Another white whale! Darren Dreifort’s Topps Golden Spikes card

27 08 2015

I have been looking for the Topps Golden Spikes promotional cards for quite a while now.  There were 4 of these cards made in the early 1990’s, done to promote the annual awards dinner for the Golden Spikes winner.  The Golden Spikes award honors the best amateur baseball player in the country, and it’s an impressive list if you check it out.

The 1990-1993 winners were immortalized on cardboard by Topps, in each case done in a way to preview the next year’s flagship set design.  The cards were given out at the November banquet, and supposedly there are ~600 in existence.  The 4 winners from those years are not as some of the other winners, though all of these guys did make a good amount of money in their Major League careers.

  • 1990 – Alex Fernandez (1991 Topps)
  • 1991 – Mike Kelly (1992 Topps)
  • 1992 – Phil Nevin (1993 Topps)
  • 1993 – Darren Dreifort (1994 Topps)

I found the 1991 card (for 1990 Golden Spikes winner) of Alex Fernandez about 3 years ago.  Earlier this year, I found the 1992 card for ’91 winner Mike Kelly and the 1993 card for ’92 winner Phil Nevin.  I paid a pretty penny for the Nevin card, around 10 bucks for the Kelly.  But the Dreifort has alluded me until now.

From what I’ve seen, the Fernandez card is the easiest to find.  Unlike the others, I think Topps printed as a promotion for the Topps ML debut set that was new in 1991, which had players that made their ML debut in 1990.  Fernandez was called up to the Big Leagues the same year he was drafted, so he was the perfect guy for this.  I’ve seen the Fernandez on eBay far more than any of the others.  I think there are more than 600 of these cards out there.

The other 3 probably are limited to that print run of only 600 – as distributed for the Awards Dinner – according to what I’ve read.  Kelly seems to be the next easiest to obtain – but is still a very difficult card to find.  I’ve seen it on eBay probably 6 or 7 different times.  The Nevin I’ve seen only once – the time I bought it.  I’ve read it’s the hardest to find.  This brings me back to the Dreifort, which seems close to the Nevin as far as how many are out there on the market.  I had only seen this card for sale with an autograph.  The seller was asking 200 bucks – which isn’t worth it to me.  Last month, I finally saw another Dreifort with no autograph.  In fact, there was one seller listing 3 different PSA graded versions.  I put in various bids on all 3 and ended up with 2 of them, for less than 20 bucks combined.  That seems like a steal to me.

1994 Topps Golden Spikes Dreifort BEFORE

Before

That’s a hammer in the top left of that picture.  I’m liberating one from my case to go in my binder.  The other I’ll keep in the case for now.

1994 Topps Golden Spikes Dreifort AFTER

After

Here’s scans of the front and back for this card.

1994 Topps Golden Spikes Dreifort

1994 Topps Golden Spikes Dreifort back

I’ve updated my pre-production posts from 1994 Topps.  Finally, here’s the binder page with all 4 cards, front and back.  I’m super-excited I got these cards.  A few years ago, I just figured these were unobtainable.  All told, I paid less than $100 for the quartet, which seems like a great deal to me.

Golden Spikes Fernandez Kelly Nevin Dreifort

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31 08 2015
Completed master set – one last look at 1994 Topps | Lifetime Topps project

[…] Promo sets:  Pre-Production, Factory Pre-Production, Golden Spikes […]

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