Twitter was a shit-show yesterday. For starters, the most polarizing man on the planet, Elon Musk, became the new owner of Twitter, to the delight of the Right-wing and the many nasty human beings and bots that call Twitter their home. As one can imagine, the Left was up in arms, threatening to leave Twitter, with some prominent Twitter influencers keeping their word and immediately deleting their account. I for one do not care and will continue using my account for its intended purposes.
On the collecting side of Twitter, there was an even bigger storm brewing, followed by a full day of Retail Flipper tears raining down on us as perhaps the biggest card of 2022, a Topps Platinum 1/1 Wander Franco was finally pulled from a cheap hanger box purchased at a Walgreens in California. While I’m not big on Franco (or any modern player), I understand just how important this card is and going on secondary market value alone, this is what you’d call a life-changing baseball card.
I know what you’re thinking, how could anyone be upset that the biggest card of the year was pulled? Why wouldn’t collectors be happy for someone essentially becoming filthy rich overnight by doing something as fun as buying a pack of baseball cards? Most of us have done the same thing most of our lives, secretly chasing that same dream. Besides, with unopened Hobby boxes reaching an all-time high, someone beating the odds should be a great thing. Well, not always …
It appears that a certain element of Twitter, specifically “flippers”, are up in arms over this transaction. These greasy-haired, Mtn. Dew fueled, Hot Cheetos shirt-stained bozos who own more cargo shorts than underwear cannot handle that Topps put such an illustrious card inside a hanger pack at Walgreens. To these people, this card should have been included as a Hobby-exclusive so that that some popular group breaker with 25 cases of product could stream it on Instagram. To them, that’s the only way to do it.
Never should such a card be found in a value pack at a local drug store. To these people, spending $500 on a box of cards should promise the world to them. To breakers who hoard cases by dropping tens of thousands of dollars, this is a travesty. To that 25-year-old living with Mom & Dad, who just wiped-out Target of $5,000 worth of Panini product so that he can add an 80% mark-up, this is a slap in the face. Elon just bought Twitter and some nobody in California just struck oil on a Tampa Bay Rays rookie card. The world is coming to an end!
I for one will celebrate the underdog. So will all the other thousands of collectors who have been completely priced out of buying baseball cards in 2022. As will the long-time collectors who just can’t find cards to buy during what could be the hottest this hobby has ever been. You know who else will celebrate with me? That card shop owner who was only able to secure 8 hobby boxes of Topps Chrome to sell to his dwindling customers because Houdini and his clones purchased 80 cases for YouTube and social media video group breaks.
Need I remind these so-called collectors that if you are overpaying for Topps’ flagship product looking for a 1/1, you are doing it wrong. Topps’ flagship is a low-level, set builders product and has been for over 70 years. If you want big hits or colorful parallels, flagship is not for you. Flagship is a product that is meant to be affordable and attainable to anyone who wants to feel the joy of opening a back of baseball cards. It’s unfortunate that grading has polluted the hobby with greed and even flagship is a tough find during the first month of release.
I for one commend Topps. Thank you for looking out for the little guy.