Saturday, September 13, 2014

Why Was That So Difficult?

Every one has that one card that they cannot find, try though they might.  Moby Dick, white whale and all that.

I have a few of these and I was delighted to finally see it show up in a box about a week ago at my LCS.  

The thing is, it really should not have been hard to locate at all.

This 1986 Donruss card of Johnny Abrego eluded me as if it were a numbered auto card of a superstar.

Why this is, I have no real explanation.

Yes, it is a rookie card.  But, I don't think prospectors of the late 80's even thought Abrego was worth hoarding.  The only reason he ever even appeared in the Majors was injuries.

When the entire starting pitching staff went on the DL that year (not an exaggeration, look it up if you don't believe me), Johnny went 1-1 with a 6.38 ERA in 6 appearances, 5 starts.  

Needless to say, his rookie card was not highly sought after.

It's not worth much now, but this would be an exciting pull at the time

Secondly, it's from a rather blah set.  I have yet to decide whether I like or hate the infinite parallel lines.  The broadcaster in me cringes as it was beat into my head to never, ever under any circumstances wear or use horizontal lines on a TV broadcast; it screws with the transmission.

But, my personal biases and irrelevant broadcast training aside, the set hails from the junk wax era and isn't the least bit hard to come across.  Complete sets sell for $25 these days.

Thirdly, it's not even a high-numbered card, not that it matters much with Donruss.  Abrego was given card #32 by Donruss, right near the beginning of the set.  What gives?

This is a high number (#549).  Johnny Abrego (#32) is not

To be fair, I found several listings for the individual card on Ebay, but all were priced over a dollar and none included free shipping.  All told, I'd be paying $3 or more for a common card from the junk wax era.  I can't justify that.

I might have saved myself a lot a trouble by making an order on Sportlots, but I could never find enough stuff I need from one seller to ship with Abrego in order to make it worth it.  Meanwhile, Just Commons never seems to have it in stock.  Poor me, right?


Anyway, I was finally able to track this one down at More Fun Sportscards, one of my LCS's.  Just a few days before I visited, the owner had made a large purchase of 1980's football and baseball cards from the various big-name brands.  

By large, I mean that there were boxes piled 3 or 4 feet high filled with binders and more boxes of cards spilling out.  I overheard him say to another long-time customer that he almost immediately regretted the purchase.

Well, selfish me was happy that he did, because there were several boxes of '86 Donruss ready to be picked through.  Abrego couldn't avoid me this time.

This place has been immeasurably helpful towards my CATRC
Check them out if you're in the area!

Sometimes you can't find a piece of junk wax that many people would just as soon use as a bookmark while you score an autographed card of Axl Rose in a random pack from the discount rack.

The card gods are funny beings.

I'm sure we all have this problem from time to time as well.  Anyone else care to share their "white whale" stories?

Just make them shorter than Moby Dick please.

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