The Card at the End of the Rainbow

When I think back to 1990, it doesn’t seem that long ago. It’s hard to imagine just how much the world and our lives have changed in those 32 years. Back then, I was a 10-year-old kid running through our local Ames Department Store looking for G1 Transformers. Being the spoiled little shit that I was, there was no shopping trip with Mother that didn’t result in me being gifted a new Transformer for my collection.

Unfortunately, this Ames only carried the awful G2 Transformers which I wanted no part of so rather than give up, I went into other sections to see if there was ANYTHING I could grab before my mom completed her shopping. To my horror, I looked over and saw her at the checkout stand with her items, so I grabbed what I thought was a pack of playing cards and ran over to her in time for the lady at the register to scan the pack of playing cards.

As it turns out, what my mom actually purchased was a set of 1990 Topps Ames All-Stars. My life was Transformers, wrestling, and video games. I knew absolutely nothing about baseball or any of the players on each of these cards but one card in particular stuck out and before the end of 1990, I was already building my collection of Jose Canseco baseball cards that to this day, over 30 years later, is still going strong.

Last year, Topps included the 1990 Ames Jose Canseco in their Archives Signature Series Retired edition with only 7 copies. The first one hit eBay and I quickly placed a $50 bid, thinking no one in their right mind would bid more than $20 for it. Besides, since 2014, Topps has absolutely destroyed the Canseco autograph market thanks to over 1,000 different Jose Canseco certified autographs, totaling in the mid 6-figure region.

The next day when I went to make my payment, I was shocked that the card sold for $78. I was dismayed because due to willful ignorance and being stingy, I secured only $50 for a card that is essentially the legacy of my 32-year card collecting journey. To make matters worse, another sold last month for $36 dollars, which I completely missed. That means only five copies remain and odds of another appearing on eBay anytime soon are very low.

For me, this card brings back memories of my childhood, spending happy moments with my mother, and so much more. To have an official signed copy produced by Topps would be a dream of mine and quite possibly, would let me close out my Jose Canseco collection once and for all. I’ve set several saved searches on eBay with multiple notifications, but I am also asking for help. If anyone sees this card for sale, please contact me immediately.

You can leave me a comment on this blog, hit me up on Twitter (, or just use the old-fashioned email ( For the first time in my collecting life, I see the end in the horizon. I want to add this card to my collection and sail off into the sunset but I can’t do it alone. Please, keep 1990 Topps Ames in your thoughts.

2 thoughts on “The Card at the End of the Rainbow

  1. The Ames design actually looks really good signed. Best of luck tracking down one of these for your collection. I’ll be hitting up a show in a few weeks and will keep my eyes peeled.

  2. I envy you. I’d love for there to be only one more card for me to get before walking away. Card collecting just isn’t as fun as it used to be, and I have a feeling that things are only going to keep getting worse.

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