Thursday, December 8, 2011

What do I collect? What are dime boxes? Where am I? How do I get out?

Soon enough, I'll get into more info on the cards I display. However, to start off my blog, I'd like to give a bit of insight into what exactly I collect, and how I collect.

First off...dime boxes. What are they and why do I love them? When I go to a card show, I always see display cases, I always see graded vintage, and I always see shiny rookie autographs, never been touched. And I always fly right past them. What I love is finding those few select dealers who put out the boxes that say "10 cent Baseball" or "Everything in this box--10 cents!" A.K.A, DIME BOXES!! The sheer mystery of a dime box is what draws me to them. Who knows what you'll find? Maybe there's that card in there that you've been looking for for years now. The only things you need to enjoy dime boxes: TIME (I stress this) and persistence. Time. Time. Time. You need time. I recently attended a local card show, located in a fairly large convention hall. Not too many tables usually have dime boxes, but the ones that do usually have a WHOLE BUNCH of cards to sift through. Now, I only purchased cards from about 11 or 12 tables, but I was there for a good five hours. (Hey, I had nowhere else to go that day, so why not?) I spent a good forty-five minutes at a few of those tables, searching through thousands of cards for that "crown jewel" of the dime box. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Finding that one card that you'll never get rid of.

So, what do I collect? What exactly do I look for in these "dime boxes"? To tell you the truth, I'm not even sure. This question still puzzles me, even after five-plus years of collecting.

Well, this is about as clear as I can make it. I do have a group of favorite players that I collect. I'll buy any and all cards of them that I don't already have. There's usually at least a few guys per team binder that I'll collect everything of.

Choosing my Devil Rays/Rays binder at random, an example of one of those guys is Aubrey Huff. Over the years, I've probably found dozens of cards of him in those little things I call "dime boxes". And maybe some "quarter boxes". But I draw the line when the price goes above that!

Pictured are some 2006 Upper Deck base/parallels of Huff. A"action" shot of him. Now, the majority of the 215 cards I have of him are with the Devil Rays. But I also have cards of him on the Orioles and Giants. Wasn't he on another team? Oh yeah, the Astros, for a half year in '06. How many cards could he possibly have on a team he was only with for half a season?

...Which brings me to another of the main focuses of my collection. Guys who were only with a certain team for a short period of time. One year, a half-year, even some No-Year cards (more on those later). Using the Rays binder again, I'll point you to the great Jason Isringhausen.

2009 Upper Deck OPC Black Border #482. Not exactly the most flattering picture. I'll bet you didn't even know he played for the Rays. He pitched in a whopping nine games for them in '09. Now I do have cards of Isringhausen on the Cardinals and Mets (he's "in the binder", as I say), but I'm not huge on getting cards of him in a Cards uni. Although I do collect cards of his on the Mets for reasons I'm not sure of (more on that topic later as well), I really enjoy this Rays card of him because of the short amount of time he was with them. Few things beat finding a card like this in a dime box. I happened to pick this up in a "dime box" at a flea market a year or so ago. (Yes, I'm trying to set a record for saying "dime box" in one post.)

Was that clear enough? I can't blame you if it wasn't, I'm still a little fuzzy on it myself. Those are just a couple of the focal points of my collecting ways, I'll try to cover some of the others later.

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