When I was a kid, I strictly collected basketball cards. Every once in a while I'd buy a pack or two of baseball or football cards, but my true passion was collecting basketball cards. And, more specifically, I collected the cards of current players.
This was for a few reasons. First, I lived 90+ minutes away from the nearest card shop, which meant that I had little to no access to previously released cards. Second, it was cheaper and more fun to try to pull my favorite player's card from a pack. Also, by constantly buying packs of cards, I had a nice stockpile of cards to use as trade-bait with my friends. Third, vintage cards were too expensive for a kid to try and collect. The best I could hope for was to find some old cards in my grandparent's basement, and that never happened, unfortunately. In all the years I collected as a kid, I cannot remember ever buying an individual card. I always felt that I could get more bang for my buck by playing the lottery of ripping packs of cards.
Yet, as a modern-day basketball card collecting kid, I still knew of the legend of the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card. This card was the first "short-printed" card of importance. For one reason or another, very few Honus Wagner cards were printed for this series, with some estimating that as few as 200 cards were produced.
Fast forward 80 years to when I was a kid, and these rare cards of a famous and important baseball player were the most highly coveted cards in the industry. Whenever I was thumbing through a Beckett Magazine for updates on the value of my modern cards, I would always check out the vintage cards to see how valuable they were, and this card always took the cake.
Today the news spread like wild-fire throughout the card collecting world that another one of these cards had surfaced and was up for auction. Apparently a man had one of these cards in his safety deposit box since the 1930s and left it to his sister, a nun living in Virginia, after he died. Current bidding for the card is currently at $180,000, even though the card is in less than mint condition.
Sadly, I was born many years too late to have my card collection increase in value like past generations have enjoyed (damn "Junk Card" era). But it's cards like the 1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 that make this hobby so much fun.
And cards like the Honus Wagner are one of the main reasons why I love tracking down cards that are serial numbered 1/1. I love knowing that I am the only person in the entire universe with that particular card. If I can't own a piece of history by shelling out thousands of dollars for a vintage card, then I'll make my own history by owning a unique modern-day card (like the one below), which makes me very happy indeed.
SONG: "Hometown Glory" by Adele
CARD: 2010 Topps T206 Bronze "Blank Back" Luke Hochevar, serial numbered 1/1
MOVEMBER: In the past two days I've received $150.00 in donations, which means that I'm halfway to meeting my personal goal of $300, and MOvember hasn't even started yet. I couldn't be happier. Thanks to my wife, my mom, and my cousin Darcey for their donations. You guys are the greatest!
Having it both ways
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