It’s almost a universal truth. At some point in our adolescent lives we give up collecting. For some it’s around the time we begin dating seriously, while others it’s when they head off to college. I’d say 95% of collectors I have met have given up on The Hobby and returned several years later.
For me it was at age 17, in 1997. It took a full decade for my return and when I came back I was literally in a state of shock. Printing plates, Superfractors, sticker autographs, game-used relics, oh my! It took me a good six months to really grasp what the hobby was all about.
Pack inserted autographs have been around since 1990 but by the time of my departure were not common unless you bought tons of boxes or spent insane amounts of cash on products like Donruss Signature. Today we take for granted that each box guarantees (sometimes on average) a certain amount of “hits”. Back then it was truly an accomplishment to pull any autograph.
The following card you see below is Jose Canseco’s first ever certified autograph. It comes from 1999’s Fleer Mystique, two years after I quit collecting. Take a look at the great design, hand-numbered serial number and best of all, the on-card autograph. They rarely make them like this anymore.
I am almost certain the possibility of pulling this card would have kept me collecting a little while longer. As a collector, there are few things more appealing than a well-designed on-card autograph of the player you’ve worshipped your entire life.
As you can imagine, this card has yet to enter my collection.
too bad he’s not in his a’s jersey
im going to try to find a box of this… if i pull this card, you may be see it soon 😉
Awesome set from an awesome product. I was shocked (in a good way) when I actually pulled an autograph AND a game-used from the same box of this last year. That tells you something about the difficulty of pulling those “hits.”
Jesse – Some places that have boxes of this are PGH Sports Wholesale, The BB Card Exchange, and eBay.
Here is a link to Oldschoolbreak’s Mystique break:
I used to buy this product in bulk. I only pulled one auto. Even thought the card says mystic these auto were inserted in to other products as well. So if the Canseco is #ed to 250, it was scattered.