Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Armando Benitez, 1996 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion #302

Since I've already posted three 1990s cards in a row, I might as well keep the trend going. This one is a gilded doozy of an insert card, as was the M.O. for Fleer in those days. When I was a fresh-faced youth, inserts were special because you were lucky to pull even one of them out of several packs of cards. They were the best (or at least the hottest) players, and the designs were unlike anything you'd see in another set, or at least in the base set into which they were inserted. An insert was almost certainly going to be much more valuable than a base card, a near-guarantee of dollars rather than cents. Now you can even find one-per-box autographs and relics in dollar bins. Inserts are a bloated mess.

I don't know about you, but I could absolutely do without inserts and I kind of wish that they'd never reared their ugly heads. Occasionally, there's a nifty concept or an eye-catching design that tickles my fancy, but most are just noise. I've started looking down on inserts as a nuisance. As the dwindling number of dedicated set collectors will tell you, every insert that clogs a pack of Topps is one less base card that you're getting for your money. I bought a hobby box of 2010 Series 1 and figured I had a decent shot at completing the 330-card series. 36 packs x 10 cards per pack = 360 cards, right? Ha. Each pack contained multiple ho-hum inserts. Turkey Red? Been there. Toppstown? Who cares? History of the Game AND Tales of the Game? Was it necessary to do both? By the time I put my partially-completed set in binder pages, I was about 60 cards short of completion and was left staring in frustration at a stack of worthless inserts. Bah.

I'm absolutely not buying any more packs of Series 1. I suppose that I'd better put together a want list and start seeking out trades...and maybe next year I'll be smart enough to remind myself that trying to complete sets - at least through pack-and-box-consumerism - is a sucker's game.

No comments: