30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, March 5, 2018

Master of None

Card collections are like snowflakes.  They're all unique in their own special way.  One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is read about people's collections and what kind of cardboard brings them happiness.

Although I have a fair share of team and player collections, I actually take pride in being a Jack of all trades, but a master of none.  It gives me a lot of freedom to collect a variety of sports and athletes, without feeling the pressure to own every single card of a specific player, team, or sport.

Back in mid-February, I purchased a card that didn't fit into any of my player or team collections.  In fact, it featured an athlete in a sport I don't even follow.  The card caught my attention over twenty years ago, and I was pretty excited to add it to my collection.

Let me introduce you to my 1996 SPx autograph of Jeff Gordon:

1996 SPx #T1

Let's take a quick trip back to 1996.  That's the year Upper Deck released their new line of trading cards called SPx to baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and racing fans all around the world.  Considered a high end product at the time, Upper Deck featured their hologram technology on really thick card stock and sold them to collectors in one-card packs which retailed for $2.99 to $3.49 each.

Although many of us today would scoff at the thought of spending this kind of money for one card, card shops couldn't keep boxes of this stuff on their shelves at those prices.  Pack prices soared into the $4 to $6 range at local card shops in my area.  I purchased a fair share of the baseball, basketball, football, and hockey packs, but managed to stand clear of the NASCAR stuff.

Then one day two guys were opening packs (maybe boxes) hoping to pull either a Terry Labonte or Jeff Gordon autograph.  Neither did that day.  However... by just listening to their conversation and watching them bust packs of this stuff, made me interested in the card.

According to Beckett, these were inserted into 1:395 packs.  I don't remember what these sold for back in the mid 90's, but I'm guessing it was a lot more than the $37.06 (+ $3 shipping) I paid last month.

This is the third SPx Tribute autograph I've added to my collection.  I also own the Ken Griffey Jr. and Wayne Gretzky to complete the Real G Trifecta:

1996 SPx #KGA1

1996 SPx #GS1

Both of these autographs were considerably tougher to pull for collectors.  The Gretzky was inserted into 1:1,297 packs, while Griffey was inserted into 1:2,000 packs.

I hope to one day collect all of the other 1996 SPx Tribute autographs out there.  Unless I win the lottery, I don't see myself purchasing the Michael Jordan.  However... Mike Piazza, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and Anfernee Hardaway can all be found for under $100, so they're a little more plausible.

So here's the question of the day...

Have you ever purchased a sports card (for yourself) that depicts a sport you don't actually watch?

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. Nice G's!

    And yep, I only watch baseball and occasionally football, but I've still bought cards from basketball, hockey, wrestling, and racing.

  2. Wow, that is a beautiful card. I don't watch nearly as much soccer, hockey, or MMA as I'd like, but I have few single page PCs for each. I also enjoy picking up the odd one-off hit from all of the above & just about any other sport that has appeared on cardboard, when I find a name I recognize for a price I can afford. My non-sport hits, & even my sketch card collection, have come together in a similar way. I enjoy them a lot more than most of my more rigidly defined PCs, tbh.

  3. Your collection never ceases to amaze me, and the variety might be the best thing about it. Fantastic autos there!

    There are very few cards in my collection of sports I don't watch at all. The only ones I can think of are the Stacy Keibler and Ronda Rousey cards I bought a few months back. I do have a Christian Pulisic card incoming, but it's part of an SI for Kids sheet - and it didnt cost me anything.

  4. Amazing beautiful cards. I am not in to racing but I am smitten with this card as well.

  5. That is a great Jeff Gordon card, a nice pick up for a good price.

  6. I have a couple wrestling autos in my collection which I don't watch anymore. Most of my non sports stuff is based on tv shows I watch.

    I think my favorite of the three you're showcasing is the Gretzky. I'm always right on the ledge of collecting hockey full time again and seeing cards like this only get me closer to jumping.

  7. I'm with Chris in that I don't have any inclination to watch wrestling but I am a bit fond of some of the Diva ladies.
    I also bought a set (to replace the batch from my younger days) of 79-80 basketball, and I put together a couple easy 90's sets of hoops just for fun. I know the names but really don't understand the sport.

  8. Of course I have. I get bored with the big four, card-wise. I'll add anything if the price is right. Wrestling is one, for example. I've never even considered that I could afford a signed Getzky card. When it comes to the Mt Rushmore guys I've satisfied myself with a one degree of separation philosophy. So, I have signed cards of Steve Kerr(MJ), Paul Coffey(Gretzky), etc.

  9. I have a Japanese rugby auto card, but don’t watch rugby.

  10. defgav - Thanks G! I also enjoy collecting wrestling cards... but rarely ever watch it.

    Twitch - I love collecting sketch cards and non-sports cards too. Love the Hera Syndulla you showed off from your COMC haul. Didn't realize you had a blog, but I've added you to my reading list. Look forward to future posts.

    Chris - Thanks! Nice Keiblers. I didn't really watch her back in the day. But I did grab an autograph of her, because it was affordable. Oh... and she's easy on the eyes.

    Brady - It's kind of hard not to admire greatness. And you don't have to be a racing fan to know who Gordon is.

    Corky - Yeah. I was pretty happy to get it at that price.

    Matthew Scott - Believe it or not... the Gretzky is one of his most affordable autographs. I've seen them sell for as low as $125.

    GCA - I totally understand. The Divas are fun to collect.

    Hackenbush - One Degree of Separation? Amazing idea!

    SumoMenkoMan - I'll take it one step further. I have a Japanese kitty cat card that depicts him/her as a DJ. I don't own a cat, nor do I DJ.