So for the past couple of weeks/months, I've noticed that my card area has started to represent the skyline of a major metropolitan area. Tall piles of nearly-completed sets everywhere, just waiting for a home. The solution: A Saturday trip to the local card shop.
You can never leave with just storage boxes, however. With some extra time on my hands, I decided to take a look through the quarter and dollar boxes. The quarter box was pretty rough going, but I was able to grab a few items.
2005 Topps Chrome Updates & Highlights Black Refractors Alex Sanchez and Zach Duke
I recently picked of a big stack of the black refractors from the regular '05 Chrome set. Maybe I'll take a run at it one of these days.
2005 Bowman #91 C.C. Sabathia X-fractor (198/225)
I like shiny CC cards, even when he's still on Cleveland.
Sensing I wasn't going to find much more than a few Manti Te'o mini cards and tall boys in the quarter box, so I moved over to the dollar box. Here are the spoils.
2011 Topps Heritage #C195 Prince Fielder Chrome (1271/1962)
2012 Topps Triple Threads #22 Ryan Braun Sepia Parallel (384/625)
2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Bowman Top Picks #TP-BS Ryan Braun / Bubba Starling
Now, all that Brewers stuff is great and all, but what's about to come next is what made this the greatest visit to a card shop I have ever made.
After wading through half a box of abject blandness, I spotted a diamond in the rough. I knew it from the moment I saw it that this was a card I needed. In fact, I had never seen it before, but I knew it had to be mine.
2001-02 Topps #248 Trenton Hassell
I honestly cannot be sure how long I have been looking for this card. Maybe 2005 or 2006, since I remember getting serious about the set after opening a box in an old apartment. My first contact with the set was in retail pack form during the Bucks' exciting run deep into the 2001 NBA playoffs. Searches of eBay and all other online card sellers have yielded nothing. Looking back through the archives, I can see it's been three years since I've been able to cross any card off the 2001-02 Topps Basketball want list, which had stalled at three cards. The three, including this Hassell, were all draft pick redemption cards that I'm guessing very people ever received, much less redeemed. I'll neglect to rehash all of my difficulties with these cards, but suffice it to say that it's been a bitch.
Emboldened, I decided to keep digging through the box.
And there, in the last few inches of the final row, I found them.
2001-02 Topps #242 Jeryl Sasser
2001-02 Topps #235 Steven Hunter
GOOD GAWD, I FOUND THEM!!!
UN. FUCKING. BELIEVABLE.
Cards from a set I've been collecting for 13 years, falling into my lap, at my favorite LCS. I still almost can't believe it. I had almost talked myself into thinking one or two of these didn't even exist. In fact, back in August of 2013 I found out I had been caught napping and the Sasser card had been sold on eBay. This screenshot of the completed auction has been on my desktop since then. Whew, now I can finally delete it, haunted no more.
Here's a shot of all three of them together. After the card shop, I had to stop at the grocery store, and believe it or not, I brought those three cards in with me. Really, I could take no chances of a break-in happening, no matter how remote.
I also picked up 5 packs of 2014 Bowman Draft. Truth be told, I just wanted to get up to the $20 threshold for a credit card purchase. Maybe I'll put the first one on A Pack a Day.
Man, it feels like I've actually accomplished something for once. That dollar box... amazing. Through the whole thing, there was only one other draft pick card from that set that I already had. It's as if they were placed there just for me. Solipsism in collecting, if you want to get philosophical about it.