Something in the hobby that I just can’t comprehend…

It’s not an everyday occurrence, but often times I will see something in the hobby and just shake my head.  If I had a dime for each time I’ve thought “what are they thinking,” I’d have enough money to own my own card shop.

It’s well documented on this blog and some hobby message boards that I am an Andrew Shaw super collector.  There’s very few cards left that I need, which brings me to this “WTF” post.

Two of the few cards I need are the scarce O-Pee-Chee blank back cards from the 2013-14 and 2014-15 sets.  The secret of how many of each card was produced seems to be held as tightly as Jimmy Hoffa’s location.  The topic had been discussed in the past on message boards, but being a somewhat lazy guy, I didn’t want to go look that thread up.  I posted again and got a few answers confirming what I’d thought I’d heard.  It was mentioned on one thread that someone believed them to be a case hit and feeBay listings sometimes say one or two per case.  If we know case runs, this would be easy to figure out.  Does anyone out there have this information?

The highest number anyone mentioned was about 25 cards and I felt that was a bit higher than I’d heard before.  I felt like 15 or so seemed to be the sweet spot.  I can say that I’ve never seen any of the 2013-14 Shaw cards come to the secondary market and multiple player collectors’ comments seemed in line with my experience.

30ranfordfan on Sports Card Forum:

“Bill Ranford has been in those OPC sets, with the Blank Backs, 3 times: 11-12, 12-13, 14-15.

Each of those seasons, I picked up the first copy that I found……. and I think that only 12-13 I even saw a second copy surface online. I would be surprised to learn that in any of those years (at least 11-12 and onward) that there was more than 15 copies….. and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn that there was actually a lot less.”

Mauri on Cloutsnchara:

“Still missing two (Cody) McLeod Blank Backs and I could pay quite a lot for either of them. Especially 09-10 seems to be insanely hard, I’ve checked Ebay daily since release and _never_ seen one. I know who has one, but never seen one available.”

As rare as they are, most of these cards don’t actually go for that much once they do surface.  I have only pulled one myself, a Josh Gorges.  I listed it at a Buy it Now/OBO on eBay for $10.  Even once I marked it 50% off, I had no bites on it.  I definitely understand that he’s no star, but it’s still a bit shocking I couldn’t get five for it, as rare as it is.  I will say that I’m surprised I’ve not heard of anyone working to complete these sets.

Searching by most recently completed and not even scrolling down too far, I can find sales of a 2014-15 Vincent Trocheck (rookie) for $1.52, a 2013-14 Mark Messier for $1.50 and a 2012-13 Brent Burns for $0.99.  If you have a star you can get good money for it, or pay good money for it if you are looking to buy.  A P.K. Subban rookie went for $62 and a 2012-13 Patrick Kane sold for $65.  Those are obviously the exception to the rule.

While “X” number of these are produced, we know that the number that hit the secondary market is less.  There are still thousands of unopened boxes, blasters and packs out there.  As a lower-end product, I feel that these might be a product that sells more to kids than even the normal “Upper Deck” set.  Between kids that might not know and a casual collector that just picks up a blaster at his local Target, there are some of these sitting out there in a box and someone doesn’t know the scarcity of them.  Could they be in a dime box at a card shop because a customer opened a box, took whatever “hits” they got and just put the rest of them in for the shop to sell?  I’ve seen stranger things happen.

All of that brings me to this.



I find it hard to believe that the seller didn’t “know” that they were having a very scarce card signed.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be asking $125 for an uncertified card of what is honestly a “common” player.

I get it.  It only takes one idiot….errrr….person, to pay $125 (or whatever the seller would take) for this card.  If and when that happens, what they did is justified from their end.  They’ve made their money.

However, they’ve taken one of what is a scarce print run out of the market.  I love my player PC and have a ton of fun with it.  I love my Andrew Shaw autographs.  However, this card to me, because of situation, is defaced.  It is worth less to me signed than it would be unsigned.  I made an offer on it and it was declined.  That’s fine.  My offer was much, much (much, much) less than what the seller is asking and I knew there was zero chance that it would be accepted.  If the card was unsigned, I would have offered more, knowing I NEED it for my PC.

I looked at the card as nothing but a place holder.  I would have it and it would be with the other 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee Shaws that I have.  At the same time, the card would NOT be marked off my checklist.  I need a truly “pure” version to truly have that card, in my opinion.

I obviously have a point of view on this that has an emotional twist because I need this card.  I’m sure that there are some that will read this and think I’m going overboard.  You’re entitled to your opinion.  I’m not in the hobby for money, I’m in it for fun.  Things like this take some of the fun out of the hobby.  I’ve seen a few people in the last few months that have left the hobby because it’s not fun for them anymore.  I won’t say I’m there, but it’s thing like this that make me shake my head.

If you want to get a Shaw card signed to resell, fine.  Let’s just not make it something like this.  That’s just stupid and to me, it’s bad for the collecting community.  Maybe I’m crazy, but I want a “collecting community,” not the wild west in collecting where everyone’s just trying to make a few bucks.  Is that why we got into the hobby?

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