Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hitting the Sweet Spot

Well yesterday I dropped into the ol cranky man's card shop to pay up ol Joe and Priceless Pursuit for our Red Sox/Yankees bet. Joe has $10 worth of cards headed his direction, and it shall remain a surprise until he receives them.

Much to my happiness, the cranky man was not there yesterday. The last trip to the store I was caught in an uncomfortable position of a mother coming up to the owner and having a conversation about him accusing her son of shoplifting. All the while I am standing there, debit card in hand ready to pay.

Apparently the kid looked suspicious and the owner told him to leave and never come back. The mom made a couple good points 1) if he truly was trying to shoplift, WHY would he come home and tell her about it? 2) The mom requested that he allow her son to shop if she comes along to supervise. He shut her down and told her that he does not want her son in his store anymore.

My thoughts on the matter. To the shop owner: times are already a bit rickety with card collecting. I understand your concerns about potential theft, but I felt that the mom offering to be there as well would be effective, and also a bit embarrassing to her son, and teach him a lesson if he indeed was trying to steal. Secondly, I think she has a point about him running home and telling her all about it. If I were trying to steal, I would be a bit embarrassed and try to hide it from mom. Bottom line: you cannot afford to lose business, or have bad word of mouth for your store. You are already losing out to warehouses on hobby boxes...you need the customers. Secondly, you have cards ALL OVER THE PLACE in there...if you don't want potential thieves, keep the cards behind glass or on a shelf. Organize.

But I digress. It's just been bugging me a bit, but I stick up for the little guy.

Anyways, because I needed to award Joe his prize, I decided to take advantage of a once-in-a-never chance to purchase a guaranteed hit $20 pack of Sweet Spot. Consider it my consolation prize to Upper Deck since I have mostly already parted ways with their product.

The cards come (I think) 8 to a box and guarantees either an auto or relic per pack. The sealed packs are inserted into individual boxes, and then shrink-wrapped! I have expected a rattlesnake to be guarding the boxes to further avoid any hot pack hunting (gee, do you think this pack has a hit in it...duh!).

So I head back to the car and open up the various security devices and pull out the cards. The first thing I notice is that one of them is about 3/4 inch thick. I slowly go through the base cards. I cannot remember them all and none are on ebay, but they are basically your standard Upper Deck photo complete with a baseball stitching embossing feature on each card. Well, I got a couple Dustin Pedroia's in the one pack, so I guess that makes it worth it (whats up with the collation though)?

Anyways, the hit?

95% of you probably already know about this product, but what you are looking at is an actual piece of baseball hand signed by Takashi Saito. It's original, i'll give it that. Too bad Saito is not in Red Sox gear, but this is a 2008 card, so there you go. I am a bit on the fence with this one, technically he is qualifies as a pitching phenom, but injuring his shoulder and being used as a not-so-often set-up man for the Sox pretty much tarnishes this hit slightly for me. I would be happy to trade it away if somebody would like to give it a good home!


  1. Nice pull! What's wrong with that shop owner?? Did he actually catch the kid shoplifting?? What's his deal?? You're right - there is almost no reason to make a big purchase at a shop any more because of how cheap boxes are online. It's a bit sad that I've relegated my shop as a "demo" place only - I'll buy sample packs and the occasional old wax box, but that's it.

  2. You got lucky, I always get the relics, which are pretty lame for a $20 pack.....

  3. Nice hit. I bought one of these too to give Upper Deck a hearty good bye.

  4. I'm definitely interested in trading for the Saito Auto. Shooting you an email.