Klein’s Korner: Silver linings are available – just look for them!- To say 2020 has delivered gut punches to many of us in the hobby on personal levels may be an understatement. Some people sadly have to handle more than they should.
One of them is Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin, whose brother is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This is a brutal, terrible battle and to be blunt, if Chris or Upper Deck has ever done a solid for you, this is time to return the favor. Recently, a few of us got together on a Sunday morning to wish Chris well because this is truly all hands on deck for his family.
Also, the financial strain is hard so you can visit their Go Fund Me page.
Recently we got gut punch number two as the long expected but still disappointing announcement came down that there would not be a National Sports Card Convention in 2020. As I’ve noted on a personal level this would have been a springboard to go back home either before or after the event and on a professional level with the way the hobby is going this might have been the best Atlantic City show ever. Alas, we’ll see you in Chicago for 2021.
On a personal note, I know how difficult this year has been for “Papa” John Broggi on both a personal and professional level and the decision was the correct one, no matter how difficult this was to make; But safety concerns are more important than a few dollars at this moment in our lives.
But, for all the bad news and all the complaints about nothing being available for “the kids” on a retail level, there is always good news if you look for it. I can speak firsthand about the lack of cards at the big box retail stores, as when I went to Walmart on National Baseball Card Day, there were exactly four blaster boxes in the store. I did purchase the 2019 Heritage and 2020 Diamond Kings boxes and was happy because the Heritage box was on closeout so it was even less than the original $19.99 price. If you know me in any way, Heritage is my favorite product each year. The 2020 Diamond Kings box was also well worth what I paid so that was a nice inexpensive retail trip.
And there is even more good news. While most of us certainly can not play in the super high-end game where cards can trade for more than a million dollars, you can choose to participate in whatever level you want. Many of the items direct from Topps are very reasonable when offered. How about a five-card pack including Fernando Tatis Jr. for just $5. Now I know most of you are not big fans of Topps Attax but still most of us can afford a crisp new $5 bill for cards which include one of the most exciting players in baseball today.
And if want to buy single cards there are plenty of them available on sites such as COMC, Sportslots, EBay and so many others. In today’s world you can certainly build up a nice collection at very reasonable prices. And when shows return on a normal basis, so will the plethora of dime/quarter/dollar boxes for us to search for bargains. The most important aspect to remember is if all you are chasing the newest, hottest, most expensive items, then you may well be disappointed; but if you are willing to look deeper and study, the sheer amount of products available gives you plenty of opportunities to buy nice items at a level you feel you can afford.
So look around and be thankful for all the options we have in 2020 and make sure you have fun with the hobby!
photo courtesy Sports Collectors Daily