Monday, August 21, 2023

Card-Buying Hiatus

The Bump and Run household has run into some financial rapids and been bumped around by them this year. Nothing catastrophic, but enough that we've had to take a hard look at our spending. Since April, we've had to replace our garage door, put new tires on both vehicles, had our lawnmower crap out on, then had the one we bought to replace it follow suit, spent a few hundred to fix the ac that went out on the first triple-digit day of summer, and had both my phone and my wife's phone die completely in the same week. My car's check engine light came on; we spent over $700 to fix it, and it ran worse after I picked it up. So we took it back to the shop, where it has now been for 20 days. I don't know what they've done to it, but it's sitting in the parking lot with the hood up because they can't even get it to start now. Depending on the outcome of that situation, I may be looking for a new car, too. So our health is good and I didn't lose my source of income or anything, but we've run into a bunch of emergency-type expenses in the past few months. As a result, we've had to evaluate some other purchases we make. Caught a little tight in the finance department, I've made the decision not to buy any more cards for at least the rest of this year. 

So here are my last purchased cards for the foreseeable future. Actually, I bought this box last fall, but I forgot about it until this summer. I cracked open the box, opened a couple of packs, and let the box get buried in my card room until recently.

2021 Topps Big League--released, as you recall, a month into the 2022 MLB season--wasn't the flashiest, coolest-looking set I've seen, but it's far from the worst. I suspect this is a design that I will forget some day. I'm not chasing the set; I was just looking for a fun break. Here are a few cards that I'll keep for my collection.

Over a few years of buying Big League, I've noticed that Rookie of the Year award winners seem to be plentiful in the set. In this particular set, I think it may be because so many of them won other awards that were featured in the Award Winners subset (Jose Abreu's AL MVP, or Randy Arozarena's and Corey Seager's LCS MVPs, for example). 
Regardless of the reason, this scan illustrates my point. Of the 10 cards in the pack, 5 cards were ROY winners (Lewis 2x, Correa, Seager, and Arozarena). A sixth card, Vlad Jr., fits into my ASG MVP collection. But a Rookie of the Year hot pack!

Each pack contained one orange parallel and one insert. These are the non-base cards I pulled for my collection.

And a few of the inserts that found themselves in my trade boxes. I considered building the Wanted set, but decided against it ultimately.

This box beat the odds for me, too. Twice. First, I pulled an orange auto, which falls at 1:286. There is no guaranteed hit in a box, so beating the odds with any auto is already fun. Then this black foil card, numbered to 15, came out later. The odds of the black foil parallel is 1:485, so there is another fun long-odds card in the box. Both of those are hard enough pulls to make it fun anyway. But when the parallel numbered 5/15 just happens to fit into my collection, that's even better!

Before I pulled the plug on buying cards, I had one more purchase that I needed to make. Since Topps didn't release Opening Day this year, I missed my annual box break/set build. But I didn't want to let this Flagship get away without a set, though. I've been planning to pick up the factory set to commemorate Topps' final [independent] Flagship production. I pre-ordered a set to be my last new cards.


I've seen plenty of 2023 Topps around on the blogs, but I hadn't seen any in person until last week. I have to say, I think they look better on a screen than in-hand. I think this is my least favorite Flagship of the 20s. My set came with five foilboard cards. None are too exciting. These are numbered to 426. If I did my math correctly, that means that 56,232 factory sets were produced with this particular extra pack parallel. I'm not sure if there are other parallels available in different factory sets, but I would imagine so.

Along with my purchasing hiatus, I'm going on shipping hiatus, too. I have one stamp left for a PWE trade and when it's gone, I'm taking an online trading break, too. The blog will still live for the time being, however. I have a backlog of trades to post and some research-based and collection display posts to work on still. Hopefully, we'll get to place where we feel the ability to breathe in our discretionary spending again soon, but right now we've had to tighten the belt a little. These buys will have to hold me over for a while.


  1. Sorry to hear about all the financial woes, but glad none of it is super serious. I hope your car issue in particular gets resolved soon. Oh, and nice Privetta pull!

  2. Any one of these things could have an impact on the average persons monthly budget, and all together they'd probably cause some serious hardship. I hate to hear that you all have been having such bad luck. Hopefully you'll be able to avoid anymore financial troubles. And if you haven't already done so, you might want to start looking for a new mechanic too. I wouldn't trust those people with any more of my vehicles.