Site: Greater Reading Expo Center; Reading, PA
The economist John Maynard Keynes coined the term "animal spirits" to describe a state of collective over-confidence, bordering on naivete. Personally, I'd call it something else: "stupidity." Such naivete/stupidity was on full display at the 97th Philly Show, and most of it revolved around one single card: the now infamous 2007 Topps Derek Jeter.
How much were '07 Topps Jeter's going for at the Philly Show? How about $35-$50 for a base, $75 for the Red Letter and -- and hold onto your armchairs for this one -- a Gold was reportedly sold $1100! '07 Topps wax (or what's left of it) has shot up to $75/box, and I couldn't find a single HTA or rackbox anywhere. (For the record, in the hobby waxbox I purchased last weekend for $50, I pulled a base and a Red Letter.) I don't ever recall seeing such demand for a non-rookie, non-short-printed, non-error, base set card since the 1990 Score Bo Jackson card. Animal spirits, indeed!
Also, 2007 Topps Heritage is now live, but nobody seemed to care.
Stack of 22 different 2006 Upper Deck Update SPs and 19 different UD Update commons (paid $100)
Speaking of animal spirits...
There's one particular Philly Show dealer who always brings a boatload of current and previous year baseball singles. Being the set builder that I am, he's usually the first table I scope out.
This time, he brought with him a three-fifths-full 5000-count monster box full of '06 UD Update singles, with all the SPs in individual sleeves. Upon seeing the monster box, my "animal spirits" had me thumbing through them all trying to finish off my set, cost be damned!
When I bought and broke my two boxes, I had no idea that UD had short-printed 50 of the cards. In fact, it wasn't until after Update was listed in Beckett that I even found this out. (I was tempted to revoke UD title as 2006's "Best Base Set," but the set is just too damn good. And so it shall remain.) To their credit, UD didn't just SP all the usual suspects. In addition to all 30 Team Checklists and a few rookies, a couple of the veteran players (and even a manager) were short-printed. Naturally, I would up buying all the ones I had on my wantlist -- including paying $5 for a SPed card of former Phillie and current Dodger second baseman Marlon Anderson. Yes, I paid $5 for a card of MARLON F'N ANDERSON!
The buyer's remorse didn't kick in until I spotted a stack UD Update waxboxes a couple of tables over. Price: $30 each. Now I just bought a stack of singles to (nearly) finish off my set for $100; but I could have bought another two boxes (and taken my chances) for $40 less. That's animal spirits for you. I now need only four cards to complete my 1250-card 2006 Upper Deck set, and they're all Update SPs.
Stack of 83 different 2007 Topps commons (paid $25)
Sorry, but I refuse to pay $75 for another waxbox of '07 Topps. Even if it's possible to get my $75 back by pulling another Red Letter Jeter and immediately flipping it, I'm not doing it. I'll gladly fill out the rest of my set out of somebody else's commons box for a third of the price, thank you very much.
These were purchased from the same dealer as the UD Updates.
One retail waxbox of 2007 Fleer (paid $33)
I had no idea this was a retail box until after I opened it up and noticed the word "RETAIL" printed on each wrapper. From what I understand, the only difference between Hobby and Retail in this year's Fleer is a one-per-box autograph in Hobby. In both versions you get two MLBPA "ROOKIE CARDS" and a Rookie Sensations insert in every pack -- which should make for an interesting break. Break forthcoming -- but keep in mind, that I still have two boxes from the last Philly Show that I still have yet to post breaks on.
One hand-collated 1981 Donruss set (paid $40)
Early-80s sets have been on my wish list for a while, and (believe it or not) even after grossly overpaying for all those UD Update singles, I still had enough left over for this beauty. Alright, 1981 Donruss wasn't exactly a "beauty," but it's still better than the Donruss set that came twenty years later.
Can you believe that a complete set of quarter-century old baseball cards can be had for less than the price of a comparable set of today's cards? I should've been charged with theft for buying this set.
Total spent on cards: $198
Grand Total: $207
I still can't believe I paid $5 for that Marlon Anderson card!