Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gray Whales

During my time as a baseball card collector there have been numerous cards I "wanted" but didn't really feel like forking over the money to get.

I surprisingly bought this one

I'm sure we've all been there at least once. You find that card you're sort of interested in but you see that $3.99 BIN plus $2.99 S&H on eBay and just go "it's not worth it" and leave it.

Sometimes you can justify it by making sure it's a card you absolutely need or by adding more to make the shipping cost worth it (add more to save more). Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the cheapskate/lazy asshole in me just prefers to leave whatever it is that sort of drew my interest rather than take on more and inevitably pay more. That could change if I finally have a steady source of income (although in this/the foreseeable economy I doubt it), but right now these cards remain what I like to call Gray Whales. They're not white whales because they aren't cards that would cost an arm and a leg or have limited print runs. They're in the gray area where I could easily find them, I sort of I want them and in the grand scheme of things they aren't really that expensive but yet I have reservations about paying over one dollar. And yes I know this is a #FirstWorldProblem. Everything on this blog is ;).

4 - Joaquin Arias 2003 Just Minors Just Stars Autograph

Scan Courtesy of COMC

The thing about the second base prospects the Yankees had in the 2000's is that the one really good second base prospect became pretty much the only Yankees prospect to actually pan out, Robinson Cano. There were other notable second basemen in the org like Corban Joseph and David Adams but I already have Corban Joseph's Bowman Chrome autograph and David Adams unfortunately never got to see a mainstream Bowman Chrome card. That said there was one other notable second base prospect who was briefly in the Yankees org, that man was two time World Series Champion Joaquin Arias. Arias was a top-ish prospect for a brief while before being sent to Texas in the Alex Rodriguez trade, over Robinson Cano, and along with Alfonso Soriano. Now for these Gray Whales I often skew towards Bowman cards from the mid-00's but to my knowledge this JM card is the only card showing Arias as a member of the Yankees. Considering how there are almost no photographs in existence showing Arias in Yankees gear, this card is one I should make more of an effort to obtain, yet I almost never do.

1 - Phil Hughes 2005 Bowman Chrome Autograph

Scan Courtesy of COMC

This card is exactly what inspired this post. I've wanted this Phil Hughes Bowman Chrome auto in my collection for a millennia, yet I've never pulled the trigger. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with Hughes' "legacy" as a Yankee. A lot of cards I want are of players who achieved far less. It has everything to do with how Hughes' BoChro autos are still priced relatively high. The lowest price I can remember in recent memory is $7.00 with free shipping. $7 for a Phil Hughes BoChro is not an amount I'm willing to spend. Especially when the price will drop to $2.50 (shipped) after Hughes retires as a pro and everybody's pipe dream of his cards making them rich is officially over. Until then, I'll scour the bargain bins at the card shows I go to and be happy with the not-BoChro but was still cheap sticker auto from Topps Unique.

Some Other Gray Whales:
*Shelley Duncan 2002 Bowman Draft paper base
*Austin Romine's Bowman Chrome auto from 2008
*Jesus Montero's Bowman Chrome auto from 2008
*Melky Cabrera 2005 Bowman paper base
*Nick Johnson 2001 Bowman Draft Auto
*Taylor Mattingly 2003 Bowman Draft paper base
*Kyle Roller 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition autograph
*Ferdin Tejeda 2003 Bowman Draft paper base
*Jose Pirela's 2011 Bowman Prospects paper base
*Ramiro Pena's 2010 Topps Chrome RC Autograph
*Mason Williams 2011 Bowman Chrome Autograph
*Ben Gamel's 2011 Bowman Chrome Autograph
*Melky Mesa's 2011 Bowman Chrome Autograph
*Zoilo Almonte's 2010 Bowman Chrome base card
*Austin Jackson's 2008 Bowman Chrome Autograph
*Slade Heathcott's 2010 Bowman Chrome Autograph
*Manny Banuelos' 2011 Bowman Chrome Autograph
*Andrew Brackman's 2008 Bowman Chrome Autograph
*Mark Melancon 2008 Bowman Chrome Autograph
*Michael Dunn's 2008 Bowman Chrome base card
*Daniel McCutchen's 2008 Bowman Chrome autograph
*J. Brent Cox 2006 Bowman Chrome Autograph

And there you have it, my gray whales list.

As you can see, a lot of these guys are former top Yankees prospects who never really did much of note (certainly not as a Yankee) and can be quite affordable individually. It's when they all add up that it becomes a problem you get me?

And what I tried to get across but utterly failed to do is show that I am missing A LOT of Bowman base cards from the 2000's. And when I mean base cards, I mean ALL the base cards, not just the base autograph cards. So much so that I'm now far more appreciative of the early 2000 (or was it 1999?) Bowman cards that DefGav sent me a while back. For the most part a lot of notable names are scattered everywhere but there are some years with more notable names than others (2008 and 2011). If I ever have enough money to buy all of these cards at once, I may just buy an old school box of 2004 Bowman Draft or something and be pleasantly disappointed and regret my decision because I'm a dumb human doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

Anyway, those were my gray whales. Do you guys have any cards that are easily accessible, cheap and affordable but you just can't pull the trigger?

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).


  1. Haha I love that term "gray whale." I totally know what you mean. I face that a lot with my Tino and Hensley collections. "oooh I want that card, but $5 total? Ehhh." I feel like that on most days. I sort of mention it in a round-about way in my Hensley post tonight.

    Good luck with some of the gray whales!

    1. Thanks, good luck with your gray whales as well.

  2. I've probably got four pages of Gray Whales in my eBay watch list. Sketch cards, random parallels, PC autographs, novelty cards, NASCAR die-cast, and all manner of other stuff. None of it really is bank-breaking, but I can't buy all of it either.

    1. Nice to know that I'm not the only one accumulating gray whales in my watch list.

  3. A perfect term, I have a list of cards I want but I just don't feel like buying because I don't want to spend the cost of shipping yet. That 2015 Onyx Aguilar is a cool card, I had not seen those before.

    1. I'm tempted to pull the trigger but a good deal has yet to show itself.

  4. Pretty much every Pirate from 1993-2010 is a gray whale. You just have to find free or combined shipping to make it seem like a deal. "Hey, it's the Tom Gorzelanny auto I need. "Oh, $2.99 shipping....I can wait." That happens pretty much everyday for me on eBay.

    1. Those darn late 90's to early 10's are a real pain in the ass.

  5. Griffey collecting is mostly whales of one shade or another.