Normally, I'd use Just Commons to buy just...well, commons.
After all, each of the 31 cards I featured on Monday were of the base variety. If the site's name is any indication, that's pretty much the main draw of their massive inventory.
Even so, I couldn't help but check out what kind of parallels the Just Commons people had to offer.
As it turns out, they're no slouches when it comes to those, either. One of my favorite purchases from this most recent order was the Brandon Inge emerald parallel you see above. As I've said time and time again, it's definitely in contention for "Card of the Year" honors.
On top of that, one of the many redeeming qualities of Just Commons is how quickly they seem to have new products up for sale. They had Topps Update available just days after its release.
I'm thinking the people in charge of the site busted a few cases of the stuff, because they had almost anything you could ever want from the set.
Because of that, I couldn't help but go a little parallel crazy.
Okay, so maybe I went big time parallel crazy.
I hand-picked the gold/emerald duos of a few of my favorite cards from the Update checklist. Things like this look beautiful in a nine-pocket page.
With the exception of the Nesheks, each were had for just 45 cents a piece, which is pretty darn fair if you ask me. (The Nesheks were 90 cents a pop, my most expensive buys from this order.)
The only reason I didn't get the gold Kotchman was because they didn't have one in stock at the time.
If my parallel bonanza is any clue, you can have a lot of fun with the latest-and-greatest in this hobby.
Sometimes, though, the real excitement lies in the older cardboard.
If there's one detractor to Just Commons, it's the fact that they don't have a great vintage selection. However, their stock of '80s cards is second-to-none. It more than makes up for the vintage gap.
I surprised even myself by digging through their inventory of '83 Fleer. With its gray borders and fairly boring design, I've never been all that big on the set.
Still, what I began to realize through this most recent order was the fact that the set does have a few bright spots. If you're willing to dig deep enough, that is.
Here's former Ranger John Grubb enjoying a hearty cup of Ranger Aid. It's a quirky shot that proved worthy of a spot in my frankenset.
I couldn't find much about the drink in question, but I did notice that I'm not the first blogger to feature the card in question.
At first sight, the Dempsey doesn't look like anything out of the ordinary.
One thing I like about Just Commons is that they list out the error cards. I saw the hallowed "UER" (uncorrected error) label next to the Dempsey, so I went to find out what all the fuss was about.
Apparently, the former catcher was a right-handed hitter. I guess he pulled a fast one on Fleer by posing as a lefty.
Looks like some photographer could've used Vance Law's mad glass-cleaning skills before taking that shot.
Ah, the fickle nature of early Fleer.
I was inspired to grab the Valentine after another fellow blogger recently pulled it out of a repack. I'm not sure I've ever seen a better card from Fleer's inaugural set. The sheer amount of different colored shirts on the fans in the backdrop continue to amaze me.
The Morris, however, is much more indicative of Fleer's early efforts. That said, this one takes it to an extreme.
Fleer was notorious for using out-of-focus and off-center shots early on, but the chop job they did with Morris is just unbelievable. His face is obscured. The top half of the card is blank. And, most of all, his right arm is completely cut out of the frame.
I don't think I'll ever understand what was going on with Fleer during their early days.
Being the oddball nut I am, I couldn't help but snatch up some of these '81 Fleer Star Stickers.
After all, each of the ones you see above were priced anywhere between ten and fifteen cents. At that rate, I'd be crazy not to buy them.
Fleer represented the lone remaining gap in both my Al Oliver and Terry Forster "sunset" collections.
Thanks to Just Commons, both are now complete.
Buying new cards of these two always seems to put a smile on my face.
I just can't seem to get enough of those famous Kent Tekulve specs.
Surprisingly, I'd only owned one card of Danny Ainge until recently.
Thankfully, this Just Commons order sure changed that. In actuality, these are both "sunset" cards of the multi-sport star.
As you might already know, Ainge retired from baseball in 1981 to pursue a career in basketball. He hit .220 in three seasons with the Blue Jays.
On the other hand, he won two championships during a stellar 14-year career in the NBA. He's currently working in the Celtics front office.
I'd say he made the right choice.
In my last Just Commons order, I mentioned how great of an OPC selection the site had.
I went a little crazy last time around, picking up a few dozen neat Canadian oddballs for my collection. That begs the question.
Would the craziness carry over to this order?
I snapped up a bunch more OPCs during this most recent order. Again, at just a few cents a piece, it's hard to pass these things up.
Still, I think the "Best of the OPC" award has to go to someone I've already mentioned in this post.
OPC was known for slapping little "Traded To" or "Signed By" labels onto their cards.
Like any good business would, they wanted to keep their customers up to date.
However, I'm not sure I've ever seen another piece with this particular label. OPC noted that Ainge had "Voluntarily Retired" from baseball on November 30th, 1981. A few months later, he'd be playing for the Celtics in the NBA.
At 75 cents, this was one of my pricer purchases.
Well worth it, though, if you ask me. You just don't see these types of oddities too often.
All in all, I managed to get a tremendous bang for my buck with this most recent foray into the Just Commons universe. I absolutely loved the balance of mini-collection hits, parallel combos, and OPCs I scored.
Plus, I have it on good record that the contents of another Just Commons order just arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.
Tune in soon to find out what else I managed to dig up from the site's inventory.
I guess I'm just hopelessly in love with the world of commons.