2017 Biggest Pulls: 33-50

Suck it, 2016

What a year… After a dismal 2016, 2017 turned things around and delivered possibly the best group of hits I’ve ever seen. I bought a bit more unopened product than usual, somewhere around $4,000 if my estimates are right, but that yielded $1,550 in eBay sales, several nice Mets hits, and a few other big cards that I’m holding on to for various reasons. And that’s before getting to the various sets I’ve completed or gotten very close to completion (including a few extras to sell, trade, or give as gifts). And two dozen more Aaron Judge RCs on top of what’s in the sets or listed here. All told, I probably got at least $3,000 worth of cards for that $4,000. That actually doesn’t sound too good… But it was sure better than last year.

So much so that I can’t fit it all into one post. And so this year we’re going from the bottom to the top through the 50 best cards I pulled from packs, boxes, breaks, or other forms of random chance in 2017 that aren’t Aaron Judge or Cody Bellinger base Rookie Cards. Along the way, we’ll cover most of the big hobby stories of the year, at least as far as they intersect with what I bought. By the end, maybe we’ll have some insight into what 2018 may bring or at least how best to attack it. Let’s get things started with the bottom 18 cards.

50-33: DeJongs, etc.

With a total value of almost $250, the odds and ends in this sub-$20 assortment top my entire haul from 2016. That’s sad. I stopped even trying to sell anything for less than $4.99. so there’s not much else from 2017 that managed to avoid one of my junk piles. And, let me tell you, those junk piles are loaded with worthless hits after 2017. Just about every product produced low-numbered cards, most not worth mentioning. Except for the first two cards, everything here sold for at least $9.99. The Justin Haley powder blue parallel sold for $17.50, but the buyer never paid. And the Seth Romero? As I was saying, low-numbered cards came at me from everywhere, including some unusual places. For its redemptions in 2017 Leaf Metal Draft, Leaf issued one card per player and randomly seeded parallels during fulfillment. When a seller I was buying other cards from had some cheap redemptions up, I grabbed a Seth Romero and took a chance. It came back as a blue parallel numbered to 25. I have no idea what it’s worth, but it’s enough of a wild card to slot in at #50.

And how about Paul DeJong? I finished the year with loads of DeJongs and worthless Rays autographs numbered to 99. At least the DeJongs would sell… As for the rest, it’s a random mix of prospects, Rookies, and veterans. All of it was a crap shoot and I had no idea what to expect for most of it. So here’s a bunch of lesser cards that were still worth something. Any other year, one of these guys might have had a chance to hit it big. But with the hobby so completely focused on a very small number of hot Rookies, everything else fell by the wayside.

Particularly telling here is the complete lack of memorabilia cards. Only two made the top 50, the same number as manufactured material. Memorabilia has gotten stale, with very little offering anything of interest to collectors. So it makes sense that Topps has joined Panini in using player-worn material to cut costs. Topps Inception was full of it and Topps Fire also went the player-worn route. But why even bother? Old habits are hard to break, I guess. Maybe we need to stop caring about guaranteed hits first.

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