Thursday, May 9, 2024

David McCarty

What everyone doesn't know about me is...I have 91.4% of all David McCarty cards produced. You read that correctly. I have been collecting him since I was 10 years old. If you haven't heard the awful news, David McCarty passed away on April 19th. I had been so busy with my new job, my oldest son's soccer schedule, growing new grass out back, and all the other stuff I have to do around the house on a daily basis, that I didn't even find out until April 28th. I have been extremely bummed out about this ever since. It really is sad news. I knew I had to get a post out and I tried to crank it out as quickly as I could, but life does get in the way sometimes. Here goes:

McCarty didn't exactly have the fantastic career that a lot of scouts expected him to have after being selected 3rd overall by the Minnesota Twins in 1991, but he was still a major league baseball player and that is something pretty awesome. He played from 1993-2005, he even won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004! McCarty would play for 7 teams in his career (Twins, Giants, Mariners, Royals, Devil Rays, Athletics and finishing his career with the Red Sox). During his career, he was mostly used as a reserve 1st baseman and outfielder. Personally, I only got to see him bat one time. My dad received tickets to a Pirates game from a friend he worked with at USAirways for a game in September of 1995 vs the San Fransisco Giants. I remember we were sitting in a row with only 3 or 4 people in it and the ballpark was relatively quiet. McCarty pinch hit (if I remember correctly) and I went nuts (and some guy behind me told me to "sit down kid"). This made my dad stand up and say, "He's my son's favorite player, relax", and the guy stopped yelling at me. Sadly, he would strike out in the only at bat I saw him take live. My dad asked after the at bat why I liked him as he was batting in the low .200's and he just seemed like a tall guy that couldn't hit, and I had no idea. Still to this day I don't know why I collected him and rooted for him, I just liked David McCarty. 

The first card I ever pulled of McCarty was his 1992 Upper Deck. This set was a big deal at the time for me as I was McCarty hunting like a lot of the kids in my neighborhood. My Uncle bought me a box of 1992 Upper Deck that Christmas and I pulled 2 McCarty's, and I was over the moon happy with that. I guess that is why I liked him, because of the 1992 Upper Deck card of his? The card photo wasn't anything special, just a kid staring at his bat. Beckett back then had this card listed at $2 (if I remember correctly) and $2 back then was a good card to me and all the kids in my neighborhood, so it's possible that is why I started to collect him. In 1993, I pulled a Leaf Gold Rookie of his and I guess this started a new PC for me. In 1994, while I was out grocery shopping with my mom, she bought me a pack of 1994 Donruss. On the way back home, I opened up the pack and pulled his Rated Rookie. To be honest, the guy sort of followed me in packs ever since then, and I was completely ok with it. There was even the "Kmart incident" of 1994. While my brother and I were checking out the card aisle at our local Kmart, I did something bad. I opened a pack of Pinnacle and saw what was in it. Of course, there was a David McCarty and 2 Chan Ho Park Rookies. My mom came by with the cart and saw me opening them and I was in BIG TROUBLE. She put the pack and the cards in her cart and bought the pack from the store but made me apologize to the manager for doing it. The manager was a good guy, he told me what I did was wrong, but since my mom insisted on buying the pack from the store, he said he wouldn't get the police involved. Ugh, I don't know what I was thinking that day and I definitely learned my lesson not to do that ever again. My dad also made sure of that when he returned home from a trip. So, collecting McCarty has also gotten me in trouble you could say, but if you read on, it's also made some cool memories. 

TCDB currently shows that David McCarty has 174 cards. Last time I checked I own 159 of his cards. I would own 160, but a card I ordered from Sportlots (1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold) never showed up in my mailbox. The only one I have seen other than the one I purchased, but never received is on eBay right now being held hostage at $13.95. I will never buy this card at that price (the one from Sportlots only cost me $1.93 shipped). If anyone has this card, please let me know as I'd really like to add it to my McCarty collection. 

Cool McCarty item:

If you have read this blog frequently, you would know my wife usually finds some cool gifts for me whether it be for Father's Day, Birthdays or Christmas. This gift in particular definitely stands out. On Christmas of 2022, my wife handed me an unusually sized box. I unwrapped this weird box to find this in it:

A Game Used David McCarty bat from his rookie year in 1993!

I'm not sure what she paid for it, but I am really pumped to own it, especially now. So, in honor of the life and career of David McCarty, here are my top 36 favorite McCarty cards in my collection (36 is the number of career home runs hit by McCarty):

36. 1996 Fleer Tiffany #591 

I received this card in a trade from my friend John. John had a weird collection, and I usually took sports equipment in trade for my sports cards from him because a lot of times he didn't have much I was interested in. However, one day I was looking through a stack of baseball cards he had, and this was in it. I traded a Kordell Stewart Skybox Impact Rookie for this and I'm ok with the trade still to this day!

35. 1992 Upper Deck College Player of the Year Hologram #CP1

I feel kind of embarrassed showing off this card. It's not in very good condition and I have 2 of them. This is the best one I could show off. Both are pretty scratched up. I obtained them both from a card show back in the summer of 1992 at a Holiday Inn hotel. This would be the same hotel banquet room where I would receive an award in the fall of 1993 for an essay I wrote about "What my family means to me." My dad wasn't in attendance when I received my award, and my essay was read out loud in front of my brother and mom by a skinny man dressed in a suit and tie with gray hair and a beard. I always felt it was silly that he read it rather than me. Also, the room was filled with people I didn't know other than my 5th grade teacher who gave out the essay assignment. Actually, the entire thing was just strange now that I think about it. Anyways, back to the McCarty's, I actually bought them both for a $1. I told the vendor since they were in such rough shape, they were not worth $2 each and I'd pay $1 for both. After some back and forth, he caved. 

34. 1991 Classic Draft Picks #3

This card was obtained by me in a 25-cent bin in the summer of 2003 at a card show in Ohio. I went with a friend of mine who I am no longer friends with because he moved to Johnstown, PA and we lost touch. We did have fun that day at the show and it does remind me of that road trip to Columbus that we made to said show. Other than 20 or 30 cards from some 25-cent bins, I didn't pick up much that day other than a few 16 oz. cans when we returned home. 

33. 1994 Upper Deck Fun Pack #167

My mom bought me this in 1994 at the mom-and-pop card shop that she would take me to for good grades and good behavior. It was 10 cents. While I was talking to the owner, she decided to flip through some piles of cards and noticed that there was a David McCarty card and asked me if I had it. When I replied that I didn't she decided to buy it for me. It lands on this list because I'm a momma's boy. Want to fight about it?

32. 1994 O-Pee-Chee #247

I struggled on which O-Pee-Chee card of McCarty's to use for this list (he has a Diamond Dynamos Insert in this set as well). I chose this card because it has a pretty cool story behind it. When I first signed up with eBay back in fall of 2001, I purchased a few cards from a seller. When they were shipped, the seller included a bunch of 1994 O-Pee-Chee base cards in the package. The McCarty was on top. When I opened that package, you can imagine how happy I was to see this card staring at me. I messaged the seller and let him know how thankful I was for the free McCarty card as I collected him. A few weeks later, I got a plain white envelope with another card on this list from that very seller for free! I still remain in contact with this guy, and we have pulled off several trades since our initial interaction. The internet can be a wonderful thing sometimes!

31. 1993 Flair #239

Fun fact, I only bought 1 pack of this product back in 1993. Another fun fact, this card was in that pack! Yep, I pulled this one. It's not really anything special, but since I pulled this myself, it lands on this list. 

30. 2004 Fleer Tradition #391

I am 99% sure this is his only Red Sox card in existence. I could always be wrong though. This card was obtained in a Fairfield re-pack on my birthday (May 25th) in 2014. My wife was sick at the time, and we were in a Wallgreens waiting for her prescription to be filled for her sinus infection, so we were walking around, and I decided to buy a baseball and football re-pack. The baseball only yielded this card you see here along with a few packs that didn't have much in them, but the football re-pack had a nice Reggie Bush jersey card! Score for that day!

29. 1995 Donruss Press Proof Gold /2000 #217

I debated with myself on whether or not to include this card. Although not my favorite or anything, it's still a low #'ed parallel of McCarty, so it got included. I purchased this back in 2003 for $1 at my LCS that usually charges an arm and a leg for things. It was marked as $3, but I had purchased a box of cards that day and I asked if they would take $1 for this, and the manager said yes. 

28. 1992 Classic Best Red Bonus #BC17

For my 11th birthday my Uncle Mark was scrambling (I think) for a present to get me. When he showed up to our house, he had placed a bow on some sort of baseball pack lot that came in a large skinny square box with visible packs showing that was from K-Mart. It had a Classic Best pack along with some Topps, Donruss, Upper Deck and Score packs. It was a fun rip, and this Classic Best card was in my box. My Uncle Mark usually got me cards up until I was 15, so that was always cool. Thanks Uncle Mark!

27. 1994 Score Select #154

I like the look of '94 Score Select. I still really like the look of this card in general. This card was obtained in 1994 at the mom-and-pop card shop I used to frequent before it went out of business in 2001. After my mom noticed the McCarty Fun Pack card, the owner of the shop would frequently set aside McCarty's for me and ask me when I'd come in if I needed them. They usually cost me a quarter each, which this likely cost me back then. 

26. 1993 Score Boys of Summer Insert #27

I owned this card twice in my lifetime. The first time I owned this card was when I pulled it myself back in 1993. A year later it was thrown in the trash can. My brother and I were in a heated battle one week in the summer of 1994. It was probably over something stupid. One day after I was done playing outside, I came in the house to find my brother in the hallway waiting for me with a stack of cards in his shirt pocket. He began to rip them in half. My Score Boys of Summer McCarty insert was the first of the casualties. After a large beating he received from me, my mom made him replace all the cards he ripped up. The Ron Hextall autographed card that my cousin who worked for the Flyers a year previously though, could not be replaced. Eventually my brother made it right, but it took a year to get most of the cards back. Luckily, he only ripped up 4 cards before the beating. 

25. 1993 Fleer Ultra #586

Does anyone else feel like Fleer Ultra was high end back in the early 90's? I just loved the look of these cards. Why I ranked this at 25 before typing this out is a little puzzling now to me. I remember seeing these packs in the checkout line one day I was with my mom at Kmart and she scoffed at the price per pack. Although she caved and bought me a pack, she did tell me they were expensive. I can't remember how much they were, but if they were probably over $2, my family would say that's expensive. Anyways, in the 1 pack my mom bought me back in '93, I pulled this McCarty (I told you he followed me around!) 

24. 1995 Leaf Studio #65

I would like this card more if it was the Gold Credit Card version, but they did not make a gold version for McCarty in this set, so I had to settle for this one. I still do like this card, but just not as much as I like the look of the golds. This card was obtained in 2005 from a friend of mine who found his old collection and we flipped through it one night at my old condo. I saw this card and was like "Cool card!" His response, "Take it." Why yes, I shall! Thanks again Dan. 

23. 2001 Pacific Extreme LTD Parallel /45 #200

Adding this card to the list as it's one of the rarer McCarty's out there. I found this in a $1 bin at a card show back in 2006. It's a little beat up, but I'm not paying over $10 to upgrade this one. I own one, that's good enough for me. If you own this in better condition and want to trade it to me, I'd listen though.

22. 2017 Bowman 70th Anniversary Buyback Foil Bronze #369

This card was received from a Twitter follower of mine. I received a message one day after work from a guy named Tom. He said simply, "I have something for you. It's not much, but I've seen your generosity on Twitter by giveaways and just giving away stuff you have pulled, so I'm paying it forward!" Folks, it pays to be nice sometimes. This just proves it. I've never interacted with Tom again other than a thank you post to him on Twitter and a DM message back telling him how much I appreciated this card. Tom, if you read this, seriously, thank you again.

21. 1993 Bowman Foil #369

The original trumps the buyback here. The only reason why I have this ahead of the card above is that my grandma bought me the pack this came in. In 1993, I spent 9 days at my grandparents' house. We played catch, picked vegetables and fruit from their gardens and trees. We fished in the lake near their house, I learned how to make the nectar for all their hummingbird feeders, and I went to Wal Mart for the first time. Yep, it's true. Wal Mart wasn't in my area yet, but out in rural Pennsylvania, there was one. It was about 12 minutes from my grandparents' house. When we were there my gram said, "There are some baseball cards over there if you want to pick a pack." Of course I grabbed the Bowman Jumbo pack. My poor gram probably paid $4 for this pack, but she was happy to see me pull one of my favorite players. I still remember her smile while watching me open it. So, yeah, it means a bit more than the buyback. 

20. 1993 SP #250

Oh 1993 SP, how I loved you. Seriously, I love the look of this set in football and baseball. Gorgeous. Even now at 41 years old, it still catches my eye. However, the photo of McCarty is stupid. The back where he's manning 1st base isn't much better. This would be way up on the list if it wasn't for the dumb photos. 

19. 1994 Sportflics #9

I liked Sportflics (Sportflix) a lot back in the day. When I signed my contract with my previous employer back in 2002, I went a little bit nuts with my first paycheck. It was the most money I've seen in my life on a check with my name on it from an employer. I loaded up on cards on Beckett Marketplace and this card was one of them. So, in a way it sort of reminds me of growing up. 

"Well, I guess this is growing up." - Mark Hoppus "Dammit" Blink 182

18. 1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Gold Signature #485

This card falls into the Beckett Marketplace purchase in 2002 as well. I picked up a few McCarty parallels in this purchase. I wish the Gold Signature's for baseball were foiled like the ones for basketball. I have no idea what Upper Deck was thinking here. I still dig them don't get me wrong, but the gold foil cards just pop to me (they scan like crap though). 

17. 2001 Topps Gold /2001 #635

Another Beckett Marketplace buy from 2002. I don't even want to know what I paid for it. It was probably an arm and a leg. Beautiful card though, so I'm happy to own it, but since this card was only a year old when I bought it, I know I got fleeced.

16. 1996 Leaf Signature Series Silver Auto

This was also a Beckett Marketplace purchase. I must have thought I had the gold auto from this set as I did not purchase it that day. However, I did not own it and currently still do not own it. I think I need to get on that. I imagine it's not that expensive. Anyways, I have the Silver and Bronze (sorry Bronze, you didn't make this list).

15. 1995 Stadium Club Super Team World Series #8

Are these cards hard to find? I was wondering about that when I scanned it. I obtained this from a trade on a site called Sports Card Island back in 2004. Back then I was a moderator on this site, and I frequently traded with a lot of the users. I have no idea when the site went belly up, but apparently it did (not on my watch as I left as a mod in 2005). Anyways, I got this McCarty for a few In The Game Prospects cards when someone was trying to complete a set. A total win for me.

14. 1995 Select Artist's Proof #12

This card was my very first Sportlots purchase. It said it was Nrmt in the description, but I beg to differ. The Select Artist's Proofs are one of my favorite Artist's Proof parallels (next to Zenith hockey from 1996/97). I currently own 3 (Strawberry, Hamelin and McCarty). 

13. 1993 Flair Wave of the Future #9

Like I had previously stated, the mom-and-pop card shop I used to frequent would set aside McCarty's for me. This is one the owner was really excited to show me. The time I showed up to the shop this time I was with my dad. It was the first time he went with me there and he got to see my photo on the wall of the shop with my mom and the 1993 SP Drew Bledsoe card. He also saw how the shop owner knew my name and had stuff set aside for me. He really had no idea. Well, his wallet was about to find out that's for sure! My dad bought me this card along with another card that will wind up on this list. Thanks again dad!

12. 1993 Topps Gold #156

This card was sent to me by that eBay seller from card #32 on this list. I am not 100% certain, but the bat in McCarty's hands may very well be the bat I own. The pine tar stain is in the same place and with continued use would get darker (in my opinion). If you frequently have read my blog, you would know that I love 90's Topps gold cards, that is why this one lands so far up the list. 

11. 1993 Leaf Gold Rookies #3

The 2nd McCarty card I ever pulled is this one. It's not exactly a beauty by any means. It's actually kind of ugly. The 1992 Gold Leaf Rookies were beautiful in my opinion. This set is just blah. However, since it sparked my collection a bit, it will always be special to me. 

10. 1994 Topps Finest Refractor #17

This card doesn't scan well. I assure you this is the refractor version. I also own the regular, but let's be honest here, the refractors are just beautiful to look at. This card was obtained in the 2002 Beckett Marketplace purchase after I started my "career". 

9. 1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Gold Signature #194

I'm such a sucker for these Gold Signatures aren't I? My friend Doug pulled this back in 1994 and just gave it to me. I literally didn't have to trade him a thing. More than likely though I paid him back in some way. I was usually always giving my stuff to my friends, so I'm sure he received something eventually. This card is my favorite of McCarty's Gold Signatures, so it lands in the Top 10. 

8. 1994 Donruss Rated Rookie #281

Like I posted previously above, this card was pulled from a pack my mom bought me while grocery shopping at our local Giant Eagle. It was the 3rd McCarty I ever pulled. I couldn't wait for him to have a Rated Rookie and finally, I had it in my possession. I've kept it in tip top shape too!

7. 2002 Upper Deck 40-Man Electric Rainbow /40 #314

This card showed up at my doorstep in a PWE one day. No return address. I still have no idea who sent this to me. After posting it asking for the sender to reveal themselves on Twitter, I received no response. So, whoever you are that sent me this low #'ed parallel of McCarty, thank you very much! It's a sweet looking card which is why it's on this list. Also, it shows me there are good people still out there and I like that most of all. 

6. 1993 Stadium Club 1st Day Production #569

On the way to my brother's house one Saturday afternoon back in 2003, I decided to stop at the LCS that was 1 street over. The owner was there, and he had asked me if I wanted to buy a bunch of junk wax packs for "cheap". It appeared that they were moving things around in the shop and he was trying to make more room for display cases that were off to the side. He ended up selling me a bunch of 1993 Stadium Club and 1992 Donruss packs for like $5 just so he could clear up some space. Since this LCS normally didn't have "deals" I decided to take the offer. When I finally returned to my house after hanging out with my brother I tore into the packs and pulled this 1st Day McCarty. I was so thrilled I was there that day to buy those packs. 

5. 2004 Upper Deck USA Baseball 25th Anniversary Red Auto /20

One day while scrolling through COMC for the Recent Additions, this thing popped up. I didn't buy it right away, but I added it to my cart to possibly send an offer on later. After a few days of it sitting, I noticed the price had dropped by $2 and the seller was now asking $3.25 for it. I just ended up hitting Buy Now. $3.25 for a low #'ed auto of McCarty, YES PLEASE! This is the lowest # auto of McCarty possibly out there (maybe?) Since it's such a limited card of McCarty, it's landing here. 

4. 2001 Pacific Private Stock Game Used Bat #86

Since McCarty doesn't have any game used cards, I jumped at the chance to own this. In 2001, I signed up for eBay just so I could purchase this card. McCarty is the whole reason why I have an eBay account. I saw this card which was during the hype of the game used craze and bought it at a hefty price. This card cost me $12. It's worth every penny to me though. 

3. 1994 Pinnacle Artist's Proof #333

This is the infamous card from the Kmart fiasco above. I stupidly opened a pack in the store and saw this card and was planning on stealing it, but my mom who came by with the cart along the aisle I was in spotted what I was doing and took me to see the manager. I expressed my sorrow to the manager and my mom and asked if I could buy the pack of cards instead of getting in trouble because my favorite players card was in the pack and also that I was in deep crap when I got home. The manager thankfully let me go with a warning and let my mom buy the pack since my favorite players card was in it. Also, my parents really let me have it when I got home. I'd have to ask my mom, but I'm pretty sure I was grounded for a month with no allowance, and I felt the wrath of my dad. That was never fun. I learned my lesson though that's for sure. Since a life lesson was learned due to a baseball card, this card will remain special in its weird little way to me. 

2. 1992 Upper Deck Top Prospect 92 RC #75

The card that started it all. If I never received a box of 1992 Upper Deck for Christmas from my Uncle Mark, I don't know if I would have collected McCarty. It's hard to say. Anyways, this was the first card of his I've ever seen, pulled and kept. It's been in my binder since 1992 and it's staying there until I'm gone. 

1. 1992 Upper Deck Top Prospect 92 RC #75 TTM Auto

Do I really have a TTM Auto as my #1? You bet your a$$ I do! In 1994 I was 12 and had just started 7th grade. My 7th grade English teacher asked us to complete an assignment. It was to write to one celebrity, one school, and one business. The catch was they all had to be out of the state of Pennsylvania, and he made it into a contest to see who could get their response the quickest and who could get back all 3. I sent a letter to a school just outside of where my grandparents lived in Maryland, to a hotel in Wyoming and to David McCarty. The first letter I received was from the school in Maryland. It came back in 5 days! I had letters from a lot of the students asking to be pen pals and what not and girls who sent their phone #'s. It was pretty wild! Well, I had won the contest of all the 7th grade with the quickest response. The hotel responded back to me and sent our class a bunch of keychains, and well, I was patiently awaiting for my response from Mr. McCarty. Weeks had gone by, and I still hadn't heard from him. Also, no one had more than 2 responses in our class, so I was still in the running to win the entire contest. At the end of April, I had finally received a response from McCarty! He had answered the 2 questions I posed to him on an index card and signed the card I asked him to sign! I wish I still had the index card. My English teacher ended up putting it on his bulletin board along with my other letters as I had won the entire contest. Due to me winning, our class had a pizza party and I was given a gift certificate to Eat N Park. However, I would miss out on the pizza party because my parents took my brother and I on a vacation at the end of school to Disney. Also, I forgot to grab the index card McCarty sent me with my questions and his answers on it. For the life of me I can't remember what his favorite pregame meal was and what kind of car he drove, but to be honest, I was more excited about the card he sent me back since I was a card collector. So, if you want to know what kind of person he was, I would consider him a good one. Out of an entire 7th grade class, only 1 celebrity bothered to respond to a 12-year-old, and it was David McCarty, so there you go.

RIP David McCarty. Thank you for taking the time back in 1994 for me. You will always be one of my favorites of all time!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

This used to be a really BIG card..

We probably all have these types of cards in our collection. Either a card we pulled when it was too late to capitalize via trade or sale, a card we traded for or purchased when it was hot and held onto it for way too long and the player either became irrelevant or forgotten, or we buy or trade for one later on out of the nostalgia factor. For me, it's a little bit of all of those options. When my wife and I started to do a bit of spring cleaning this month, I also decided to do some spring cleaning of my own by going through my PC to decide if there was anything that didn't "fit" in my collection anymore. I don't normally look at my PC. It had probably been about a year since I sifted through all the one-touch holders and graded cards, but when I went through it this time, I was surprised that I held on to some things. 

I had the box out on the floor of our downstairs living area while my wife was taking some photos of some of the baby toys that my kids have since grown out of to throw up on Facebook Marketplace, and I found myself saying, "Wow! This card used to be worth a lot of money!" Which then lead to her reply of, "Well, why don't you sell it?" I had to tell her that the window on selling some of these cards had been closed, and that not many people would probably have interest in such things. She nodded in understanding and went back to taking photos. A few minutes passed and she turned to me and said, "Why don't you make a blog post about something like that? I bet there are a lot of people that have stuff like that, and they could relate." My wife is a damn genius! I feel like my collection is littered with a ton of these, so I tried to narrow it down. After going through not only my PC box, but also a 5200-count box I had with stuff I wanted to keep, I had a pile of goodies for this post. Here are my top 15 cards that at one point in time were pretty big cards but have since cooled off or lost their value completely due to the players poor play, off the field/rink "decisions", injuries, or just being forgotten in general. Let's dive in, shall we?

15. 2000/01 SP Authentic Future Watch Andrew Raycroft RC /900

Have you ever gone to a card shop to buy a specific pack to try to pull a specific card? Of course you have! Well, that is just what I did back in 2003. While Raycroft was tearing up the NHL by keeping the Bruins in the playoff hunt, I was on the hunt for his best card...his SP Authentic Future Watch Rookie. I bought 2 packs that day in 2003 and came out victorious and actually pulled the card I went in that day to pull! Over the years I ended up selling this card at a very discounted price, but I found one again while I had a few bucks to blow over at COMC, so of course I had to buy it again! It cost me exactly $2. Back in 2003, this card was fairly valuable. Especially after Raycroft won the Calder Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately for me, I turned down plenty of trade offers for it and when I did let it go, I sold it for peanuts. I'm still kicking myself for that one.

14. 2013/14 Upper Deck Young Guns Acetate Nail Yakupov RC SSP

Recently I listened to a John Scott podcast where he interviewed Nail Yakupov. It was a good interview, and it gave a good overview of what happened and what went wrong with his career. If you don't know who Yakupov is, that is probably because he had a short NHL career. He was a superstar in the OHL for the Sarnia Sting and even had the nickname "Yak Attack". In the 2012 NHL Draft, he was the 1st overall selection by the Edmonton Oilers. In his rookie year, which was a shortened season due to the NHL lockout, Nail ended up scoring 17 goals (to lead the Oilers in scoring). However, the year after, his career derailed. He didn't play a 200ft game, made boneheaded plays, was a bit lazy in both zones. After 4 seasons with the Oilers, Yak was dealt to the St. Louis Blues. After only 1 season with the Blues, he then signed a free agent contract with the Colorado Avalanche before heading back to his home country of Russia and playing in the KHL for the rest of his career. As you can see, not really the career a 1st overall pick should have. His career totals are 350 games played, 62 goals, 74 assists for 136 points. However, back in 2013/14, the original owner of this card was probably jumping for joy when this card was pulled. I received this card as a throw-in on an auction for Yakupov's Young Guns UD Exclusives RC /100 sometime about 2 1/2 years ago. I purchased both cards for about $19. This card back in 2013/14 probably had a price of $250-$300 at the time. It's pretty crazy that the seller included this card in the sale of the UD Exclusives card. If that was me, I would have listed them both separately, as the Acetate in my eyes is the more elusive card. This card could probably still fetch around $35 on a good day, but nothing like it would have 9 years ago.

13. 1996 Topps Finest Keyshawn Johnson Refractor RC

One of my favorite designs was 1996 Topps Finest (for ALL 4 sports). I have no idea why; I just think it's a beautiful set. In 1996, I split a box of Topps Finest with my friend Doug. Doug was after the Dan Marino refractor from the set, but I was after the Keyshawn. It didn't matter if it was a refractor or not to me, I just wanted another Keyshawn Johnson rookie. I had pulled a Bowman's Best Keyshawn Johnson Atomic Refractor from a value pack thing at our local Ames department store, and I wanted to keep the momentum going. Once we bought the box, we headed over to Doug's house and ate pizza and opened the packs. I was about 4 packs in when I hear Doug squeal. He said, "Oh, you're going to want this one!" He had pulled the Keyshawn Johnson Refractor Rookie! In my packs I had pulled a normal Keyshawn Johnson Rookie and also a Terrell Owens Rookie, but I wanted that Keyshawn from Doug. We spent weeks trying to come up with a trade package so I could secure this card. I remember giving him a few nice Marino cards. One was a 1995 Collector's Choice Update Dan Marino "The Key" Gold card that he had been after me for. The rest of the trade consisted of a 1995 Topps Finest Dan Marino, a 1995 Sportflix Rookie Lightning Steve McNair, an entire Gold Set of Collector's Choice You Crash the Game and a 1995 Action Packed 24Kt Gold J.J. Stokes Rookie. So, I gave up a lot at the time, but I got the Keyshawn Johnson Rookie Refractor! I've had it ever since. At the time in 1996, this card was HUGE. I think back in 1996 it went for around $20-$25. Now, it can be had for about $9-$10. 

12. 2015 Panini Prizm Jameis Winston Silver RC

Love him or hate him, at one point in time you would have been pretty happy pulling one of his cards. In the only pack of 2015 Panini Prizm I ever bought, I pulled the Jameis Winston Silver RC. I was at my LCS, and a guy came in and was buying up some Prizm football packs looking for either a David Johnson, Todd Gurley or Jameis Winston Rookie. He bought five or six packs and didn't pull any of them. He then stood around talking to the manager of the shop (who I went to high school with) and I mulled over buying a pack to see if I could pull one of those. After a while the man left and I said, "I'll try a pack of those I guess." I opened the pack, and he says to me, "Dude, you got a Silver Prizm in there. Let's see who it is." So, I sifted through the pack to reveal my Silver and boom.... it's Winston! He said to me, "Do you want me to call that guy back here? I have his number. He'll probably pay you some decent money for that." This is where I'm me and I don't think straight after a high of pulling a half-decent card, I said to him, "Don't you think I should keep it? I mean, he could be really good one day." He says, "Yeah, he could, but it's up to you. It's your card." Well, I ended up keeping it. Just like most of this list of misfit cards. I'm not sure what the value was at that particular time, but it was surely more than this cards most recent sale of $9.95 shipped. Bummer.

11. 1994/95 Topps Finest Glenn Robinson Refractor RC

"Big Dog" was another one of my favorite college hoops players growing up. I think I watched more college basketball than I did the NBA in the early to mid 90's. In Glenn Robinson's rookie year, I tried to collect all of his rookies along with Eric Montross (who was also one of my favorite college hoops players to watch). I thought both players would be an absolute stud for the teams that drafted them. Since I was only 12 when this set came out, I didn't buy many packs. My LCS's near me had them for $4.50 and $5 per pack. Of course I purchased three packs for $4.50 at the smaller shop. Instead of opening all three packs on the same day, I decided to open 1 every week for 3 weeks. The first week, I opened the first pack, but it didn't have much in it. I remember the best card in that pack was a Dikembe Mutombo with Rick Mahorn being the 2nd best of the pack...YUCK. Also, I decided to rip off the coating on the cards in that first pack for some reason and I am glad I got that out of my system. The 2nd week, I opened the pack and I saw a shiny card and when I saw who it was, I about lost my mind. In my possession was the Topps Finest Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson Refractor Rookie! The last pack had a Grant Hill Rookie in it as well, so in those 3 packs, I scored big! I went back to the shop a month or so later to tell the owner about my big pull and he was really excited for me. I have taken good care of this card since pulling it almost 30 years ago, however, this card really isn't a big card anymore. It would have been a lot nicer pulling a normal Glenn Robinson Rookie and a Grant Hill Refractor Rookie, but oh well. That is life, I guess. Right now, this card can be had for about $25. 

10. 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Zach Lee Superfractor RC 1/1

When I lived in California, I had a friend in the office who LOVED the Dodgers. He would constantly tell me how Lee would be the next big pitcher in the big leagues one day. His prices initially on his cards reflected this as well. I did pick up his Blue Refractor Auto /150 and I want to say I paid close to $20 back then for that card. However, I really wanted his Superfractor and I wasn't the only one looking for it I assure you. Lee was one of the highest rated pitchers in the 2010 MLB Draft, but due to his commitment to LSU to play football and baseball, a lot of teams stayed away from selecting him. The Dodgers didn't shy away and took Lee with the 28th overall selection. To entice Zach Lee to forego his college commitment, they persuaded him with a franchise record $5.25 million contract, which he accepted. He played "ok" his first few seasons of minor league ball, but in 2013, he was named the Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year. However, Lee wouldn't make his MLB debut due to injuries until 2015. He would eventually retire after the 2022 season with only a 1-1 record and an 8.53 ERA. His last season was played with the Alburquerque Isotopes, which is a AAA team for the Colorado Rockies. Needless to say, he never panned out. Last year, I was pushing my son on the swing set outside and I got an alert on my phone. After he wanted to go back inside our house, I sat down and saw that the 2010 Bowman Chrome Zach Lee Superfractor RC 1/1 was listed on eBay. When I checked it, the card was actually listed by COMC. So, I decided to check the price there. It was $80. It had looked like someone listed a bunch of Dodgers Superfractor's that day on COMC and the Lee was one of them. After a day or two of mulling it over, I decided to shoot an offer to the seller of $40. After a little back and forth, the seller and I decided on $45! If this was 2010, the price of this card probably would have been 5 times this amount. It's ok with me, I am happy to own this card even if it's not worth too much anymore.

9. 2020/21 Upper Deck Young Guns Alexis Lafreniere

The day I pulled this card was the day my wife went for her ultrasound for our youngest son. I went with her, but due to the COVID pandemic, I wasn't allowed in the room for the ultrasound, hell, I wasn't even allowed in the building in their waiting room. You heard that right, I had to wait in the car. This really upset me to the point that I had tears in my eyes by the time my wife got back to the car. Knowing how upset I was, my wife asked if I wanted to go to the card shop to blow off some steam and rip some packs open (she's awesome, right?) Of course I did! We ended up grabbing 2 packs of 2020/21 Upper Deck hockey. When I got home, I ripped the packs and pulled "the big one". The Young Guns Alexis Lafreniere. However, the card I pulled was dinged on the one corner. I showed my pack rip on Twitter, and someone replied tagging Upper Deck Assist and next thing I know, Upper Deck Assist is messaging my DM's. Well, Upper Deck asked me to send my receipt along with the damaged card to their facility and within 3 weeks, I had a brand spanking new Lafreniere Young Guns. Upper Deck really had my back during one of the absolute worst days I've had in a while, and I really appreciate them for doing this for me. At the time I pulled the Laf, this was the card from that set to get. He's having a great year right now, but when this card first came out, it was selling anywhere from $100-$150! Obviously, it has cooled off. Now it's resting about the $30-$35 range I believe, but that's ok with me. Currently I now own 3 of these along with 2 Canvas's. At the time though, this was a HUGE card. Who knows, maybe this one might shoot back up one day? Time will tell.

8. 1993/94 Pinnacle Alexandre Daigle Auto /1500

I can still smell the hockey rink I was at the day I pulled this card. Growing up, I had hockey skating lessons at an old rink in downtown Pittsburgh. It's where the Penguins used to practice, and they used to have their morning skate there if they were in town right before my lessons. So, I would always get to meet them and get autographs. It was really awesome! What also was awesome about that rink was they had a mini-card shop located right in the lobby. Usually after my lesson, I would take a few bucks and grab some singles or even a few packs. One day in particular, I had completed my on-ice test and passed to go onto level 3 in my skating lesson. My mom was so proud of me since I was the youngest one in that particular group by a year or two. After I got changed in the locker room, I headed upstairs to the lobby and saw that she bought me 3 packs of 1993/94 Pinnacle. I was Daigle hunting back then in all brands just like everyone else. Heck, I even had The Iceman Cometh Alexandre Daigle poster in my room (it's also currently framed in my office - thanks to my wife). When I got home, I decided to rip those packs open! Well, to my surprise, I pulled that freaking Daigle autographed card! It had insane odds. Something like 1:2,000 packs I believe. I still have this thing to this very day. At one point, I think I did have it in one of those 4 screw-down holder thingies, but it's since been placed in a one-touch holder. I doubt I ever get rid of this thing. I'm still a Daigle fan, and I don't care who knows it. When Daigle was here playing for the Penguins, I got to meet him and chat with him for 5 minutes. What a likeable guy he is! It was a pleasure to meet him and because of that, this thing will stay with me.

7. 1999/00 SPx Steve Francis RC Auto /500

The day I got food poisoning from eating at Taco Bell will always remind me of this card. My brother had moved into a house in a neighboring town from where my condo was, and he had asked me for some help one Saturday afternoon. I always made it a point to stop by my LCS on the way there since it was right next to my brother's street. In this visit, I bought 2 packs of 1999/00 SPx basketball and a few 2003/04 Pacific hockey packs and was on my way to my brother's house. He and I were installing a bathroom floor, and, in the entryway, I ended up cutting my hand on some flashing that was sticking up from the floor. Well, I lost a little bit of blood and I saw the blood so, me being me, I started to get light-headed. We took a little break from the action, and I got bandaged up, and drank some water. After my brother was sitting for a few minutes, he said he was getting hungry. So, my sister-in-law headed up the road to the Taco Bell and got us some tacos to eat. Of course, I had to order some weird Gordita thing that no one else ordered. After consuming some food and washing it down with some water, I felt much better and helped my brother finish the tile floor. On the way back home, I had the bubble guts really bad. So bad that I had to pull over and ralph all over the shoulder of the road. After finally getting home, I proceeded to get sicker and sicker. Soon, I was wrapped up in my bed with the water bottle from my ice hockey bag sitting on my nightstand and I was filling it every hour trying to stay hydrated. In the morning, I had remembered that I had those packs in the center console of my Chevy S10, and I really wanted to open them, but I had no strength. So, I just proceeded to lay in bed. Later that afternoon, I perked up a bit and ventured out to my truck for the packs. I opened the Pacific hockey first so I could see what jersey cards I had received. This was in the height of the jersey card craze (just setting the tone for that). After the excitement wore off seeing that I had pulled Scott Walker and Mike Comrie jersey cards, I hoped I had saved the best for last. The first SPx pack didn't have much in it from what I remember I think I had pulled some insert of Tom Gugliotta. The last pack though, that was the highlight! I hit the Steve Francis Auto! At the time, it was a huge pull! Although, it's not as valuable as it once was, it still has a bit of value. Nothing like it was when this guy was an All-Star. I still own this card and it was still in the same 1 screw holder I put it in in 2003. I did end up taking it out during this post to scan it, and it did not stick to the holder it was in, but I did decide to place it in a one-touch holder (for those out there who probably were screaming at me through their screen). 

6. 1992 Topps Gold Brien Taylor RC

This card will land on the list due to me pulling it WAY TOO LATE. I had previously written about it in a blog entry a few months ago that can be read here (if you're interested). On to how I obtained the card: My dad and I ventured out to a hardware store near our house in the fall of 1996 and they had five or six packs of 1992 Topps sitting there. I was kind of bored at the time and decided to buy 2 of them, because what the heck? Well, on our way back to our house, I pulled this card...about 4 years too late. I am a nostalgic guy, so I did keep the card as a memento, but if I had pulled that thing back in 1992, I would have been the talk of my neighborhood for sure! If I would have taken this to one of the card shows my brother and I frequented, I would have been able to name my price basically. However, right now, you can purchase one for about $2-$3. I'm not sure what they were going for back in 1992, but I'm sure it was more than $3. Oh well, that is MY LUCK! All those years I had been going to that hardware store with my dad and I never thought to buy any of those Topps packs is beyond me. That is my cardboard life I suppose. 

5. 2003/04 SPx Darko Milicic Spectrum Jersey Auto RC /25

When I say this card is MINT, it really is in MINT condition. That is the first thing I noticed when I bought this particular card. In 2005, I was at a card show at a small church in WV that my neighbor took me to. Not having much luck, I stopped by a table where this guy was eating fries and reading a fishing magazine. He saw my FishPond Flexfit hat that I had on and started talking to me about fishing. I must have sat there for 45 minutes with this guy talking about all the fishing trips I had gone on with my dad, grandfather and uncle. Finally, I said, "Oh, I guess I should look at your stuff!" He said, "Oh, yeah, this stuff was my brother's stuff, but he's in jail, so my parents told me to just set up shop here and get rid of it. They are actually very active members of the church this show is being held at, so this table space was free for me." He had a card table sized table (this was in West Virginia mind you) and his table only had 3 boxes full of toploaded stuff. I didn't even look at any of it, but I saw a pretty cool refractor in one of the rows of Sharone Wright from 1994/95 Topps Finest. After really striking out at most of the tables at this small show, I asked the guy, "How much for all 3 boxes?" He said, "Ehh, my parents are looking to get about $250." I only had $180 with me, but he said that would be enough and he helped me put it into my neighbor's vehicle. After my neighbor was done purchasing signed Pittsburgh Pirates baseballs he wanted, we were on our way. When I got home, I noticed the boxes were mostly all basketball and football parallels and rookies, so I had a blast going through it. There were a few cards in magnetic holders, and this was in one of them. I about fell off my couch when I saw this card! My neighbor even choked on his iced tea! It was that big of a card even then. Now, I'm probably the only one who cares about it, but I've had it for so long, I can't get rid of it now. If Milicic would have been more than the "human victory cigar", maybe this would still be worth something. It would probably fetch around $30-$40 now. In 2005 though, it might have been triple that possibly. 

4. 2007 Bowman Chrome Draft Josh Vitters Superfractor Auto RC 1/1

Yep. I'm the guy who has this card. Why? Well, I used to be a bit of a Cubs fan. I followed them along with the Royals pretty regularly back in the day. Any time the Cubs were in town, you bet your butt I was at PNC Park watching the game. On September 9th, 2012, I was in attendance to see Vitters hit his last home run as a Major League Baseball player. I was excited for him and was hoping he would eventually turn into the star the Cubs had in mind when the drafted him 3rd overall in the 2007 MLB Draft. Sadly, things didn't turn out that way and he ended up bouncing around with the Rockies minor league organizations before playing independent ball and retiring. In 2015 on Christmas, I received an eBay gift card from my wife's grandfather (which was SUPER generous). It was for $50. I had the Vitters Superfractor on my Watchlist and sent a lowball offer of $60 that afternoon. Weird enough, it was accepted. I had the card in my collection for 5 years and one day during the COVID pandemic, I had a change of heart and decided to list it for $200 with a Best Offer option on eBay. Someone bought it that day and at first, I felt like crap and had a change of heart, but I did the right thing and shipped it anyway to the winning bidder. 2 years later, I saw it listed again for $150, well I ended up buying it back from the guy I sold it to for $125. After I sent him an offer, he said, "Didn't you sell this to me originally?" Uhhh...haha. So I guess you could say I have $185 in this thing, but it's never leaving my possession (this was the card that started this blog post by the way). I am currently working on the rainbow of this card and am only missing the Red Refractor /5. If you have it, by all means, message me!

3. 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Stephen Strasburg Refractor RC /777

Recently retired Stephen Strasburg ended up on this list. I couldn't make this list without this card on it. It's crazy to think that I own this and what it's worth now considering the hype around his Bowman Chrome cards back in 2010. I obtained this card at a card show back in November on the same day as my son's first kindergarten parent teacher conference and blogged about it here. The value of this card was probably very high in 2010 considering Strasburg was being touted as the next Nolan Ryan. He had a decent career, don't get me wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's not what most people were expecting from him. Injuries definitely played a part in his career derailment and that's sad. I paid $2 for this thing, and I even asked the vendor if the price was right as it seemed really low to me. It really was a low price, and I'm glad I own it, but if this was 2010, I would have called it "robbery". I looked for some recent sales of this card, but couldn't find much. The ones for sale now are for around $14, so I'd say I did ok. Can anyone remember what the value of this was back in 2010? I knew his cards back then were pretty out of my price range since I wasn't a huge baseball collector in 2010. Also, sorry for the scan, it is the refractor version, I assure you, but my scanner just sucks at scanning refractors (see Glenn Robinson and Keyshawn Johnson above).

2. 1993 SP Drew Bledsoe RC

I just want to get this out in the open, I am and always will be a Drew Bledsoe fan. I had a Patriots pencil back in 1993 because I was a fan. Also, in 1996, my mom bought me a Drew Bledsoe notebook at Wal Mart. For some reason though, I was embarrassed with the Bledsoe notebook and tore off the front and put it in my desk in my room (I'm sorry if you read this someday mom). She meant well, but I was self-conscious back then about everything (kids are mean). I wasn't unpopular by any means back then, I just wanted to keep fitting in and when no one in my class was sporting a notebook with a professional football player on it, I felt like the outcast. Anyways, Bledsoe was my favorite back then. I'd trade for his cards with my friends and had a decent collection before I focused more on hockey cards back in 1997. The card of Bledsoe's I was most after was the 1993 SP. This card was the hottest card in my Sports Card Magazine issue back in the spring of 1994 (I'm pretty sure). Packs of SP were $5 at my LCS, so if I wanted a few chances at a Bledsoe, that was the only way I could do it. A large LCS in my area did have one for sale, but they wanted $50 (which was out of the question for an 11-year-old kid). In early April of 1994, my grandparents who lived next door to us growing up asked if I would start cutting their grass for $10 a week. I gladly accepted. After a few weeks, I went to that LCS that had the Bledsoe and the shop owner told me that it had sold a week earlier. I remember being so bummed out, but knew if I wanted one, I'd have to buy some packs (this was before the internet people). My logic had kicked in and I figured if the LCS that had sold the Bledsoe card had pulled it themselves at that shop, then maybe the rest of their packs weren't as lucky. This is how I thought as an 11-year-old. So, I went to the smaller shop up the road. It was the first time I had stepped foot in that place. It was a husband and wife run shop and they were so nice to my mom and me. After chatting with them, I purchased the last 4 packs of 1993 SP that they had. The first pack had a Natrone Means Rookie, which was exciting since he was a pretty big name in 1994, the 2nd pack didn't have anyone of note, but the 3rd pack I opened, there it was! The shop owner watched in anticipation as I was opening the packs and I think he was more excited than I was when I pulled the Bledsoe. He quickly ran into the back room and his wife came out to take a photo of me with the card. It was actually a pretty cool moment. They had photos put up of people who pulled big cards on their wall when you walk in on the left of the door, and I was up on that wall for a good 4 years with that card. I miss that LCS (it has since closed). That guy always treated me fairly and always gave me a good deal when he could. He always seemed to be getting pressure from the bigger LCS that was down the road and I always tried to give him my business instead of the juggernaut in the area that is sadly still there with inflated prices. In 2003, I saw that guy at a card show and he remembered me! He said to me, "I still remember when you pulled that Drew Bledsoe many years ago! Boy was that an exciting day!" His last day in business in 2001, he gave me a huge stack of hockey cards for free and I never forgot that. What a good person. Anyways, in 1993, I pulled a huge Drew Bledsoe from a now-defunct card shop in Western Pennsylvania. In 2024, I still have the card and the memory that goes with it. At the time, it was probably a $30, not $50, but I could be wrong. Nowadays, it runs about $10 in decent shape. Somewhere probably in a closet or a box in Western PA, there is a photo of me in my St. Louis Blues jacket with my hair parted to right with my mom in her glasses and poofy haircut holding up a 1993 SP Drew Bledsoe card. I wish I still had all that hair...

1. 1986 Donruss Rated Rookie Jose Canseco RC

This card eluded me in my childhood. The first time I laid eyes on this card was in the summer of 1991. My mom's best friends brother owned a card shop that was less than a half mile from my house. My parents would frequently take my brother and I there. When I first saw this card, I also saw the price tag...$110! I still remember pressing my face against his glass display case staring at it. I saved for that card once but was $50 short of the $110 price tag. My dad said that he would lend me the $50 needed under the stipulation that I wouldn't receive allowance for an entire year and that I would have extra chores to do. By the time we got to the shop, the card had sold. There was a rumor that the card sold to a kid in the grade above me. I wasn't friends with the kid or any of his friends, so I never actually knew if he was the one that got it. The only other time I had seen this card before I actually owned it was at a card show in 1992. It was priced for $85 that day but was still out of my price range. However, I'm the moron that spent $11 that day pulling Topps Gold cards from a Topps Gold set at $1 a chance trying to get a Brien Taylor Topps Gold Rookie. I hope I enjoyed my Mike Bielecki, Brent Mayne, Juan Agosto and whoever else I pulled from that set. What a waste of money, but a genius idea by the owner of that set. The kids flocked to that guy. He was the most popular dealer in that entire banquet hall of the Howard Johnson. So, I gave up after 1992 on the Canseco Rated Rookie. In the spring of 2016, I gathered up a bunch of jerseys from my closet and put them up for sale. Once they all sold within a week or so, I took the money and had my sights set on buying a Canseco Rated Rookie and I did just that. I found one with a great buy it now price of $4 and BOOM! Card acquired! It's crazy that I got this one for $106 less than I saw it for in the summer of '91, but that's how it goes when you admit to using steroids. Even though Canseco admitted to it, he is still a big deal to me and my childhood. Growing up in the 80's and 90's, his name will always remind me of good times of when I was a kid playing baseball in my front yard in the summertime with the neighborhood kids, that summer they had Tropical Pepsi and a bee flew in mine and stung my lip while listening to LL Cool J, my cousin Alan (who loved Canseco), playing roller hockey on our street, swimming in my parent's pool, and of course the Oakland A's and Bash Brothers. Gotta love nostalgia!

So, this concludes my list of cards that I own that were really big cards at one point in time. I hope you enjoyed reading it. What are some of the cards in your collection that were really big cards at the time, but now the value has fizzled out? I'd love to hear from all of you!

Thanks for stopping by!