Sunday, March 5, 2017

This is (almost) what 50,000 cards looks like

I've done a lot of high-volume baseball card deals in my time, but this one may be the biggest. That's ten boxes you see in this photo - 9 5,000 counts and a 4,000. A little less than 50,000 cards added to my collection in one enormous transaction. What really makes this great is that it is almost all cards from the 2000s - and a lot of it is early 2000s, which means it is overwhelmingly cards that I needed.

I bought these cards from a dealer - SMR Collectibles - run by a guy named Steve with a small staff of assistants. Steve travels around the northeast buying and selling collections. Kind of like American Pickers with sports cards. He is trying to downsize his stock and posted these on Craigslist at a really great price. I got these for $15 each plus a box of non-baseball cards that had no use to me anyway. I picked them up at his storage unit - a huge room filled floor to ceiling with 5,000 count boxes of cards. I would conservatively estimate that I was standing in a room with three million cards in it.

These boxes are all commons or semi-stars. It's so much to go through - I'm going to write my impressions of the cards as I go through them - a "live blog" I guess. I'm mostly just listing what is most prevalent in each row, but overall there is a lot of variety in each row. This is really just stream of consciousness as I look over these boxes in some depth for the first time. Once I get this sorted I'll do another trade-a-thon, so keep in mind that a lot of this stuff may end up going for trade.

Box #1
Most of the boxes have a lot of variety. This is the only one that really doesn't.
First row: Actually this row does have a big mix. Some 06 Fleer, 02 Upper Deck MVP, a lot of 12 Topps and Panini.
Second row: Mostly base cards from 12-15 Topps base and various Paninis. A big run of 04 Leaf Certified Materials.
Third row: Very similar to the second. A bunch of 07 Allen and Ginter too.
Fourth row: More of the same, plus a whole lot of miniature versions of 13 Topps
Fifth row: Entirely made up of the smaller 13 Toppses. These aren't inserts but some kind of parallel to the base set.

Box #2
This is the one box that is different than the rest. This is an "All Stars" box that wasn't part of the other group, but that I traded the box of non-baseball cards for. These aren't Hall of Famers, mostly just guys who had long careers and so are fairly well-known. To give you an idea of the caliber, the first player in each row are: Travis Hafner, Jesus Montero, Garrett Atkins, Jeff Conine and Johnny Cueto. Not much different from the commons boxes (and I see plenty of bigger stars in those boxes). He had a few boxes like this and I picked the one with the most modern cards and fewest junk waxers. Unlike the other boxes there are a lot of 1990s and even some 1980s in here.
First row: Wide variety. A couple dozen UD Holographics which feed my shiny card appetite. Also well represented are 97 Topps, 13 Topps and 94 Pinnacle. Some 90 and 91 Toys R Us. A lot of Brian Roberts cards from various sets.
Second row: A lot of 10 and 14 Topps. Lots more 94 Pinnacle. Some 08 X. Bunch of 08 UD. Some 87 Topps. Lots of 12 Gypsy Queen and Bowman Platinum.
Third row: Lots of 97 and 98 Donruss Elite, Pinnacle Certified, Donruss Preferred etc. Small runs of 03 Donruss, 02 Ultra. Lots of 08 Topps and Bowman Chrome and A&G. More 12 Bowman Platinum - wonderfully shiny.
Fourth row: 13 Topps, 10 Bowman, 08 Bowman Chrome, lots more 08 A&G.
Fifth row: Lots of 10 and 13 Topps. 02 Leaf Certified. A bunch of little round 03 Fleer Hardballs. Sticking out behind them is a 1998 Flair Showcase JT Snow card that is catching the light beautifully. Lots of random cards including small runs of 88 Fleer Exciting Stars and 92 Score.

Box #3
Once again lots of variety, I'm just listing the cards that appear most frequently.
Row 1: 08 UD, 10 A&G, 07 Bowman Draft, 06 UD, 10 Topps, 01 Stadium Club. Lots of different Bowmans.
Row 2: Lots of Bowmans and A&G. 03 Topps Traded (just rookies). 04 Topps Traded. 10 Tristar. Lots more Bowmans.
Row 3: 07 Topps '52 Rookies. More Bowmans. 07 Topps. 07 Finest. 11 Topps Team USA. 04 Topps Traded, both base and chrome. More Bowmans and various Topps base cards.
Row 4: 12 Bowman. 10 A&G. 08 Topps. 05 Topps. 07 Donruss Elite. Lots more mid-00s Bowmans.
Row 5: 12 Bowman (several dupes of Ted Lilly and Jose Valverde). 05 UD Reflections. Four copies of 97 Bowman Chrome Braden Looper. 06 Bowman Heritage. 05 Topps Total. Lots more Bowmans over several years. 09 OPC.

Box #4
Row 1: A lot of 10 and 13 Topps. Bunch more Bowmans as well. Various years Chrome, Draft, etc. 08 A&G.
Row 2: A run of 07 Bowman Draft Chrome. A run of 11 Topps. 06 UD - 8 Ryan Theriots and 7 Val Majewskis. Ever more 08 A&G and various Bowmans.
Row 3: Lots of variety followed by runs of 11 Topps and 08 A&G. Somehow there is an 86 Topps Tiffany Jeff Barkley card mixed in here. The back quarter of each row in this box is various Bowman sets from throughout the 00s.
Row 4: Big run on 13 Topps, then various makes and models. More 06 UD Bipping - 7 Mike Napolis. Then Bowman in the back.
Row 5: Big run on 13 and 14 Topps. Then some variety. Lots of Orioles - look, another Majewski! - anyone know of a good Orioles blogger? Then back to the Bowmans.

Box #5
Row 1: 10 Bowman Chrome Prospects; 08 UD, 13-15 Topps; 05 Fleer Tradition; 10 Topps Chrome; 13 Panini USA Baseball
Row 2: 12-13 Topps; 05 Fleer Tradition; 09 and 10 Heritage; 09 Heritage American Heroes (I'd never heard of this set - really interesting with 9/11 cops and firement, civil rights leaders, scientists, diplomats etc).
Row 3: Big runs of 07 and 09 Heritage; more of that American Heroes set; 16 Topps, Topps Chrome and Goodwin Champions
Row 4: Mostly '16s including Chrome, Optic, Gypsy Queen, A&G. Lots of 12 and 13 Topps too.
Row 5: Mostly the '16 sets that are in the other rows, but for some reason there are some Topps and Donruss soccer cards from '15 and '16 as well.

Box #6
This is the 4000 count box.
Row 1: Lots of Heritage from various years. Mostly 02, 06, 10 and 11. The back third of the row is all 16 Chrome.
Row 2: More assorted Heritage sets. 16 Stadium Club. 16 Diamond Kings. 07 Tristar. Then a lot of 08 Topps.
Row 3: More random Heritages. Not much repetition, but in 10 Heritage there are 9 Sizemores and 11 Sandovals. Then a bunch of the snowflake-parallel 16 Topps cards. 2-3 of the same card for many players. 08 Topps and UD. 06 UD. 10, 11 and 14 Topps Pro Debut - again 2-3 of the same card many times. Ditto 14 Update. 4 cards from 14 Heritage - all Kevin Correia. Looks a bit like Diego Luna from Rogue One. Finish the row with some more Tristars.
Row 4: 00 Fleer Tradition Update. 16 Diamond Kings and Stadium Club - 2-3 of the same cards. 14 Chrome. 13 A&G. 16 Goodwin Champions.

Box #7
Row 1: Really random little bit of everything. Lots of UD and Bowman from the 03-06 range. 07 Bowman Chrome Chris Carter - 8 cards. 07 Bowman Chrome Jon Jay - 15 cards. 06 Bowman Chrome Yovani Gallardo - 6 cards. Guess someone was prospecting. Some 03 Brooklyn Cyclones. Long Island Ducks magnets - they look like baseball cards. An unopened package of five Long Island Ducks magnets - haven't opened it yet but there are also loose ones of the mascot , Lew Ford (2), coach Buddy Harrelson and the manager Gary Carter. 02 Bowman Chrome John Van Benschoten - 27 cards. Bunch more 02 Bowman Chromes with 5-10 cards each of several players.
Row 2: Lots more Bowman. Hey there's another Jon Jay. 02 Topps Traded. 03 Upper Deck Rookies. 05 Topps Update Chrome. Then many more Bowman. The Bowmans are all in the 02-10 range I guess. They're all pretty similar designs.
Row 3: Bowman really starts taking over the box at this point, though there's also a run on 03 Donruss Champions. Most of the time the Bowmans are different cards, but sometimes its a few Bippings of the same guys over and over.
Row 4: Bowman rules the row, sometimes Bipping but most of the time not. 01 UD squeezes in a decent run to mix it up just a bit.
Row 5: Again almost all Bowman with a few 01-03 UDs. Lots of Bippings in this row.

Bow #8
Row 1: Lots of 13-15 Topps, 15 Bowman, 00 Topps Traded and 11 Heritage minors.
Row 2: Big run of 10 Bowman Chrome Prospects, 15 Topps Archives. 14 and 15 Topps (lots of repetition in the 14s.
Row 3: Lots of 16 Topps and A&G. Lots of 15 Bowman. 15 Topps. 04 UD. More Bowmans. 11 Heritage Minors.
Row 4: Starts with a big run of 11 A&G, then various Bowman and Topps years. Big run of 09 Donruss Elite, 10 Bowman Chrome Prospects, 04 UD Vintage and 11 Heritage Minors.
Row 5: 11 Heritage Minors run. 08 A&G run. Lots more Bowmans. 09 Heritage run. A really random Frank White collection (05 Donruss Champions [3], 88 Topps Sticker Backs, 94 Ted Williams Going North (5), 94 Ted Williams, 89 Bowman, 86 Fleer Star Stickers [2]). A few 15 Finests. More Bowmans and Toppses from across the 2000s.

Box #9
Row 1: First third is various short runs of Topps, Bowman and UD products. Then almost the whole rest of the row is 2000 Fleer Focus.
Row 2: Really eclectic mixture. Some shiny 01 SP Prospects stand out. A few early 80s Topps commons snuck in. There is a 1988 Topps Tim Leary with his name on a white banner instead of a yellow banner. I guess its just a printing error - I can find nothing about it online, don't know how common this kind of variation is. There is a fairly big run of 06 Turkey Red.
Row 3: Another highly eclectic mix, clustered around 2000 and 2001 from all kinds of sets. Lots of vintage-style cards on cardboard, like Bowman Heritage and UD Vintage. Lots and lots of different sets and years in the back.
Row 4: Some big runs of 00 Pacific and Fleer Focus, but still lots of variety. I see an MLB showdown card of Brooks Kieschnick pitching.
Row 5: First third: Lots of 2000 Topps and random other 2000-2001 cards. Second third: All 2003 Topps Chrome. Last third: Mostly various 2013 Panini sets.

Box #10
I believe this box is 100% Bowman.
Row 1: Starts with 04 Draft. Then 04 Draft Chrome with lots of duplication. Then 02 Bowman Chrome draft with lots of duplication. I hope a lot of bloggers need to complete this set. Some 05 Bowmans Best and then back to 04 Draft Chrome.
Row 2: Starts with 04 Draft again. Then 03 Draft Chrome with lots of duplication. Then more 02s of course, alternating with more 03s and 04 Drafts, all in Chrome.
Row 3: Very similar to the first two rows, with some 01 base as well.
Row 4: A little more variety in years but mostly the same as the rest of the box so far. One SP card mixed in all the Bowmans.
Row 5: There's a few Topps Chrome and Topps Gold Label but again mostly those 02-04 Bowman and Bowman Chrome.

Looks like there will be a lot to trade and fortunately not the same old stuff. Expect another Trade-A-Thon somewhere down the line when I get all this stuff sorted!


  1. A very exciting pick up. Have fun going through it all!

  2. that is a big haul of cards from a great time period. have fun and i'm looking forward to some trading!

  3. Have fun digging through these boxes! I sifted through a 3,200ct. box yesterday. It provided me with 7 hours of entertainment.

  4. Awesome, I think most of us are hurting on those years too. Looking forward to sa erious trade-A-thon.

  5. Good Luck with that stuff and have fun sorting it all out. I know you'll definitely have the Post office working overtime!

  6. I'm scared, Bo.

    Try not to finish sorting before flea market season starts up here, as I haven't fully recovered from the last deal yet!

    I'll drop you an email, though.

  7. If you end up with Cubs duplicates or not building sets, I will happily trade for your Cubbies. After sorting let me know, the late 90s and 2000s are my weak point in my team collection. I would gladly trade for them, just drop me a line!

  8. I'm dizzy at the thought of all the cardboard.