Friday, October 30, 2020
A graded goat
In my eyes, 1998 Donruss Crusade is the greatest insert set of all time.
That subject is, of course, up for debate and a personal belief. But no matter how many amazing inserts I've seen - from die cuts to clear cuts and everything in between - nothing knocks 1998 Donruss Crusade off of the pedestal I have put it on.
I can't explain my fascination.
For me, I think it stems back to this being one of the first big-time insert sets Tino Martinez was included in. The card-year of 1998 saw his insert set inclusion soar, which happens when you're the first baseman of the Yankees coming off a 44-HR, 141-RBI season.
I see posts by guys like Junior Junkie and realize how many amazing inset sets Tino never even sniffed, so perhaps I like this one because he was finally included in the cool kids club.
However, 1998 Crusade isn't very exclusive. It's a 130-card insert set with parallels. That's something I complain about now: larger insert sets with multiple versions. But sorry, this isn't some crappy "Baseball's Greatest Moments" or "Gold Standard" uninspired crap we've gotten over the past decade.
The cards themselves are beautiful, and are becoming harder to find for a reasonable price. If you do an eBay search, they aren't cheap. Most of the common guys still go for about $20. And a weird printing error occurred where there are lines smack dab through them, like my first Tino Crusade has.
That's why I was keen to buy this PSA 9 when it popped up on eBay and I had some eBay Bucks burning a hole in my pocket. A 9 is pretty darn good, and look, no lines! Not that I care much for graded cards. I only have a couple of graded Tino cards.