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Baseball Card Collecting: A Miracle in a Box

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Just about every baseball card collector in the world has a love of baseball that is unconditional. I personally was introduced to it in 1972 at the age of four. My grandfather was a huge baseball fan and I suspect he started me off as his excuse to spend money on something he loved. I personally did the same thing when my sons were little and most of us buy a few pack here and there as a fun and hobby to pass along to our kids.

It is baseball legend that you could somehow come across that once in a lifetime box that is loaded with all the premium cards in order, in successive packs. Due to some type of manufacturing issue it has been said this does actually happen and here is the proof.

2009 Topps Heritage Thom Glavine ERRORThis is a story about Todd Newman and his amazing $19.99 purchase at Wal-Mart in Mayfield, Kentucky. Todd purchased a box of 2009 Topps Heritage, the blaster box. Then he got blasted. His $19.99 purchase netted a 51,500% profit. That's right, $19.99 got him a $10,300 return on his investment. So you see, kids, baseball cards are a good investment.

Here is what he got: 51 short-printed variations of Topps Heritage baseball cards. Seven copies of the short runs on these players: Randy Winn, Conor Jackson, Adrian Gonzalez, John Smoltz, and Hanley Ramirez.

Here is where Todd's box of cards really gets good: there were 16 error cards. Eight copies of the $200 “Thom” Glavine variation and eight copies of the Fred Lewis card featuring Randy Winn on the front, making his box a historic pull. If you are curious about error cards, these are the crown jewels of collecting. Error cards are so rare due to three factors. The first is the obvious reason: they were made wrong. Second, most of the time even the manufacturer doesn't know how many goof-ups there are. The third factor is because they are so hard to find. This is why they are cherished by the industry and its hardcore collectors.

The eight packs in Todd's box netted $1,287 a pack and his value in a few years could be much more. Todd may want to think about one auction on eBay for the entire lot. I could see some Braves or Giants fan giving him double the value given the error cards. When asked about his pulls, this is what he said: “I have been collecting for a long time, but hadn’t bought any Topps Heritage this year yet. I bought the third box in the row and pulled 51 short-printed variations. I was just wondering if you had heard of anyone else having this luck on these this year?”

The answer to this questions would more than likely be NO. However if I was in Mayfield, Ky., I would probably buy every single Topps Heritage Blaster box I could find and hope that I too would get blasted.

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About Torrey Martin

Torrey Martin is a San Francisco Bay Area Writer and has written content for Sports and the Video Games Industry since 2007
  • And yet they spelled “Smoltz” correctly.

  • Maybe “error” cards are the new way to artificially inflate card values nowadays…