1982 Donruss #74 Carl Yastrzemski
I can't tell you how many times I've heard the term "Baseball Gods" in my life.
As in, "You'll anger the 'Baseball Gods' by selling postseason tickets before you've clinched a spot."
Or, "He's paid his dues in the game, the 'Baseball Gods' will take care of him now."
It's a way to explain all the unexplainable occurrences in the game of baseball. Plus, it doesn't always have to be rational.
In fact, it's often not.
So here's my theory:
If the "Baseball Gods" do indeed exist, then there has to be some type of "Baseball Card Gods" looking out for all the good-hearted collectors out there.
My acquisition of this '82 Donruss Yaz has made me a believer.
Some of you might have noticed that this card had been a part of my "Dime Box Nine" list for the last couple weeks.
Even though I already own about 80 different cards of "Yaz", there's still a lot more out there that hadn't found their way into my grasp yet.
Up until a few days ago, this one was at the top of the list.
The one major factor that forced this one into my "Most Wanted" list was a post by everyone's favorite blogger from a couple years ago.
The simple fact that "Yaz" is laying down a bunt would've been enough to mark this one as a "cornerstone" of my collection of his. It's certainly a unique shot. Even more surprising is the fact that it comes from an early Donruss set. (After all, they weren't exactly known for using high-quality shots back in the day.)
No, the real story of this card is when the photo was taken.
In most cases, card companies use a recent shot of the player, rarely more than a year old or so. (At least to my knowledge.)
According to Night Owl, the shot that Donruss used for this one is from 1978, a whole four years prior.
That's almost "ancient" when it comes to baseball cards.
The red helmet, the striped socks, and the pullover uniform were all "clues" that something wasn't quite right. From what Night Owl said, the Red Sox hadn't worn any of those since the late '70s.
Taking all that into account, it's easy to see why a "quirky" collector such as myself had to have it.
Trouble was, I just couldn't find it. No matter how hard I looked, I came up empty each time.
But that's where the "Baseball Card Gods" come into the story.
A week ago, I saw that a member of my trading forum was offering up an extra-special deal on some of his cards, presumably to clear some space.
Once I saw the '82 Donruss "Yaz" on his list, I jumped on it. I sent him the payment and it was on my doorstep within the next few days.
It's hard to describe the feeling of acquiring a long-wanted card for your collection. That first time you can actually say "I own this card" is something else.
So, just how much did this card cost me in the end?
And that's not one penny, plus shipping.
Just one penny. (Don't ask me how the guy made any money on his "extra-special" deal.)
A card I've wanted for so long falls into my hands for a single penny. I guess "Baseball Card Gods" do exist.
There's no doubting that now.