Friday, March 5, 2021

Please stay home, and shop at the Online Dime Box

Lately it seems like I can't go a single day without seeing a picture of yet another packed card show happening somewhere in suburban USA.

I've heard all the justifications. Everyone wore masks! It wasn't that packed! It's been too long! Et cetera, et cetera. I can't put my feelings any plainer: card shows in the pandemic age are NOT a good idea. Every time I see one of those pictures, I facepalm behind my computer screen. To each their own, I suppose, but I have a hard time ignoring stuff like this when the virus is still going strong, and still every bit as scary. And that's saying nothing about the poor ventilation, grimy fingers, and general lack of space that make card shows a veritable Petri dish of bacteria regardless.

I discussed this when card shows were first opening again last summer, but it seems to have gotten worse, not better, since then - and people wonder why this pandemic isn't over yet.

I miss shows every bit as much as you do, but it's not like there aren't other (safer) card options available in this weird dystopian age.

One particularly pleasing card shrine that rose out of the pandemic muck was a small haven called - aka the Online Dime Box - which I've already posted about a few times around here. The name of this blog should tell you why I've given them so much business over the past year or so. All I can say is that the site simulates the real dime box experience better than any virtual source I've ever seen. The incessant scavenging, the inevitable tedium, and, of course, the joyous victories that make it all worth it.

To me, it's easily worth sifting through those lines and lines of '88 Fleer and '89 Donruss to find that one glorious mini-collection hit I need.

Stickers are a passing interest of mine, at most, but I can't pass up Greg Luzinski cards I need for a dime.

If you've read these posts before, you probably already know what we have here - in case you haven't, however, well...

...surprise! They're OPCs!

I haven't counted, but I imagine I've just about doubled the number of OPCs in my collection over the past year thanks to the Online Dime Box.

I've scavenged a good part of the virtual dime box inventory by now, but somehow I'm still finding stuff I need for my big time player collections.

I think every collection operates on an informal hierarchy, with certain projects and interests looming larger than others.

If Kenny Lofton, John Olerud & Co. are top-tier guys for me, then the four dudes here are just below them - it's not as revolutionary when I find new Mo Vaughn card, but they're still a treat to add to my binders nonetheless.

All four of these (coincidentally?) White Sox stars are guys whose cards I've largely ignored up until now - but thankfully I'm starting to come to my senses, because why was I not already collecting Ozzie Guillen?

I have no clue how or why I still needed these four cards, but I did - and thank goodness for search engines, because god knows I'd shuffle right past a stack of '88 Donruss if I saw one in an actual dime box.

There's a fun little underbelly of oddballs at the Online Dime Box, which continue to be a great source of random joy (I'd never seen a '90s Post Canadian card before!).

I was floored to find a small lot of Fan Favorites in their inventory one night, and I pounced on the ones I needed as quickly as humanly possible.

I'm indifferent towards Walt Jocketty, and most front office suits in general, but how often do you see a baseball card of a GM?

I have a feeling many of you would question my mental health if I listed all the insignificant and/or obscure guys I chase cards of, so you'll have to make do with me revealing them in bits and pieces around here.

So yes, please send me your Felix Pie and Dave Weathers cards.

[insert 745th comment on how much I miss Collector's Choice here]

They're not the most exciting parallels in the world, but the Online Dime Box recently added a near-complete set of these 2002 Topps Home Team Advantage singles to their inventory a while back.

So I bought a few dozen near-duplicates from one of my least-favorite Topps designs just because they had a dumb little stamp on them - yup, we collectors are a totally sane bunch.

The Online Dime Box has a small non-sport section, which I thought was of no interest to me...until I noticed these Pro Set Music Cards up for grabs!

I've seen quite a few non-sport tables at card shows over the years, and I admittedly walk right past them 99 percent of the time. They're more of a novelty for me, as opposed to something I want to spend a good chunk of time and money searching through. But if cards of The Doors and Jimi Hendrix can be mine for as little as a couple dimes and a couple clicks, then of course I'm game.

(Also I make no excuses for liking The Clash and The Go-Go's.)

Famous guys in not-so-famous uniforms.

Cards made out of steel, sets called "Topps Fusion," and other general millennium-era madness.

Sometimes I'm just looking for entertainment out of my baseball cards, and these definitely fit the bill.

(Toby Harrah reminds me of an extroverted person, and Andre Thornton reminds me of me when I'm around that extroverted person.)

Horizontal gems, including a refractor of one of my favorite baseball dudes and a cameo from Kirk Gibson's male-pattern baldness.

Every dime box post has a couple scans of cards that didn't really fit anywhere else, which is what we have here - discovering I didn't already have that Rocky Colavito card was a particularly jaw-dropping moment.

My current job is the first one I've had with a desk and a computer, and I do my best not to distract myself with the many of the Internet's easily accessible card frontiers.

I do, however, check the Online Dime Box from time to time at work (don't tell my boss), and it was during one of those mid-workday peeks that I stumbled upon these spectacular Expos-centric oddballs which rival almost anything you'd find in a regular card show dime box.

I wanted these so badly I pulled out my credit card and made the purchase right at my desk because I was paranoid someone else would swoop in and grab 'em by the time I got home from work that day (please please please don't tell my boss). 

I'm still not sure when I'll feel comfortable attending an in-person card show again.

Last year I was saying sometime in 2021. Still, if things continue the way they're going with card shows and restaurants and entire states opening up again in the middle of a pandemic, I'm wondering if 2022 is the more realistic goal (audible shudder). But it's a comparatively small sacrifice I'm willing to make, and more importantly, one I need to make. And there's more than enough card options out there in the virtual world to tide me over until this nightmare is done and finished. Enough to tide all of us over.

So please stay home, because the Online Dime Box awaits you.


Mike said...

Surprising using a Clash pic for a card I've never seen before!

You're doing the right thing,pal but try to be optomistic... we're getting there...

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Great pick ups Nick. As for the card shows, I'd say the left has got you so scared. Only two shows closed the entire last year in JAX. I am heading to one tomorrow. The numbers in FL an OPENED State whereas half of the population or near about are elderly and they attend the shows too (or are sellers). The numbers are right in the middle of the nation. Worst case scenario someone as young as you, 1/2 of 1% chance of getting it at all, and compound that with 1/2 of 1% of the young that do get covid will be serious. Even here in GA (we were only closed 3 weeks total), 100% capacity no distancing or masks in door dining since last MAY 1st. The states that have remained shut down are scaring folks. Hardly any cases monthly here. The science is NOT there. We had 1 big jump in June, but remains low each month. We actually have more cases of Flu than Covid. Masks are required at the Jax, show and I will be wearing one (and I have been fully vaccinated too). But, I got to live, otherwise why? The Fauchi virus (he is the father of it you know... Covid would not exist if not for his work and then paying for the continuation of the work). Don't get me wrong I know covid is a nasty virus, but it can not rule our lives. Be safe, I know you will. I'll keep my eye out for some oddball cards for you tomorrow, and I will quarantine them, before I send them. Promise.

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

I meant that to come across as positive more optimistic, but it doesn't read that way. sorry about that. It is going to be okay.

Mike said...

I think he's made a personal decision..."the left" didnt "scare" him,he's his own man,pal...

Shlabotnik Report said...

I and my nearly 7 months of hair growth are right there with you, bud. I certainly miss going to shows, but I also went through a period of several years where there just weren't any shows nearby for me to attend, so I can assure you that you will get through it.

I'd been holding off on the Online Dime Box, but I'm breaking down. I've got one or two of those McDonalds Expos waiting for my next COMC shipment, but I might've done the same as you if tempted during work hours.

Elliptical Man said...

I can't see Densmore at all in that pic.

You got some cool cards though.

Adam Kaningher said...

Wait, Girardi had a Rockies card in 1993 Score? How did I not know about this?! I've only come across the Bichette in all my travels.

Great cards. It's strange how frequently I've been seeing Toby Harrah's name lately.

Brett Alan said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I'll go to a card show again when I'm fully vaccinated (meaning it's been at least a couple of weeks so that the protection has kicked in). Not before.

I've done one shipment from the online dime box already, but seeing the DeGrominator card and the McDonald's cards (especially the Carter) makes me think I should head there again.

night owl said...

I haven't been to the Online Dime Box in awhile, it seems they've restocked since the last I checked.

Of course I like both The Clash and The Go-Gos. They were each at their height when I was in high school! And played on the same radio station.

bbcardz said...

Nick, I also couldn't agree with you more. And It's not a matter of being "scared". It's a matter of making good decisions. While some may downplay the seriousness of this pandemic, there are a half million deceased who would say this virus did rule their life, especially the last few weeks of their lives. I do not want to join them.

Doc Samson said...

I used to make the rounds all the time at card shows. I would also hit up The National when it came to town, too. But not anymore. It just isn't worth the risk. I also have family members to consider as well.

The only drawback is that my PayPal account has taken a beating with all the super easy online trade card purchases I've made! (laughs)

The Go-Go's will always have a special place in my heart because of their ubiquitous presence in the early MTV years.

P-town Tom said...

I'm with you on the card shows, Nick. I can't imagine flipping through a dime box right now. Card shows are one of my most favorite things about the hobby. Patience. We'll get there.
On a different thought... how awesome is that Fleer Ultra Charlie Hough? I mean, the teal Marlins uniform is cool and all, but how about the placement of that baseball on fire? Hough never through heat like that! LOL

Jay said...

Great sentiments and scans, and yes - please do explain why you’re collecting Felix Pie, and help educate your readers on the proper pronunciation of his last name.

gcrl said...

Those expo cards are glorious. I really like the Mauch. I am in total agreement with you about card shows, too.

GTT said...

I think we both got a Sean Doolittle refractor rookie! Funny they had two.

By the way,I got the Bill Lee from the McDonald's Expos set, and as it was really a whimsical buy for me if you need it I'd be happy to send it to you.

Scribbled Ink said...

Great cards! Gibby sighting on that Kruk card too. I feel you on the card shows. My wife is a doctor and has experienced COVID in Detroit and now New Hampshire. Plus, I have had multiple family members get it. The crap is the real deal and it is not a left/right fight. But, this is 'merica; we get our news from facebook posts and the people who scream the loudest that they are not going to be told what to do are influenced the easiest. Hopefully it ends soon.

Fuji said...

Wait. Should I be embarrassed about liking The Clash and The Go Go's? Both groups made some iconic songs and are a part of my music collection. Had a huge crush on Belinda Carlisle as a kid.. and I think Jane Wiedlin is still a fox.

As for card shows... right now I'm not ready to attend them. The good news is I am getting my second shot in less than three weeks. But even then... I'm not looking forward to the day of me returning to them and having to stand in line waiting to dig through dime boxes. I miss the days of hitting a show and being able to walk up to a table and have free rein.

Jon said...

I have no problem with there being shows, and people going to them. I leave it up to the individual whether they want to attend or not, and don't judge either way. Personally, I haven't been to show in quite some time, not because of the virus though, no, I'm afraid of making the long trip only to find everything priced at "new normal" prices.

Tim said...

Love the online dime box. I’ve got a lot of gems from it this year.

Mr. Random said...

Amen. Keep being your own man, which thankfully means caring about others, even the ones who don't have that kind of empathy.

acrackedbat said...

I've always enjoyed the shows but wash my hands often when there. It always amazes me to see how many attendees are just...well...dirty. I've seen a few pics from local shows here. They've been packed - like nothing I recall experiencing. I lost an older friend to covid this year. One of my best pals lost two of his brothers around the holidays. Shows are out for me, for the foreseeable future. You do your online card shopping and we won't tell your boss. ;)

Big League said...

I have not been allowed to work in my office since March 27, 2020. I just went to a viewing last night for a coworker who died from COVID-19. Card shows are of no interest to me right now.

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