Friday, November 13, 2020

Another lockdown, another trip to the Online Dime Box

Word on the street is Chicago's heading for another lockdown, effective starting Monday.

I can't say I'm surprised by this -- last I checked, Illinois is right near the top (or bottom?) of the list as far as new COVID cases go. It's felt inevitable for a long time, and I guess the inevitable's here. Funny how that happens when massive amounts of people pretend a pandemic isn't happening. I'm feeling an awful amount of deja vu right about now, but for better or worse I suppose I'm better off for this second shutdown than I was for the first one.

I don't know exactly what the process is gonna be with my warehouse job, but I'm thankful my workplace doesn't deal directly with the general public -- unlike the bookstore I was working at when the last shutdown hit -- and thus not as prone to a complete blackout. I doubt I'll be seeing much family for the holidays, though, which is gonna suck. Safe to say yours truly is already bundling up and preparing for a COVID winter. But in the end I think I've got enough books and baseball cards to tide me over for a while.

And with the impending lockdown and everything, it really was perfect timing that my latest order from the Online Dime Box showed up earlier this week, a massive order of almost 600 cards(!) that even arrived in a super-cool box to boot.

Of course, I'm miffed that I haven't gotten to attend card shows for the majority of the year, and thus have lost the lifeblood of this blog -- dime boxes!

But that painful gap has made the emergence of the Online Dime Box so much more of a godsend. Real dime boxes are always preferred, but this virtual one that's come into my life this year is the next best thing, and it simulates everything you'd want in a true dime box.

With the amount of random and just plain cool baseball cards I'll be showing tonight, I think you'll agree with me that this could've substituted for any other dime box post I've written in the history of the blog.

Better yet, the people at the Online Dime Box recently introduced a layaway program a la COMC where you can build up a cart of purchased cards for a period of time and have them all shipped to you at once.

Hence, the reason I had almost 600 cards show up my doorstep -- this was an accumulation of several different orders, and having them all show up together had all the fun and decadence of a real dime box dig.

I've missed being able to knock out current-year base cards on the cheap at card shows, especially given the tumbleweed-filled retail card shelves I've been looking at for most of 2020.

But while they're not super plentiful, you can find a few latest-and-greatest singles hidden in the Online Dime Box -- in a weird way I was glad to find a few Prizm singles over there since it's not like I'm ever buying a pack of that stuff.

At first I kinda lamented the layout of the dime box website, but given the 600 cards I received this time around I guess you could say I've gotten the hang of it.

I still don't have a whole lot of specific tips for navigating the place -- I will say that, much like a regular dime box, it takes a bit of weeding through not-so-great stuff to find the real treasures beneath. I think there's something like 5,000 pages of baseball cards listed over there, which can obviously be daunting. One thing I've tried doing is simply jumping to a random one of those 5,000 pages and seeing what pops up, because more often than not, something I see triggers a thought, which turns into a search, which turns into a rabbit hole, which turns into another rabbit hole...and so on.

That's how I ended up finding a lot of what you'll see in this post, because god knows these four cards don't have a single thing in common besides the fact that I deemed them well worth a dime.

Your more standard dime box thrills were certainly still present, like these precious new hits for some of my biggest player collections.

There aren't a ton of photos of the cards available on the Online Dime Box, so I often have COMC and/or TCDB open while I'm searching to cross-check for any potential mini-collection hits.

It's a bit more work than your standard dime box experience, but if this page is any indication, I'd say it was worth it.

Dime box shiny loses none of its luster in the virtual world.

Like any good dime box, there was plenty of oddball fun to be had.

I feel young saying this, but I had to ask my mom what Woolworths was as I was scanning these cards.

All I really knew about them was that they were some kind of storefront that made cool oddballs in the late '80s/early '90s that I owned shockingly few of before placing this order.

Proving the '90s was quite the era for loud baseball cards.

This time on Things I Shouldn't Be Finding in Dime Boxes -- rookie cards of Hall of Famers!

HOFers or not, it still feels strange that I'm able to find pre-fame and/or rookie cards of fairly well-known names in dime boxes -- not that I'm complaining or anything.

Do me a favor and don't tell anyone I somehow still needed cards from these painfully overproduced sets, okay?

One of the benefits of virtual dime boxing is being able to search for specific things I might want.

Among the many rabbit holes I fell into this time around was '89 Upper Deck, and the discovery of how much stuff I still needed from this set -- specifically, how did I not have that Ron Guidry sunset card?!

In a weird way, it's more exciting to add cards to my obscure player collections than the ones of established dudes like Jim Abbott or Mark Grace, because it's not like Todd Pratts I need are pouring out of dime boxes.

Me: You know, I've never been a huge fan of baseball card stickers.

Also me: [buys all the baseball card stickers]

I was over the moon to find a huge stash of these Donruss Baseball's Best singles for a dime, mostly since they're fun alternate-universe versions of dull designs we've seen a million times before.

(I also -- dare I say -- like 1990 Donruss with blue borders.)

If you've been paying attention to my past Online Dime Box posts, you probably already know what these are...


Building my French baseball vocabulary one word at a time.

At some point during one of my nightly strolls through the Online Dime Box, it occurred to me that my great fandom of Bartolo Colon didn't match up with my otherwise lackluster baseball card collection of him.

The virtual dime boxes changed that awfully quickly -- I was able to add almost 40(!) new Bartolos to my binders with a quick series of clicks.

Dime boxes are usually good for a few just plain strange cards, and so here we are -- I thought that Bob Wickman was something made by present-day Panini for a second there.

The Orosco is particularly baffling since that's clearly a more contemporary shot of him in a Mets jersey, but the last time he actually played for them was in 1987(?) -- with a little digging I found out he was a Met again for a few months in the '99 offseason, and for some reason a photo (assumedly) from that non-stint showed up in an UD set three years later(???).

So there's my latest run through the Online Dime Box -- a whole lot of victories and general fun that ought to keep the sorting/organizing part of my brain occupied for the coming lockdown.

It's gonna be a strange winter, one that's hard to even fathom as I think about it now, but at least I know I'll still have my dime boxes -- and hey, in the virtual dime box world, there aren't any card show dudes sneezing or throwing elbows at me!


The Diamond King said...

Heckuva post. Lots of fun stuff there, glad you were able to stock up!

Mike said...

Ha,Woolworth! used to be an insult as a kid.."where'd ya get those pants,Woolworth!?" Haha!!

Great haul...and when we're in better shape,we're doin' ALL the card shows!

night owl said...

Yup, if you don't know what Woolworth's was, that's the definition of being young. Or maybe knowing what it was is now the definition of being old.

I never thought I'd say this butL I'm so glad I'm in New York State. I don't know what the Midwest is doing. Why is it so difficult to grasp out there? I don't blame all the nurses for being pissed right off.

My latest online dime box order is en route!

Chris said...

Awesome stuff, I picked up a couple of those (Klesko, Pudge RC) in my latest order there. Didn't see the A&G Ortiz or UC3 Mo Vaughn there though. The Kendall and Caminiti cards are nice finds as well.

Fuji said...

Have a feeling the Bay Area (or at least Santa Clara County) is gonna get locked down soon too. It doesn't impact me too much since I haven't really been going out anyways except to shop and hit the occasional farmer's market.

Super jealous of those HOF rookie cards for a dime. Heck. Jealous of about 70% of the stuff you grabbed here. said...

Easier on the back too, not being hunched over on those dreadfully low show tables. Stay safe everyone!

GTT said...

You got a ton of great cards. The O-Pee-Chees are always fun to get. I haven't back to a card show in just about forever, so having an online dime box is the next best thing.

Jafronius said...

Great haul and awesome box as well!

Jon said...

They really need to get to restocking, the inventory seems to be getting really low, that is unless you collect hockey, there's plenty of that still.

Adam Kaningher said...

A box of 1990 Fleer is way more fun filled up like this than with actual 1990 Fleer.

Enjoy and stay safe!

shoeboxlegends said...

An amazing haul there Nick! I agree wholeheartedly, that's as good as anything you could pull out of a real life dime box, for sure.

Tim said...

Thank you for showing me the glory of the online dimebox. I have a nice order that just shipped out on Monday. Looks like Christmas will be coming early for me.