I hope everyone had (and is having) a great holiday season!
In honor of the best time of year (at least the best time of year when it’s cold) – I’m going to start a new feature on this blog, and this post is the first post for that feature. This is going to be centered around the cards in my collection that seem to be taking me the longest to find. I’ve seen a number of bloggers do a similar feature where they put extra emphasis on a few cards from their wantlist. Eight sounds like a good number. Not too many – putting 12 cards on a list like this would probably not be much different from just being on my wantlist.
I’m going to call mine the “Elusive Eight”.
But that’s not today’s post. Because today’s post is about the eight cards that I maybe would have put on the list earlier this year. But I made a bunch of purchases on Black Friday, so I now have these cards.
I’m going to call these the “Obtained Ocho”.
Most of these are going to lead to completed set posts sometime in early 2016. Here’s those cards, in order of how excited I was to finally find these cards.
2000 Topps Perennial All-Stars #6 – Nomar Garciaparra
I got this one from COMC. This card I’ve been hunting for quite a while, but not as long as the two below. But finishing up a card set from 2000 is still pretty good.
1998 Topps Interleague Mystery Finest #16 – Tim Salmon
The Elusive Eight will have 2 criteria when I get it started in the next few days. It will be cards that I’ve been hunting for a long time, and I should be very close to completing the relevant set. This certainly meets the first criteria; I first posted about 1998 Topps in late August 2013. It’s been 2+ years that I’ve been trying to finish off this insert set.
The other criteria is that it can’t be more than 2 or 3 cards from the same set. This card meets that criteria quite as well – it was the only one I purchased, and it finished off the set for me. I got this card from Beckett Marketplace.
2011 Allen & Ginter Glossy Exclusives #AGS5 – Anthony Rizzo
This was a card I got from a Sportlots dealer. I’ve been trying to finish this set off for a while – the Ginter Glossy cards came out as a bonus for the glossy factory set in December 2011. That’s a long time, though it’s not like I haven’t seen this card around. I was just unwilling to pull the trigger because I couldn’t find a decent price. I finally found one on Sportlots for $5, which wasn’t great, but was fair. I also purchased 2 cards for this set earlier this year, so it hasn’t been down to 1 card for all that long. Still – a very good purchase to knock this off the wantlist.
2011 Goodwin World Travelers #ET7 – Great Pyramids of Giza
2011 Goodwin World Travelers #ET21 – Na Pali Coast
This was 2 cards needed to complete a set. I got one of these cards from Beckett Marketplace, another from Sportlots. They each cost about $5. I’m happy to be done with this 50-card, multi-year set. The World Traveler postcards came as box toppers in 2011 and 2012 Goodwin Champions. I bought my 2011 Goodwin boxes back in July or August of 2011 – so I’ve been trying to finish this set for longer than anything on this list. And I’ve been sitting on just these 2 for over a year.
But the real reason these cards are nearer to the top of the list has to do with what it’s been holding up. This didn’t only finish one master set – I’ve been waiting on completion of 2 master sets for these cards. You see, the World Traveler set spanned 2011 and 2012, so I haven’t been able to post “completed insert set” for this. And since it’s been the only Goodwin insert set in 2011 or 2012 that I hadn’t finished – it was holding off posting about the completed master set as well!
I haven’t been to the Great Pyramids, but I did go to the Na Pali Coast on Kaua’i during my honeymoon. It’s as beautiful as the pictures above make it seem.
1995 Topps League Leaders #LL44 – Chuck Knoblauch
OK, so this one is probably less rare than any other card on this set, but it’s near the top for a few reasons. First, it’s very central to my Lifetime Topps project. It was the last League Leaders card I needed for almost a year. And, finally, I was just shocked at how difficult it was to find this card! I had an automatic eBay search set up. It looks like it’s only sold once in the past 2 years on COMC. And I checked Beckett and Sportlots fairly regularly. I finally found one on Beckett’s Marketplace. Despite the fact that I didn’t get anything else from that seller, I was fine to pay $2.50 shipping just to get this elusive card! It has been 20 years, but I just didn’t expect a card from this set to be so tough to come by!
One more thing to add – I think the Knoblauch card may be the best in the whole set. The dust flying up really goes well with that design.
1995 Topps Pre-Production Spectralite #PP4 – Sandy Alomar
In almost any list this would be the card I’m most excited about. It was tough to knock it down to #2. These cards are impossible to find! For those who don’t know, in 1995 there was a promo set of 9 cards created. However, those 9 cards came in packs of 10! The extra card was a “spectralite” version that previewed the technology used on the 1995 Topps Cyberstats parallels. While the regular cards aren’t that difficult to find, it’s pretty damn hard to find these parallel versions. I’ve gone to pretty significant lengths to find these. Earlier this year, I actually bought 3 promo packs blind in an eBay auction, in hopes that I would randomly find at least one I needed. That worked – I got my 5th card of the set. It’s also been very challenging to find the Mike Piazza, because the picture has a dark background. I’ve had many scans where I couldn’t tell – it might be the spectralite version of Piazza. I did get that card earlier this year. So I was down to 3 cards left, and after this card popped up on COMC a few months ago, I pounced on it. I waited to have it shipped until the Black Friday promotion.
And the most elusive card this year….
2011 Topps Heritage NSCC Promo #DC2 – Dee Gordon
This card isn’t part of my Lifetime Topps Project, and it doesn’t even finish the 2011 Topps Heritage Master set (though it puts me one card away). However, it did finish off these promos for me. The 5 cards to this set were given out at the 2011 National Sports Collector’s Convention in Chicago. I didn’t live here yet, so I didn’t attend, and I didn’t get these cards. This card beats out the Spectralite promo because it’s been just as difficult to find, and it’s super rare. I have been looking for this card specifically for a very long time (I was able to find the other 4 more easily than I would have thought). I think I did see an extremely overpriced version at some point, but this I found from a Beckett Marketplace seller for $12. That’s not cheap, but I would have probably paid twice that because I just haven’t seen it much. Add to that – 1962 Topps is probably my favorite Topps set, and 2011 Heritage is thus my favorite retro set.
In early 2016, I’m going to figure out the 8 cards to put on my first “Elusive Eight”…