My encounter with a Joe Collector!

Remember the “Joe Collector” craze started by Sports Cards Uncensored? During that time, I rarely got involved in those discussions because I don’t care how collectors price their own cards. I rarely make trades and when I do, I have been fortunate enough to deal with people who don’t worship the Beckett bible.

The other day while surfing through Freedom Card Board I ran into a topic from a user politely asking for the Beckett price of an Evan Longoria autograph. If you’ve ever been to a card forum you run into these posts on a daily basis, even though many pretend not to give a crap about “book value”. Obviously, many collectors do still care.

After a few polite responses, one person recommended the user check out the eBay completed auctions to see what the card was selling for on the secondary market. The advice was not sarcastic, rude, or anything but trying to be helpful. The Joe Collector’s response shocked me.

“I don’t want the fake eBay price, I want what it’s actually worth according to Beckett”

At that point, one member pointed out that many collectors use eBay completed auctions to gauge the price of a card but unfortunately, this seemed to irritate the Joe Collector even more.

“I don’t care what it sold for on eBay where someone paid what money they had in their pocket”.

At this point I realized how bitter this user was. Clearly he had spent thousands of dollars on cards over his lifetime only to be laughed at when trying to sell them according to his bible’s guide. Hell, we all want our cards to be worth and even sell for what Beckett quotes but 99% of sane collectors know that is not going to happen.

I can understand the old school train of thought of not wanting to switch over to eBay prices. Frankly, I don’t care if you use Beckett or not. Who am I to judge what’s right and what’s wrong? All I am saying is that if you’re going to be that upset at the mere thought of using another resource… something might be wrong with you.

Maybe I found a sucker to sell of these cards to?


I Love the 90’s (Inserts)

Unless you were collecting in the early 90’s when Donruss Elite first hit the scene as a super-rare (at the time) insert, you will never truly appreciate the beauty of the card and its impact on this now crazy Hobby of ours. Back in 1991, there was no game-used relics, 1 of 1 anything, or even Refractors. Upper Deck had already squashed Topps in popularity and introduced collectors to the first ever “autograph in a pack”. Donruss really needed something special to compete with the big boys and so with the help of Dick Perez, ‘The Elite Series’ was born.

By today’s standards, ’90 & ’91 Donruss Elite is about as rare as a wax box of 1990 Topps. Any “Joe Collector” would be quick to discard these inserts but the truth is, without these cards there would likely be no Joe Collector. Think of how disappointed you become when you pay $100 dollars for a box of trading cards and then find out your “no name” autograph isn’t numbered. Well, thank The Elite Series for that.

By 1993, the “Elite” magic began to wear off but Donruss, never one to use restraint eventually made Donruss Elite an entire release on its own with some amazing inserts included but it wasn’t until 1998 that Donruss once again struck insert magic with the now legendary (and bigger than Elite) Donruss Crusades.

That of course, is another editon of ‘I Love the 90’s (Inserts)’…

Card Spotlight – ’98 Topps Tek

If there is one thing I have learned in my 11-month journey writing for Wax Heaven is that there is literally one collector (or thousands) for every single product ever released. I guess it really is true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and to me, one example of trash is 1998 Topps Tek.

Before you accuse me of Topps bashing, let me properly explain. I loved Topps Tek. Of course, once 1998 went by I forgot all about it and it’s seemingly hundreds of patterns. While the cards are truly unique-looking, thick, and beautiful—the fact that there are collectors out there trying to collect every single pattern completely blows my mind.

I don’t understand why anyone would want more than one pattern (and the beautiful Diffractor). The Jose Cruz Jr. in the scan is one of two different ’98 Topps Tek cards I own. While it most certainly isn’t one of my favorites, it perfectly documents the battle between card companies to release the most shinny, crazy-looking cards in the late 90’s.

These cards single-handedly gave birth to “Joe Collector”.