I have finally come to the conclusion that unless you are looking for a “hit of a lifetime”, it makes absolutely no sense to buy wax these days. With the economy being nowhere near what it once was and unemployment at highs not seen in over a decade, it’s tough to tell your husband or wife that you want to buy some packs of baseball cards.

Still, you don’ have to completely walk away from The Hobby or sell off your collection. Thanks to the power of eBay, there are literally thousands of great deals to be found that you won’t find in a card shop or even through buying expensive wax and hoping for some “MOJO”.

Hanley Ramirez is hands down one of the best players in the game and still has tons of potential to achieve. Last year, at the tender age of 24, Hanley joined the “30-30” club. In 2009, he came into Spring Training with twenty extra pounds of muscle and it has helped as he has led the Marlins to a first place spot in the National League East.

While his early year cards are out of the price range of 95% of collectors, there is still plenty of great cards to be had for very reasonable prices. Take for example the two Ramirez cards below: one features an on-card autograph and the other features a piece of a “game-used” material with a stripe and is a Gold Refractor serial numbered to just 50 copies.

If you’re a Marlins fan or Hanley Ramirez collector, these two wonderful cards could have been yours this week for less than a single pack of 2008 SPx last year. Without shipping, these two cards sold for a total of $19.84 and could easily be the centerpiece of any young collection.

How many packs of SPx did you buy last year just to find a White Sox middle reliever’s autograph or a Milwaukee Brewers back-up catcher’s jersey relic? Of course, SPx is just an example I will base my Collecting On A Budget series on.

Next time on Collecting On A Budget: Albert Pujols


2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Autograph

2008 Bowman Sterling Game-Used Jersey/Gold Refractor