In sticking with the theme of "what I love about collecting", I decided not to wait long to share the story of the best card I ever got in a pack. It was last summer, my wife and I took a yearly visit to Cooperstown. It's my favorite place on earth for so many reasons, and I would love to open up a card shop there in my future.
This trip was quicker than the other times we visit, but after hours of checking out the shops, I walked to in a small shop on the end. It was by the car and we were on our way out of town. This shop is one that I have had luck at in the past, but mostly just singles for sale at good prices. I saved it for last because I knew I would find something. But I didn't, they had downsized the singles a bit which was disappointing. They still had a nice selection of boxes and packs.
There was a older woman working behind the counter, and I shared with here how bad my luck is and that I needed her to pick the packs from the boxes. I didn't want to waste bunch of money because I never have luck but I still wanted to buy something since I didn't find anything else that day. So I ask her "can you please pick me one pack of 2017 Topps Jumbo and 2 packs of 2017 Archives Hobby.
Since this was the last stop before the car, I thought I would save the cards for the next stretch of our drive. Once everyone was settled in the car, I started to open. The Topps pack hit a Tyler Austin auto but that was not the card that made me go numb. Then comes the first pack of Archives. Nothing. Next pack coming up. I already considered it a success with the Austin auto. Then it happened. I opened the pack, I saw a small peak of peach and figured I just got a numbered parallel. Little did I know that it was this beauty of a card!
Aaron Judge - 2017 Topps Archives Peach Parallel Auto 43/150
I started shaking. At the time, this card was going for 700 dollars on Ebay. I knew it wouldn't be that high long. Especially when the other products started coming out and flooding the market with Judge autos. I could never get up the nerve to sell it. Not with that story, the player, and where I got it. It's become a cornerstone of my collection and I don't think I'll ever get rid of it at this point (though there are some things I would consider a deal for).
After this trip, we went to a friends house for a couple days, since I didn't have any thing to keep it safe the first thing I did was find a local shop that I could something to keep it in before I got home. The amount of anxiety that created was shocking.
I love new players on vintage card designs, so this card is even cooler to me. That is one of my favorite things about the cards that are being released these days. It also works the other way, I like vintage players on new set designs.
Side story as to another reason why I love Cooperstown. Being able to go with my daughter has made the trips there even more fun. Her second Halloween costume was a huge hit at Cooperstown. We got her a little uniform for the Rockford Peaches from A League of Their Own. As soon as we stepped out of the car people were looking and pointing. We parked at Doubleday Field and there was a game in process. Stella and I walked up to the fence and the inning was changing. Guys were coming off the field and noticed here. Some even came out immediately to get a better look. People were asking for pictures. All day as we walked the street, people were commenting to her. It was very special and sweet. Then on a follow up, we went back the next year and there was a store with the same outfit on a mannequin outside her store. She asked where we got the outfit, but didn't expect that! Here is a picture from the day, when the umpire came off the field to getting a better look at my daughter.