Those of you who know me well enough know of my past problems with drugs and alcohol. Those of you who don't know me that well; just be glad we know each other now. It will be 10 years this upcoming August since my last major bout with that nonsense. Now a new kind of nonsense is rearing it's ugly, yet tempting head. The hobby card. Oh yea...the gold ole' hobby card.
The average pack of hobby cards will cost me $2.99. Some 25 years ago, those cards were roughly $.35 per pack. And I was guaranteed a stick of gum. Things are much different today. The market is not what it once was, and Topps pretty much has the monopoly on the industry. Since people are not buying cards like they once were, manufactures like Upper Deck having been luring suckers like me with the obligatory "insert" card. This obligation is limited to 1 insert per 6 packs or so. A common term among card jocks are "hot packs." Take for example my most recent favorite Topps production: The American Heritage lot. The base set consists of 150 cards and has several subsets. Inserts include historic chrome parallels, the standard refractors, presidential inserts, presidential patches, celebrity autos and the CREAM OF THE LOT...the presidential auto!
I was at a recent show where a kid no older than the socks on my feet, pulled a Theodore Roosevelt cut auto. Numbered 1 of 1...of course. I counted four different people that were pulling cash from their pockets trying to connive this 'pizza face' into forking over the autograph. I simply felt like knocking him out and sprinting out the show. Forget paying the guy. Sometimes I still think like a drug addict. Sorry.
There was something very special to me about that T.R auto. I have read a couple Roosevelt biographies and looking at that autograph somehow made all of what I read come alive. If only for a minute. I really enjoyed it. But what really made it great was knowing that anybody has a chance of getting such a relic; if only they drop a cool $2.99 first. So I will be spending $2.99 a couple times a week in the hopes I score a "hot pack." BTW, I've been doing a little homework on how to identify those "hot packs." I won't go into detail on my blog, however I will let you know when I score a "hit." In the meantime, I'm in the middle of a bidding war on some "hot packs" as I write this. I will update the blog on "hits" and also post videos of any pulls.