Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Spending a little more wisely

I mentioned on Twitter, but on New Year’s Day my wife was running to Target. I was going to hand her a $20 bill and tell her to pick up a blaster of something, but then I decided not to. Instead, I went on eBay and dropped far less money on a card I actually wanted…a card I would have been thrilled to actually pull from a blaster, even though it can be had for about $5 shipped. I think it was a wise choice.
Honestly, if I bought a blaster and pulled a Yankees autograph, I’d be over the moon. The thing is, I could most likely buy that same autograph on eBay for substantially cheaper, as I just did. So what is it? Is it the fun of pulling it from the pack versus knowing what you’re getting?

On to the card. Last season, the Yankees drafted Clarke Schmidt with their first round pick. Schmidt had just knowingly had Tommy John surgery. With high-rated prospects left on the board, this pick surprised many.

The Yankees signed Schmidt to an under-slot bonus, and used the savings on two big arms in the 2nd and 3rd round. I’ve seen theories that the players they wanted to pick were all off the board, so they snagged Schmidt knowing they could sign him under-slot, and then used that money on guys who were going to be a bit tougher to sign. I can see that has a viable strategy, albeit a bit risky.

It's not like Schmidt is a slouch. He was dominating at South Carolina and was viewed as a borderline first rounder anyhow. They then went substantially over-slot to sign second rounder Matt Sauer, so essentially ended up with guys Baseball America ranked 32nd (Schmidt) and 28th (Sauer). Not bad.

Schmidt found his way into several sets toward the end of the season, and his autograph is in Bowman Draft, Bowman’s Best, and a handful of Panini products.

I’m happy to have add his autograph to my collection, and I’ll probably add a few others in case his prices soar and I’m priced out.


  1. I've seen a lot of teams use similar strategy in the draft. Hopefully for you guys it works well too.

  2. I hear you about the spending. The only "good" that is guaranteed from buying a blaster is I am sure to get some trade bait I wouldn't have had anyways. Still, if I need trade fodder I can pick up better stuff at a cheaper rate at a card show or on-line.
    Ripping packs is equal to the lottery, you may win every now and again, but most the time it just isn't worth it.
    But man, it's ever so addicting and fun!

  3. 9 out of 10 times I'd go the eBay route... but every now and then I enjoy the thrill of busting a box.

  4. eBay is the way to go. I can buy an auto of every current Pirate minus Cutch for no more than $10

  5. Yup, with you on the retail spending. I went bonkers 3-4 years ago and was buying a blaster a week. At the end of the summer I added it up and was shocked. I could have bought some seriously cool stuff for what I wasted on retail. The upside is that you get a little trade bait, or neat cards you might not have thought you wanted. Downside (besides price) is that you almost never get your team as a hit. I cut back, give myself an eBay/COMC/Sportlot allowance each month, and have been much happier since. :)

  6. You've articulated the main debate I've had with myself for the past 2 years everytime I pick up a blaster. Nice post!

  7. Looking forward to seeing how Schmidt's progress goes. His Bowman Chrome market was surprisingly high though (then again he is a Yankees first rounder :P).