The original title of this post was going to be “Well, I guess I can quit my bitching now.”
Most of you blogging types have had at least a modicum of success in unlocking limited edition, super-special, hachi machi die-cuts from the Topps code factory. I had zero luck after series 1. I bought a few blasters and loose packs of series 2 and went through those codes hoping to hit pay dirt along the way, and again wound up empty. In all, I burned through 33 codes without getting a single die-cut card. It was more deflating than a Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon caught on a street light.
Why did I care so much about the die-cuts, you wonder? Well, like most of you, there are people I collect in them thar virtual hills! It is my duty to chase after the Carlos Marmol and Tony Gwynn cards along with their black diamond variation brothers.
I took my experience from what was delivered to me the first time (in terms of quality of vintage, not in terms of getting the right cards), and decided that I would be better off trying to unload my stash in order to get a card I need rather than sell or trade off the parts later (assuming they were good enough quality) and do the same after the fact. It worked out, because with an offer of all my series 1 unlocks, I landed the Carlos Marmol.
This may look like overpaying, but let me tell you, no one was biting on this offer for weeks upon weeks. I shot high, trying for the black versions of Gwynn and Marmol first, but then the same offer for the regular versions took several tries before the fish ate the hook. One down!
The next step is where it gets interesting. I offered a limited number of my series 2 results in exchange for several die-cuts. Mostly “lesser” players that I figured wouldn’t get many offers and a couple better guys. My offer consisted of just 5 cards, led by a 1985 Dale Murphy as the oldest of the bunch. I purposefully designed it that way so it would show that image. The older cards I had left were commons, and I figured I’d stand a chance if I lead with a name. The idea was to flip that for a Gwynn, or possibly a better guy to shoot for the black versions.
Well, it worked as I logged in and saw Aaron Hill in my portfolio. Time to flip. I offered Hill straight up for several players from marketable teams in New York and Boston and Philly. I used Hill’s hobby status to attempt for bigger stars. I think I got the best trade one could hope for when I logged in and saw someone accepted my trade for Carl Yastzemski!
Now, this is how you play the game! But I ask you, how should I play it from here?
I have a couple options.
1) Flip Yaz for Gwynn and figure something else out for the rare black versions later.
2) Play at the Plate still needs some Rangers to complete his set, so I could trade for those, take delivery and work out a trade with a huge supporter of our blog and all around good guy.
3) Further work on a package to get a black parallel. Let’s review the offers that are still on the table to me.
2 die-cuts for the price of one. It’s very tempting. I still have other cards I can try to leverage into more die-cuts and package them together for a big get (hopefully). Beltre is one of PATP’s needs. So I could take that and still try to work something with Hudson.
More of the same here. I would hopefully find a match with the ’67 to get another lower-end die-cut and build up from there.
Vlad is another PATP need. Rickey is another HOF’er, which intrigues me. Man, I wish I could request multiple cards. I think I’d have better luck with Yaz than Rickey as an A. Then there’s Tony, ripe for the picking. The only reason I’m not pulling the trigger immediately on that is I wouldn’t have anything to work with to really try for the black if I choose to attempt that.
Here’s the start of a 16 card offer. Bare with me on this one. Continued below.
One more screenshot
I must say, when I saw Ernie sitting at the end there, it made my heart skip a little. I’m very tempted by this. Not only would it replenish my stock to go after smaller guys (granted, mostly ’74 and newer) and essentially start over, it would give me another popular legend to parlay into something else.
I have my thoughts, but what are yours?