Category Archives: Collecting

2016 Biggest Pulls

End of the Line?

2016 will go down as they year when I just couldn’t take it anymore. Ever-diminishing returns (even with the annual Kris Bryant autograph) already had me cutting back on hobby boxes. The proliferation of the same things in every product and the lack of anything new (Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz autographs in everything and no new prospect autographs until December) certainly gave me plenty of reasons to pass even on old favorites. And with the focus on the high end more than ever ($22,000 for one box?), nothing new was drawing my interest. And that’s just on the input side of the equation.

On the output side, rising postage rates and eBay fees (and new requirements pushing Top Rated Seller status beyond the reach of most mere mortals) made the prospect of selling unwanted cards something to dread. Why pay for a box that guarantees a hit when the hit will either be worthless or require dealing with eBay? I listed 12 items in 2016. 6 sold. And one of those got sent back, despite my listings clearly stating that returns are not accepted. That was the last straw.

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2017 Mets Card Spring Preview

Bouncing back from a year that fell short

The Mets made the postseason for the second consecutive season last year, but not even a superb outing from Noah Syndergaard could get the Mets past the Giants in the Wild Card game, so it’s been a long offseason. Speaking of Noah Syndergaard, this happened:

We saw lots of Syndergaard in cardboard last year and will likely see a lot more this year. Beyond him though, the cardboard Mets didn’t have a whole lot of depth in 2016 and there could be less in store for 2017. The Mets have two stars shining brightly in Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes, which could make everyone else hard to see. Or maybe they’ll be a rising tide that lifts everyone else into prominence. Honestly, I have no clue what Topps (and especially Panini) is doing and I get the feeling that they don’t either.

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2016 Mets Top Prospects (Cardboard Edition)

A very different kind of top prospect list

It’s that time of year again when a young (or not-so-young) man’s (or woman’s) fancy (or dread) turns to ordinal rankings of young baseball players. That’s right, top prospect lists! Everyone’s got one and you usually regret looking at the other guy’s. Why should we be any different here? Now, I am not a talent evaluator, so we’re going to have to come up with some other way to rank these guys. And after a comment I made on For All You Kids Out There (For All You Kids Out There is the official podcast of your Baseball Prospectus Mets Local site), the answer became clear – we’ll rank them by the strength of their cardboard.

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Cashing in on Hot Rookies

To sell or not to sell?

For those of us in the aging collector demographic, our childhoods were spent dreaming of the vast fortunes that awaited us in adulthood as our cards grew in value like those from generations past. The reality turned out to be quite the opposite though, as our massive cardboard reserves are now barely worth the paper they’re printed on. Ever since that harsh reality set in, collectors have struggled with the decision of what to do with hot cards they pull from packs. Sell for the quick cash? Wait and see for a little while and dump at the first sign of a downturn? Or hold on for the long haul and hope for a big return in the far future? My take is that you shouldn’t worry about it much, just keep what you like and sell off anything else that has value. Live in the now and let someone else take on the risk. But how has that worked out for me over the last 15+ years?

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What’s in Your Binder?

I’ll show you mine…

If you’re like me, you have more cards in boxes than you know what to do with. Small boxes, large boxes, multi-row boxes, toploader boxes… For most cards, their final resting place (before the inevitable trash can or recycle bin of fate) will be a cardboard box, never to be seen by human eyes ever again. It’s an efficient method of card storage, but efficiency often comes at the price of emotional connections. Sometimes, we want to keep cards viewable, even if we are the only ones who ever view them. And for that, we have binders.

Binders can hold a great number of different things. You name it and there’s a pocketed binder page made for it. Comic books, coins, postcards – if it’s flat, it fits in something. Nothing though, aside from a single sheet of paper, fits better than the 9-pocket sports card page. There’s just something about pages of plastic-encased cardboard that just feels right. Some people put every card in pages. Others limit the honor to a select few. In any case, I have just one question: what’s in your binder?

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2016 Mets Card Spring Preview

Unfinished business (scanning last year’s cards…)

Well, it’s that time of year again… Florida is relevant for baseball, prospect lists are coming out left and right, and I’m still digging through a backlog of 2015 cards to scan in the hopes of closing out 2015 before Opening Day (probably not happening…). But the card releases don’t stop, so I have to let you know what to expect in 2016. One thing’s for sure – there’s going to be a lot for Mets fans to chase in 2016.

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