30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Twenty-One Year Wait Is Over

Back in 1993, certified autographs pulled from packs were a lot less common.  Signature Rookies, Be A Player, Donruss Signature, and other products loaded with autographs were just around the corner... but hadn't quite arrived.

And even though Upper Deck, Pro Line, Star Pics, Fleer, Classic, and Leaf were inserting thousands of autographs into their packs... the odds of pulling one was extremely small due to the companies flooding the market with their products.  Even my local card shop barely had any certified pack pulled autographs in their display cases and the ones they had were usually of the Classic, Front Row, Star Pics, and Pro Line variety.

Then it happened.  One day I was killing time in between classes at a card shop across the street from San Jose State, when a guy pulled a Frank Thomas autograph out of a pack of 1993 Leaf.  C'mon... we all know the feeling of pulling that insane card.  It was like he won the lottery and he instantly became the most popular guy in the shop.

I remember he bought a 1" lucite holder for it and let everyone in the shop check it out.  At the time, Frank Thomas was arguably the hottest player in the hobby and we were all extremely jealous.

Over the years, I completely forgot about that card and the story.  One of those out of sight... out of mind issues.  Then it hit me while re-watching Frank's Hall of Fame induction speech and I immediately added the card to my eBay watch list.

I wasn't expecting to find any in my price range, since completed auctions were closing between $50 and $100 delivered... which is a little more than I could afford.  But last week, I targeted one on my sniper program and ended up winning it for $41.50 (+ $2.50 shipping).

It may not be the most beautiful Frank Thomas autograph I own... but it's definitely one of the most memorable.  Crossing off a card from your twenty-one year old wantlist will have that kind of effect. Now if I could only find a reasonably priced 1982 Topps Traded Ripken.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara.


  1. Nice card.. congrats on finally landing it!

  2. Congrats!One Frank Thomas card I can't seem to find In my stash is his 1990 Topps First Draft Pick.That was a beautiful card!

  3. Awesome awesome card!!!! It's such a defining card of the hobby during that time period. Congrats on adding it to your collection at a great price too.

  4. Great card congrats.1990 pro set Lombardi trophy card,$200 back then,I wanted it bad (but not at that price).24 years later I got it on e-bay for $68,worth the wait.

  5. Nice card.... "Sniper a Program". I love it

  6. Do you use Gixen or some other program for sniping? And, define "reasonably priced 1982 Ripken traded".....

  7. Very cool! Love how Donruss/Leaf used to have such high serial numbers.

  8. Great card! Congrats Fuji snipe hunting paid off.

  9. Fantastic story, Fuji! Congrats on a legendary pick up.