Cross Another Whale Off The “At Large” Wanted List

The term white whale, prior to its bastardization in Triple Threads, meant a card that you had a card out there in the sea of collectors that was virtually impossible to find. To this day, people still chase white whales all over the hobby, and for many of us, they are truly a quest fit for Ahab. In most cases, those whales were usually 1/1s that you didn’t know had been pulled, or a rare card that infrequently hit ebay at an affordable price.

For someone like me, there werent many of these cards that I had on my list. I can think of two specifically, and after last night, both of them were on the captured list. The first one took me forever to find, and I mean absolutely forever. I think I posted at least three times about the 2005 Artifacts Joe Mauer Patch Auto /10 before I pretty much gave up looking, even going so far as setting up multiple daily ebay spam mailers with new auctions. I was searching for about 3 years before it finally popped up on ebay in the middle of last year, and I knew that I absolutely needed to buy it before it was lost again forever. A user on FCB collects the set, and luckily I knew he already had this one, so my competition was going to be easier because of that fact. On the other hand, this card was the coveted number 7 of 10, Mauer’s jersey number, and I knew there would be more people wanting it just for that fact. Even though I couldn’t care less what number in the run it was, other Mauer collectors would definitely have it on their list because of that.

There was a problem though, and it was one I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with. The card was located in Taiwan, and most card collectors know that cards from overseas are always a risk, especially expensive ones like the Mauer. I put the thought out of my mind and concetrated on the win. As the final seconds ticked down, I entered a ridiculous snipe. You know, the type of max bid that could really get me in trouble if it actually was put to the test. It won me the card at a much higher price than I wanted to spend, but I still had the card on its way to California, and that was all that mattered to me at the time. This was also before Mauer’s MVP run, so prices were considerably cheaper due to it being the off season. I still spent more than I had spent on a Mauer card in over 3 years, yet it wasn’t something that would break my bank. I waited for around three weeks with no delivery, but the card eventually showed up without problem. It is still on my shelf today, and is no doubt my favorite and only current on card Mauer signature. The patch on it is way above average, and to have the hard signed card, great player picture and nice patch is what makes it the centerpiece of my collection. I would sell my Chrome Rookie Auto before I sell this card.

The second card was one that I had been looking for on and off for the better part of three years, but it definitely was not as rare as the Mauer and not worth as much. The reason I wanted it was more for filling a hole in my Vikings collection than it was collecting the individual player, something that hindered my need to search for it daily. The card I am talking about is a 2003 Leaf Certified Fabric of the Game Cris Carter Patch Auto /80, one that I wanted for some very specific reasons. First and foremost was the auto that adorned this series of cards. Carter is notorious for signing like a chump, and this card was one of the only ones I saw that featured his full auto. Second was that this set looked better than any of the other donruss cards that he signed, so naturally, it was the one I wanted. I first saw it on blowout two years ago when someone posted their complete set of these type of cards, and I knew it was the Carter auto I wanted. Because autos and patches were VERY rare in the 2003 set, and because this set had an extensive checklist, they rarely came up for sale.

As if the cardboard gods were taunting me again, the seller of the card had VERY low feedback and even had a few negs on his profile in the last six months. That was a bad sign, but I figured the forty bucks was worth the risk. Well, things really didn’t turn out the way I expected, and my 75 dollar bid was swallowed up pretty quickly into the final 24 hours of the auction. I ended up having to spend 90 bucks to get the card, and I am now forced to play the waiting game and see how this card turns out. I could tell this guy was not an eBay veteran, as the picture in the auction was mirrored and flipped, as well as being quite blurry. He does live in Minnesota and was selling a ton of Carter cards, so I don’t think he is in the market to keep his collection. Ill be sure to let you guys know as soon as I get the card in my hands. Otherwise, I will definitely not hesitate to flip a shit like normal.

In the end, when it comes to White Whales, you need to make a sacrifice in order to cross them off your list. With the Mauer it was overseas shipping and high prices, and with the Carter, its definitely the seller’s profile that I will need to put out of my mind. If these cards were easy to get, they wouldn’t be my whales, so its obvious that certain measures would no doubt be necessary.

Flipping a Huge Pull

The Mark Sanchez SP Authentic Logo that was sold recently is back on eBay, and I am not sure why someone decided this was a good idea. Why buy the card for $2600+ if you are just going to turn it around and sell the next day? In fact, the same thing has happened a number of times for a lot of the big pulls like this, and many of them did not sell for low prices.

Really, its not like these cards are 200 dollar cards that you can turn around and sell for 500 bucks. These are cards with ENORMOUS price tags on them that really have ZERO upside for gaining value.
I guess some people just like the thrill of being hobby day traders with tons of money. You would think that if they have just spent the price of a small car, it would be for something they very much want to keep. Not in this case, though.

High End Set Collecting Is Always Impressive

Sometimes when searching eBay, I come across an item that just makes my mouth water. One of those crazy pieces that will only be available once or twice in its form, a true spectacle. One of my favorite ones to stumble upon are complete sets of high end products that I could never fathom putting together. This item is one of those things that really take a stretch of the mind to think of the money and time it would take to put together. When you factor in the popularity of the product, and the cost of the cards, and the rarity of some of the subjects it is truly epic to see this in action.

Back in 2002, Legendary cuts was a relatively new idea for a set, as the cut autograph was not where it is now. When you think that a company released a set with autographs of Wagner, Mantle, Cobb, Ruth, Maris, and others, its very simple to see why collectors went nuts for this product. This seller obviously got caught up in the craziness, and managed to put together close to 90% of the set, including some of the extremely rare ones like the Babe, Wagner, and Cobb.

The price itself is ridiculous, as it would mean that each card would have to average more than $1,000 per. Pretty crazy. However, to know that there are sets like this out there is just as crazy, mainly because of the rarity of some of these cards. Kind of makes you wonder just how much went into it. Im guessing at least the price of a mid range car.

Check it out.

I Still Need Help Finding This Card

Around six months ago, I posted a plea for help because I needed a card that seemed to be ungettable. Since that time, it has only come up once on ebay, and that was from an overseas seller that I refused to trust due to poor feedback. I will offer a finders fee for anyone that can locate it for sale, patch or not, single color or not, it doesnt matter.

If you see it, please help me out and drop me an email, it will be worth your effort.

Here it is, 2005 Joe Mauer UD Artifacts Patch Auto /10: