I have no idea what prompted it, but one day, oh, probably about a month ago now, I was outside doing some sort of strenuous activity - something definitely not card related - when I was struck with a thought; "I need to own a Donruss Elite!" [More specifically, one from the 1991-93 run].
Despite not knowing where this sudden desire had come from, I sat down after dinner and started looking around online to see what's what as far as Elite's were concerned, which by the way is something that I had never done before.
I've never owned an Elite before, and was not up to date on the current going rates. Even so, I knew without even looking that Junior wouldn't be an option (I never did look at his prices, I don't want to know). For all I know, this sudden interest may only produce one purchase, so I wanted to make sure that it was going to be someone that I would actually want to own a card of. Removing Griffey from the equation, I could only think of two other names at the time, Dave Winfield, and Fred McGriff.
Dave Winfield was included in two of those sets, but the photos selected for both cards leaves a lot to be desired. Old Freddy McGriff on the other hand was given a very nice photo for his inclusion in the 1993 edition, so I guess that was gonna be my target card. A quick search of eBay let me know that there was one currently up for auction, and was ending that very night. How fortuitous!
The auction for said card was ending sometime after I went to bed, which means that I didn't stand a chance of getting it, as I never win items that end late. Nevertheless, I put in a bid as late as I could, and went to bed. And wouldn't you know it, the next morning I got up and saw the winner notification email from eBay in my inbox. Saints be praised. So, for $10.49, with free shipping, I was now the proud(?) owner of a 1993 Fred McGriff Donruss Elite.
|These things sure don't scan well.|
I've mentioned it before, but during my original run, collecting base sets was my entire focus. Inserts and parallels didn't exist when I first started collecting (as was the case for most of us), and when they did come into being, were just something that I paid very little attention to, and would just stick in the back of a set's binder if I happened upon one in a pack. I started to notice them a little more in the mid 90's when they became more prevalent, but still never went out of my way to collect them. By the late 90's they were EVERYWHERE, and while I had begun to at least appreciate the variety that they provided, I still never bought any on their own, or made any effort to complete any sets of them. During all that time too, I never paid any attention to the shiny expensive stuff in card shop cases, or at card shows. It was just base cards for me, and those weren't being held in glass cases, at least not the ones I was collecting. So, technically speaking I may have encountered an Elite at some point during that time, but if I did, it didn't register with me. Which is funny, because I've read on more than a couple of occasions in recent years about people's obsessions with them, and the extreme efforts that they went to at the time to track them down.
I have collected quite a few inserts and parallels since returning to cards in 2010, but the appeal of all things shiny has waned pretty hard over the last year or so. I don't know if it's because of that, or if it's because I didn't have any kind of connection with them while growing up, but I have to say, now that I have an Elite in hand, I'm not overly wowed. I mean it's a nice enough card and all, but I guess I was just expecting more. I feel like my impromptu desire ended up leading me astray. All that being said, I did see an Eddie Murray from the '93 set (I think) that I'd kind of like to get at some point, but after this somewhat disappointing experience, I'm not gonna go out of my way to find one. I figure if I ever get one, that'll be alright. And if I don't, that'll be just fine too.
P.S. It was really weird to see this same card (different serial number of course) featured over on Card Buzz a couple of weeks ago. I came across the post in my blogroll the very same day that I had scanned mine, and for just briefest of seconds, thought that I had published a post and already forgot it! My memory is getting worse with age, but thankfully isn't quite that bad yet.