Friday, September 19, 2014

Parallel Universe

I opened up my first blaster of Topps Chrome the other day. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be another one of those box break posts. You’ve all seen them before. It’s more about this card that I pulled from one of the packs.

Yup. It’s one of those fancy colored refractors that Topps included in the set. No, it’s not a great hit. It wasn’t the best card in the box. As a Sox fan, the Xander Bogaerts RC was a much better pull. But, this is still a fairly rare card. It’s numbered to 75, after all. Even though I don’t love  it, somebody must…right? There have to be 75 Diamondback fans out there, right? Maybe even 100? Wouldn’t they be happy to add this to their collection? Shouldn’t I somehow get it into their hands?

This isn’t even specific to this card. The advent of parallel sets has done a couple things to the team/player collection. No matter what team or player you collect, there are suddenly rare cards to chase. 25 years ago, if you collected Jody Reed, you had four or five cards every year to get, and none of them were all that hard to find. Mike Greenwell had a few more, since he would be included in an all-star subset or two. As the insert sets came around, the difference grew. Reed still got his five base versions, but Greenwell would be in subsets, and insert sets. He might be into double digits. Or higher. It left Reed collectors in the dust. Where’s the fun in collecting if you can get every card in about ten minutes? There’s no chase.

Parallel cards have put an end to that. Now, every player has cards that will take some effort to chase. There’s a numbered parallel of everyone from David Ortiz to Stephen Drew.

Which makes me feel a little guilty holding onto cards like this one. I have to assume that somebody is looking for it. Along with all the other parallel cards  have sitting around. So, I ask you…

What do you all do with them?

I could try to throw it up on the bay and find a collector that way. But, it’s not like this is a Mike Trout card. I’m not sure that even in its shiny numbered glory it would earn enough to make it worth the effort.

It would be easier if it were a Phillies card. The PhilliesRoom gets all of those from me. So Jim will be getting two of the other refractors in the box, at some point. But, I don’t send all my Diamondbacks cards anywhere. Do other people have lists of collectors from every team? When you get a card like this, do you run to the list and find all the different collectors who would like it? “So-and-so collects the Diamondbacks, but so-and-so is collecting a Sepia set…” Do you have a destination for every team? Do you hang onto them, on the off chance that five or ten or fifteen years from now someone announces that they are looking for all the chrome cards of NL West teams? As I’ve mentioned, I only keep non Red Sox non stars for ten years. So, I’d have a time limit of that sort of opportunity. I could just hold onto them until the ten years is up, and hope I can find a team collector by then, I suppose.

Do you do a periodic “Things I have to trade” post, and show off all the low-budget hits you’ve accumulated over the last few months? All the jersey cards of former Brewers closers taking up space in your collection?

Is there a method to your madness?

How do you find a home for this guy?


  1. I am a Dbacks fan and I am very interested in this card. Please email me at

  2. Hooray for Phillies refractors!


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