Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Challenge You to a Dual!

I was going through some stuff back at home a few weekends ago and I came across some of my brother's stuff in our basement. He's at college right now and most of his room is still in tact, however his collection is mostly in boxes. I saw some nice stuff, a Ken Griffey Jr ball, Hrbek ball, and what I thought was a single signed Kirby Puckett ball. Then I flipped it over and saw the mark of shame in black sharpie - Shane Mack had scribbled his name too. I must have yelled pretty loudly because my mom asked what was going on. When I told her, she responded with, "Well you guys were only 10, how would you know?"

She was right, for the most part, but there are numerous cards that befall the same fate in the collecting world - most designed by people that are not 10 years old. Dual, triple, quad, and even octographs have become commonplace now, due to a number of different advances in technology. Trust me, I want to pull the octograph with Bron, Jordan, Bird, Magic, Melo, Russell, Erving, and Kobe. THAT would be amazing. However, the octo with a few great HOF knicks and Renaldo Balkman, is not something I want.

Believe it or not, I can pull card after card that are created with a top auto on one side, and a scrub on the other. This is why I think duals suck. For every great one you can get, there are three that make me cringe. I know that card companies have to fill out sets, and therefore scrubs and bad cards are inevitable, but we should keep them to a single signed card and not ruin someone's big pull with Crap(honso) Thorpe.

Jordan and Lebron? Sure - toss them together. Makes the card more valuable to have the two biggest autos on a card. Lebron and Zdrunas Ilgauskas? Hold up. You are telling me that my first big auto pull in history will be tainted by this worthless second auto? Happens all the time! In fact in 2007 exquisite, you could pull an All Day auto, but not have it break the 150 dollar mark because it also contained Jerrious Norwood(see below). Not only does Norwood have one of the worst first names of all time, but his auto brought the value of the card down about 100 bucks. Its fucking stupid when you paid 500 for the box and pulled the biggest name of the year, yet you cant make up the cost because he is paired with a hobby nobody.

The other side of this octograph contains the four other top RBs in the game. Michael Bush? Brian Leonard? 2nd-3rd stringers for basically their entire career. Ugh.

Topps Cosigners has taken the dual to a whole new level. They made an entire set out of it. Besides parallelling the base set to death, they also created 50-80 dual auto cards that rarely break 4.00 on ebay. They were like, "Why only give them one whozit auto when they can have two?" The problem was that it was the box hit for 120 bucks. UD Reflections had a similar concept in 2005 was a good set with a good price point, but most of the duals that made the set famous were awful. Ask Dallas McPhereson.

My solution? Creativity. I know, I know, a lot to ask for these days. Instead of tossing random or even related players on the card, each designer should ask themselves whether the value is raised or lowered by the additional auto(s) on the card. Duals should be a big pull, not a crap afterthought. Fill out the set with more creative subsets that collectors will love, which will make for less duals, triples and quads that no one wants. You want to put LT on the card with Emmitt and Barry? Please, go ahead! But if you are considering LT with Michael Turner, please dump it, we don’t need it.

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