Grand Cards: What I Did

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What I Did

By now you're probably familiar with the question that I posed the other day. I want to thank all of the responses that you guys left and I grappled with many of the same issues. The majority suggested that I keep the cards that I worked hard to find. Only Dayf seemed willing to part with cards from his collection to acquire other cards from his collection, and only if they were extremely difficult to find. Without further ado, here is the situation, revealed in its entirety:

I traded.

The sets that I was working to complete were 2005 Topps and 2008 Topps. When I say "sets" there is an implicit "of Tigers" tacked on. When I say "complete" I mean that I'm trying to collect every Topps Detroit Tiger card out there, base, inserts, GU, Auto, Retail-inserts, special issues etc. I consider parallels (like Gold cards) to be sets in and of themselves, and while I do collect them, don't consider them part of a complete set.

First, the 2008 Cards that I had worked so hard to acquire:
2008 Topps Clete Thomas RV26 (Kmart) and 18 of 20 (Factory Set)
You may remember one or more of these cards as some of the "Impossible Cards" from 2008 Topps. Because very very few people buy cards at Kmart anymore, and because Series II cards at Kmart seemed to be particularly hard to find, the Clete Thomas Gold Rookie (RV26) is the real find of the bunch. The other card, being only available in a Factory Set was less difficult to find, only because I was on the lookout after being tipped off by Jaybee. However, after the initial release of those factory sets, the bonus singles disappear quickly.

The offer was to trade these two cards for a five card subset from 2005 Topps. Since I got back into collecting, I have never once seen the cards online, either in photos or for sale. It wasn't until earlier this year that some folks on the Detroit Sports Collectors forum posted some shots and information about them. In fact, that was where this trade originated. The cards are designed to look just like 2005 Topps cards, but include an All Star Fanfest logo from the 2005 All Star Game (in Detroit), are serial numbered to 1000 and were only available with a purchase of a complete factory set at the fanfest. Here they are in all their glory:
2005 Topps Detroit Tigers All Star Fanfest Commemorative Set
Here is a closeup of the set's best card (Arguably. That Gibson card is pretty awesome too).
2005 ToppsAl Kaline All Star Fanfest Commemorative Set

I was apprehensive to make the trade, to say the least, but I created a worst case scenario to help. I may give away 2 cards that I will never see again, but I will get 5 cards that I will never see again. I need all 7 cards to complete my set(s) so 5 puts me in better shape over the long term. I also rationalized the trade by thinking that, since it was still 2008, I would have a better chance of coming across the Clete Thomas cards again that I would of randomly crossing the Fanfest set. I was correct, in part. Through some sleuthing, I found a replacement to the Factory Set card before accepting the trade, which sealed the deal for me. I thought that I would find the Kmart Gold in no time at all.

Boy was I wrong. Weeks and months passed and there wasn't a hint of finding this card. I started to get a little Trader's remorse, thinking that perhaps this card was harder to find than I had suspected. To date, it still hasn't shown up on eBay. Fortunately, due to frantic google searching, I was able to find and purchase the card just last week. It arrived the other day and has now graced this post with its presence. So ends the saga of this trade.

What do you think, did I make the right trade? Now that you know all the facts, would you have traded or held?


  1. To get a Kaline card that's not easy to find? I'd do that trade in a second.

    If it were me and I had acquired two rarish Blake DeWitt cards, but there as a rare set out there featuring Duke Snider, I'd deal in an instant.

  2. Well, in hindsight, you obviously did the right thing because you were able to track the original two cards down. I'm still not sure I'd have been able to pull the trigger, though.

    On another note, are Al's eyes closed in that picture? If so, that drives up the awesomeness of that set a couple of notches.