Boxes of single cards for sale felt like candy at a candy store for me when I was a kid.
The dime box. We spent a lot of time together at 1st-and-10 when I was young. All those raids of single cards to find star players, and especially those I knew were over $1 in book value (as I had pretty much memorized the Beckett pricing system by then).
Fast forward a couple of years later to Home Plate in downtown Sterling. They had a quarter box. Much like trying to find cards worth $1-or-more at 1st and 10, I hoped to find cards that were $2.50-or-more in this quarter box.
The main goal was to find something 90% off because I figured I could turn around and sell that card for a nice profit – without a doubt. (The investor in me)
After both stores closed, another popped up at the Pine Tree Plaza in Sterling. This one didn’t last long, but they also had a quarter box.
Still trying to find cards I know were 90% off book value, I stumbled upon this …
Hole … eee …
This insert card was randomly in packs of 1997 Collectors Choice, which I would buy a lot of at 1st-and-10. The Big Show was 1:1 in each pack, but the World Headquarters Edition was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:50. I already had WH cards of Rey Ordonez and John Smoltz. These cards were booked at, I think, 30x the base card price, making a $0.10 common a $3 card. That made the John Smoltz a $9 card.
Cal Ripken? His base card was $1.50. With this World Headquarters stamp? $45.
This $45 card was thrown in this quarter box with a bunch of other discards. Perhaps the guys who put this box together didn’t see that gold WH stamp.
I didn’t mention a thing, and mixed it in with some other cards I picked out of the box. I paid for my stack and walked away with what I thought was a HUGE steal!
However, such a card isn’t quite flashy enough to be traded among collectors, as all of the rage was this game-used/autograph stuff. Plus, Ripken had recently retired.
This is my greatest “box” find. I still think that in some discarded box of junk-era commons I’m going to find that 1982 Fleer John Littlefield reversed negative.
When I was offered 2 free card grades from a Beckett promotion, I included this card (and a 2002 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects David Wright rookie card).
What’s your greatest “box” find?
Ha. Went to a recent “show” and lots of guys had cheap boxes to dive through. One Ten-For-A-Dollar (maybe it was $0.25) box had Michael Jordan base cards from the 90’s. Yes, i want my Jordans back for less than a buck. Great blog, thanks!