For me, one of the key moments when hitting a new card shop is finding the commons bin, the bargain bin.
It’s not that I’m looking for commons — it’s those bargains that matter, those cards that are more interesting than their lowly prices or those cards that just shouldn’t be there.
Sometimes, it’s just a card that has eluded me — something I have not yet seen.
And Billy Crystal‘s 2008 TRISTAR PROjections High Series card is one of those cards.
Until recently, I didn’t know it existed — and back in March when he led off a spring training game batting for the New York Yankees I had expected him to appear on a few cards, likely from New York-based Topps. With a smattering of politicians and celebrities to appear on baseball cards this year, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary — besides, when a New York squirrel has its own card all bets are off about what’s possible.
But, instead, he wears his Yankees pinstripes rather awkwardly on this $2 card (No. 400). And I think his facial expression says it all about his swing — and the crop of the photo.
It was made by Topps but here’s the catch — they were made specially for Crystal, who gave away a few at his birthday party this year. (I’ll post the image here soon — if I can figure out where I stashed it.)
Try tracking down one of those.
Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at email@example.com.