Even though I personally prefer cold weather over warm weather, I'm actually more of a Summer Olympics kind of guy. In the past, I've enjoyed watching basketball, swimming, and the track events. However in 2020, I'll probably be focusing on soccer, skateboarding, and baseball.
Yup. Baseball will be back at the Olympics after a 12 year hiatus.
I can still remember opening packs of Topps back in 1985, pulling the Team USA subset cards, and thinking... damn these cards are cool. Things became much, much cooler when Big Mac started launching bombs in route to winning the 1987 AL Rookie of the Year Award, because his card would eventually become one of the most recognizable cards from the era.
But we'll discuss that card in another post on a another day. Today, I wanted to share a different Topps Team USA subset card. It's not nearly as iconic or valuable, but in my humble opinion, it's just as cool.
See for yourself:
1989 Topps Big #322
Jim Abbott is one of those players who has a cult-like following in our hobby which is 100% understandable. The guy pitched ten seasons at the Major League level and threw a no-hitter against a Cleveland Indian's lineup that featured Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome. And he accomplished these feats with only one hand.
But that's not what drew my attention to this card. I've been trying to track one of these down for a few years, because its aesthetically pleasing. I love the portrait shot of him wearing his Team USA gear superimposed onto the shot of him and his teammates celebrating their gold medal win over Japan in the 1988 Olympics.
The back of the card is pretty cool too. It features his 1988 collegiate and Olympic statistics, as well as two colorful cartoons that highlights his 1987 Golden Spikes (top amateur player) and 1988 Sullivan (outstanding amateur athlete) awards.
And although it's not considered to be his rookie card, it was a pack issued card from his rookie season. This was kind of the icing on the cake for me.
So why did it take me so long to acquire a copy? Well... it's comes down to pennies and pride.
Over the years, I've found a fair share of his rookie cards sitting in quarter bins and probably even dime boxes, so I just couldn't or wouldn't spend more than a couple quarters for it.
COMC has two copies available, but the $2.75 is almost laughable.
I considered grabbing a copy on Sportlots for 18¢ (+ shipping), but kept waiting for an opportunity to take advantage of combined shipping.
Then I stumbled across an eBay auction:
Do I actually need 113 of these? Probably not. But the price was right.
113 for $1.25 (+ $4 shipping) equates to less than 5¢ per card which is a much more realistic price per card.
Plus they look so cool scattered about...
This isn't my first venture into purchasing multiple copies of a single card. Back in the 80's, I loved buying and putting together rookie card lots of guys like Mike Greenwell, Will Clark, and Sam Horn.
And it didn't stop there. In the 90's, I purchased enough 1995 Classic 5 Sport Ben Grieve autographs to almost fill a 9-Pocket page.
Sadly, I paid much more than 5¢ each or the 92¢ asking price currently on COMC. Maybe that's why I've slowed down my need for multiple copies of cards.
Slowed Down ≠ Stopped. Last week, Peter over at Baseball Every Night sent me a generous PWE that included this note:
Let's see if there are any dupes in Peter's PWE. First up...
2018 Topps MLB Opening Day #OD-24
This happens to be my very first taste of 2018 Topps baseball, so this Davis is definitely not a dupe.
In addition to my first insert card of 2018, Peter hooked me up with my first four 2018 base cards. Ironically... one of them was a dupe. Don't worry Peter. If you haven't noticed, duplicates aren't a problem.
The final card in the PWE was a card of Eck's set up man:
1989 Bowman #185
Is it a dupe? Well... I have do have a 1989 Bowman factory set laying around somewhere. Plus there's a good chance I have at least one of these sitting in my Oakland A's oversized box as well. But it's much appreciated. Worst case scenario is I buy another 98 copies and create a 100 card lot.
It's time to hear from all of you...
What's your stance on duplicates?
Do you have 100+ copies of any singles in your collection?
Happy Friday and sayonara!