I love lots. No, that is not an incomplete sentence, I love buying and selling lots of cards on eBay. All sorts of people will tell you all kinds of strategies for getting a good price on the venerable auction site; ideas ranging from searching misspellings to sniping to days of the week, etc. etc. I have bought and sold on there for over a decade and I find the best way to get bang for your buck is lots. When I sell in lots, I always list everything that's involved, including names, card numbers, and serial numbers - not just one of these but all of them. Sure, it can be time consuming, but such completist actions gets results. And conversely, when I am looking for a card, I will always use the "search description" option to see if I can find it in a lot to get some other cards with it, either to add to my collection or turn around and resell. I find this adds to the fun and since this is a hobby, that is the name of the game.
I don't always have a specific target when I search, sometimes I just plug in a few words and "lot" and see what comes up. "Mets lot" is one of my five most common searches on eBay and last week I found a rather vaguely worded listing, offering 50 cards including "serial numbers" and "refractors" with nothing listed and only one card pictured. Normally, I would not take a chance on such a lot, but I was feeling frisky and the price was right. Lucky for me, the lot was all refractors and serial numbered cards. It is one of my favorite buys of recent memory. Lets take a look:
Right away, there are some Topps gold parallels, I happen to love these cards. Johan is always appreciated, I am still a little weary of Pelfrey. Pagan is now gone, but he did have one good season on a bad team and, last but not least, Brandon Looper. I like Brandon Looper strictly because in MVP 2005, he was listed as B. Looper - so that means the Mets closer was literally a Blooper! How appropriate. *sigh* Moving on, there is some Heritage Chrome and those wacky Topps Co-Signers cards, with their labyrinthine system of colors and numbers. Luckily, Jose Reyes is in the dark shadows of two of them and not featured. My love affair with Jose Reyes is over and I am very broken-hearted about the whole thing. It is always nice to see David Wright's smiling face, with any luck, we will see more of it on the field this year.
Let's move on to the shiny, OOOOOOooooooooooo..... shiny...
Night Owl was right when he said the 2010 Chrome cards were the worst offenders of the curling, that Jason Bay bows something awful and it was packed tight with these other cards. Oh, but those Blue and Orange refractors are purdy. I can't tell which color works better. That David Wright looks 100x better in person, with its orange popping right out at ya. More stately and beautiful is the 2011 Johan Santana; that might be my favorite new Johan. Heck, the blue even makes Armando Benitez look good. There, once again, is a mega-shiny X-Fractor Jose Reyes...there was a time when I would have been thrilled to own that card. Then there are some Bowman refractors, which are always hit or miss. The shine on the black borders is hard to see in person, much less in the scans here. And while I love the color purple normally, it does nothing for Mets cards. I do like that those cards are numbered out of /777 - I like it when they mix it up from the usual /999 or /500 or what have you.
Here are some more Mets shiny. Told you there were a lot of refractors...
Lots of painful memories in this scan, but being a Mets fan is knowing the meaning of the words "what might have been." That Daniel Murphy X-Fractor is quite something in person; he is the only potential positive here. The less said about the others, the better.
Even more shiny and some die-cut rookies:
Kurt Presley's claim to fame is being a cousin of The King; too bad Lisa Marie has a stronger arm. That gold refractor David Wright is the rare card that looks better in the scan than it does in person. The colors don't quite work in real life, but the scanner seemed to get the right angle on it. Odd. Oh, and Darryl Strawberry. I have been in an abusive relationship with Straw since 1983. I wish I could quit you, but a low numbered blue shiny Topps Tribute card is not going to help at all. Deolis Guerra was one of the pieces of the Johan Santana trade, I think he parked my car last week in the city, I can't be 100% sure. Then there are two more Orange vs. Blue examples. These are both off colors to the Mets colors, but both work; yes, even with Victor Zambrano prominently involved. Matt Den Dekker opened some eyes in Spring Training this year, and this is the first card of his I have. The only thing I have to look forward to this year is some young bucks going out there and showing something, so I hope they keep some of these kids up. If you're gonna fail, you might as well do it with rookies. I remember we picked Steve Matz in 2009 and this is the first I have heard of him since.
Getting a little older with these, and a little more random:
Mike Piazza and Tom Glavine. You cannot get further on my love list than those two. I have never said a kind word about Tom Glavine and I never will. OK, Carlos Beltran. I avoided commenting on his cards now long enough. I want to like Carlos Beltran. Heck, I want to love him. I have a boatload of his cards. And yes, I know he had some good years for the team, but I am afraid in the long run, the best thing about Carlos Beltran for the Mets is he got us Zack Wheeler. Sad. The bottom row has a neat old Topps Gallery Players Private Issue card of Rey Ordonez. I now look back on Rey Ordonez fondly, so I guess there is hope for Carlos Beltran. I have that Dynasty card in a gold ultra-low numbered version, so having it in orange is nice too (the back has Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry). That last card proves the old Meatloaf lyric correct: two outta three aint bad.
This was a 50 card lot, so the last scan only had five cards:
The top row are three rookies that didn't pan out, two of them from Japan. I love all of the Mets failed experiments in free agents from the far east, so these cards will find themselves in good company with Kazuo Matsui and Tsuyoshi Shinjo, et al. The last two cards kind of belong together...Darryl Strawberry and Jose Reyes. Probably the two best position players the Mets have ever developed. Both of them left for greener pastures and fatter wallets. One of them regrets it, I hope the other one lives to. *double sigh* To end this post on a more positive note, those Upper Deck Baseball Heroes cards sure look wonderful in blue.