22 November 2015

Junior Junkie's Best Page Challenge


The Junior Junkie recently posted a challenge to create the best binder page possible from your collection and share it with the world (or at least the sports card blog-reading world). Coming up with my page was pretty easy to come up with, but it was a little bit harder than I thought it would be to fill out all nine slots. I started thinking that I could probably do a complete page for many of my mini-collections, like sketch cards, Star Wars, wrestling, baseball, basketball, maybe football, and some of my player collections. There are some notable (to me) cards that didn't make the cut. Some of the cards that did make the cut aren't 100% secure in their spots. But if I tried to make a definitive best page it would get posted 15 years from now and no one would know what I was talking about when I linked back to The Junior Junkie's post from 2015. This is the best page from my collection that I could come up with after a couple days of thinking about it and about 35 minutes sorting through boxes to find cards. I also didn't scan them into a binder page because the relic cards wouldn't fit and I was nervous in general about putting these cards in and out of pages, sleeves, and top loaders. These are the best 9 cards in my collection, after all.

  • I considered putting Hakeem Olajuwon's rookie card on the page, but I think his second-year 1987-88 Fleer card is probably more important to me. When I was a teenager and heavily into basketball card collecting, his 1986-87 Fleer Rookie card booked for between $100 and $200. It was unattainable. The local shop had his 1987-88 card in the display case for $30 + tax, and I eventually saved up enough money to buy it. After bringing it home I realized that it had soft corners and a light crease and probably wasn't worth a quarter of what I paid for it, but it was still a second-year Hakeem Olajuwon card and the centerpiece of my collection. Now you can get them for a buck or two all day long, and you can even get a PSA 9 copy for less than $20 shipped. But this card will always be special just because I saved up for so long and felt so much excitement leading up to the purchase of the card. I may or may not track down a 'better' copy some day.
  • This Hakeem Olajuwon relic / auto comes from a set so high-end it gets delivered in a briefcase instead of a cardboard box, 2012-13 Panini Flawless. It is easily the most valuable Olajuwon card in my collection and also my only Olajuwon autograph. He actually signed these cards twice, once on the card and once on the relic swatch. I doubt this will be surpassed in the near future as the centerpiece of my Olajuwon collection.
  • Card # 3 in my binder page is the only Superfractor in my collection. More importantly, it is the jewel in my Josh Reddick 2013 Topps Super Rainbow. The same photo was used for his cards across several different products in 2013, so I decided to build a multi-product rainbow of parallels. You can see the current rainbow in it's entirety here. I am still missing some cards, but I've got 38 different variations so far. Most of what I'm missing is 1 / 1 's, printing plates, and a few # / 5 and maybe some # / 10 cards. I overpaid for this card, but I 'needed' it.

  • This was my first Carrie Fisher autograph, and it is still the best one I've got. It's a sticker autograph from the 2013 Topps Star Wars: Jedi Legacy set. I would love to get one of the on-card ones like the ones she signed for Masterwork or Chrome, but I don't have $250-350 just sitting around right now for that. If I were to add one of those to my collection they would bump this one from the page.
  • The infamous C-3PO # 207 error card from 1977 Topps Star Wars was one of the borderline cards for this page, but I needed something with a bit of a laugh factor on my page. These aren't particularly rare, but they sell pretty consistently at a premium. If you haven't noticed it yet, the error is that C-3PO happens to be sporting an extra-long golden probe at his waistline. There are various stories that attempt to explain the origins of the error. Some say that a piece fell off the costume just as the photographer took the picture. Some assert that it was a trick of the light. Some even think a mischievous or vindictive Topps employee painted the wang onto the photo prior to sending the set to print. C-3PO's golden member caused an uproar and the error was corrected in later print runs. No matter how the error was caused, this card makes me laugh every time I see it and that propels it to a spot on the page. Other candidates for this spot were a 2013 Topps Star Wars: Jedi Legacy relic piece from Jabba the Hutt's Sail Barge and a Shield Bunker relic from 2015 Star Wars Masterwork.
  • The final card on this row is a card that I sought out for a very long time before Zippy Zappy found a copy and directed me to the seller who had it. It's a Foil Rare card of R.A. Dickey from 2013 SEGA Card-Gen, a card set dispensed in Japan by an arcade game that used the cards as playing pieces. I had obtained quite a few SEGA Card-Gen cards, but this one was a bear to track down. For that reason it is probably my most-loved R.A. Dickey card and my most favorite SEGA Card-Gen card. That's good enough to put it on this page as a representative of both collections.

  • Putting two NASCAR cards on this page seems a little like overkill, especially since I don't have any football cards on here and the other sports are a bit short, too. In the end I couldn't decide on a football or baseball card that would definitively bump either of these cards off the list, so I kept them both here. The first one is an auto / relic of Danica patrick from 2014 Press Pass Five Star. It's got a nice clean autograph and a big piece of firesuit with part of the GoDaddy logo on it. I'm thinking the relic could be part of the collar of the firesuit, but it may come from the sleeve or the chest or really just about anywhere, as there seem to be 7 or 8 different GoDaddy patches on her firesuits. That will change soon as GoDaddy dropped from her list of primary sponsors and got replaced by Nature's Bakery. I'll miss the bright green color scheme but it will at least be something different to collect as soon as someone picks up the NASCAR trading card license.
  • The second card is nearly a Holy Grail of NASCAR for me. It's got sheet metal relic pieces from the cars arguably my four favorite drivers embedded in it. The reason I call it nearly a Holy Grail card is that there is an autograph version featuring signatures from all these drivers. That card would be an awesome addition to my collection, but I think the cheapest I've ever seen it on the market was over $800. The card has Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart on it. That's some pretty good star power. This memorabilia version is a very good place holder against the day when I get that other card. This card comes from the 2010 Press Pass Showcase set. I actually have another version of this card, but this one made the cut because it's a parallel with a lower print run.
  • The last card on the page is a nod to an iconic wrestling figure on an iconic card design, Hulk Hogan on a Precious Metal Gems card. This card was only issued to Upper Deck employees as a special incentive card and was limited to a print run of 125 copies. There were some other sports figures in the set, like Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson, and Michael Phelps, but the Hulkster was the one I wanted. I actually wound up buying a lot of four of these because it was much cheaper per unit than singles were at the time. I have since sold two of them, but haven't got around to selling the third one. I think I made my money back on the two sales, so there isn't a lot of pressure to get that one out the door. Recently one of the ones I'd sold popped up on eBay with a BGS 9.0 slab on it. I don't think the guy made any money off of it after accounting for grading fees, eBay fees, and shipping. The Hulkster's star has lost some shine over the last year or two, but he is the one guy who really represents the totality of professional wrestling during my youth. This Precious Metal Gems card is one of my favorite cards and is easily the centerpiece of my WWF/WWE collection. I thought about putting a Japanese wrestling card in this spot, but I don't have one single card that represents my collection as an extension of myself as well as this one does.
And that's it for my own best 9-card page of cards in my collection. There were a couple of notable snubs, a couple of gut calls, and plenty of nostalgia and fun as I sorted through my cards trying to pick the 'best' ones from my collection. In the end I think I am pretty comfortable with my choice. One big category of card that I left out was sketches. I have quite a few sketches and I have favorites among them, but I would have difficulty putting one of them above the others. I thought it would be better just to leave them out. I felt bad that some of my favorite players got excluded, like Gheorghe Muresan, Munenori Kawasaki, Jon Singleton, and Manute Bol, but I didn't have cards from them that could bump these other cards from the list. That was in large part due to some of the cards on my page filling roles in several categories, like R.A. Dickey's card being a key card in that player collection as well as representing SEGA Card-Gen on the page.


  1. Those do make for a nice page.

  2. That is a cool collection, I had not even considered non-sports cards. Nice pickup with the Upper Deck employee card, I watched them when they were initially given out and some of the employees put theirs up for sale but I figured once more showed up the prices would drop, I figured wrong.

  3. That C-3PO card is one of my favorite non-sports cards in my collection. Great stuff. Love checking out everyone's 9-pocket pages.

  4. What a page. I'm also a proud owner of the 3PO "error." And I love the Hulk Hogan precious metal gems. This is one of the most fun pages I've seen so far!