Some of my fondest memories growing up include riding my bike to the local drug store/candy shop to pick up a pack of Topps baseball cards. 15 cards to a pack for a mere $.30 (give or take). It was like Christmas morning every time I ripped one of those wax packs open. Would I get a Cub? I never got a Cub, and if I did, it wasn’t Buckner or DeJesus…it was Swisher, Kelleher or Barry Foote.

For a while, I sold cards and was somewhat of a ‘card dealer’ in my early 20’s. I worked in a mom and pop candy shop that started selling baseball cards. The deal was that I would work part time in the shop, (about 12 hours a week) and I could sell Basketball and Football cards with no commission charges. It worked well for about 2 years as I would do card shows about once a month to scratch my baseball card itch. This was during the early 90’s and I eventually got out when the market was flooded with more and more manufacturers and an insane amount of cards printed for each.

Fast forward to the last five to ten years and I only purchase cards now and then to see what the latest batch looks like. My son likes them, but doesn’t collect them, which is a blessing in disguise as the prices have skyrocketed to outlandish levels. 6 cards for $1.99, 8 cards for $3.99…too rich for my discretionary income.

One series has peaked my interest over the years and I find myself starting to buy more and more of them. Gypsy Queen is a series of cards produced by Topps that I like for their unique style. The cards have most of the standard images that we have come to expect over the years, but they apply a type of Photoshop filtering effect similar to HDR. The backs are a little lacking as they do not list stats, but rather a short career achievement write up about the player shown on the card. I do find myself turning them over to look for the stats.

Last week my son and I were making an errand run to our local Target and I picked up a retail three pack (around $10 for 3 packs). The three packs contain three special cards that have a white frame border that protrudes from the card face. I had a very good three pack pick up this week:

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Trout, Jeter, Rizzo and Kershaw!!!! Bottom row is a short print Alexei Rameriz (84/199), short print Brandon Phillips (85/99) and my first redemption card. An autographed Rizzo no less!!!! I had to go online and put in a code for the Rizzo redemption and Topps is sending that to me. Anthony Rizzo happens to be my favorite current Cub.

It is fair to say that the Gypsy Queen set has sparked my interest again in collecting baseball cards.