Thursday, January 2, 2014

Returning to the hobby: 2013 A Year in Review

So in early 2013 I decided to get back in collecting baseball cards. This was sparked by me going through my collection during a spell of boredom and coming across the 2009 Topps Delmon Young 1/1 Platinum Parallel that I pulled from a retail pack my mom put in my stocking for Christmas 09. By far the rarest pull I've ever made.

I was interested in what it's trade value might be worth so I did some googling for potential trade partner Twins fans and ran across Topher's blog Crackin Wax. He was not interested but referred me to the Rhubarb Runner over at 'e rayhahn, rayhahn. RR and I struck up a deal and he also suggested that I start my own blog to show off my collection and find other trading partners. And so here we are!

I have quite enjoyed getting back into collecting and discovering how much the hobby has changed since I walked away in the early 2000's. I had never once pulled a relic card from a pack before this year. In fact I had never even seen one in person until I received the trade package from Rhubarb Runner. I know that sounds silly to all of you seasoned collectors, but it's true!! I did pull two auto cards from Best Minors back in the late 90's, both of the same player believe it or not, but that was my only experience with autos. So to say the least 2013 was a whirlwind for me with baseball card collecting. I picked up lots of loose packs, rack packs and some blasters from Wal-mart as well as some hobby boxes here and there as my budget allowed. I also got into buying singles on ebay for the first time. For the relatively small amount of money I had available to spend on cards I think I did pretty well overall. One thing I did discover is that my absolute favorite part of the hobby is ripping packs with no idea what would be inside. Especially with hobby boxes just waiting to find that pack/s that contained the hit/s. So much fun!!

These are my three favorite sets from 2013

Number 3: Bowman Platinum

I've seen that some people did not like this set because of the base set design or the auto checklist. Whatever. I loved it. I beat the odds big time with three big pulls from the handful of rack packs and a couple of blasters that I picked up.

Number 2: Allen & Ginter

Having been largely out of the hobby for over ten years I wasn't very aware of this set. But after seeing all the love it was getting on the blogs I had to have a taste for myself. I picked up some retail packs and a blaster before grabbing a hobby box at a card show. I didn't land any huge hits but it was quite a fun box to break with all the cool, quirky inserts.

And my number 1 favorite set from 2013: Topps Triple Threads

I didn't buy any boxes of TTT. Quite a bit out of my price range. But I sat in awe watching Topher's group break and knew right then and there that I had to get my hands on some of the TTT awesomeness. So I hit up ebay looking for some cheap deals from case breakers that were selling off the booty that wasn't the case hit they were looking for. I placed a lot of bids on great looking cards, particularly the plethora of Braves hits that were available. The bidding tended to go out of my price range on most everything but I did manage to land these two sweet cards.

It would be a dream come true to be able to bust my very own box, or dare I say, a case...of Triple Threads.

And lastly, my biggest pull of the year. 

This card didn't come from a 2013 product but 2007. Just a few weeks ago after I finished my family Christmas shopping I still had some money left over. So I dropped by the LCS and waded through all of the ridiculously overpriced 2013 products and $35 boxes of 1991 Donruss. (No that's not a typo, you read it right.) I was lucky enough to find some mini boxes of 2007 Upper Deck Elements priced at $40. Not knowing anything about this set I felt like $40 for a supposedly higher end product was pretty reasonable. Even if it was overpriced I think it turned into a good buy. This gem was inside the box I picked.

I don't know the actual rarity of this pull since UD doesn't publish print runs. But I suspect it was a pretty rare pull. And with it being a dual auto of two future hall of famers, numbered 15/15 no less, I feel like it would probably fetch a decent price. Who knows. But I don't plan to sell it so I guess it doesn't really matter. 

Well I hope you enjoyed reading. I hope you guys had a great year of collecting like I did and I wish you all the best for 2014!

Happy Collecting!

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