It's only fitting that on this the final year of "The Captains" career that we run a story about a chase to find his 2007 Topps card.
"Stupidest card in the hobby", "Crazy that someone would want that card", "Really cool" and "Huh" have been just some of the descriptions used towards this card. It's not the most popular with collectors but will be talked about along with some of the great cards ever produced.
Now this story starts on the release date for 2007 Topps. I was just back into collecting and wanted to kick it off with either a hobby box of Series 1 or maybe just buy packs from different stores. My first few packs weren't too exciting and didn't amount to much. Blasters were becoming popular and I decided to buy a couple of them to rip open. After 2 Blasters and 10 hobby packs I noticed a story about the Jeter card. People were going crazy about it, they weren't sure if this was real or fake or if it was corrected at all. Cards were shooting up through the roof on eBay and it was difficult to find one for yourself to even complete a set.
The news didn't really hit stores as quickly as today and I remember going into my local shop and explaining about the Jeter card. At the same time I bought a Hobby box and began to rip it open. 36 packs later I still didn't own this famous and currently expensive Jeter. ESPN, Hobby websites, Forums, and other collecting media all had features on the card. It was very popular and continued to gain strength.
At the time it really did seem that this was a very scarce card and I might not be able to find it after all. I continued to strive on though, buying a couple of hobby packs at a time to see if I could pull it. Still no luck though. A week or so after the release the prices for singles on eBay had dropped but were still at most high prices. Still into the sixth week it seemed like I was the only one that hadn't found this card. It was also during this time that I had piled up hundreds of 2007 Topps cards. By this time I had purchased 1 Hobby Box, 4 Blasters, 4 Rack Packs, and about 22 Hobby packs. That is a lot of packs without finding this darn card.
From March to April I continued to buy packs but not as frequent as prior. Other new releases were coming out and I was focused on those more so than finding the Jeter. I thought about buying one on eBay or trading for one but for some reason I really wanted to pull this card from a pack. I just wasn't sure why I hadn't found that pack yet in the amount I was buying.
I went on vacation in May to Hawaii and was really excited about the trip. I found a couple locations of hobby shops in Hawaii that I was going to check out while I was there. Wasn't really sure what to expect but thought it would be interesting to see what came down to the island in form of collectibles.
The first day we arrived we had a plan to visit one of the shops. On our way we stopped into Walmart to pick up some snacks and drinks. I browsed through the store and found a sports card aisle. They had mainly Baseball and Football stocked up with the latest 2007 Blasters. I grabbed 2 of the 2007 baseball blasters (like I didn't have enough already) and decided to open them in the car before hitting the shop.
Wouldn't you know that the 10th card into the first blaster was the elusive 2007 #40 Derek Jeter! At first I thought "Crap I don't have a top loader for it", then it set in that I finally pull it! It took all those packs, blasters, hobby box and 4,642 Miles to find this card. It was very satisfying to pull this card from a pack, even if it took a lot of money and patience to do so. I don't think I would go about it the same way again, but you never know. The hobby works this way some times with collectors. It's not always the most scarce card or expensive that collectors strive to pull, it can be those "stupidest card in the hobby" as well.
Part 5 of the series "The story behind that PC find" will continue later next month.
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