Thursday, February 21, 2019

HOF Relics and a Stellar Red Sox Auto; Card Show Recap #18 Part 3

With the ever-increasing popularity of autographs, rookie autos, in particular, the relic card has been left out to dry over the last few years. Simply put; fewer and fewer collectors seem to care about bat and jersey swatches.

Even though I understand why relic cards have become less desirable over the last few years, there was a time in which game-used memorabilia cards were all the rage. 

If you take a small step back, it's pretty cool to have a jersey swatch or bat relic that was worn in an actual MLB game, especially if it's a big name player.

Unfortunately, even with a decrease in relic card production, some of these cards still do not feature game-used memorabilia but, instead, game-worn jersey swatches. It's not exactly ideal, but when you think about it, card companies don't usually care about what the consumer's want and don't want.

If it's the right player for a fair price, however, I still have somewhat of a soft spot for relic cards. Besides the occasional cards that I pull from packs, I often return home from a Baseball card show with at least 1 new relic card for my collection, sometimes more. 

Thanks to these smaller, individual pickups, I've acquired a couple hundred relic cards since I started collecting cards. Surprisingly, even relic cards of Hall of Famers are usually quite inexpensive at Baseball card shows, and this was certainly the case earlier this week.

I purchased a couple relics from a vendor that I know quite well, but it was my Dad who sought after most of the relic cards that we brought home. For around $4 each or less, he landed numerous big-name jersey or bat relics to boost our collection.

The first card that I picked up isn't a traditional relic card, but technically, this is a manufactured felt rookie card patch, showcasing Bob Gibson's iconic 1959 Topps rookie card. 

For just a couple bucks, this card was a no-brainer despite my typical dislike of manufactured relic cards and reprinted cards as well. Somehow, Topps combined 2 types of cards that I'm typically not too fond of and created a card that is perfect for my Bob Gibson player collection.

Moving onto the real relic cards from Monday's show, such as this dual relic of Rangers superstars Ivan Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez, a card that set me back a mere $1. 

I couldn't believe the price when I saw it, especially considering the fact that this is a dual relic, featuring a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest power hitters of this century, even without steroids. 

As many relic cards as I have, there aren't a slew of dual relic cards in my collection which helped make the decision to purchase this card an even easier one.

It really was like night and day between the 2017 and 2018 Panini Chronicles sets with the latter being an unbelievable improvement from the first set. With that said, some of the inserts and relics from the '17 product were at a much higher level than the rest of the set, ultimately inspiring what the 2018 product would look like.

The color scheme of this card, although rather basic, is very well-crafted, and the text is actually very interesting to read. My only complaint would be how small the jersey relic is, not even the fact that it's a plain white relic. There's certainly enough space to make the relic even the littlest bit larger.

Topps Gallery produced some of the most creative and colorful relic cards of the early 2000s, and this Ivan Rodriguez bat relic fits that bill perfectly. The sheer abstractness of the card is quite appealing, even if I don't understand the inclusion of Rodriguez's 2004 Topps card next to the bat relic.

Like the Dawson relic, I'd only change one thing about the Rodriguez card; remove the banner that goes over part of the bat relic. There's a surplus of other places to include this information without cutting off the bat relic.

If there was ever a set that's perfect for black and white images, it would be 2001 Upper Deck Vintage. The photo of Fergie Jenkins in front of the Wrigley Field ivy and paired with a pants relic card helps me see why my Dad picked out this card with countless other options available. 

I don't even mind the fact that the relic is slightly blocked off, this time with seams of a Baseball because it's a far better fit for the card. Upper Deck tells me all about the game-used relic on the back of the card while letting the front of the card speak for itself. That is what a relic card should look like.

And if you ever find a bat relic of a member of the 500 home run club for less than $5, go for it. Even with the value of relic cards declining, there's definitely something to be said about game-used memorabilia of a Hall of Fame player, especially when that guy is none other than Mr. October, Reggie Jackson.

I'd always prefer the Athletics over the Yankees when it comes to Jackson, but the choice to show Reggie in a New York jersey makes sense for this card. He emerged as a true postseason phenom during his time in New York, and he was certainly a key part of the Yankees' success in the late 1970s.

After meeting up and showing each other what we'd purchased so far at the show, my Dad and I, with time running out, realized we had enough money in the budget for one final card that we'd both been eyeing all day long. 

This time, it wasn't a relic card, but an autograph of one of Boston's best current players, and it was serial numbered as well.

For roughly the price of a blaster box and a rack pack, we collectively decided on this gorgeous, on-card autograph of Red Sox ace Chris Sale from the 2018 Topps Finest set. A gold refractor, the card is serial numbered 6/50, and it helps me further boost the collection that I've put together of autographs and relics of members of the historic 2018 World Series team. 

I understand that pitcher's autographs don't typically sell for as much money as hitters', but it's nevertheless surprising to see this on-card auto for such a low price at a Baseball card show in the Boston area, especially since it's licensed and on-card. Not to mention, a gold refractor as well.

Chris Sale's signature may not be the best I've ever seen, but he's still one of the greatest players on the Red Sox roster, and he remains a vital part of their recent success. 

Especially after purchasing this card and the Triple Threads relic a month or so back, I'm praying that the Red Sox sign him to a major extension.


  1. I see you pulled the trigger on the Sale. Very nice auto

  2. Greats cards! Congrats on a nice Sale auto!