Saturday, February 12, 2011

Elusive Cards: 1993 Topps Finest Don Mattingly

I was 10 years old when I first laid eyes on this card. I can't remember where. Maybe it was in a Beckett or a Tuff Stuff or at a card shop. I had never seen anything like it. The colors, the design, the flashiness. Baseball cards just didn't look like this. I lusted for this card. I originally thought they were an insert in 1993 Topps, so I convinced my Mom to buy me a bunch of packs so I could pull one. Dumb kid.

Eventually I realized this was a set all on its own. Packs were expensive and I couldn't afford them. I'd see this card at a show and it would be going for at least $8. That was steep, especially since I went with $3 or $4 total. For me, it's always been unattainable card. Something high end that belonged behind a glass case at a shop, and not in my collection. In fact, at a card show a few years later, I bought a grab bag with a 1993 Finest Tom Glavine in it, just so I could own a card from that set, like it's 1952 Topps or something.

Now, of course, I'm old enough and rich enough to buy the Mattingly on ebay. I can find one for $8 or $9 or so. But I think I'll hold out. I'm working on a want list to post on the site and I'll add it there, and maybe I'll find a willing trade partner. I think it'd mean more to me that way than just buying one.


  1. I absolutely love that set - even though it was always too expensive to think about collecting at the age of 13. I remember that year, Topps came out with Finest, Fleer created Flair, and Upper Deck released SP. All three were awesome, some of the best looking cards I remember. I actually did collect SP that year, and bought quite a bit of Flair - they weren't cheap, but as a kid I could buy a pack or two at a time and search for some commons at shows.

  2. I remember when Flair came out as well. I think you got one per pack in Ultra or Fleer base, and then the full set came out after that. I remember it came in a small box instead of the usual foil wrapper. Wow was that different.