Honest! I can’t be blamed for this.
About 1.5 years ago when I started to show more interest in the sports card hobby again after almost 10 years of barely lukewarm activity, I thought I would take it slow. I figured just like my first go-around, I would buy the occassional box of cards, probably from K-Mart, and try to pick up some extra Emmitt Smith and Michael Jordan cards for my collection. I started perusing the now retired Beckett site (the new “beta” still sucks in my opinion) and stumbled upon the Beckett Marketplace link. Here, I discovered there were hundreds of hobby shops who were selling singles, packs, and even full boxes right online. Sweet! One of my first purchases was a 3 box lot of 2007 Topps Co-Signers, as many of the new 2008 products had not yet been released. As I was opening the packs, I loved how each base card felt like an insert and there was a nice mix of current stars and legends of the past included in the checklist. I believe it was towards the end of the first box that I pulled this beaut:
I was blown away. Not only was it an Emmitt Smith card, it was a parallel insert card! Granted, by today’s standards, this card is nothing special. But you have to remember that I had essentially been M.I.A. from the hobby for nearly a decade so to me, autographs and jersey cards were still a ridiculously hard pull and very valuable. Inserts were the next best thing. It also showed me that the current hobby was still relevant to my Emmitt Smith collection, despite the fact that he had retired 4 years earlier. When I pulled this card, my entire collection probably consisted of <100 Emmitt Smith cards, 5 or fewer jersey cards, and 2 autographs. I was still split in my decision to collect basketball or football. I had only bought one other hobby box of cards in my life.
Let's just say pulling that card changed all of that. What transpired in the following months was a complete downward spiral into buying hobby boxes and singles online, chasing "hot" hits, and logging into Beckett daily to know how much my collection was "worth". Thankfully, I soon saw the light and stopped blowing so much money and time and decided it was time to focus my collection. I now no longer collect basketball cards, only buy the occassional hobby box online (except for my new quest to buy and review one box of each new product), and never log into my Beckett account. I may still have more cards than I know what to do with (other than the now well over 800 Emmitt cards that I love), but I also have a new appreciation and excitement for the hobby, which hopefully will not wain anytime soon.
And all because of that one darn card. That sweet, sweet beautiful insert card…