Thursday, March 1, 2012

A dream come true

There's always that one card.

That one card that you dreamt about owning for a long time. That one card you always wanted.

Perhaps some of us have already acquired that one special card and are still admiring it after the fact. Maybe some of us haven't had the good fortune to be able to own it and are still trying to track it down.

My personal "holy grail" was the 1971 Topps Thurman Munson card. I'm not sure how I first became aware of it, but I know I've wanted it ever since the first time I saw it.

Trouble was that it was worth quite a few bucks, at least by Beckett's standards. A hundred and twenty bucks, at the least.

As you might know by know, I don't much care about the condition of my cards, especially when it comes to vintage. I always hoped I could find a beat-up copy of this card in one of those vintage bargain bins at the card shows I attended. No luck.

That is, until a card show a couple Novembers ago. One of the dealers had a bin of vintage cards for 10% of the listed price (which was the book value). As I searched through the box, I found a few decent cards (a 1967 Topps Felipe Alou for a buck-fifty, for one). But then...

My eyes lit up when I first saw it. An actual '71 Thurman Munson! I'd never actually held a copy in my hands before that point. The card had a price tag of $120 on it, so the card was twelve bucks with the discount.

At the time, though, I employed "Tip #7" of my low-end card show findings. I didn't want to blow too much of my budget on just that one card, considering I still had half of the card show to go through. Looking back, it wasn't that greatest idea. For a card I wanted that badly, I should've just bought it right there and then. What if someone came up and bought it before I got back to it? That would've really sucked.

As I moved on to the next table, that thought kept ringing in my head. So as I was in the middle of searching through a dime box, I had a "mission" for my dad. I asked if he could go back to that table and buy that Munson card for me. As always, he was happy to do so. I gave my dad a twenty and he came back with the hallowed card.

I was now the proud owner of a real, actual 1971 Topps Thurman Munson card.

The vendor even threw in a 1966 Topps Luis Aparicio with the Munson, free of charge.

I've seen this card featured on a lot of other blogs, so I don't know that I have anything much to add to all the praise it's already gotten.

All I can say is that it's about as close to baseball card perfection as I've ever seen.

I actually learned something new about this card as a result of the blogosphere. The runner that Munson is tagging out on this card is actually A's pitcher Chuck Dobson. I love cards of pitchers in non-pitching situations.

Just when I thought this card couldn't get any more awesome, it did.

Owning this card is indeed a dream come true.


The Lost Collector said...

One of my favorite cards too!

night owl said...

My '71 Thurman Munson acquisition story. It's a pretty good one:

Rosenort said...

Nice score, one of the greatest cards ever, 71's in "bad" shape have way more character than and other set.

Play at the Plate said...

That's one of the top cards on my "to get" list.

Ryan said...

That card is on my list as well - one day! I actually won an auction for a non-creased version at about $4 + $2 shipping.

I was beside myself!

Of course, the seller probably panicked, realizing his Munson didn't quite garner as much as he thought. SO, he did what any dishonorable Ebay seller would do - he came up with some story about Ebay not releasing money in time for him to pay to ship it (hard times and all, you know).

I tried to keep my cool and even offered to put myself at risk with an offline, gentleman's agreement for us to send $ and card simultaneously.

Shockingly - never heard back and Ebay just couldn't help.

So, my Munson quest day!

Love your story! Thanks for sharing and enjoy one of the greatest cards of all time!

Fuji said...

I'm a couple of months late... but great post & what an awesome card!