Saturday, January 28, 2012

Get on the Bus

Back in May, I wrote about my completed quest to finish off all of the insert sets within the 1994 Fleer Football set. At least, I thought I had completed it.

Fast forward to this past October, when I get an email from a reader who is trying to complete the same set with her young son. She stumbled across the blog looking for some of the cards they were still missing, and informed me that it looked like my Jerome Bettis Rookie of the Year set was a few cards short of completion. I never responded, but I did get an "Awwww, crap" feeling. I thought I was done. It was like that one time when I was a week or two from graduating from college and I got a letter that I had been taking the wrong coursework for my academic minor. That fiasco took a sweetly worded letter to the dean to avoid being a sixth-year senior. This time, I just shelved the idea of chasing the Jerome Bettis cards #13 through 15. They would have been easy enough to find, yet having already declared victory over this set, it just wouldn't have felt the same.

Fast forward a few more months. I'm cleaning up a few card-related items scattered across the house, and I find a couple of loose Ultra Pro sheets with cards in them. At the top of one of them, I see the motherlode. Jerome Bettis inserts #13, 14, and 15.

Hells to the yizzy, I had the complete set all along! I was wondering what was up, since I could have sworn there were only 12 cards in the set. Resourcefully, I went to the checklist, the 480th and final base card in the set. As you can see plainly in black and green: 12 CARD JEROME BETTIS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR" SERIES

Okay, my mind wasn't playing tricks on me after all. I'm accessing the farthest reaches of the memory banks here, but I have an inkling that the final three cards were available as a wrapper redemption. A story like this checks out, as my mom was one of those people who was forever getting free shit in the mail with proofs of purchase and cash register receipts and shit like that. I was the kind of kid who owned an M&M's painter's cap, some Kool-Aid suspenders, and a dinosaur game made out flimsy cardboard delivered to my house by the good people at Chef Boyardee. So it made sense that the 15-year-old me would have sent in an envelope full of wrappers to acquire the final three cards in the Bettis insert set. If anyone can direct me to some concrete proof that this was the way to get them, I'd appreciate it.

(Oh, and sorry if you this post's title made you think that you were going to get a few pictures of Charles S. Dutton.)

1 comment:

Chris Harris said...

YEW ARE CORRECT, SIR! In the early-90s just about every Fleer set had a 12 card vanity insert in which additional cards were available via a wrapper redemption offer. '92, '93' and '94 Fleer Baseball all had similar 12-card vanity sets of Roger Clemens, Dennis Eckersley, and Tim Salmon insert with cards 13-15 through mail order.

IIRC, there was also a Mark Rypien vanity insert in '93 Fleer Football.