Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Last week, I purchased a couple boxes of 2017 Topps Heritage. I love Heritage and plan on building the set, but these boxes were really good to me. So good, in fact, I decided to buy a couple more boxes with the money I made on eBay selling the hits from my previous two boxes. 

I was hoping that I would pull an auto this time around, especially an Andrew Benintendi player sample auto (it seems that a few of the "Player Sample" cards that are given to the player to distribute to family and friends worked their way into the pack-out machine - I have theories about this, but that's for another post). Here is an example that I pulled from eBay:


You can see the words "Player Sample" where "Topps Certified Issue" should appear. The same thing happened in 2014 with Ernie Banks Heritage autos:


I've wanted one of those since I first saw them, but have yet to find one when I had the money. Anyway, this conversation is pointless, because the odds of me actually pulling a specific card are slim to none. I'm no statistician (ahem, P-Town Tom), but I believe those odds to be accurate. 

So I walked into my LCS. The owner knew I was coming and had set aside a box for me. When he handed it to me, I noticed that he had one on the shelf. In the past, I've had some pretty crappy boxes that he has selected for me (no fault of his, of course), so I immediately had some doubts. I asked him if I could have the one on the shelf, and after a good chuckle, he handed it to me. 

I pulled up a chair and ripped the cellophane off the box. Underneath the box lid was a box topper, a three-card ad panel. No big deal, so I ripped the first pack on the right. In it was this guy:


A '68 mint insert featuring Miggy Cabrera!


These are certainly gimmicky cards, as they are rare (notice the serial number 06/15), but they don't feature a true relic or an autograph. It's still a cool card, especially when I saw that a few have already sold in the $80-$90 range! I'm not in this hobby to make money, but when I can pay for my box with one card that doesn't fit my collection, I'm all over it!


I continued ripping packs until I stumbled across my hit:


Clearly not an auto. However, it is at least numbered and Cespedes isn't exactly a slouch. I'm sure that someone will eventually have interest in it.

I returned to opening the other packs and had determined that was all the box had to offer, not that I was complaining! The Cabrera card is definitely cool and made up for the box! But then, in the next to last pack, I found this:


The Mike Trout action photo variation! Awesome! Of all the photo variations, I think I have pulled the best two (Kris Bryant last week, Trout this week). That made for one heckuva box!

I sat and chatted with the owner and his employee for about 15 minutes, but all I could think about was the final box. It haunted me. I was certain that if I didn't buy it, it would have the biggest pull of my life - but in someone else's hands. Finally, I broke down and bought it.

I'm opening packs and finding nothing. Fortunately, I noticed this guy:


Another action variation, another superstar. I don't think I am biased when I say this, but I think I pulled the three most desirable photo variations in the set! Crazy!

I'm getting down to my last few packs and I haven't found anything else. The thought that I just purchased a box that failed to have the promised hit began to enter my mind. Then I rip a pack and notice a fat card. I instantly think to myself, "I've pulled another '68 mint!" I slowly remove the cards in front of it until I reveal the card. In a near shout, I let out two words:

"Holy f*ck!"

Now, I used to cuss like a sailor, but I have made an active effort to cut back recently. In fact, it has been quite some time since I've used that four-letter word. So what prompted it, you ask?

Well...


By far, the biggest card I have ever pulled!


The relic isn't anything special - just a plain grey swatch - but the auto is on-card AND it's numbered to only 25! Oh, and did I mention that it is Mike freaking Trout? I've never pulled anything close to this!!!!

I was shaking uncontrollably. Fortunately, I had a bro date with my best friend to go see my number six-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders baseball team take on the number four-ranked Arizona Wildcats. I put the card in a one-touch magnetic holder and packed it away carefully and went to the game. Tech DESTROYED the Wildcats 13-1, by the way. However, I now sit in front of my computer sharing the story of my greatest pull with you. 

I stare at the card now and mumble, "my precious...", as I try to determine what to do with it. I've always wanted a Trout auto. With what these cards have been going for, I can sell it, buy a Trout auto and still have a good chunk of change left. The flip side is that the card I will get wasn't pulled by me. I won't have the same emotional connection with it. But come on...that's good money for a piece of cardboard

What a wonderful twist to find myself in.

15 comments:

  1. Tough choice, but congrats nonetheless. Nice call on the second box!

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  2. Congrats! I've now seen two of those Heritage Trout autos online, numbers 3 and 15. Good to see collectors land them instead of some box breaker.

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  3. Wow- what a great run you're on! Tough decision, but you probably can't go wrong, either way.

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  4. daaaaaamn dude! major congrats!

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  5. What a pull. I'd instantly sell if it wasn't for that fact that it's an on-card auto... that makes it a tough choice.

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  6. Wow, nice boxes!
    Yeah, I'm not technically a statistician, but I do have a math degree and I like to crunch numbers. So, I do feel somewhat qualified to say this: I will agree with your early assessment, the odds are NOT in your favor to pull one of those player sample autos. (But a Trout auto /25 is a nice consolation!)

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  7. Holy f*ck is right! That's a fantastic Trout! You sure did get the three best players in the photo variations..and if that Miggy coin card sells for $80-90 then I might have to sell my Nolan Ryan nickel from 2015 Topps.

    Congrats on an awesome break! (Does this mean you trust the LCS owner's box picks now?)

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  8. Man, that's awesome! I couldn't imagine snagging a card like that. Keep the hot hand going!

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  9. Whoa - how bad was the rest of the case? Or how good was it? Two amazing boxes.

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  10. very cool man, this is inspiring me to start buying boxes, as I am just getting back into card collecting after many years away, teaching my 6 yr old son the basics. We are currently selling off my old collection on eBay to get money to buy new packs for him!

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  11. Great hit. Congrats on the pull.

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  12. Whoa... Time to go buy a lottery ticket!

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  13. Either way you win, man. Great pull! I think the nickel card selling for that much is crazy. Let some sucker buy it.

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