A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Taste the Rainbow - A Reboot


I am pulling one of my old features out of mothballs and doing the only thing Hollywood really knows how to do anymore, giving it a reboot.  This particular series never really got off the ground, because I only had two posts with it.  What can I say, rainbows are hard to complete.  But I am still trying regardless.  Plus I really like both the title of the series and the header photo.

That brings me to the point of this.  The reason I am calling a "reboot" instead of a "relaunch" or a "continuation" is because there is going to be a slight format change.  Originally this series was showcasing rainbows that I have collected of Rockies across various sets.  That still appeals to me, but the end result can be a much less structured end product.  Meaning I have no idea when I am going to complete a rainbow and I really don't even know what player or set will be involved.  

Instead I have decided to devote this series to showcasing my newest card pursuit, the 2020 Donruss rainbow set.  It is a ridiculous idea to be honest.  I am attempting to collect full sets of 9 different sets.  They are the base, independence day, baby shark, blue, orange, pink, purple, red, and yellow sets.  There are 300 cards per set, although the numbering and structure is different than a simple 1-300 setup.  Cards # 1-260 are relatively normal 1-30 are Diamond Kings, 31-60 are Rated Rookies, 61-210 are the vet base cards, 211-235 are the retired retros, and 236-260 are the rookie retros.  

Then it gets all Panini'd to death.  Cards #261 and 262 are short prints of the San Diego Chicken, world's greatest mascot, and Domingo Ayala, some Youtube baseball comedian.   I am not considering these two as part of any of the sets for two reasons, one they are SPs which I hate in base sets and two they are not in any of the parallel sets.  The whole point of this project is to have a rainbow set, not to have a rainbow set along with two cards that don't fit anywhere else.

Then you come to cards #263 and 264 which are Rated Rookies of Yoshihiro Tsutsugo and Luis Robert.  They ARE part of the set and all the parallel sets.  I assume they were added on at the end due to the fact that neither had appeared in a big league game before 2020.  Anyway, that gives us a total of 262 cards.  

The other 38 are Panini's world famous variants.  I don't call them photo variations because not all of them are.  There are actually 4 categories of variations, the nickname, the photo, the team name, and the world series champs.  The WS champs are 3 Washington Nationals that have a different photo and team name on the back.  There are 7 team name variants which have the same photo as the base but instead of team city, a different caption is used.  There are 13 regular photo variations which use only a different photo with everything else the same.  Finally there are 15 nickname variations which changes only the player's name to a nickname.  

The parallels all came in different packs.  3 of the sets, base, independence day, and baby sharks were available to get in all forms of retail and hobby packaging.  Each of the colored parallels were available only through a certain type of pack.  Blue were hobby box exclusives.  Pinks were exclusive to the retail mega boxes.  Purples were exclusive to retail blasters.  Oranges were retail hanger box exclusives.  Reds were fat pack exclusives.  And finally yellows were exclusive to Dollar Tree retail packs. 

There you have the background on the set, now for the background of my decision to take on such a daunting task of building a 2700 card set.  

The pandemic was the main cause.  When the card industry was shut down in late March of 2020, there were only a handful of 2020 sets that had been released up to that point.  If I remember correctly, retail was basically only Topps Series 1, Gypsy Queen, Opening Day, and Donruss.  Retail bandits gobbled up all of these products in quick fashion, so my only outlet was eBay.  But, instead of buying retail at inflated prices online, I decided to just buy lots from people searching for whatever.  After a bit of research, I noticed Donruss parallel lots were selling for far less than Topps or GQ, so I started buying up the ones that had Rockies players in them.  I figured I could get the card I wanted and then sell the rest to recoup.  Except I never got around to listing the excess cards.  So by the time I got pretty close to having full parallels on my Rockies team set, I noticed I had a large collection of parallels, specifically the yellows which were the most expensive colors on the secondary market.  So I decided to build the yellow set.  Yellows were plentiful then because this was about the time they were first released to Dollar Tree and the supply was very high.  Once I gathered about 200 of the 300 card set, the supply of yellows started drying up.  So I decided to go for other colors.  Then as those sets got bigger, I thought about what to do with them.  I had six different sets working, so why not up it to 9 and have a full page set?  What can I say, it made sense at the time.  

I started selling on Sportlots in September of 2018.  It was never intended as a career or anything, just a way to pay for my own card habit.  I would slowly add to my inventory and even more slowly, sell cards.  This continued for a year.  I had decent sales months, I had bad sales months, I even had one month where I had a grand total of $8 for the whole month.  Needless to say, I wasn't quitting my day job.  The one positive thing about the pandemic is that my fledgling Sportlots business took off.  I assume it had to do with people being stuck at home unable to spend their disposable income at restaurants and movies.  That and a combination of people trying to flip rookies to supplement their own income.  Whatever the reason, I had high sales in the summer.  Still not nearly good enough to let me quit my day job, but I had a decent amount of card money to play with last summer.   

The intersection of me having excess card money, no new cards being made by anyone, COMC's warehouse basically being located at COVID ground zero, and the availability of large cheap Donruss lots led to this project.  That and I really like the design as well, it's good for a Panini Donruss set anyway.  I love borders and Topps seems to be going away from that.  

To make a long story even longer, the point of this is the reboot of Taste the Rainbow.  I have finished the 9 card rainbow for 13 cards thus far with another 4 that are finished, but not in hand.  I also have 60  at the 8 card level, so I should have plenty of ammo to keep this series going regularly for a while.  What I intend to do starting next week is to spotlight two cards from the 2020 Donruss set.  I will showcase them in the order I got the rainbow complete.  I am aiming for a regular Wednesday time slot for the feature, but who knows if I will be able to stick to that. 

Man I really didn't intend to write a novel here, but I tend to run on at times.  I hope you enjoyed the read regardless.  

Thanx for reading.


Fuji said...

This is one heck of a project... but I think each card having it's own page is going to be pretty awesome and quite the challenge. Have fun with this.

The Lost Collector said...

Looking forward to the reboot, and congrats on the Sportlots success!