As a player collector, modest as my current Emmitt Smith collection may be, I enjoy tracking the cards I do not have almost as much as those I do own. It gives me something to shoot for and a mini wishlist of cards I would like to obtain in the near future, as well as those REALLY nice cards I know I must only dream about for now (1997 Skybox AUTOgraphics). One way to do this is wander around eBay listings, checkoutmycards.com, or even (*gasp!*) a Beckett player checklist (which seem to be much harder to get a nice clean copy of on their new website). However, this is a not a fail-safe method of tracking down cards to add to my collection.
The card I present to you below will most likely never show up on an eBay search, cannot be found anywhere on beckett.com, and, I would assume, is generally not known throughout the card hobby enthusiasts of the world. This card is none other than the 1998 Score Board Hallmark Keepsake Ornament card. It came completely free of charge inside the box of the 1998 Emmitt Smith Hallmark Keepsake Ornament (which I received as a Christmas present that year). I guess it’s technically just part of the ornament, but it is a standard-sized trading card. It features an actual photo of Smith (not a photo of the ornament like others I’ve seen) and even discusses him as a player on the back. The “value” of this card has to be less than nothing, but nevertheless, it is a Smith card and therefore has a reserved spot in my player collection.
The problem I have is that had I not received that ornament, would I have ever learned of this card’s existence? And worse yet, how many other similar cards are out there that I won’t be able to learn about through typical card collecting venues? How am I ever going to obtain the ultimate Emmitt Smith collection if I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be looking for?!?
Maybe I should just worry about getting all of the thousands of Smith cards I already know exist and do not own. Or even “more important” things…like paying the upcoming mortgage, utility, and tax bills…