Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Story of My 1/1 Strausburg

This is the story about when I pulled a Stephen Strausburg 1/1 printing plate from a box of 2010 Topps T206 in August 2010.  It is the best card I've pulled from a pack since returning to the hobby and I initially wrote about it on my old blog HERE.  Enjoy.

One of the best part about being a kid who collects trading cards was cracking open a new pack of cards.  It was basically the lottery for children.  You throw down a couple of bucks (back then) and roll the dice.  Occasionally, the pack would yield a bunch of junk cards.  But more often then not, the pack would give you enough cards off a want/need list to keep you coming back for more.  There is nothing better then ripping open a pack of cards and finding your favorite player or a rare insert card.  Today, my wife and I recreated a little piece of my youth by ripping open a box of 2010 Topps T206 cards.

When I started noticing a bevy of T206 Hochevar cards popping up on eBay, I decided to forgo the easy route of buying up the cards that other people had pulled and instead try and pull my own Hochevar cards.  And I was very pleased with the results.

The box contained 20 packs of cards, with 9 cards in each pack.  My wife and I each opened 10 packs.  At about pack 5 for me, I pulled the one of the cards I was hoping to get, my first Hochevar pull.  While it was a base card, after finding it, I considered the box a success.

Each box also contains one autograph card and one relic card.  As luck would have it, my wife ended up finding both of these cards.  It should be noted that she found both of these cards before I pulled the Hochevar card.  I'm not going to lie, I was a little bummed that she was the one to find the "hits" of the box.  She ended up finding a Grady Sizemore Game Used Bat relic card and a Gregor Blanco Autograph card.  Both cards are quite nice, but neither would be considered huge "hits".

We ended up getting about 120 base cards, which have whetted my appetite to attempt completing the base card set.  Along with the Hochevar base card, my wife ended up finding a Stephen Strasburg rookie card.

We also got 6 "short print" cards, which are different from the regular base cards because the players are wearing baseball caps (the base cards are unique due to all the players being hat-less) and the backs only contain the player's name (where as the base cards have a little blurb about the player). 

The box also contained 20 or so mini cards.  The fun thing about the minis in this set is that there are five different styles of backs.  I ended up getting at least one of each back style.

At around our 18th pack, and the ninth pack that I opened, I was under the impression that we'd found all of the "hits" that the box would contain, with which I was content, and I was just hoping to score a Hochevar mini card with the remaining packs.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this gem.

As the back of the card explains, it's a Stephen Strasburg 1:1 Magenta Mini Printing Plate card.  When I saw this card, I was pumped.  This has to be one of the best cards that can be pulled from a pack of T206.  One might think that a Strasburg autograph card would be a bigger pull, but they didn't put any of his autographed cards in the packs.  Instead, a person would find a "redemption" card in the pack, which you then have to mail off to be redeemed by the company, and then they mail you the actual card, which I hear can be a big hastle.  So, in actuality, I ended up pulling one of the rarest cards of one of the biggest names in baseball card collecting today.

I hate to imagine how much this card would fetch on eBay if Stephen was not hurt at this time (and his future in question).  With that said, I'm still going to try to flip it for as much money as I can get to help fund my future card purchases.

As much as it probably scares my wife, because of this box of cards, I may have been bitten by the pack-ripping bug.  What a fun box to open and what a nice set of cards Topps has put out.  If my Strasburg card brings enough money, I'll definitely be opening another box of the T206 cards and I'll be chasing more Hochevar cards for my personal collection.

I ended up selling the card for $200 via Buy It Now.  I may have been able to get more for it, but I decided to take the money and run, which was probably a wise decision in the long run.  I ended up buying a bunch of Hochevar and Fowler cards with the money I made from the sale of this card and I couldn't be happier with my decision to sell it.

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