Friday, November 8, 2019
Lost in the COMC funhouse
Logging onto COMC can often feel like entering a funhouse at a carnival.
Sure, you can start with the hopes of looking for specific things, but I almost guarantee that once you've been in there a while, among all the mirrors and links bringing you to this search and that, you'll have no idea where you started, or where in the heck you're going. I know this all too well: I received my latest COMC order a couple weeks ago and had trouble coming up with an explanation as to how I discovered a lot of the cards I did. What rabbit hole, for instance, led to me throwing a '56 Topps Vic Wertz into my cart?
I have no freakin' clue...but I'm sure glad for whatever rabbit hole it was since this beauty (paper loss and all!) cost all of about 70 cents.
At some point I discovered I somehow didn't already own these two surprisingly affordable '50s stars.
Often COMC is great at showing me stuff I didn't even know I needed: oh the years I've wasted not owning a Post Post!
I sometimes even buy stuff I have no knowledge of: that oversized Smoky Joe Wood comes from an oddball set called "Big League Collectibles," which is the first I'm hearing about it.
On the other hand, I know all too well the greatness of other oddballs like TCMA, Kellogg's, and alternate-universe '77 OPCs!
In case it hasn't become obvious yet, I often see vintage oddballs in the COMC funhouse mirror.
Magnificent oddities of Hammerin' Hank and Johnny Evers receiving a cool old-timey car!
Legend liquorfractors, obviously.
I've said this many times before, but my most consistent use of COMC lately has been acquiring online-only cards I have little interest in buying directly from Topps wholesale.
None of these cost more than 75 cents, and I continue to be enthralled by those full-bleed '78s.
Throwback Thursday is another Topps promotion made affordable via COMC.
I check the site almost daily for these -- every once in a while I stumble upon a jewel a dealer decided to heavily mark down for whatever reason -- and it's good to know my persistence is rewarded with excellent rehashings of old A-Team or TV Westerns designs (among others!).
Topps Now cards retail at $10 a pop...
...so I don't know what it says about the hobby (or the general interest in these) that I was able to get a good handful of 'em for about a buck per on COMC.
Like the aforementioned Post Post, I never knew I needed a Rally Goose card until now.
I also snagged a handful of what I'm pretty sure was the first online-only Topps promotion: eTopps!
I rarely get a chance to buy these, and this order basically doubled my eTopps collection in the snap of a finger.
I didn't go to this year's National, but I did buy a bunch of past National VIP Exclusives for loose change, which makes me feel better.
Why am I buying base cards from sets like Donruss and Team Heroes, you ask?
Because these are actually also old National exclusives...numbered to just five copies a piece!
Daryle Ward and Pablo Ozuna rank highly on the Obscure Guys I Collect list, and thanks to some weird pricing quirk, these scarce parallels cost just 79 cents each, which is less than the regular base versions of said cards are listed for on COMC(?).
Bunch of funhouse randoms here: including ornaments, bubble refractors, and a card from something called the Topps Montgomery Club which from what I can gather is basically a paid membership program for people with much more money than me.
I love photo variations...
...when I can afford them!
I have no interest in hoarding Starting Lineup figurines, but I'll sure take the cards.
I'm still astounded that BBM cards can sometimes come so cheap considering they have to travel across an ocean to get here.
More oddballs from every corner of the funhouse, like a Mother's Cookies Shooter and a Burger King Cardenal.
Despite the tendency to get lost amid the oddballs and general insanity, this latest COMC order did manage to harpoon two white whales I've been chasing for quite some time.
First came this 1989 Kahn's Kent Tekulve, long desired by yours truly since, aside from being kinda scarce in general, it's the only other card I know of outside of his '89 Traded single to feature Teke as a Red(!).
Holy cow have I been chasing this card for a long time: I remember it being on my Most Wanted list when I first started my Most Wanted list in the first couple years of this blog's history before I gave up looking and deciding I'd never get to own it.
I mentioned alternate-universe '77 OPCs earlier, and this is pretty much the ultimate one for me: this doesn't just feature a completely different photo and team than John Lowenstein's standard '77 Topps card...it features him wearing the uniform of a team he never even played for! In other words: A ZERO-YEAR CARD!
Traded by the Indians to the Blue Jays in late 1976 for Rico Carty (coincidentally, the man featured on the other alternate-universe '77 OPC in this post!), Lowenstein lasted all of about three months in Toronto before being dealt back to the Indians just prior to the '77 season, never having played a single game for the expansion franchise. But somehow during that brief non-tenure he slipped into the hearts of Canada and into the '77 OPC checklist. And thus a white whale was born, one that's sure comforting to finally take down.
Thus ends my latest trip to the COMC carnival, but of course, knowing me, it won't be long before I go running back to the starting arrow, entering the funhouse all over again.