For those that are not aware, this is a series I started recently about my foray into the baseball card collecting world after a long absence. If you want to read about my decision to do this and why, you can look at this link right here. Also, this post is a bit lengthy as it has some primer elements to it. Subsequent updates won’t be nearly as wordy.
Over the last couple of months, I have been updating all of you fine people on all of the baseball cards I have been able to get my hands on. It has been a very busy, but super rewarding adventure getting back into the hobby that I have such affection for dating back to my childhood. This article (and the accompanying video) is going to have a little bit of that, but also a review of a new baseball card product that just came out in 2019 Panini Donruss Baseball as well as announcing a giveaway that I am going to be doing with some sweet cards of players like Ronald Acuna Jr., Kyle Wright, Josh Donaldson, and Greyson Jenista. Spoilers: you will have to be a subscriber to my Youtube channel to be eligible, so make sure to give the video a watch so you can see your potential winnings. Enjoy!
The search for a rainbow
In baseball card collecting, trying to collect a “rainbow” is trying to collect all versions/parallels of a given card. I am just going to go ahead and say that unless I get obscenely lucky, I will not be pursuing a true “rainbow” anytime soon because that includes going after printing plates and versions of cards of which only one exists (superfractors, etc.) and that is....a pricey proposition. For folks with more disposable income, this would mean getting all of the autographed versions of a specific card and ignoring 1/1 cards unless they just happen upon them. Again, a really cool idea to spice up the collecting, but getting the short-printed versions of autographs is, again, pricey and I am not quite there yet (nor have I been lucky enough to randomly pull any of those higher rarity versions of Braves players).
However, another way that is often far less expensive and oftentimes more likely is to get as many of the non-autographed versions of a given card. Other collectors are less likely to try and hold on to these cards as investments (again, this does depend on the player a good bit) and is far less cost prohibitive. However, as I have found out....that does not mean it is easy and it can still be a bit pricier than one would want when Mr. Acuna’s picture is on the card.
Early on, I became fixated on a card from 2018 Topps Update called The Future is Bright (#US43) which has both Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies on it. I really like it as they have two of my favorite players on it and it was readily available for cheap....well, at least the base cards are. Over the last few months, I have picked up the Gold (/2018), Rainbow, Negative, Independence Day (/76), Mother’s Day (/50), and Father’s Day (/50) versions of the card. The search continues for the Vintage Stock (/99) version of it as I have yet to even see a copy for sale and right now the existing Black (/66) and Memorial Day (/25) versions for sale are not selling for prices I have any interest in paying. So if you guys have these cards and want to work out a deal either trade or sale, let me know.
Panini Donruss: Great for budget/new collectors....with a catch
I have been fairly steadfast in avoiding the non-MLB licensed products from Panini mainly because I felt the need to have some limitations on myself. Otherwise, the spectrum of cards that one can collect would have been a bit....overwhelming for yours truly. However, that does not mean that Panini products should be overlooked. For high end collectors, Panini’s National Treasures is one of the biggest releases of the year and it has some really beautiful cards in it.
Another benefit of non-licensed products is that they are generally cheaper than their licensed counterparts while still holding a lot of collectible value and joy. One such product is Donruss Baseball. Donruss was one of the big products when I was a kid starting collecting and while it has since been bought by Panini, it is still really neat. There are a ton of autographs (this particular year has a LOT of Braves autographs just as an FYI) and other parallels, variations, and inserts including Diamond Kings inserts which look almost exactly like the Diamond Kings inserts from the Donruss products from the late 80’s and early 90’s which made me quite happy.
So the product is cheap and has a lot of hits....what is the catch? Well, the first is that team names or logos do not appear on any of the cards which, for some collectors, is a nonstarter and for others, it diminishes the value and appeal. The bigger problem with this year’s product in particular is that a lot of cards are coming out of products damaged. Not like a pack in every couple of boxes either....entire boxes have been seen with a couple of damaged cards per pack (mixed in with undamaged one which does seem to indicate a problem on the manufacturing end). Just as an example, here is a recent break by Hall of Fame Baseball Cards I participated in. You can see the frustration from the breakers who are small business owners that want to provide entertainment and a quality product, but were failed by Panini. I was fortunate that I didn’t experience too many losses on my cards from the break, but others were not as lucky and that is a pretty big bummer.
Lets give away some cards
The response so far to this series has been awesome. In addition to the usual measurables that I have to kind of care about as someone that helps keep the lights on here at TC, I get messages and comments all the time now from others who have recently gotten started collecting again, those who have been collecting for a long time, and even some folks that got back into the hobby as a result of this series. That really makes me happy and exceeded my wildest expectations.
However, I really want to help this series grow and continue to allow me to challenge myself on the video side of things. In that spirit, I am going to be running a giveaway that is going to be centered around my Youtube channel where all of these Re-entering the Hobby videos are posted. Included in the giveaway will be a Ronald Acuna Jr. uniform patch card, some sweet parallels of Acuna, Kyle Wright, Josh Donaldson, and Ozzie Albies as well as a Greyson Jenista Bowman’s 1st autograph. All you have to do is subscribe to the channel and comment on the video and you are in. Once the channel hits 250 subscribers, I will run a drawing and that’s it! I am going to try and run these with some regularity as the channel continues to grow, so make sure you keep tabs on that channel not only for giveaways, but also prospect videos and anything else I come up with.
For the next installment, expect to hear a good bit about 2019 Topps Inception (which is loaded with Braves as well), a fairly substantial update on the state of my collection so far, and my preparations for the release of 2019 Bowman. Thanks again everyone and if you have any topics you want to see covered, let me know in the comments.