Finding the Best Pull of Your Life
I am a creature of habit. I have certain ways of doing things in my daily life. I have certain habits when it comes to collecting, too.
This week a lot of product came out and, as usual, I checked out my local hobby shop. It has everything from high-end to low-end baseball, football, basketball and even multi-sport and celebrity cards. This, my friends, is a buffet of ripping options. As my mind processed this smorgasbord of cards and boxes, I started to go back to my simple habits of collecting. When new products come out, I buy one random pack of each I can afford. I do this to physically get my paws on the new product to help me decide which, if any, boxes I will buy to rip. In doing this, I have no expectations at all of scoring a hit. If I do, I chalk it up to luck since I have no guarantee on a single pack. I bought my packs and went home to do my “research."
I opened three of the four packs. Not bad as far as design, and bells and whistles. The last was 2010/11 Panini Season Update Basketball, a low- to mid-range product at best. I started to rifle through the cards one by one and then I saw it. There was a redemption. I started to laugh. I always laugh when I pull a redemption. I laugh a lot. Freakin' redemptions!
After mentally scoring each of the four different products I ripped, I went on with my life and forgot about that redemption. The next day I came home from work and saw the card sitting on the coffee table. I thought, “Maybe I should find out who this is." But without a checklist, I had to hunt to find this mystery person. Using my Google-Fu, I quickly found the answer. It was a Kobe Bryant autograph numbered to 49! Wow! I had never pulled a card of this stature during my "research." Sure, a few scrub autographs and jersey cards, but whoa!
I told my wife and even she was impressed. This was a $3 pack of cards. I can't even begin to figure out the odds of such a pull. It started me thinking, “Was this the greatest pull of my life?" I thought back to all the awesome pulls and disappointments I've experienced in collecting cards. Out of all the autographs, patches and short prints, was this it? Looking at what I invested, that is a heck of a return, right? By no means is he my favorite player, but the Black Mamba, without question, has killer value in our collecting world. I went to bed that night still without an answer to my question.
For some reason, my mind wouldn't let it go. I needed to know if this was the best pull I had rocked. My mind went back and forth. I looked through my entire collection to see if I was forgetting something. Had I traded this phantom card? Then it hit me! The answer was an emphatic "no." This was not the top of the mountain. It was close, but not really. I'm not done yet. I'm not going to retire from this hobby anytime soon. I find too much enjoyment in the hunt. If this the best, what would be the point of continuing to collect if nothing could top it? The point is this: my greatest pull is still out there for me. I just haven't found it yet and, in some ways, I hope I never do.