Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Radhames Liz, 2008 Topps #78

Fair warning: Most of the blog posts I'm linking to in this entry feature adult language.
Tonight's card choice represents both a beginning and an end. Radhames Liz had his first taste of the big time last year, and he got a rough welcome from opposing hitters. But he's got great stuff, and he'll get a fresh start tomorrow when he faces the Twins in his first major league game of 2008. Hopefully he will follow in the footsteps of former Norfolk Tides teammates Jim "Bandsaw" Johnson and Garrett Olson and his MLB performance this year will be leaps and bounds better than his previous try.

This card is an end because the recent release of Topps Series 2 is the final straw in my attempts to build current sets. Here's a news flash for Topps, and for Upper Deck while I'm at it. I like baseball cards. I want an affordable piece of cardboard with a picture and words and numbers. I don't want scraps of cloth and shards of wood and strands of hair and autographs from long-dead players and freaking politicians. And I don't want to pay more for packs of cards for a slight chance to get all of those other things. Forget relic and autograph inserts; now you've made it impossible to complete base sets, with your falsely scarce error cards and variations and short printed cards of freaking star players.

I am a fairly conscientious person when it comes to my own expenses. Lately, I've been fretting as my grocery bills slowly climb, to say nothing of the near-sixty dollars now required to fill my gas tank. Guess what, Topps. I have to drive my car, to get to my job and rehearsals and so forth. I have to eat. I want to buy nice gifts for my friends and family as they celebrate birthdays and weddings and other holidays (and probably should, lest word get out that I'm a cheapskate). I don't have to spend $3 or $4 on a damn pack of eight cards because you thought it would be cute to toss in an "ultra-rare" card of Al Gore or a fake Japanese pitching phenom.

I'm done giving Topps my money. I hope they enjoy the soulless big-hit "collectors" that they're counting on to make bucks. I'm going back to eBay to build my Orioles team sets and my vintage collection. That I can do it for less money than building brand-new sets is telling.

Somehow I'll bravely soldier on without paying $85 blankety-blank dollars for a box of cards featuring a guaranteed autograph that turns out to be a 27-year-old rookie on a lousy team who has five major league hits this year.

Shove off, Topps. It's been real.

4 comments:

shanediaz82 said...

You know, I am seeing more and more of these types of posts (I've even written a rant myself), and I wholeheartedly agree. I wish someone from Topps would keep an eye on all these card blogs and realize how much their crappy gimmicks are ruining the hobby for so many collectors.

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...

Kevin,

I am right with you! I love opening packs and every time I walk by some in the store, the allure is tempting. But I just remind myself that I am only interested in Orioles, and I can get the team set online for the price of 1 pack of random cards.

rastronomicals said...

Hey, nice site, I found you from a link on Cardboard Gods.

Let it be said that I haven't bought a pack of cards since 1992, but I'm not so sure that Topps' strategy is so terrible.

It's always been a dicy proposition for a team collector to fill his needs by buying boxes, anyway. And there have always been people--before the internet even--who are in business to service those who are trying to put together team sets.

So if you're a little frustrated, it might be because you're using the wrong method. . . .

As far as Topps, I can see what they're doing. Any collecting endeavor--including baseball cards--is going to be driven by rarity. If what you intend to collect is everywhere, why would you bother?


The reason why your basic 1957 Mickey Mantle is collectible is because a generation of moms created rarity by throwing their kids' collections in the trash.

But ever since that Mattingly rookie card, no-one is throwing baseball cards out.

So since outside forces cannot create the rarity Topps needs its product to have, they create it themselves.

What's wrong with that?

Seems to me if you don't like jersey cards or auto cards or shortprints, don't collect 'em. They still do make base product.

But it also seems to me that the situation of manufactured rarity that exists now is better than the one in the late '80's and early '90's, when there was so much product floating around, it was basically valueless junk.

Again, nice site, I'll be reading you again.

MMayes said...

I understand what rastro is saying. As we look back now, '89 Topps is crap. '90 Topps is meaningless.

That being said, I won't buy packs of any of the premium products. I might get an occasional Heritage or '52 Rookie, but nothing else. I don't give a rip about the "premium" insert cards. I like the sets from the '70's where they had cards of all the players. In the mid-'90's, Topps got away from that, so you have a hard time finding cards of utility infielders, etc. Topps does better about getting them in the sets now.

I get most of my cards by going to the dime box at the local card store. They go through the packs to get the "premium" cards to sell from their showcase and ebay and will let guys like me have the rest for a dime. I prefer that to the crappy way they're marketing things today.