Looking out for numbered ones

13 06 2008

I was telling some friends tonight about how I used to be a fanatic baseball card collector. My brother and I would go up to the same card store all the time and buy cards (I always loved Fleer best) and Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers, then rush back home to methodically open our packs. It never seemed weird to me that John bankrolled most of these trips, although I began to help with the funds as my paper route career began to take off.

Anyway, we always hoped to find “inserts” within the packs — these were special cards that were part of some series of usually only a dozen or so star players. The cards had cool designs and were often holographic or die-cut.

However, the most sought-after cards were the ones with their own serial numbers. I still remember my Frank Thomas insert that was one of only 500 like it in the world. I was ecstatic to pull it, and even got some decent money out of it later on when John decided to sell high (an incredibly wise and gutsy move at the time) and got something like $80 for that particular card. (I think I later used that money, along with some other funds, to buy my paintball gun setup — good times)

Nowadays, however, numbered cards only hold significance if they are one of, like, five of their kind. The baseball card market was running on a lot of inflation in the 90s apparently, and it has been crashing in the last ten years or so. I think John and I finally decided our card-buying days were mostly over when a pack of Fleer hit $5. That’s just insane.

Of course, this was all fueled by the fact that my dad had collected baseball cards right around the time of their inception. He would routinely browse through our Beckett card value guide and point out old cards with way too many numbers left of the decimal point under the “value” category. We suspect that Grandma threw them out in some random box without realizing it, as a couple of separate forays into the depths of her house have yielded nothing to speak of aside from cobwebs and old portraits.

I’m still susceptible to buying a random pack of cards now and then, however. Old habits die hard.

Especially when they’re selling Fleer in the grocery store check out lines for $4.50.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: