The Hunt for the First Ever PSA 10 1981 Topps #302
When we collect, we set out on these missions to find pieces for our collection, whether it's an attainable piece or an "Only in Your Dreams" one. Sometimes you strike gold, or you find yourself scratching your head wondering why I can't find this darn piece? Let me explain.
The current "Only in Your Dreams" piece for me and The Dmitri Young Collection is the PSA 10 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle RC. However, another item seems to be eluding me. It is the Topps 1981 card #302 (Dodgers Future Stars) featuring LA Angels Manager, Mike Scioscia, and former Dodgers Pitcher, Fernando Valenzuela.
I know, you guys are going, "Yeah right, are you serious?" YES, I AM SERIOUS!
As you will soon find out, there are no PSA 10s of Fernando's rookie card and the way it's looking there won't be any soon. I have an addictive personality and when I get fixated on getting a card, I'm like a shark going to attack its prey. Let's just say that this has been a costly mission because it's like finding a needle in a haystack.
People in the industry know 81 Topps cards were notoriously known for being insanely off-centered and full of freckles (print dots), yet, as of 4/17/2011, there were 541 total submissions with 0- 10s and 101- 9s. That may not sound like much, however that is the most 9s without a 10 for rookie cards, excluding 1989-present. Go ahead, look it up. I've bought numerous rack cases, vending boxes, wax cases and cellos trying to find this beat up card that's centered with the HD look (great eye appeal).
The card in a PSA 9 is no more than a $35 card but when the 1st PSA 10 card hits an Auction House, it can fetch up to $5,000 because no one has one and adding it a collection will be a feat for the person that lands it, but I'd rather do it the old fashioned way; cracking opening boxes, placing it in a card sleeve, filling out the submission form and sending to PSA with hopes that it will come back a 10. Until then, all I can do is keep on with this mission until that day comes...