You've seen these plastic boxes of cards sold by Fairfield. I'm a sucker for these things. This year you even get the odd chance of an autograph card (one in every 4 cubes!). This box I bought last week was very productive. In addition to the 250 loose cards, there was a pack of 2009 Upper Deck and a pack of 2009 Upper Deck First Edition. So there were 278 cards total. But even better (as far as I'm concerned since baseball card variety is my life) there were 85 different sets represented. Of the 278 cards, 171 were cards I didn't have and 56 of those are keepers.
I decided a few years ago that I had entirely too many common cards. I started scanning every card I buy. Astros, Phillies and players I collect go into binders. I'll also keep rookie cards from new sets and some players which I don't collect but like in boxes. The rest of the cards are available for trade. The cards I scan but give away become part of my virtual collection. I have just over 2,000 virtual cards out of the 77,000+ cards I own. Last year I had my first Summer Clearance Trade and was able to unload a bunch of cards I didn't want in trade for Phillies and Astros cards I did want. I'll be doing the same this year. This post and the next will highlight some of the cards up for grabs this year. Pretty much all of them are commons (at least to me, but maybe not to some other team collector). The cards are arranged more or less in the order they came out of the box.
1985 Topps Bob Watson #51
Nothing special about this card. 1985 was the year I started collecting. I only bought a handful of Topps packs that year but that has led to the enormous amount of cards I have today. I'd like to own the whole set but don't really feel like going through the effort.
1990 Upper Deck #181 Chris Sabo
I really like the first 4 years of Upper Deck and keep every card from these sets I get in repacks (and there are a lot of these cards in repacks). But I already had this one. I used to collect Sabo but he didn't turn out to be a lasting talent.
1984 Topps #424 Dann Bilardello
Again, nothing special about this card but I really like the photograph.
1984 Topps Traded #87 Al Oliver
In my database of scanned cards I keep the stats of the players. Here's a guy with a career 0.303 batting average, 291 home runs and 2,743 hits. He was also a 7-time All-Star. He was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1991 but only got 4.3% of the votes. He, and others, believe he was a victim of owner collusion which knocked him out of baseball before he could get 3,000 hits, which maybe would have gotten him into the Hall.
1987 Topps #412 Eric Davis
I was able to complete the 1987 set with the help of trades and gifts from fellow bloggers. I collect Davis but already have several copies of this card. I was playing fantasy baseball in 1987, and in our league, nobody was bigger than Eric Davis.
1986 Topps #113 U L Washington
If you put on one of the red and green glasses used in 3D movies, I think this card would be 3D. Do you know what the U L in U L Washington means? That's right, it's just initials. There shouldn't be periods in his name. Does that make this an uncorrected error card? I have several tenuous connections with U L. We share a birth date and he was with the Royals when the Phillies beat them in the 1980 World Series.
1988 Donruss #596 Sammy Stewart
Here's a player I never heard of but looks like a nice guy. Wikipedia has a different story. Here's a quote from his Wikipedia entry: In October 2006, Stewart began serving an eight-year sentence in a North Carolina prison on a felony drug charge, having been convicted as an "habitual felon". He has been charged 46 times with more than 60 offenses since 1988, and has spent 25 months in prison over six separate stints. He has admitted to being a "crack addict".
1988 Topps Barry Bonds
Speaking of felons.
1990 Leaf #234 Scott Terry
This was the first year for Leaf, one of several "premium" sets released that year. As I remember, individual packs were pretty expensive and I didn't buy much of it.