New $10 card shop challenge leads to a blast from the past

On Monday I threw down another $10 card shop challenge.  By now you should know the rules: Go to a local card shop, buy $10 worth of singles and post either via blog or Twitter your results.  The winner gets nothing but bragging rights.  Deadline will be Sunday at midnight Pacific.

Get it?  Got it?  Good.

Now that that is out of the way, check out what I found as I deviated from my plan on Monday.  I’ve yet to find my entry for this challenge, but I did discover that one of the shops in the area has 1991 Stadium Club football packs for $3.50 each.  I’m a baseball only collector, but I do have some emotional ties to some of the early 1990s football.  The premier edition of Stadium Club was uber-premium when I was a kid, and it’s still appealing today because of the Brett Favre rookie.

Anyhow, I ponied up for a few packs figuring that at least I could relive some memories of two decades gone by.  And let me tell you, the packs lived up to the hype I’d built in my own head.

There was no Favre, much to my chagrin.  BUT I did pull some of the coolest cards I remember from the set.

First off, the Emmitt Smith card was one of the hottest non-rookie cards from the set.  In 1991, Emmitt was still a young powerful runner who had yet to fully leave his mark on the game.  And we all know that youth, exceptional skill and premium early cards of such players always command top dollar … well in the time they were released anyway.  I never owned a copy of this card because it always commanded close to $20.  In 1991, that was a lot.

This card is so bad-ass.  Love that panoramic view of Emmitt busting through the line on high-gloss card stock.  Granted I was a Buffalo Bills fan at the time and Emmitt torched the Bills constantly, especially when it counted.  But this card was iconic.  Even 20 years after its release it’s still breathtaking.  And to make things better, I pulled it from a pack with my own two hands.

***

During the hayday of my football collecting, there were two players I idolized the most, and neither of them were in a position of throwing or catching the ball.  They were bad-ass pass rushers who got paid to crush people carrying the football.  They were Bruce Smith and Derrick Thomas.

Look at this card.  Seriously, look at it!

D-T just walloped Wade Wilson and some photographer got a picture of him standing over the QB celebrating … and Topps had the balls to put the image on the card!  Freakin’ LOVE this card.

Caption: “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh Suucccckkkkkkaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

***

And here’s where the groans come in …

If this were 1991, this card would be in some dealer’s showcase sporting a $20 price tag.  Hell, if you walk into the right card shop today, you might still find one in a Card Saver I without a penny sleeve and still priced as if Ice Cube still hadn’t had a Good Day.

But here’s where my story gets better.  The card shop where I bought these packs on Monday was a place I discovered in 1991 … when this product was blazing hot.  And guess what I actually bought during that first trip.  A Todd Marinovich.  How’s that for full circle.

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