Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When a card is all the rage

It's funny to look back and see when certain cards were all the rage. A few days ago, I was looking through some older cards I had in top loaders, and came across this:

Back in the summer of 1997, this card graced Beckett's pages over and and over. I was in seventh grade, of course I read Beckett, so stop judging me. Mind you, the D-Backs hadn't even played a game yet, but this guy was going to be a star. I remember a trip to the big mall in Syracuse. My mom was shopping with my sisters, and I wandered into one of those over-priced memorabilia stores that most big malls have and bought my first ever pack of Bowman. Sure enough, I pulled the Lee. The owner of the shop immediately offered me money for it...probably like $10, but hell no, this card wasn't going anywhere. He did give me a top loader for it, and I was a happy guy. Bowman Chrome and Bowman's Best came out and brought higher end versions of this card, but the original was pretty cool.

Then Travis Lee's career started a bit slow in 1998, and Mark McGwire started hitting a really lot of home runs. Suddenly Lee's rookie card was forgotten and this card, 13 years later, became the most sought after card of the day:

For graduating first in my eighth grade class in 1998, I asked for this card. Instead, I got a box of 1998 Stadium Club, which was still pretty sweet even though I didn't pull one of the Tino co-signers I desperately wanted (and still do). I did get an Andruw Jones Matrix though, which at the time was a solid pull and probably was going for around $20.

I think it's interesting to look back and think about how certain cards defined a year or a period of time. Strasburg this past year, and not too far off in the future, I'm sure Bryce Harper will have this same effect. What cards can you think of that really defined a particular time? What cards were the rage and now can be had for pennies or a few a bucks?


  1. The 86 Donruss Jose Canseco rated rookie that was going for $125 or so at its peak comes to mind.

    And the 90 Donruss John Olerud, everyone wanted that card when it came out.

  2. The ones that were a big deal for me growing up:

    1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. (got one)
    1989 Topps Gregg Jefferies (got tons)
    1987 Fleer Kevin Mitchell (got a few - this was a big card in 1989, believe it or not)
    1987 Donruss Mark McGwire (never got one - in his Bash Brothers days, this one seemed more important than the 1985 Olympic card)
    1986 Donruss Jose Canseco (never got one)
    1984 Donruss Don Mattingly (never got one)
    1984 Fleer Update Dwight Gooden (still on my wantlist)
    1983 Topps Traded Darryl Strawberry (also still on my wantlist)