Now this is isn't to say that I still wasn't tempted by a few certain cards here and there during the remainder of my original collecting run, because I was, but there was only so much money to go around, and being an obsessive set collector at the time, I wasn't about to be "wasting" any of it on baseball singles when I still had so many basketball and non-sport sets to try and complete.
At this point, I can only remember a few of those baseball cards that I was tempted by, the biggest of which was Bo Jackson's Gold Signature parallel from the 1995 Collector's Choice Special Edition set. I'm not sure if it was in 1995, as it could've just as easily have been in '96, but I do recall seeing the card in the glass case of a card shop with a price tag of either $20 or $25. As an aside, it's not relevant to this post at all, but I sure wish I could remember which shop it was at. I know for a fact that it wasn't at normal shop, Home Field, but there were so many card shops in the Portland/Metro area at the time, that most of them have pretty much just blurred together in my memory. The only two that stand out are Home Field and Hoopla Sportscards, everything else might as well have just been one big shop. Anyway, back to Bo...
I may not have been collecting baseball at the time, but I was quite familiar with the Collector's Choice brand, and knew from the basketball side that the Gold Signatures only averaged out to one per box, which of course made them sort of "rare". Despite how enamored I was with this particular card though, there was no way that I could save up and pay $20-25 for a single card, as once again, I had plenty of unfinished sets to think about. If it wasn't a box of something that I was collecting, or wanted to collect, I would've never spent that much on a card related thing at that time.
Fast forwarding a bunch of years, after having been gone for about a decade, I returned to card collecting in (or around) 2010, and went right back to my set collecting ways -- although this time it was vintage sets, or at least it was for those first couple of years.
I want to say that I saw the gold Bo again somewhere around 2012 or 2013, and was apparently still quite smitten with it, but again, I had sets to think about! I mean if I had $10-20 to spend on a card, and it was choice between a gold Bo or say a 1975-76 Topps Moses Malone rookie (they were still selling for under $10 up until last year), well, Moses (or a suitable equivalent) was gonna win that battle 100 times out of 100.
Skipping ahead a few more years, my interest in set collecting began to wane (and ultimately die), and I finally started to make an effort to acquire cards that weren't needed for sets, cards like the gold Bo. Thanks to eBay, they were no longer quite as rare as they used to be, but even so, not wanting to overpay though, I still couldn't seem to get one. That is until a couple of weeks ago when I put in a relatively low bid (low because the shipping was high) on a copy that was ending sometime after I was going to bed, and even though that almost never results in a won item, I was pleasantly surprised to find out the next morning that I had won it.
So for $2.25 + $3.99 shipping (ugh), I got a card that I've wanted off and on for 25 years now. And even though the 2020's aren't proving to be the best time to buy "rare" cards, I think that I got a pretty good deal on this one (despite that crappy shipping price). I'm glad to have finally got one, and I'm even happier to know that going forward, I don't have to bid on, and subsequently lose out on, any more copies! I've got mine, I'll leave the rest to everyone else, well, that is unless I come across another cheap one...