Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Watertown, NY

I suspect Watertown, NY, has become somewhat of a national distribution hub for Dodger cards.  Similar to how airlines choose a city, such as Denver, to route all the flights through then have everyone change planes and make their way to another destination.  I see only a small sample of the surplus Dodger cards that make their way through Watertown.  In particular, I see the duplicates of one player whose been retired for over two decades and spent a mere three and a half seasons on the hot corner for the Dodgers.  Small as that sample size is, I still see a lot of them.

The sheer volume of Dodger cards that go in and out of Watertown must be somewhat spectacular.  My current hope is that The Nightowl ends up needing a Wallach as one of the final cards in one of the 1980's Fleer sets he's working on, and he gets flooded with 200 copies of an '83 Fleer Wallach or something.

This latest batch of ten Wallach cards from Watertown includes a trio of inserts.  Looking at them, I can't help but notice that these early inserts were aimed at set builders.  They weren't particularly scarce at one to a pack, but building a full set of six hundred Silver Signatures Collector's Choice would be a monumental task.  And I think they hold up relatively well.  A Mike Trout signed insert card numbered to five with a piece of bat on it may be extremely rare, but will hold it up?  Especially since there are seemingly fifty different cards numbered and signed each year and each of them in various print runs based on ink and border colors and twenty other trivial differences.  I just see them as a novelty.  And over the course of twenty year a career, how many tens of thousands of signed and numbered cards is a guy going to end up having?

If I mention the 1989 Upper Deck Griffey, 1984 Donruss Mattingly, or 1975 Brett, most of us can probably immediately picture the card in our mind.  The 1968 Ryan isn't valuable because it was all that scarce, or is all that scarce today even.  These cards were part of a shared experience for people who collected them at the time.  That shared experience, and immediate recognition is what makes them iconic and desirable.  Will some 2009 insert of a Hall of Famer numbered to five, or even one of one, really have much of a shelf life?

Why do I care?  "Just collect what you like."  Ultimately, I agree, but... I can't help but wonder if the Topps base set designs have suffered over the last decade as a result of all the time and effort spent on putting together a hundred different insert sets.  People like "hits."  To me a "hit" is one of those things Pete Rose did 4,256 times.  To other's, they're a rare card in a pack and a chance to make money on the secondary market.  Topps should help those collector's skip the ebay middle man.  In a joint effort with MLB, and State Lotteries, they should put out baseball card style scratch off lottery tickets.  Have some fun with the designs, and the games, I'd buy them.  Even the tickets themselves could become collector's items.

I'd like to see odds disappear from the back of wrappers and be replaced with offers for T-Shirts and contest to go to the All-Star Game.  Leave the gambling out of the packs, and the qwest for "hits" to the poor guys standing 60 feet and down hill from Clayton Kershaw.  In any event, that was a long enough "get of my yard," rant.  The Nightowl was also nice to enough to help me out with a few cards I need from one of my many ongoing set building efforts,  2011 Topps.

Thanks for the cards.  As always, they're greatly appreciated.

Updated Totals:

1988 Topps: 677
1988 Topps All-Star x2: 670
1993 Stadium Club: 56
1994 Flair: 10
1994 Topps Gold: 26
1994 Triple Play: 30
1995 Collector's Choice Silver Signature: 4
1995 Score Gold Rush: 14
1996 Pinnacle: 45

1 comment:

  1. Good point on the shared experience aspect.

    I can't believe you have just 4 of the Wallach Collectors Choice silver sig.