Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Drinking the Kool-Aid

I got back into card collecting around 8 or 9 years ago now, and in that time, it seems like the hype over 1/1 cards has grown by leaps and bounds.

Living in a bubble of sorts, hype of any kind is not something that I'm ever effected by, because I just don't pay much attention to things that excite and/or rile up other people -- and it's not because I don't care about anything, it's just that modern human's tend to get far too emotional over the most trivial of things, which is something that I just don't need in my life -- I've already got my own problems with anxiety to deal with, I don't need anyone else's.

As far as getting overly emotional over insignificant things goes, most modern card collectors are no different, especially when it comes to 1/1's. Some will tell you that it's the only worth chasing, and that they are the only thing of real value -- and on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have collector's who are of the Chicken Little mindset (the sky is falling), and will tell you that 1/1's are just one of the things that are leading the hobby to ruin.

Personally speaking, I've never really paid much attention to them, and other than a couple of cheaply bought printing plates (at a card show last year) -- which according to some, aren't even true 1/1's, even though they say one of one on the back -- I had never owned any.

With all that being said, I decided earlier this year that I'd like to own a "true" 1/1, and not because I was getting caught up in the hype, or because I felt like I needed one to validate my collection, no, I just wanted to get one, plain and simple.

After the decision to get one was made, it didn't take me too long to figure out that there were only a few sets that I would actually want a 1/1 from, which was nice, because it meant that there would be a whole lot less searching to do. I did eventually encounter one small problem though, you remember how I said that I just wanted to get one, well... I ended up getting two instead!

I've professed my love for the 2018 Classics set enough over the last couple of months, that it shouldn't come as a great surprise that I'd try to acquire something like this Elvin Bethea from it. This is the base 1/1, there are also the Optichrome 1/1's, but those tend to go for a lot more than the base versions. I actually tried to get one of the Optichrome 1/1's (different player though), but it was being sold by Probstein on eBay, and I didn't want to get caught up in a bidding war with one of their shill bidders, so I let it go... a decision that I'm still questioning like three months later.

There was some interest in this card from multiple other bidders, but I still got it for less than the limit that I had set for myself. There were actually three or four of the Legends 1/1's up for auction during the same week that I won this one, I knew that I could only get one at the time though, so I went with Elvin -- mostly because you don't see him show up very much (if at all) in modern sets, and if that wasn't enough, I really love the picture that Panini used for this card, I mean it looks like he's got a broken thumb on his left hand and a big 'ol cast on his right arm (god knows what was broken)... talk about playing through the pain!

After getting this card, I briefly thought about going for the rainbow, but even though I love the set something fierce, I can still say that it has some really stupid parallels. I mean I really dig the colored borders (black, blue, gold, and orange), but my interest is completely lost once you get to things like different colored backs, faux blank backs, full name on the front, no name on the front, etc. -- needless to say, I won't be chasing the rainbow.

Me finding this 2012 Golden Age Bill Walton black mini was a complete fluke, as I had been looking at something else and decided to look at the seller's other items, and there it was. This seller actually two of the 2012 black mini's, the other being the Titanic. The seller had them listed so that they were going to end within minutes of each other, and I was actually going to try for both, but once they got down to around the ten minute mark, I knew that with the bids being placed I would only be able to get one -- the Titanic was cool, but being from Portland, I kind of had to choose Bill, it would have been kind of like turning my back on the place of my birth by not doing so.

I had always hoped that I was going to pull one of Golden Age black's, and considering that I did open multiple boxes of all three years, it seems like I should have, but no, I had to go and buy one... but I'm okay with that! As a quick aside, since you can see half of Dan Issel's face in the background, would that mean that this is a Dan Issel 1/1 as well?

Also, I had to take a photo of this one (the scans were coming out terrible), which caused some glare to appear on the top of the card, I mention this only because I don't want someone to think that there's any discoloration, since that's what it kind of looks like in the picture.

I didn't know if anyone cared about the back or not, but here it is anyway. I think it's pretty neat, and you can see the 1 of 1 near the top left -- speaking of top left, you can sort of see the 1 of 1 on the front of the Bethea on the top left as well.

Now that I've accomplished what I set out to do, at least as far as getting a 1/1 goes, I can honestly say that I don't know if I will be attempting to get any more... unless another cheap one of the legends come up from the 2018 Classics... or one of the retired players from the 2013-14 Prizm basketball... or...


Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

18 comments:

  1. I've been lucky enough to pull a few. It's quite a thrill. Printing plates are 1/1s,also.

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    1. Other than my boxes of Golden Age and a couple of packs of Prizm, I haven't bought anything new since returning to card collecting, so the odds of me ever pulling one are going to be pretty slim.

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  2. I only have two 1/1s. One is a printing plate I got off ebay. The other one I pulled from a blaster box. It was a rookie Kyle Schwarber, and that's probably the pull of a lifetime for this Cubs fan. I think they can be cool to have, but I don't think I'll ever go nuts over them.

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    1. I remember seeing that Schwarber, it was a really great get, especially for a Cubs fan!

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  3. Nice choice with the Bethea. I don’t think I have any actual 1/1 cards. I did get a printing plate in a trade.

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    1. With all of the crazy rare vintage stuff that you have, I can't imagine that you'd be overly impressed with the one of one's.

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  4. Awesome additions to your collection. I'm not really sure if I currently have any 1/1's sitting in my collection. I've pulled a few, but I think I've given them away. Wait. I think I bought a Kurt Suzuki printing plate a few years ago. Now that I think about it. I actually have Brooks Robinson and Bert Campaneris 1 of 1 autographs as well.

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    1. I don't think that I've ever seen a 1/1 autograph before, at least not of the non-superfractor variety.

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  5. Awesome cards, but I am on the end of the spectrum that dislikes them. Too many and overproduced artificial scarcity is killing the hobby.

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    1. There certainly is a lot of them out there, but I think having just two companies produce all of the cards is a far worse offense, and a much bigger threat to the hobby's well being.

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  6. Congrats on adding these sweet 1 of 1s! Bethea is a great choice, I don't think I've seen him on a card before. I pulled a 1/1 auto in a Black Diamond hockey box a dozen years ago, but the only 1/1 currently in my collection is a Nomar Garciaparra that Matt(BTWP) sent me earlier this year.

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    1. I looked this morning, and it appears that the 2018 Classics is the first set that he's been in since his playing days.

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  7. I like your stance on hobby 1/1 hysteria. I own one from a silly ebay offer that was accepted. I have never pulled one. They are quickly losing their significance as they are being over-produced like everything else.

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  8. A silly offer? If you don't mind me asking, what was the card, and what was the offer?

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  9. I've never sought out a 1/1 but I do like how you approached it. I might have to take a look at these next year and see what I can find. Great post!

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  10. Chances are that if you do go looking, you'll probably find a few cards that catch your eye, and with so many 1/1's out there now, one of those eye catchers will likely be able to be had for a lot less than you think.

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  11. I have somehow managed to accumulate quite literally *hundreds* of 1/1's, but outside of a little stack of cheap printing plates and my SPx game dated Gale Sayers, I think they are all sketch cards. I guess being one of a kind *is* part of the draw, but having a huge binder full of rad original art is far more important to me than the 1/1 designation. 😅

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  12. Ugh, I forgot all about sketch cards! I guess I have a few more 1/1's than I thought, including one from a certain vagrant that we all know and love :)

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