Slowly but Surely


When Emmitt Smith retired shortly after the 2004 season, I had not yet discovered the massive online sports card community and was just trying to track down a single card from each of his playing seasons. Then after graduating from college, I suddenly found you could buy just about any card on places like Beckett’s Marketplace, Check Out My Cards, and of course eBay. (Side Note: I have no idea why it took me until after college to think to look for this other than perhaps my waning interest in cards and my piqued interest in women and beer)

When the online hobby was revealed to me, I suddenly had every Topps base card from Emmitt’s career, every official rookie card, a slew of 90s inserts I had always drooled over, a small batch of my first ever authentic jersey cards, and even a real life Emmitt Smith autograph. Times were good. Then I got married, bought a house, and started my own card business, all which took significant time (and money) away from my box of Emmitts. In the past few years, I have really started to hit the new release calendar hard to do 1&G Reviews and offer fresh cards in my eBay store. But with Emmitt’s retired status, not many new releases have him on the checklist. So even though I am technically spending more on cards than ever before (albeit through my business and almost never for my personal collection anymore), my Emmitt box is pretty static.

Fortunately, there are a few 2011 cards for me. Earlier, I told you about the Topps Super Bowl Legends inserts. My buddy got a ton of the online code cards and got a few of the actual Emmitt Smith die-cut SB Legends cards, which he already said will be mine once they arrive. Sweet! I also just added this beauty on my own:

I just busted two boxes of 2011 Topps Gridiron Legends (1&G Review forthcoming). I was stoked to find that Emmitt was included. I will admit though I was disappointed to pull just one base card of my childhood hero. However, it is a great card and is a welcome new addition to the collection. At this rate, my Emmitt collection will never be worth comparing to some of the super collectors’ out there, but that’s okay. I enjoy my box of Emmitts and am just happy to add to it when possible.

Now to track down the 8 parallels from this set…


Putting Out an APB


All units please respond…

While looking over my Emmitt Smith collection recently, I was reminded of my mini Topps Collection, which consists of the Topps base card from each of the 15 years of Emmitt’s Hall of Fame career. I previously posted an article about that mini collection here. As I was writing that post, I realized I could also obtain a similar “Score Collection”, though for one reason or another I never set it as a goal.

After several large acquisitions from Catch22, I wondered if I had obtained the complete Score Collection without realizing it. I searched through the records and found that I am still missing two years, 1997 and 2004. I was just about to find these online and buy them when I thought better of it. I never like spending money on shipping, ESPECIALLY if the shipping charges exceed the cardboard purchased and ESPECIALLY if that cardboard is two base cards from a low-end company. I thought to myself, “You know Self, I bet there is a blogger or two that has those cards just sitting around and would be willing to trade for them. You should issue an All-Points Bulletin to see if you can track them down!” So now here I am, pleading with you, the great and wonderful blogosphere, to check your stacks and boxes and binders of unwanted football cards. If you see either of these two “gems”:

1997 Score2004 Score
1997 Score #4 and 2004 Score #1

I would be happy to take them off your hands. Just let me know what you collect and I will do my best to ensure you will be handsomly compensated for your efforts.

And also, let me know if you have any unwanted base Topps cards of Pittsburgh Pirates players laying around. The Buccos page above has been updated after a nice package from Night Owl (future official thank you post coming soon). I would be happy to take anything not marked “OWN” on that list as well.

…Over and out. 🙂

Broader Horizons


Being a player collector can sometimes be a sticky situation. In today’s excessively commercial society, it is no wonder that many companies produce a wide assortment of sports collectibles. You can find everything from trading cards to cereal boxes, plastic figurines to plates, and t-shirts to bedding. So when you are a huge fan of a specific team or player, where do you draw the line?

As a trading card collector, it would be easy for me to say that only standard trading cards will become targets for my collection. Granted, as I have previously written, even that can be a headache at times. Sure, I have a few Starting Lineup figurines and various other Emmitt consumer goods, but cards are definitely my focus. That all seems very fine, black and white even. But every so often, something comes along to grey things up a bit. That “thing” for today’s topic of discussion is coins.

Now you may say, “If you are a card collector, why would you bother with collecting coins, even if they do feature Emmitt Smith?” At first, I would be quick to answer, “I wouldn’t,” but then I have to remind myself that I already have two such pieces in my Emmitt collection. The image below is a minted brass coin produced by Pinnacle Brands, Inc., the same company that made some great trading cards at their…*ahem*…pinnacle.

1996 Pinnacle Mint Coins Brass
1996 Pinnacle Mint Coins Brass

As a stand-alone coin, I probably could have avoided that one. As luck would have it though, it was included in a lot I bought on eBay some months ago. Of course now that it’s in my collection, I’m not giving it up any time soon. A new problem pops up when the coin is actually part of the card. Take the image below, another coin produced by Pinnacle in 1997:

1997 Pinnacle Mint Minted Highlights Coins Nickel
1997 Pinnacle Mint Minted Highlights Coins Nickel

Looks innocent enough. Except then you have to consider that it’s only rightful place is embedded into this card, right inside that nifty die-cut window:

1997 Pinnacle Mint Minted Highlights Die-Cuts
1997 Pinnacle Mint Minted Highlights Die-Cuts

NOW what am I suppose to do? Yes, it’s a coin, which I normally don’t collect, but it’s part of a card, which I do collect! Talk about conundrums! Thankfully, I already own this coin/card tandem, but if I didn’t, I don’t know whether or not I would pursue it. Not only does it breaks the bounds of a “standard” card, but I need at least a memorabilia-thick toploader to store it.

Does any one else suffer from these spiritual and ethical dilemmas, or should I just keep these to myself from now on?

Dealing with Oversized Cards


As a player collector, it is obviously very important to me that all of my Emmitt Smith (and Curtis Conway) cards stay together in an organized manor. While this is not usually a difficult task (except for the fact that my Emmitt collection is outgrowing the tin I am currently using to house it), there are a few bumps in the road. One of my pet peaves is oversized cards. I mean, really, what am I supposed to do with these things? Are they Emmitt cards? Obviously yes. Are they cool? Sort of. Is it remotely necessary that they are so oversized? NO! At least with some of my non-standard sized cards, I can still put them into a normal top loader and file them away in order (like Goudey and Mayo throwbacks). But not oversized cards. No sir. They require their own special top loader and must be taken out of their proper order and given a special spot…stuffed down along the side of the tin beside all of the other normal cards.

Seriously, are these necessary?

1994 GameDay Flashing Stars1990 Score Supplemental RC1994 GameDay Game Breakers
Click each image for a full-sized scan

To all of you other player (or team) collectors out there: what do you do with oversized cards? I know you all have box toppers, 5x7s, and other unneccessarily large cards. How do you cope? Do you just let them hang outside of the traditional borders of your collection? Do they reserve a special storage designation? Are you just not as organizationally anal as I am?

Please help!