30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Price Was Right

I'm not sure what it is.  Maybe I'm getting older and wiser.  Maybe it's the lack of space.  Or maybe the little voice inside my head is telling me that I should have more to retire on then stacks of cardboard with pictures of people printed on them.

Whatever it is... with each passing day, I see myself getting more and more finicky about what I spend my hard earned money on.

Long gone are the days where I'd buy anything and everything sports card related.  These days it's all about buying certain completed sets I really like, specific vintage cards, on-card autographs of hall of famers and fan favorites, cheap singles for the teams and players I collect, and of course finding those hidden treasures on eBay, COMC, and Sportlots.

However... I try my best to avoid purchasing cards that look like this:

2014 Donruss Signatures #JD

It's logo-less.  Donaldson's hands and legs have been cropped off.  Plus he signed a sheet of stickers and never held this card.  In short... it's the trifecta of cardboard crappiness.

However... the price was right.

A few weeks ago, I was searching Sportlots in an effort to complete my two 2001 Upper Deck Decade baseball sets and stumbled across a seller with cheap memorabilia cards (75¢ to $1.25).  And within his inventory he had the Donaldson for $2.50.

What's that mean?  Well... I guess I'll still buy certain cards I deem hideous... if it's cheap enough and fits into one of my player or team PC's.

The icing on the cake?  After two years, I finally finished both of my 2001 Upper Deck Decade sets:

Unlike the Donaldson... this set is awesome!  One of these days I'll review it along with the insert sets I put together.  In the meantime, feel free to respond to today's question...

In terms of your personal collection...

Do you have an unconditional love for cards?  Or does physical appearance matter?

And if it does...

What are some of your favorite set designs from the past decade or so?

Happy Friday and sayonara!


  1. My unconditional love is conditional. Depends on the set, the player or team, and of course if it catches my eye.

    I think one of favorite sets is the Champ's Hockey. Just great looking base cards, relics, autos, inserts (well technically there were no inserts since every card was numbered into the set). I'm still a big fan of Allen and Ginter, the base cards look great when autographed TTM and I love the oddball stuff that's thrown in.

  2. I will answer your first question by saying that I picked up a bunch of An American Tail: Feivel Goes West cards last weekend. The second question? That's a tough top-of-the-head answer. 2008 Upper Deck and 2008 Stadium Club had great simple designs. As for over the top ones, that Upper Deck Decade collection looks pretty awesome.

  3. 1. Yes, but that's only because I'm putting together all the sets from the 1970s. It's all good :-D

  4. The more I try to reign in the bloat in my collection, the more conditional my love becomes. An example of this is the faux-bacco cards of the past 10 years... A&G, Turkey Red, 206, etc. I never really collected them as sets, but I added them to my team and player collections... but now I look at them and "meh" does not fully convey the indifference I feel towards them. I'm in the process of purging all that do not fit into a particular PC.

    Favorite designs of the past 10 years? Hmmm.... I liked 2006 Topps and Upper Deck... 2009 O-Pee-Chee (as derivative as it was)... 2010 Topps... 2013 Topps... 2015 Topps... I guess that covers it pretty well. I don't know that any of these would make the top 20 favorite sets of all time, but within the parameters you'd defined I would go with these selections

    1. After further reflection, I'd like to add 2013 Pinnacle to my list; it's not a great set by any means, and being unlicensed by MLB means that it starts off "First and 20"... but you did say favorite *designs*. I have 50-60 of these cards, which is far more than I have from any other Panini set, and if it had logos included I may have gone for the set... This despite the fact that it wouldn't normally be "my kind of set", but something about it just struck a chord.

  5. With all due respect Fuji,this Is what I mean about the awesomeness of an autographed baseball card.As a kid I would have gone nuts to pull something like that Josh Donaldson.Today,the autograph isn't as appreciated ,IMO.There are just too many of them floating around,and now we can't have just any auto.It has to be physically touched by the player,on a nice looking card or a 1 of 1.As collectors we've become sooo critical :( Sorry about the digression.lol.To answer your questions-

    1.I have an unconditional love for the act of opening packs of baseball cards.It's exciting regardless of brand or era.For me It's not so much the destination as It Is the journey ;)

    2. 2005/2006 Turkey Red,2007 Topps,2007 Upper Deck Masterpiece,2015 Topps,2015 Donruss

  6. 1. Appearance matters to me because a lot of vintage cards have color or focus problems or
    miscut/off centered

    2. 1980 Topps Baseball,1971 Topps Baseball, 1977 Topps Star Wars

  7. 1. Just by my name, you can tell I'm all about condition. It's gotten so bad that I have given up on completing my 1960's Yankees team sets. Too difficult to find cards that I'm happy with.

    2. Tough question. Nothing really knocked my socks off. I like 2005 Donruss, front and back. Fond of 2004 Leaf backs with the team's home skyline. 1995 Upper Deck with its minimalist design.

  8. cynnicalbuddha - 09/10 UD Champs is a nice call. It's one of the few times where I actually prefer the standard size card over the minis.

    junior junkie - The photography in 2008 Stadium Club is awesome!

    rob's cards - The 70's are a great decade to build sets for. I don't have the patience or the pocketbook to build them, but I've slowly purchased several of my favorites.

    shlabotnik report - Hallelujah! I though I was the only one who loved 2009 O-Pee-Chee. I've been waiting for the 600 card set to pop up on eBay for a while now.

    tony - You're right... 20 years ago, I would have been happy with pulling an autograph of any player... let alone one of the best players on my favorite team last year. The fact is... I've been spoiled and I'm much more responsible with my money than I was 20 years ago. I definitely appreciate a beautiful hard signed autograph... for example the 5 Star autographs or last year's Tek autographs. But I just won't open my wallet for sticker autographs anymore. Will I pull out some spare change for one? Sure. But my dollar bills are for hard signed autographs.

    As for your sets... 2007 UD Masterpieces is one of my all-time faves. So is this year's Topps.

    barry - 1977 Star Wars is the first pack of trading cards I ever opened and the 80T Rickey Henderson is one of my favorite cards of all-time.

    the baseball card snob - nothing wrong with being a condition snob. I'm on the opposite end... I have a damaged card collection ;) nice call on the 1995 set... very simple borderless design