Category Archives: Collecting

2017 Biggest Pulls: 1-5

Best year ever? You be the Judge.

It took all week, but we’ve finally gotten to the best of the bunch.  In 2016, I struggled to come up with five cards to showcase.  In 2017, we had 45 cards to get through before the top 5.  You can’t predict baseball… cards?  Here we go…

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2017 Biggest Pulls: 6-12

So many big hits, but we’re far from finished

38 cards in, you might be feeling some fatigue. But these last 12 are worth the wait. In a normal year, any one of them could be a legitimate best card of the year. But in 2017, 11 of them fell short. If you’ve ever followed a big case breaker, you would know that hits like this typically fall much less than one per case. Prior to 2017, I had pulled a total of 15 cards that would fit in this range. And while only one of 2017’s hits would (barely) crack my top 5, the sheer quantity of this level of quality is unprecedented in my decades of collecting. And that has me worried.

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2017 Biggest Pulls: 13-20

Fading favorites and a star on the rise

Not long ago, I commented on the contrast between my fortunes in 2017 and 2016 on Twitter.

And, with the best card I pulled in 2016 selling for just $30, this is indeed the case. It took one last big score from a case break to do it, but I pulled 20 cards in 2017 that topped my best from 2016. And now you get to read about each and every one of them! Settle in, this might take a while…

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2017 Biggest Pulls: 21-32

Most of the Mets

Now we get to the fun stuff. The $20-30 range is where you’ll find your expectation-level hits. As in, this is usually the best you can expect to get from a box. Now, when you’re spending $60-100 per box, you’re sure hoping for something at least this good to be in there. But all too often you’ll get a 99 cent “hit” and a base card will be the prize of the box. Enjoy it when these fall regularly, even though they won’t make back half of the price of the box.

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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.

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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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