30 May 2014

Raz' Ravings 5: Compounding on Poor Decisions

I have been somewhat eagerly awaiting the release of 2014 Topps Archives since it was announced, because I really enjoyed the 2012 and 2013 sets, even going so far as to put together the entire Gold parallel set from 2013 together. So I spent some time browsing the various online card sites the week before it released and saw that Dave & Adam's Card World was no longer offering pre-orders, and neither was Blowout Cards.

Instead of doing the obvious thing and waiting until release day, I panicked and spent the money I would have spent on a couple boxes of 2014 Archives on a bunch of cheap boxes from the Dave & Adam's Memorial Day sale. Upon hitting the 'submit order' button I immediately felt a twinge of regret, but I hoped that I would at least pull some decent cards from my boxes. I certainly did not, and due to my financial situation I knew that I would be hard-pressed to justify an Archives purchase anytime in the near future.

I could have resolved to take it all in stride and learn from my mistake, but I did not. I descended into the pit of self-pity and mourning, and browsed eBay for something that would ease my pain. I bid on an autograph card that was quite expensive, but that I knew would not fall to me. It fell to me and I had to pay for it. I will probably highlight it on this blog after it arrives, but for now it is only important that it was expensive and I should very much not have spent the money on it.

Then my hard drive crashed. Yuck! No matter if I replaced the hard drive or the whole computer, I would have been much better off had I not just spent a few hundred dollars on those cards. And the decision I had made to forego the boxes of Archives that I had really wanted just seemed that much worse.

I was able to recover enough money to pay for the autograph from a peer-lending investment account I dabble in as a hobby, and that made me feel a little better, but I really wanted some Archives. The prices on eBay and the online card shops were steadily rising and I continued to feel bad for myself. No matter the addiction, whether it is chemical or cardboard, depression is not a good thing to mix in with it. The local card shop posted to Facebook that they had 4 boxes in stock a couple of days ago, and today when I asked them if there was any left they responded that there were 3 remaining. I determined that I would stop there after work to see what the price was. If it was below the online prices, I would pull the trigger. If not, I would grab some top loaders or something and be on my way. Generally the guy prices his wax well above market value, so I fully expected to leave disappointed.

I went in to the shop, looked around a bit, petted the shop's dog for a while (he would bark at me every time I stopped petting him, so I had to keep going), and saw that he still had the three boxes left, and they were at a lower price than the online guys. I actually looked at his little pricing sign a couple of times to make sure. I went crazy on the inside, and told him I wanted some Archives. He asked me if I wanted the front, middle, or back box. I said, "I'll take the two in the back." While he rung up my purchase he mentioned that he had watched a guy bust a box earlier today and the guy had pulled a Jose Abreu short-print. I really hoped that an Abreu short-print would not be my box break highlight.

I decided that I would just open one stack of six packs from the first box. I have to admit that the card designs from this year aren't my favorite, and I miss the short-printed cards being reprints from a large variety of sets like they were in 2012 and 2013. But as I flipped through the third pack in the stack, this card showed up:

I had to look at it really hard to make sure that I wasn't having some fever dream. Then I had to be very careful not to accidentally crush it in my hand or ding it on some part of the car as I got out to go into the shop again and show it off. I was actually visibly shaking for about ten minutes after I pulled the card. The owner likes to take scans of big pulls and post them on his Facebook page, and I thought this might qualify.

He put it in a top loader for me and I went back out to my car to drive home. I thought I was beyond crazy emotional reactions to big pulls, but I obviously am not. With the way I have been feeling about cards and life in general lately, I really needed something good to happen to me. I don't know that I believe in destiny or anything like that. I just got a lucky break at a coincidentally fortunate time, but as I sat there getting ready to leave I thanked the stars that I had decided not to buy from the online guys and followed the impulse to check out the local shop. I also used my phone to see how much these things were selling for on eBay. I should get just about enough money from it to erase my bad card decisions of the past couple of weeks and get a new start from where I was. And that is plenty good enough for me. I don't have much interest in Charlie Sheen or his autograph, but it seems there are some folks out there who do. My copy has been up on eBay for about an hour now and already has over 40 bids and a price approaching $400. We'll see where it ends up a week from now.

I started this post a couple of days ago and it carried a much darker tone than it does in current form, because I hadn't yet had today's bout of good luck. Sitting here and thinking about it all, I can only be reminded of this scene from a popular film:


  1. Great pull, and what good timing! Here's to hoping the bids continue to climb!

  2. Things are looking up!

    Thanks for the cards you sent. I've got some heading back your way.