I stood like a zombie in the middle of my card room scanning the chaos one Saturday morning. Stuff everywhere, not organized or stored properly, a product of being absolutely lazy all winter. I can only blame myself, I mean if I won an award for being lazy, I’d probably send someone to pick it up for me. It was certain however that no one was helping me with this mess.
After a trip to the local drive through coffee place I went to work, sorting and organizing, sometimes just putting rows of cards into boxes just to clear an area. Progress was steady, you could start to see the floor. Within hours my card dungeon was upgraded to a respectable room of hobby, a place where you can actually find what you are looking for. Figuring I was done for the night I sat down to relax and watch a hockey game. My beloved Buffalo Sabres weren’t scheduled to skate that night but I felt like taking in some hockey nonetheless. As I sat there scanning the idiot box, something caught the corner of my eye; The wad of cash I took of out of hiding when I was cleaning the card room. I have a fire proof lock box I keep money and some graded vintage in for safe keeping, but for some reason I took the money out, probably to count it, or to take a picture of myself in front of the mirror with it fanned out like Lil’ Wayne for my Facebook page or something ridiculous like that.
The money was on the side table, but I felt like I stretched my arm a good 5 feet to grab it. When you see unexplained cash lying around you tend to grow super human characteristics like stretchy arms. As I flipped the bills around, noticing I had an abundance of them, I remembered what I was saving this for; The Cup!
Upper Deck has this hockey product called The Cup. It is an extremely high grade product (upwards of $400 for a tin of 5 cards) and they are the best looking cards you will ever lay your eyes on. In fact, the cards are so beautiful, patches so disgusting and autographs so crisp; They have to put a cardboard decoy in the tin with the case hit, just so you are aware which card is the best of the lot. I have seen countless tins opened on YouTube and in person and it has been nothing but good things to come out of it. I have always wanted one but couldn’t fathom the idea of laying down a mortgage payment to try my luck. So I saved a little here and saved a little there, forgetting about it in the process, until now.
Before I could talk myself out of it I was in the car heading down to my local card store, practically salivating over the opportunity to finally bust a tin of this stuff. I arrive at the store only to see the guy locking up and getting into his truck, or something that resembled a truck. For a business owner he really knew how to stretch the life out of an old Dodge. I’ve arrived as this guy has been closing up before, so I knew it was almost impossible to get him to open back up. As soon as I said “The Cupâ€, he couldn’t get back into the store fast enough. I guess if you are going to hand someone $450, an extra minute at work isn’t going to kill them.
I walk over the display that I stared at with admiration so many times before to see 4 tins left. I was hoping for it to be a full 6 tin case so I have a fresh chance at grabbing the case it. The man behind the glass claimed he put six out last week and had these left. To his knowledge, the case hit wasn’t pulled since both of the guys opened in the store. Screw it, I grabbed the first one and paid the man. Tucked it under my arm and headed back out into the wild, making sure I went straight home.
I arrived home and placed the tin on my kitchen table, eager to find out what was inside. Before I did that however, I started acting really strange. I took a shower, brushed my teeth and changed into a business casual outfit. I did my hair and put on a good pair of shoes, going as far as to change the laces because I noticed they were a bit frayed. I went downstairs and locked the door, turned off the outside lights and closed the curtains. I even went as far as to shut off the television and my phone. Wait a minute I thought to myself, what on earth am I doing? It felt like I was preparing for a hot date with this tin of cards. I literally did all of this stuff without event thinking of what I was doing, it had gotten so weird that I had to tell myself just to open the thing and get it over with.
I attacked it like a man who hasn’t opened a box of cards since ’08, not even giving the tin a moment to think of what was happening to it. The plastic wrapping was soon on my floor with the cardboard box that housed the tin following quickly after. My heart was racing; I started to sweat a little, only a thin layer of cardboard stood in my way from seeing my own personal glimpse of greatness.
The next minute was all a blur. Before I knew it I was staring down at six cards and shaking hands. What happened? I didn’t even remember what I pulled out of there. After I calmed myself and threw away the packaging, I sat down and recapped my break, sort of like putting the pieces back together after a long night of drinking. Here is what the bounty gave me;
Carey Price Base /249
Cam Neely Base /249
Brayden Schenn Rookie Patch Auto /249
Tomas Tatar Signature Patch /75
Joe Sakic Enshrinements Auto /50
And a Jeff Carter Gold Base.
The thrill was over, the fun was gone, and I don’t even remember it. I should have recorded it with my webcam but I was too busy getting pretty for my date that I lost all sense of reason.
Since then, I have opened a few more tins of The Cup and they were a lot better than my initial experience. Not that my first Cup Tin was a bad thing, but I would’ve liked it to be a little more normal than it was. I just felt weird after opening it, especially since I treated it like a romantic evening at home.
So when you decide to open your first high end box of cards, don’t look at it as a monumental event as I did, it completely takes the fun out of it. Just be yourself, enjoy the experience and relish that fact you are fortunate enough to do such a thing.
Opening a tin of The Cup? Send me a video … I’ve been known to be a hobby box voyeur.
- Card Guy Andy