Ok, two things.
1) Opening a full 20 box case of 2017 Donruss Racing NASCAR packs and then sorting the approximate 4,800 cards is a lot of work for a weekend.
2) It’s also a ton of fun.
I’ve written several posts about how I have either purchased cases of new boxes or full collections with the intention of profiting. I focused in on how flipping those cards to make some side money was the primary motivator, and if I happened to end up with some cards for the personal collection, that is just an added bonus.
This is not one of those posts.
This is a post about how sometimes you want to collect just for the fun of it. It’s about how sometimes you know that a card, or box, or even a case may not return full monetary value you spent on it, but is just cool. At least it’s cool to you.
Until last week, I had never purchased a single pack of racing cards. Not one. You might ask, what possessed me to purchase an entire case?
Good question! I’m glad you asked.
This purchase was a good year in the making. In February of 2017, I decided I wanted to focus on playing Fantasy NASCAR on Draftkings. Up to that point, I wasn’t really into racing all that much. I’d watch parts of the occasional race and read some articles on ESPN from time to time, but outside of the biggest names, I was pretty clueless.
When I decide to focus on my attention on something, that typically means I dig in. If I’m going to do something, I want to do it as well as possible. Especially when my hard earned money is going to be used to play a game, buy some cards, invest in a company, etc.
I used the premium content on Rotogrinders to start my education, and began to watch the races to both cheer on my drivers as well as observe the ins and outs of the race strategy the drivers used throughout. Over the course of the summer, I began to focus in on some favorites, and as their personalities started to come through, I found myself being sucked into to the NASAR world more and more.
I also recognized that similar baseball, basketball, football, and hockey, as I became more interested in the sport, I became more interested in collecting cards. It started with a few singles I’d set aside when I found them in a collection. Then around Christmas, I picked up several autos and relics on COMC as part of a gift for my father. Using racing cards as a gift would have never crossed my mind the year before.
Then a couple weeks ago I noticed that Steel City had Donruss hobby boxes and cases on clearance, and I started to get the itch. I started thinking “Boy, that seems cheap!” “Yeah, there doesn’t seem to be any big dollar stuff in there, but having an auto or tire card of that guy (or girl) would still be pretty cool!” “Sales are going well so far this year, I should just splurge on something that would just be fun.”
And that’s what I did.
I went in for a full 20 box case, and had a blast opening it. The excitement and anticipation I had while waiting for the UPS truck to arrive rivaled the feeling I had with my first ever full case of baseball cards. I put up three of the box break videos on my YouTube channel, and I’ve included the one with my favorite hit here in the post.
So what do you get out of 20 boxes?
You should find 20 Autos, 40 relics, about 40 base sets, 1 master set with SPs, and a bunch of inserts and parallels. Interestingly, with 80 short prints in the set, masters are hard to come by. The inserts are fairly limited as well, and even with a full case, I couldn’t make a full set of any of the inserts.
The Kevin Harvick Auto/Relic is my favorite card of the case, but several of the other hits have already found their home in my newly populated NASCAR binder. Mario Andretti is a legendary driver. Keselowski, Almirola, and Hamlin are guys I use regularly in Fantasy. The concept is the same as other sports for relics, but I like the tire cards too! NASCAR is interesting in that throughout most of the event, the car is what you are watching, and you only see the driver before and after the race. So it’s natural that some of the cards only feature photos of the car itself and the different paint jobs make for some cool variations!
I had fun with this break, and I even got the whole family involved in the sorting process. At the end of the day, I’m keeping a full set of Base, Short Prints, and Photo Variations along with about half the autos and relics for my newly established NASCAR PC. The rest will go up for sale to at least help offset some of the cost.
This was a great reminder for me that collecting doesn’t always have to be about maximizing profit, and that sometimes its good to use some profit to just have some fun!
Now I’m looking forward to next Sunday when I can fire up some new fantasy lineups and watch my drivers turn left!