Thursday, April 3, 2008

I LOVE This Set!

Okay, so maybe I'm six years late with this review but I wasn't collecting in 2002 so it's new to me.

Sunday was my birthday and there's a tradition in my family where everyone tries to be the first one to wish "happy birthday" to you when it's your day.

My mom called me at 7:30 Sunday morning. These birthday calls usually happen at around 6am, so I can only assume that my mom thought she'd let me sleep in since it was the weekend.

I had planned on waking up at eight anyway so I could go to the flea market on my way to my parents' house. I didn't have any specific ideas of what I wanted, but I knew that if I could find some relatively newer unopened baseball stuff that wasn't going to cost me an arm and a leg I'd be happy.

There are basically four guys I deal with at this flea market.

The first guy has hundreds of boxes of singles from 1980-present priced at one cent each or $6.50 for an 800 card box. He also has some (mostly) overpriced late 80s and early 90s vending and wax boxes.

The second guy deals mostly with newer stuff. He opens a lot of current-year product and I've gotten a bunch of Heritage singles from him recently as well as a few regular Topps Baseball inserts I was needing.

The third guy I go to has probably the best selection of new and old wax packs in the place. His prices per pack are fair, especially on the new stuff, and his selection of pre-1986 wax packs is second-to-none at this dirt mall.

The fourth guy has a decent selection of older (1987-1995) wax packs and boxes priced pretty fairly, as well as a good selection of newer stuff. He also has the best prices on supplies, so I usually get my top loaders and boxes from him.

After quick stops at the first three, I headed over to the fourth to see what I could get in the way of newer wax boxes. He had a lot of 2008 stuff at the same prices everyone else had 2008 stuff going for, and he also had a wax box of 1989 Donruss that I was seriously considering picking up until I saw a small-ish, mostly black wax box featuring Ken Griffey Jr. and sporting the words "Vintage Baseball." What was this?

I asked the dealer (Brian is his name) what the box was exactly. He said it was 2002 Upper Deck Vintage Baseball and that the cards looked like 1971 Topps.

Now I remembered! I had seen examples of these cards somewhere (not sure where, but they were familiar) and thought they looked pretty neat. Still, I had definitely not seen many (if any at all) in person and I asked if I could see the box close up.

Holding it in my hands, I saw that there were 24 packs of ten cards in the box, pre-priced at $1.99 per pack. I didn't really want to spend a ton of money on Sunday so I had only brought 25 dollars with me. I was sure that this would be something I had to pass up, no matter how cool I thought it looked.

I started trying to figure out how to come back next weekend with more money and I asked how much he wanted for the box.


"I'll take it."

I didn't even have to think about it. Quickly, I pulled the twenty from my pocket and handed it over. Given the pre-pricing I was expecting this box to be sold for twice as much at least. I couldn't believe my birthday luck.

I excitedly drove home to my parents' house and couldn't wait to sit on their couch in the living room opening packs just like when I was a kid.

Well, this box was certainly everything I could have hoped for.

Out of 24 packs, I didn't pull one double.

I got six insert cards :

Sandlot Stars- Derek Jeter
Sandlot Stars- Chipper Jones
Night Gamers- Derek Jeter
Night Gamers- Albert Pujols
A Day At The Park- Mark McGwire
A Day At The Park- Sammy Sosa

I pulled a Canseco (in a White Sox uniform) and a Dante Bichette back-to-back in the same pack and handed them directly to my brother, as those are his favorite two players.

From one box of 240 cards, I have the set 77% completed (232/300).

I love the look of these cards. They really nailed the vintage feel very well.

In short, I am now trying to complete this set that I knew next to nothing about less than a week ago.

I am planning on going back this weekend to see if Brian has any more of these boxes. If not, I'll probably need some help, so here's my current need list, in the style of Jason from The Writer's Journey:

2002 Upper Deck Vintage

Missing: 23% (68 out of 300)

Cards needed: 2, 3, 7, 13, 19, 21, 33, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 46, 50, 57, 62, 63, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 78, 79, 81, 86, 93, 108, 110, 111, 117, 121, 128, 141, 146, 148, 150, 153, 156, 164, 176, 180, 181, 183, 185, 188, 189, 191, 196, 197, 198, 210, 214, 218, 220, 231, 245, 247, 248, 250, 254, 265, 270, 276, 277, 278, 279, 296

Any help would be appreciated. If you have any of the above mentioned cards, let me know and we'll work out some trades.

In closing, here's a few examples of this fantastic set:


thewritersjourney said...

I remember picking up a few packs of those back when they were new. I loved the vintage look, and it was one of the reasons I was collecting around that time. I'll look and see what I've got.

NMboxer said...

Oh, these *are* beautiful cards!