My very first card purchase of 2017 speared a longtime white whale of mine.
After bidding on -- and failing to win -- nearly a dozen different copies of the card over the past couple months, I finally tracked down a '69 Topps Reggie Jackson rookie. Better yet, the one I eventually won set me back nothing more than the price of a blaster.
Many of the copies I lost were riddled with creases and/or writing and went for a good $10-15 more than the one that eventually became mine: a card in nearly flawless shape save for a hole punch in the bottom-right corner. I'll take that all day over creases and writing.
I've owned this white whale for a week now and, since the joy of having it in my collection still hasn't waned, I thought I'd focus on Mr. October for this week's edition of Top Five.
#5 -- 1994 UD All-Time Heroes #9 Reggie Jackson
What you see here is the exact moment Reggie Jackson became Mr. October.
This beauty chronicles the moments following the third of three homers Jackson hit in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, which came at the expense of a Charlie Hough knuckleball that didn't knuckle enough. It has to be one of the earliest examples of a baseball card of a guy watching a home run.
I own a handful of different cards showcasing this monumental moment, but none did it better than the masterpiece that is UD All-Time Heroes.
#4 -- 2005 Topps Fan Favorites #117 Reggie Jackson
Here's a bit of an oddball from Fan Favorites, easily one of the better all-legend brands ever conceived.
I could be wrong, but this is the only example I've seen of a "Card That Never Was" from Fan Favorites. Jackson played in exactly 30 games with the Kansas City A's in 1967 before the team moved to Oakland. This card chronicles that brief stint, as shown with the interlocking "KC" cap Mr. October is sporting here.
Reggie doesn't appear in the actual '68 Topps checklist, yet here he is in the burlap borders, a rare example of a "Card That Never Was" coming to life.
#3 -- 1988 Score #501 Reggie Jackson
I've shown this card a number of times on the blog.
It's one of the extreme few to feature Jackson's brief single-season stint with the Orioles -- no Topps card was ever made of him in Baltimore -- and also among the first Reggie cards I ever owned. Score included a five-card tribute subset to Jackson in their '88 checklist following Reggie's retirement, one for each stop in his career (O's, Yankees, Angels, and two separate A's cards).
Safe to say that Reggie Jackson looks insanely out of place in an Orioles jersey.
#2 -- 1976 Topps #500 Reggie Jackson
Most stars of the '70s generation seem to have at least one classic card, and this, to me, is Reggie Jackson's.
For being one of the defining players of his era, Jackson didn't seem to get many cards I'd classify as memorable, save for 1976. All-Star designation, hero number, and the image: you just get the feeling Reggie belted a ball 500 feet seconds after this photo was snapped.
It's my favorite Topps card of Mr. October...
#1 -- 1969 Topps #260 Reggie Jackson RC
...or at least it was until I finally tracked down his fabled rookie card.
It was a proud day for my collection when I received the package that contained the long-awaited white whale. I don't usually have the budget to add cards like this to the archives, but sometimes I guess the cardboard gods just look down on you and smile.
I couldn't have asked for a better beginning to my 2017 card season.