Sunday, October 11, 2020

Dealing in Pairs

I've been keeping the mailman busy over the last few weeks.  There has been a pretty steady stream of mail heading into my house.  It definitely seems like a less than ideal time to jump into buying.  Prices seem to be surging, or at least sellers are pricing cards like they *wish* they were surging.  

Shipping prices have jumped through the roof.  Anybody else remember when $2 shipping would get you a card in a bubble mailer?  It seems like $3-5 shipping is the norm these days.  Sometimes it gets you a well packed card in a bubble mailer, but I've also found that $3 shipping may mean I'm getting a toploader in a PWE these days.  

And with whatever mess de jour is going on over at COMC and who knows the next time I'll actually see the inside of a card show, options are limited right now.  But it's made for a fun game of cat and mouse to find cards that I actually want at a price I'll pay.

My Pirates collection will always be the bulk of my collecting focus.  Though there were some points where my more frequent readers definitely would have noticed that this blog would have been more aptly titled "A Bunch of Shiny Cards from the 90's."  But there have been a few projects that have been on my collecting back burner for years that I'm finally starting to put some hobby dollars behind.  And it's been really rewarding to see a range of sets and cards trickling in, rather than just feeling like I'm compulsively buying Pirates.

And it just so happens that I seem to buying in pairs.  None of these cards came from the same seller, making it that much more unusual.  But sometimes life just works out that way.

I've been slowly plugging away at the 1998 Donruss Signature autograph set for years now.  Due to some low print run cards of some of the stars, I'll never officially complete the base version, let alone any of the parallel sets.  But boy is it a nice set.

I added the Palmeiro for a measly $4-something shipped.  The man has 3,020 hits, and 569 home runs.  I don't care how you cut it, or whether you're for against him making his way to Cooperstown.  That's an absolutely absurd price to pay for his autograph.

And speaking of 90's stars...

The 2001 Donruss master set is another set that I've been picking up cards here and there over the years.  I'll never finish any of it - base, parallels, or any inset sets due to the star power and some of the low print runs.  But the Stat Line parallels are among my favorite parts of the set, and I couldn't complain about adding two decent names from the set.
But like I said, my Pirates will always be my primary focus.  I've been on a bit of a Jason Bay buying streak recently.  Now that his playing days are over, his prices have settled.  For a while, his stints in Boston and New York had driven prices to the point that I stopped even searching for his cards.

But those days are over, and now he's just pretty good player who had a couple of really good years.  Those are some of my favorite guys to buy - the Jason Bays and Brian Giles of the world who had a couple of magic years, but can be had for a song after they retire.  Sometimes I hate the "latest and greatest" attitude of this hobby.  From what I hear there is some big hoopla over the current crop of rookies, and prices are insane.  I honestly can't tell you how many baseball games I have watched over the last few years, so I'm willfully ignorant.  And I'm a-okay with that.  And when it comes to buying?  I'm perfectly fine waiting to pick up cards once the hype has come and gone.

Both these Bay autos are /25, and the X-Fractor in particular looks amazing in person.  Part of me wonders how many how many times a card traded hands, and what prices people paid before it makes a home in my collection.  

Mail keeps trickling in, and I have a few other pairs on the way.  So who knows, this may become an unintentional ongoing theme.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet Palmeiro! I miss not having to pay crazy shipping prices or taxes on eBay purchases. It's really impacted the way I purchase cards these days.