I did not actually make it into Big D's the first month the store was open, but I have made it in a few times since. I saw a post Jimmy made on Facebook Friday about the anniversary. I took a few minutes to flip back through the pages of my blog and checking out some of the cards I had landed on my trips into the store. I have to say that I am truly amazed at some of the cards I have picked up over the past year and must say that I could not have found half the cards on this list without the help of Jimmy.
Here's a look back at my best thirty pulls, purchases, and trades from Big D's:
#30- 2011 Topps Pro Debut Leslie Anderson
I picked this card up this summer. Jimmy has another customer who is great at getting in person autographs. As a Durham Bulls fan, I love the certified autographs, but that's not always an option. Anderson was a good player on the Bulls for several years and I was happy to add an autograph of him from a trusted and reliable source.
#29- 2014 Topps Heritage Derek Jeter Action Variation
I love Topps Heritage. It's a staple set of any good card collection these days. You don't collect sets? You should just buy a complete set of the Heritage cards. Opening the boxes and putting the set together is a blast. This was my cool pull from my box this year. A cool card given it was Jeter's final year in the bigs.
#28- 2013 Bowman Inception Hak Ju Lee Blue Autograph 1/25
A current favorite Durham Bull. I still have great hopes that Hak Ju Lee will play regularly in the Majors. He's a great defensive shortstop. If only he could figure out the offense. This card also comes from one of my favorite sets of the past few years. Great looking card, low print run, with a cool serial number.
#27- 2013 Topps Museum Collection Matt Moore Quad Relic with multi-colored patch
A card from my first trip into Big D's. It was a Durham Bulls heavy trip. This was a really cool card. I look at it often.
#26- 2014 Topps Stadium Club Koji Uehara
I really enjoyed the rehash of Stadium Club that Topps put out last month. Picked up a box and really enjoyed this Koji autograph. I have a student in my class this year who is a big Koji fan. He's chipping away I guess. Cool autograph and a really cool looking photograph.
#25- 2014 Topps Archives Jose Abreu Printing Plate
A really cool hit out of an Archives box, which was the most ridiculous box ever. Not always the biggest printing plate person and I am not overly attached to the White Sox. Jose Abreu is a nice player. I actually sold this card, but it is still a cool story. Right? More from this box later....
#24- 2013 Topps Finest Matt Adams Autograph/Bat
Jumbo Pepsi with a bat and an autograph. Cool looking card.
#23- 2014 Topps Archives Ron Gant Printing Plate Autograph
Cool 90s player, former Cardinal, autographed printing plate. The second card from my Topps Archives box on my list. It was a really good box.
#22- 2013 Topps Tribute Terry Pendleton Autograph
A favorite from the 80s Cardinals. He's a Brave on the card, but still a really nice looking card. TP has a great signature. I picked this card up at a trade night at Big D's.
#21- 2002 Topps Tribute Ken Boyer Bat Card
A really cool set. A really cool card. Boyer is not a guy you see a lot of cards of, but he's a really important player on some good Cardinals teams. See the 1964 World Series.
#20 - 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen Giancarlo Stanton Jumbo Jersey
I really enjoyed the Gypsy Queen product this year. There are several cards from that set on this list. I picked up two boxes of the product this year and opened them with Jimmy at the shop. Fun times. I did not pull this Stanton card, but took it off of Jimmy's hands a few weeks later. Beautiful card of a great player.
#19. 2010 Topps Opening Day Topps Vault Blank Back Evan Longoria 1/1
I could make a top 10 list of all the Longoria's I have picked up at Big D's. This is a cool one. I have done a little bit with Topps Vault cards in the past, but never a Longoria. While I am not always a huge fan of 1/1 cards, I like this one. Company seal, cool case, and a letter from Topps.
#18- 2014 Topps Stadium Club Shelby Miller Autograph
While the Uehara might be a better card in terms of rarity and value, I was really happy to pull this Shelby Miller card out of my box of Stadium Club. First, Shelby has a great autograph. He signs lots of stuff and his autograph always looks the same. I love the Sunday hat with the Stan Musial patch on the card too.
#17- 2012 Bowman Draft Michael Wacha Autograph
It was a lost season for Wacha, but this is an awesome card. Wacha's early Topps cards offer a few on card signatures, but almost everything within the past two years has been a sticker autograph. This is my favorite Wacha on card autograph. Really nice signature.
#16- 2014 Topps Archives Tom Berenger Major League Autograph
I like Major League the movie. Tom Berenger seems alright. This also came out of my Topps Archives box. I was try to decide whether the Gant and Abreu plates and this card were better than my Gypsy Queen pulls? You will have to keep reading to find out. Snorting Bull secret fact: As a Cardinals fan the Cubs are my least favorite team. The Indians are right down there with them.
#15- 2009 Topps Finest David Price Autograph Letter
Top half of my list. I re-did about six times. I am not sure there is a right or wrong answer with the rest of the cards on this list. I love David Price and this is a really cool card. One of my favorite Durham Bulls of all-time. Hope he does well with the Tigers next year.
#14- 2009 Topps Tribute Evan Longoria Triple Bat Relic Autograph
I could really make a list of just cool Longoria cards I picked up at Big D's during their first year in business. Longoria cards take up more than 10% of the list and I stopped trying to decided which were the best and just narrowed it down to my favorite three. I had a hard deciding so I made it four. Can't over look that 1/1 back up at 19. I love the design of this card and the pieces of bat relic look cool with the bluish/green background and black bottom. Great contrast and again a cool card.
#13- 2013 Topps Supreme Chris Archer Autograph
I had been searching for one of these for awhile. The 2013 Topps Supreme product was only released in Asian markets, while the cards are available on Ebay, they are a pain to buy.
#12- 2014 Bowman Platinum Stephen Piscotty Patch/Autograph
I saw Piscotty this summer at the Triple A All-Star game in Durham. One of the better Cardinals hitting prospects. Should show up in St. Louis some time next summer. Jimmy picked this card up from another customer in his shop and sent it my way. It's a red colored card with a Cardinals player, an autograph, and a red and blue patch. It's an awesome card.
#11- 2013 Topps Tribute World Baseball Classic Ben Zobrist Autograph 1/1
Another Durham Bulls favorite. This card would be way higher if it were a Rays card. World Baseball Classic takes a little luster off, but still love the design and background. Plus it lists Zobrist as a 2B and an OF, but he's wearing a 1B glove. Nothing could be more Zorilla than that.
#10- 2014 Topps Gypy Queen Torii Hunter Jumbo Patch 1/1
Top 10. Now they are getting really tough. One of my favorite products this year. Had to pick up a jumbo patch right? Here it is. This is cool. Jimmy had this in the shop, not pulled out of my boxes.
#9- 2014 Topps Acetate Parallel Shelby Miller 5/10
Not a huge huge fan of parallels, but I loved the Acetate cards this year. Picked up a ton of the Cardinals. Landed the Miller at Big D's.
#8- 2009 Topps Unique Evan Longoria Autograph
I've even seen this card in a few years. Jimmy landed one and sent it my way. There is one on Ebay right now, but it's $99.99. Yikes!
7. 2014 Topps Gyspy Queen Zack Greinke Button Card 3/3
This was a pretty cool pull. Still not my favorite Gypsy Queen pull.
6. 2009 SP Authentic Evan Longoria Autograph RC
I also picked up his Bowman's Best RC Autograph from Jimmy this year too. It was came in fifth on my informal straw poll of myself mainly because he was wearing an old Devil Rays uniform on the card. New Rays uniform, it could have been top 5.
5. 2007 UD Premier Ivan Rodriguez Patch
One of the first cards I picked up from Big D's. Jimmy emailed me a picture of this card. My jaw dropped. Insane patch.
4. 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen Shelby Miller Flag Card
Second favorite Cardinals pull this year. Gypsy Queen was very kind to me, I did not even put the two printing plates (Kershaw and Utley) that I landed on this list. A memorable day at the card shop indeed and this card was the icing on the cake. It is limited to just 5 copies. Miller and Musial are the only Cardinals in the set of flag cards this year. I take this card out and look at it all the time.
3. 2013 Topps Tier One Evan Longoria Autograph/Patch
Not the hardest Longoria card to find by any means, but it's just a really beautiful card. Great design and cool patch piece. I'm looking right past the sticker autograph.
#2. 2014 Bowman Inception Oscar Taveras Autograph
This card might have jumped a few during the past week. Was still in the Top 5. Jimmy found this card for me, not packed pulled. Favorite Taveras autograph in my collection.
#1- 2014 Topps Mark McGwire Autograph
Just picked up a box of Topps Series 2. Last box of a product at the store and this is in it? I did okay.
It's been a fun first year of having a local card shop in Raleigh and I could not have done anywhere close to this well with adding cool cards to my collection without the help of Big D's Sports Cards and it's owner Jimmy. A huge thank you for everything you do to help me out with my collection and a congratulations on a great year in business.