Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Story behind that PC find Part 3 - Troy Tulowitzki

Part 3

In early 2006 I started to collect a young Short Stop by the name of Troy Tulowitzki. He was just about to come up to the majors and already was pinned to be in most the 2007 baseball products. One of these products was Upper Decks SP Authentic. The set he was going to be in was called "By The Letters". This was a very cool product where Upper Deck put together manufactured Letters of the players Last Name or Team in some cases. Each Letter was autographed which made the cards very desirable among collectors.

I set out to try and complete the Tulowitzki Last Name once the product hit the shelves. The first letter I grabbed off of eBay was the "I" numbered out of /35. At the time I paid $18 for it since there would be more "I" cards then any this would be a cheaper letter to find.
Over the first three weeks of 2007 SP Authentic being out I managed to grab 3 other letters from eBay. "O" with a nice pinstripe down the middle which cost $32, another "I" which was $11 and an "U" which was $28. So far I was on a decent pace of collecting all ten letters.
During the same time I was trying to stick with the Letters numbered out of /35 and not the lowered tiered numbers. It was really hard not to pick up a "T" /20 for only $18 or so just to finish the name. It just wouldn't look right to have a different numbered card in your set like this let along a different front to the card.

After another week of searching through forums and eBay, I found another four letters to fill in some of my gaps in the name. "L" with a pinstripe off to the right side was $34, a "K" with a pinstripe down the center of the card for $32 and a really nice "Z" came up with 2 pinstripes on each side which cost $42 in a bidding war near the end. All three of these went to the end of auctions on eBay and won them thankfully. The "K" and the "Z" were tough ones to track down and was happy to have won them.
Only three letter to go and two of the easier ones to find with two "T's" left. One of the letters I was struggling to find in any numbered format was the "W". I thought it might be the toughest to find after the "Z" and "K". The letter "T" I was less concerned about finding as they were all over eBay and forums, so I decided to hold off and only search out the "W". This took about 4 more weeks of searching in order to finally have one show up on eBay with a "Buy it Now" of $45. Without hesitating I bought it within minutes of it being listed. I was really excited to grab the last tough card of the set.
With the span of over 8 weeks since the product went live you'd think that the "T"'s would be out in full force. Well it turned out that they were more scarce now then any of the other letters I had. Just my luck that I would be stuck with "ULOWIZKI", not a very nice looking display that's for sure. So again I was on the hunt. After about a 12 days I found a "T" on eBay and picked it up. It only cost me $12 which was a double bonus. Another few days went by and I started seeing a few "T"'s showing up, but none of them were /35. The more I searched around the less I was finding. So I made a decision and picked up a "T" numbered out of /20.  My name was finally complete, now I can rest and stop searching for that one letter.
Like any collector I had each card in a magnetic holder and displayed them out. It was pretty cool having the full name on display. The one thing though was that it wasn't perfect, the "T" /20 was bothering me, so much so that I decided to go on the search. I went through all the places I was in previously and couldn't find too many out there. it wasn't until one day many weeks into my search that on a Beckett Forum I found a Tulowitzki collector looking for some cards for her PC. She was looking for the letters which turned out to be the ones numbered out of 20. I sent her a message and we started talking about how we were collecting the full name. I told her how I was looking for a "T" /35 but couldn't seem to find it anywhere. Turned out she had a "T" /35 and was looking for a "T" /20. Both of us were thrilled about being able to help each other out. Within a week we both received our cards in the swap and I completed the full name once again.
To this day I still have it displayed out and look at them once in a while. They really are cool cards individually or as a name. As you may recall when I took apart my Tulowitzki collection they were the only ones I kept in my collection and I think it will always stay that way.

"The story behind that PC find" Series continues with Part 4 later this month. 

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