious days.

I love shiny cardsEspecially gold refractors.  And I have a thing for flamed out prospects.  When Topps decided to include Indian game show winners (and Pirate signees) Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh in Bowman Chrome, the skies parted and the card gods smiled down upon my strange, strange collecting habits.

Shiny?  Check.  Gold?  Yessir.  Absolutely no shot at making the majors from the day they signed their first professional contract?  Pretty much.

The only problem?  These cards were going for around $20 around the time of release.  Nice card, and for $20 I'd gladly pick the card up if it were of a major league starter.  But a guy who will almost certainly never go beyond A-ball?  Not so much.

When I saw a copy pop up on ebay the other week, I figured the card would still be above my price range, even though Patel is out of baseball (Singh is still in the Pirates organization).  Much to my surprise, I was able to land the card for less than $6 dlvd.  Not the flashiest of cards, and certainly not the most impressive of players, but it's a great card and unique piece of Pirates (marketing) history to add to my collection.

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