i have been buying packs (and sometimes boxes) of baseball cards since 1978. some years, i bought more than others, but it's been a constant thing in my life since i was handed my first pack in 1977. throughout that time, i've traded some cards away, and sold others, to further my collection. there is one card, however, that i regret having dismissed from my hands, and that is the subject of this post. the card that i used to own that i wish i still did.
the very first card i felt remorse over trading was a 1978 topps steve garvey. i had a double, but i was planning to start my dodger team set collection. however, i needed a mickey rivers card for the full set, and my neighbor offered to give me rivers for garvey. i made the deal, and my regret didn't last too long as i was able to get another garvey card fairly easily not too long thereafter. before i get too far along, i'll show some cards that i used to own that i am ok with having sold or traded.
first up is this 2003 upper deck legendary cuts bill dickey cut auto numbered 09/25
similarly, i pulled this 1/1 mickey mantle magenta printing plate from a box of 2006 topps chrome
and sold it on ebay. no regrets.
i've owned some non-gimmick cards that were pretty cool, but for one reason or another didn't fit into my collection. like this 1909-1911 t206 jack egan card
both are nice and were cool to have, but likely fit better in the collections of some random ohioans.
there have been some other, even less spectacular cards that i've traded away yet felt the need to scan first and show here now, like this 1960 topps mound magicians card
this 2011 topps josh hamilton commemorative patch card
this 2012 topps carl yastrzemski facsimile auto stitch card
but now we come to the card that i do regret letting go of. almost. first, another story. back in 2000, a friend and i split a box of upper deck legends. one of my packs contained a mickey mantle jersey card with a pinstripe. i shortly thereafter put it on ebay with a pretty high reserve, and while it was sitting there, my friend questioned why i would want to sell that card - "isn't that why you collect?", he asked. "to have a card like that?" he was right, of course, and i was secretly happy that the card did not reach the reserve (it came within $15, as i recall). i still have that mantle card, plus a couple of ruth bat cards that i've pulled from tribute packs, and several other non-dodger, non-double play, non-any of my mini collections that are just cool cards to own.
now, seriously, on to the whole point of this post. i used to own this card:
well, not exactly that card, but another of the only 30 versions of the 2001 topps tribute walter alston patch cards that exist. i could not find a photo of the card (i know i took one), but it featured a portion of the 100th anniversary of the national league patch worn by teams in 1976 (and visible on the 1977 topps manny mota card), which means that the uniform it was taken from was worn by smokey in his final season as the dodgers' manager.
i found the card in a local card/comic store. it was on the 'markdown' wall, and was listed on sale for $49.99. that was about the cost of a pack of 2001 topps tribute, if i recall correctly, and i knew that it was worth more than that. now, i was not fully entrenched in collecting at this time (i bought cards more so out of habit and tradition), and really hadn't thought about what my collection was beyond maintaining my yearly dodger team sets from the topps flagship and traded sets, as well as my run of complete sets of those releases (a habit i abandoned a few years ago). so, i bought the card with the full intent to sell it for a profit. let me repeat that. i, a dodger fan and collector of dodger cards, bought a 2001 topps tribute walter alston patch card with the intent to sell it. and i did. i made about $160, which was great, but future gcrl would become very disappointed in that past gcrl.
so disappointed, in fact, that i have kept my eye out for another version (or the same one) ever since. i did find one on ebay (hence the picture of the card above), but it was already gone by the time i saw it. my card sold to someone in alabama or arkansas - i do not remember which - so folks down that way, please keep an eye out.
in the meantime, i have added a different dodger manager's 2001 topps tribute patch card to my collectioni enjoy so much. i also own another patch from this set, one i pulled from a pack from a box i purchased in 2004 or so.
so, what do you say? what cards have you owned that you regret are no longer in your collection? i'd like to read about it - either in the comments or as a bat around - because i feel your pain.