Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Some Sage Wisdom: Always be nice to your fellow hobby goers, because sometimes it pays!

When I'm not blabbing here about my wins over on the L site, I'm generally talking about something that happened on the Blowout Forums.  Ever since Dennis introduced me to that lovely place a few years ago, I've gotten more and more invested in the site and have actually made a few companions there.  Recently I even had my first real life meet up with a card guy too - a user on the site lives about 15 minutes from me so we grabbed tacos and talked supercollections, which was a very groovy experience.

Anyways, in my time on Blowout I started a few lists that I thought needed to exist.  Several of these are my "Player to Collect lists," which are simply threads where the first post is a big long list of every player someone collects with their username next to it.  Sort of like the Got It, Got It, Need It blog, this is a nice one stop shop to go to when you have a rare card someone might need.  Those threads were pretty helpful, so I also added a few threads for finding rare cards that weren't necessarily valuable.  I know it took me years to find a few cards in my collection that don't even book $10, and I figured other people probably had similar cards on their want lists.  Made the threads, they've helped too, and I was just happy to put these threads out into the interwebs.

And wouldn't you know it, but some guy on Blowout noticed that I made these threads and decided I was a cool dude.  In return for my assistance in getting people cards for their collections, he decided to help me with my Seneca collection.  It started small with him googling around for me (all without me asking, the guy is pretty awesome!), but then he decided it would be even more fun to try to pull a Seneca I needed out of a box.  I agreed, and especially thought 2003 Sage would be fun, but most boxes online are around $100+ for one box, so that seemed out of the question.

Until, that is, a random Ebay auction appeared for TWO boxes of 2003 Sage.  The guy won both for the low cost of just $53 total, and the chase was on.  We talked about opening up the box to a general break, but in the end we just really wanted it open so we split it draft style, agreeing that any Senecas would go to me and then he would get first pick of the rest of the stuff.  I really just wanted Senecas, Brad Banks cards, or David Carr hits, with the rest leftover as tradables or sellables.  So did I get anything I needed/wanted?  Let's find out!

First I'll show off some of the base I picked up from this lot.  All the base cards have a print run of 2700, though they're all made in the "1 of 2,700" vein instead of specifically stamped.  No Senecas were pulled over 48 base across the two boxes, but we did get some cool guys like Sam Aiken and Rashean Mathis (Madden SUPERSTARS!):

We also got a Kyle Boller and a Tyrone Calico, who use to be a favorite player of my little brother:

And though there was no Seneca base, there was a Brad Banks base, so not all was lost!

On an added note, I already own a Seneca base /2700 but figured it'd be cool to pull one here since my other one was a purchase.  If I pull something I have more desire to keep it, same as if I trade for it it means more than if I purchase it.  Of course if I dig through a dime box and purchase it that means more than buying it online as well.  So really any way of buying it besides Ebay makes the card more meaningful to me, but I'm rambling now so let's continue with the goods!

So one of the neat things about Sage is that you end up with a hit per pack, so in this break with 24 packs that meant we each got 12 hits to take home.  In 2003 most hits tended to be autos with the relics falling usually one per box.  Coming into this break all the cards of Seneca I needed were hits, and included the following:
Sage Master Auto /1
Sage Master Jersey /1
Sage Platinum Jersey /10
Sage Player Proof Jersey /20
Sage Player Proof Auto /20
Sage Gold Jersey /25
Sage Silver Jersey /50

Tough odds for any of those, but with two boxes there's always a did we pull one?  Let's find out!

First though, I should mention that you will only see 4 hits below.  I did get 12, but 7 of those turned around in a Listia auction (as predicted, and it ended up getting me 70,000 credits when all was said and done) and 1 is going to Dennis.  These last four are the ones I decided not to part with, with the last two likely never leaving my sight.  So here goes.

First up is a Kyle Boller Red Auto /750:

When Boller came out, I remember a lot of people talking about him as a guy with a big arm but not much else.  I kind of wondered if Joe Flacco would be a similar kind of player coming out of Delaware, and it was sort of odd that Boller was pick 19 in the first round while Flacco was pick 18 in his draft.  The similarities pretty much end there though - due to injuries Boller started 34 games over his first 3 seasons, and his 55% completion percentage and 31:32 TD:INT ratio was nothing special.  Flacco started all 48 games in his first 3 seasons, with a 62% completion percentage and his 60:34 TD:INT rate was far superior.  So looks like the Ravens got it right this time around.  That said, I was always a Boller fan, and its a shame he never worked out the Baltimore.

Next up is my one jersey, a Bryant Johnson barely two color Penn State jersey #'d 18/50:
This was the "lesser" jersey, with the other being a four break Taylor Jacobs jersey which the Blowout member picked along with a Dallas Clark auto with his 2nd and 3rd picks of the draft.  So many of these jerseys (especially /75 and lower) are more than one color, and I love the texture of these jerseys compared to your typical Allen and Ginter or Upper Deck Rookie Premiere fare.  So I'm happy to grab this card, even if Johnson did nothing much after being selected a pick before Boller in the first round of 2003.

Speaking of Johnson, despite not doing much he has kind of hung around the league, though he is currently a free agent.  I only really remember his 2003-2007 stint with Arizona, but it turns out there were stops in San Francisco, Detroit, and most recently Houston (last year) on his resume.  Still, 16 touchdowns over 9 seasons isn't much to write home about for a first round pick.

As I mentioned above, the only hits I really wanted were Brad Banks or Seneca Wallace.  Well a Brad Banks was pulled and it was a doozy, his Gold auto #'d 63/120:
For those not in the know, the autos go master, player proof, platinum, gold, silver, bronze, and then red.  So getting a gold of Banks, a guy I owned zero Sage autos of, was quite the little pick up.  I believe we only pulled one Gold auto between both boxes, so the fact that it was Banks was even better (even though I gladly would've accepted a "lesser" color.  By the way, I know these scan horribly since they show the Sage certification over the auto, but in person this card looks FANTASTIC!
As for Banks, I believe I rambled about him here before, but I'll put another word in.  Whereas Seneca Wallace came out of Iowa State in 2003 and was drafted, Brad Banks left Iowa in 2003 and was an undrafted free agent with the Redskins.  They had some memorable duels in college but were never able to duel in the pros since Banks was a practice squad player only with the Skins and then went on to play in the CFL as a backup for many years before joining his hometown Iowa Barnstormers as an Arena League starter in 2011.  There he set a game record with 11 total touchdowns, 10 passing and 1 rushing.  Solid stuff.

Why do I care about the guy?  Well he goes hand in hand with Seneca, not just in the college duels and being in the same draft class, but also in being an undersized speedy backup type player who was in Madden 2004.  I typically made Seneca my starter and signed Banks out of free agency to be the backup.  But recently I made another new franchise with four teams and gave Banks control of his own starting job.  My other starting QB's by the way (besides Seneca)?  Shaun King (backed up by Rick Mirer) and Akili Smith (with Cade McNown nipping at his heels).

So there were the first three hits I kept, a Boller Auto, one of two jersey cards, and an auto with the second lowest print run of the break.  That leaves the card with the lowest print run, i.e. the hit of the break, and guess who it happened to be:
At the time we were breaking the first box, it was an audio only break, and the guy got real excited when this came out and wasn't totally clear.  When the dust settled he let me know what it was - a Platinum Auto, #'d 11/45, of the guy I PC.  Sweeeet.

Sadly this wasn't one I still needed as I bought another copy on COMC back in August, but that doesn't make this card any less sweet.  First of all, it's a $50 book value card, which is crazy high for a Seneca card, so that's nothing to guffaw at.  Secondly, and most importantly, it's a Seneca card that came to me via the shared break instead of COMC, so it means a lot more to me.  So sure enough, once this made it to my mailbox, I pulled out the COMC one and put it in that Listia lot.  The 11/45 is in my collection in its place, and it couldn't have found a better spot :-D.

And that was how the 2003 Sage break went.  Lots of good base, a few sweet hits, and what is easily the lowest #'d and highest valued Seneca Wallace card I may ever see pulled from a box break that I am personally involved in.  In the end it cost me just $0.45 too - I paid far more than that to the guy breaking the cards, but that paypal came from the sale of an old gift card I had to another guy on Blowout.  So in the end $0.45 paid for /45...and that's a beautiful thing.

1 comment: