One thing that crossed my mind today was the idea that many of the people who work at card companies might not be card collectors at all. They are probably like graphic design folks who wanted to work for Pixar or something, but wound up at Panini editing baseball logos out of pictures instead. Or they work in some non-design capacity, working with clients on licensing decisions or distributors. Or something like that. I'm sure that there are plenty of collectors working at Topps and Panini, but there are probably plenty of employees who don't collect and maybe don't fully understand what the fuss is all about. It would be interesting to see how the reality of the daily business of card companies compares to what collectors imagine. It would also be neat to know how many card company employees are collectors.
What really drove that home for me was a box break video done by Cryptozoic employees. I forget what product it was, maybe one of their DC comic book sets or some TV show or movie set. Anyway, the guy opened up the box, then held it upside down a couple of feet above the table and shook the packs out onto the tabletop. Maybe the percentage wasn't that high, but all the collector in me could see was half the packs tumbling out and landing right on the corners, ruining the pristine cards packed inside. That guy was 100% not a collector. He was a marketing guy doing a marketing video for some product that his company makes.
None of that has anything to do with today's card. I try to pick up Manute Bol cards when I can, and a couple months ago this 2015-16 Totally Certified Materials card popped up on eBay at a reasonable price. I added it to my collection. As far as I can tell, this is the Red version of the card, which serves as the base card for this relic set. There's a spreadsheet for the print runs, as different players have different print runs at different parallel levels. This card is numbered # 65 / 99. Manute Bol died tragically a few years ago, which is a real shame. By all accounts he was a great humanitarian and a good person, devoting much of the fortune he made playing ball to help the people of his home country, Sudan.