For a while, I couldn't get enough of Listia.
Thanks to its credits-based means of currency and the fact that most sellers didn't charge for shipping, almost everything I'd buy on there was basically free.
And, I ask you, is there anything better than free cards?
I've filled several posts with my Listia finds in the past on this blog. As have many other fellow bloggers who used it during the site's heyday.
But, as quickly as it came, the magic of Lisita seems to be gone. The gems are few and far between, and it's often not worth digging through all the hopelessly overpriced 1988 Topps and 1990 Donruss rubble.
Over the last month or two, I simply stopped frequenting the site altogether. Then, however, I remembered that I'd still had a little over 2,000 credits stored away. So, as a last hurrah, I figured I'd see what I could find.
For just 51 credits, I was able to land the Brad Ausmus card you see above. A yawn for some, but a major victory for me.
I tracked down the serial-numbered gold version of that same issue a few years ago. Yet, somehow, I never managed to find the base card. Until that Listia auction came along, anyways.
Now, they'll both reside happily ever after next to each other in my Astros binder.
My quest to complete Flagship's "World Baseball Classic" insert series got one step shorter with this pickup.
Surprisingly, Mr. Mauer here only set me back 154 credits.
These beauties came from a pair of different auctions.
The magnificent "At the Wall" piece on the left came as part of a four-card Andruw Jones lot. It cost 303 credits, but the only one I wanted was the one you see above.
Thanks to a past "blogger box", the base version of that card was already one of the centerpieces of my Braves binder. Still, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to own its Gold Medallion parallel.
Much like the aforementioned Ausmus, the pair will look fantastic next to each other in a nine-pocket page.
I usually like old-style throwback sets, but I tend to think the Play Ball brand was a massive failure on the part of Upper Deck.
Then again, for just 100 credits, I had to have that Rizzuto.
You just don't see too many cards of "Scooter" nowadays.
The next few cards you'll see were part of one of my better Listia buys ever, I think.
For around 200 credits a piece, I was able to snag two separate ten-card batches from 1998 Stadium Club.
Much like all other sets in Stadium Club's history, it features a great deal of outstanding photography. Yet, like a lot of late '90s releases, they can often prove to be tough finds.
That's what made this particular pickup such a great find.
I can't remember the last time I found a new Brewer card of current Cards manager Mike Matheny to my collection. (He started his career with Milwaukee in the mid '90s.)
The fact that this one happens to feature a spectacular "play at the plate" shot is icing on the cake.
Here, we have a couple other new player collection additions, courtesy of Stadium Club.
Yes, I do actually collect Mark Bellhorn. I'm probably the last person in the world, I know.
Since he spent just eight games with them as a rookie in 1998, any card of Preston Wilson as a Met is welcome in my collection.
He's one of the better "Short Term Stops" nominees out there.
Todd Greene isn't one of my binder guys.
Nevertheless, this was probably my favorite card from the first of the two Stadium Club lots I acquired.
Between the baseballs scattered amongst the cage, the curious onlookers stationed behind the chain link fence, and the wire mesh in the foreground, you can easily get lost in this awesome shot.
Such beauty has rarely been seen in the world of cardboard.
This was most likely the best card from the second lot I landed.
I now have about four or five different "autograph" shots of former Met closer John Franco in my binders. The guy seemed to be a prolific autograph signer.
Autographs and all, this is far and away my new favorite John Franco card.
If I had to choose, I'd say this was the best buy of my recent Listia grabs.
For 404 credits, I scored an unopened pack of 1993 Stadium Club Series 3 cards. And, as it happens, it came from the same seller from whom I bought the couple '98 Stadium Club lots.
My dad recently found a pack of Series 1 cardboard from '93 Stadium Club. Since that was so much of a blast, I figured this pickup was a no-brainer.
I couldn't wait to see what was inside.
While I didn't necessarily find any jaw-dropping photography efforts, this pack certainly had its fair share of star power.
Dante Bichette and Ellis Burks were coming into their own by the time the '93 season rolled around.
While pictured during his lone season with the White Sox there, Burks would later have his best years with the Rockies in the mid '90s.
Both he and Bichette seemed to enjoy rocketing balls into that thin Coors Field air.
However, my best pull was this early specimen of the surefire future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones.
In 1993, though, he was merely another highly-touted prospect. In fact, he received his first taste of the big leagues that year. In a late-season call-up, Chipper would play his first eight games in "The Show" in '93.
I absolutely love finding early cards of the game's greats, which is exactly what we have here.
As it stands, I'm down to about my last hundred credits on Listia these days. I don't really see a future on the site past that.
There are still some gems, yes. I just don't always have the time to dig for them all.
Still, I'll always be thankful for the terrific cards I've added to my collection thanks to that site. That's for sure.
These cards are a terrific final chapter in the chronicles of Listia.