My friend had surgery last Wednesday so I took a half-day and picked her up.
They were running a little behind, so I had an extra hour to kill. As luck would have it, there was a card shop located a few miles away. So I headed over there to pick up some storage boxes. I was very fortunate to hit up the local distributor and stock up on different supplies right before the pandemic hit. In fact, I have enough top loaders and plastic slider boxes to last for years. Sadly they had just started selling cardboard boxes in bulk lots only. At the time... it wasn't too big of a deal, because my LCS always had them at a reasonable price.
But I made the mistake of waiting until I actually needed some to grab some. This is what I discovered...
Now I'm not sure exactly what that price was in 2019... but I know for a fact that I didn't pay $1.75 for a 200ct. box. Holy cow! The bargain hunter in me sobbed when I saw this sign, while the collector who waited until the last minute to buy storage boxes was annoyed.
Some collectors probably would have walked out and figured another way to store their cards. Unfortunately, my OCD requires sets destined for my personal collection to be housed in brand new boxes. So I picked out twenty (a variety of sizes), but avoided the 200 and 300 count boxes. Figured there was no way I could justify spending $1.60 for boxes this small.
Card supply prices are ridiculous, but it's not the card shop's fault. That's why I figured I'd support them and buy some actual cards. The best bargain I could find was this...
It's a 1000ct. TCG box (never heard of these) filled with baseball cards for $9 (with a 10% discount)...
Free time is a luxury I don't really have, so I won't be counting these anytime soon (seems to be slightly longer than a 660ct. box). Instead, I'll spend a few extra minutes to scan ten of my favorites from this mystery box...
#10: 1992 Score #489
Play at the plate with the Kid in a Dodgers uniform sets the tone for about half of this box, because there was a nice stack of Junk Wax Era cards. Not surprised, but not displeased either.
#9: 1990 Donruss #390
Love him or hate him, Belle was a beast. It's not worth anything, but I'll happily add another one of his rookie cards to my collection.
#8: 2018 Topps Home Run Challenge #HRC-KB
I never pulled any of these in time to actually participate in the challenge, but kudos to Topps for inspiring collectors to interact with the game.
#7: 1989 Score #322
Did you really think I wasn't going to include at least one well-cropped action shot to this list? Plus... check out that unibrow on the back. The back is also proof that Score had some of the best card backs in the late 80's.
#5: 1996 Pinnacle Denny's #18
Here's your random baseball card fact of the day. Cecil Fielder launched eleven grand slams during his career and Tony Phillips was on base for seven of them.
#4: 1990 Topps #210
This card was a very pleasant surprise. The guy at the LCS warned me that this box was filled with commons. He wasn't wrong. On the other hand, there were a few hall of famers tossed into the box like this Sandberg, which is the latest addition to my Topps Base Card Run Project.
#3: 1988 Fleer #518
As an A's fan, I should hate this card. Hershiser dominated them in the World Series and took home the MVP Award. I did a quick COMC search for 1988 Orel Hershiser cards and discovered card companies hooked him up that year. But I still think this card is one of the best looking. It's almost like Fleer knew the Dodgers were going to win it all, so they dedicated the set's colors to them.
#2: 2018 Topps #68
If this photograph of Hamilton doesn't do anything for you, then you and I have very different tastes in cards.
#1: 2017 Panini Donruss #190
How much do I enjoy collecting Tony Gwynn cards? Well... I chose this Panini logo-less card as my favorite card in this mystery box.
So there you have a $9 LCS mystery card box. What do you think? Worth the price?
Personally, I was satisfied with the purchase. After sorting the box, I pulled forty-three cards for my collection... which comes down to about 21¢ each. Only a handful of those cards are worth that much, but after you factor in the entertainment value... I don't have any regrets.
Plus there's the storage box...
Due to the tape damage, my OCD prevents me from using this box for sets. But that doesn't mean, I won't use it to transport cards to shows or something.
And don't forget... there were over 500 other cards that I'll offer up to people or take to my classroom for next year's Civil Rights Movement trading card project.
Not going to list every single card, but here are fourteen sets that I have reasonable sized stacks of:
1989 Score, 1990 Donruss, 1992 Score, 1993 Bowman, 2011 Bowman Chrome, 2012 Topps, 2015 Topps, 2016 Finest, 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen, 2018 Topps, 2021 Topps Allen & Ginter, 2021 Topps Archives, 2021 Topps Heritage, 2022 Topps Heritage
If you're building any of these sets, send me an email with your set needs and maybe I can help. As long as you don't mind PWE's, I'll send them your way for free.
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!