Saturday, June 7, 2014

Beating the Odds, Slightly.

I dropped by my favorite local card shop, Big D's Card Shop in Raleigh, NC, after work on Wednesday to pick up a pair a Archives boxes I bought. I always enjoy Archives and usually make it one of the sets I try to assemble every year. It's fun to open the packs and find cards with today's players on yesterday's designs. Especially designs that Topps used during my childhood. This year I was excited about the 1986 and 1989 designs. Here's a look at the base set cards.

For today's post I am going to focus on my hit cards from the boxes. I love the base set, parallels, and inserts, but we'll save that for another day. There are two autographs in every box and a relic too. The expectations for the autographs in an Archives box are always a little bit different than the traditional box of cards. There are usually a few current players for each of the teams and then a few older guys mixed in too. The majority of older guys tend to be good players who might be a little short on Hall of Fame credentials. For example, the Cardinals signers for set include Matt Adams and Shelby Miller from the current team, and also long time third baseman Terry Pendleton. 

So, I started my boxes out with those expectations, but left completely blown away.  My first box yielded me an awesome autograph just two packs in....

This "Jake Taylor" Tom Berenger autograph is just awesome. I had seen the Major League cards in the previews and reviews of the Archives product, but had not really given them much thought until I actually pulled one. The odds for these cards are pretty tough and I obviously really like the move Major League. Great baseball flick.  This autograph alone would have made my day, but with almost two full boxes left I had plenty of other good hits coming my way.

My first box was rounded out by another autograph and a relic card. 

My second autograph belonged to long time Atlanta Braves slugger, briefly a Cardinal, Bob Horner. This is a pretty typical Archives autograph actually. Horner was a good player managing over 200 career home runs with just over 1000 career games, but is certainly not a Hall of fame caliber talent. 

My relic hit from the first box was a piece of jersey from Diamondbacks All-Star Paul Goldschmidt. This is a nice card and I love the design.  

Now, my second box was even better than my first box for hits. The first pack of the box was mind- blowing. I pulled this beautiful looking card...  

The odds on the back of the Archives packaging list the odds on Printing Plates at 1:1400. Really long odds. How cool is it to land a copy of one of the Jose Abreu plates?  I am still in shock and it's been a few days. So, after pulling an autograph of Tom Berenger and a printing plate of Jose Abreu, any other hits from the box were gravy. In this case the gravy was pretty delicious. Next hit....  

Ron Gant Autographed Printing Plate. Those printing plates were 1:1400 and I pulled two out of a box. Second time this year. Perhaps I should start playing the lottery?  Probably not. The Gant plate is really cool though. I have seen plenty of autographed printing plates over the years, but most of them were sticker autographs on a plate. This is an actual on plate autograph. Again, really cool hit. I still landed another autograph out of my second box that prevented me from having to track down a copy of this card. 

I have picked up a few Pendelton autographs over the years, but they are all Braves cards. This is my first autograph of Pendleton wearing a Cardinals jersey.  Love the 1989 design too.  

Overall, I don't know how I could have done any better on the hits portion of my Archives boxes. A sweet Major League autograph, two printing plates, and two autographs of players who appeared for the Cardinals?  Anyone of the Berenger, Gant, or Abreu printing plate would have made for a cool pair of boxes by themselves. Throw them all together and all I can say is wow. 


  1. Damn, man! Very nice couple of boxes. My box was crap. I'm angry jealous, cursing the baseball card gods for forsaking me.

  2. I'd say that's a ridiculously good group of boxes. You did pretty well, especially with that Abreu printing plate.

  3. Good Lord. I'd put that Abreu on eBay yesterday! Great pulls.


Around The Card Room, Take 17

I got my first job was pushing in carts and bagging groceries at the Dierbergs in Manchester, Missouri during my junior year of high school....