Skip to main content

So, this is an etopps card ...


Back during my first year of blogging, in 2008, I jumped into everything about cards that I possibly could. I sampled every kind of pack, explored all the sites and forums, bookmarked every last page, and probably drove bloggers crazy with emails and questions.

One of the many things that I did was sign up for etopps. I can't say I fully understood the concept, and now that it is dead, I still don't have a handle on it. Near as I can tell, you could try to land issued cards every week, which were in limited quantity, and then let the card sit in your portfolio -- where I guess it could "mature," I don't know -- or eventually order the card to have for real. You know, like normal collectors do.

But the problem was I could never get a card. They were always gone by the time I put in a request. There are thousands upon thousands of collectors who are much more psycho-rabid than I am, I learned.

Eventually, I gave up. I assumed I'd never have an etopps card.

Later, I figured out that there were older etopps cards all over ebay and elsewhere and that I COULD have an etopps card -- for realz -- if I wanted one.

Years and year went by before obtaining one of these cards ever became a thought in my head again. Then, during a rare carefree moment a couple of days ago, I stumbled across this 2008 Clayton Kershaw etopps card and decided to order it up.

Today, one of those mythical, elusive cards of which more than one collector has thought "are those things really cards or is it just some fake, online thing" arrived at my door and is now in my possession.

And I'm here to tell you that the card is, in fact, real.

But is it spectacular?

Well, I don't know. The card is encased, and I knew it would arrive like that. All etopps cards are like that, so you can "protect your investment." (The worst thing to ever happen to cards is when Wall Street lingo wormed its way into the hobby).

Just from viewing it inside the case, it's very shiny and appears to be of the chrome variety. In fact, it's curling a bit like a typical chrome card, which is kind of disappointing.

My fear is that if I crack it out of its case -- which I want to do with each and every card -- that it will curl even more and the etopps mystique will be gone forever. Of course, I could crack it out of its case and the card may vanish before my eyes. Perhaps etopps cards aren't meant to be out in the wild.

So to crack or not to crack. That's the quandary I face.

Meanwhile, here's the back of the card. No one ever shows the back of etopps:


I know it's blurry. It's the case's fault. It's card #579/999 for those who care. And I'm sure you can read "2007 yield," which is another investment term. Ugh.

Of course, etopps died in 2012. I'm not economically minded, so I have no idea if the concept was a success, a bust or a big "who cares?"

I just know I have a super shiny numbered Kershaw card from the first year that he appeared in a Dodger uniform on cards. That's pretty cool.

And I've finally settled my etopps curiosity forever.

So, that's done.

Now find me a hammer.

Comments

Commishbob said…
I think I have three, a Koufax, a Unitas and a Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis. I think the last one is the only one I actually bought through the program. I picked him up on waivers for my fantasy team and I have an obsession with adding a card of any play I own as fast as possible. The eTopps was his only card at the time. Like you I never fully internalized the concept and never bothered with it again until last summer when I got the Koufax and Unitas on eBay.

FWIW I crack them out of the case as soon as I get them.
Nick said…
Chalk me up as one of those people who didn't think these actually existed.

I never took the time to experiment with the whole "eTopps" thing.

Glad to see you finally got your hands on one, though!
Unknown said…
I got one on ebay, never wanted to put up good money on one and still have a huge shipping rate just to get it. Some are nice cards, may some day buy a few more. I would keep them in the "official" case unless the case is defective.
Sascards67 said…
The only ETopps I have I got on e-bay. It commemorates the Pine Tar Incident. Had to have it in my George Brett player collection. I took it out of the case so I can store it with the other cards.
unclemoe said…
Crack it. The thing is four years old. It won't curl any more than it already is.

moe.
Jeff Laws said…
I got one in a trade, I cracked it open. It's not like I have plans of selling them, I'm keeping it for my collection so it was a no-brainer for me.
arpsmith said…
I actually have quite a few. A few of my player collections (McCovey, Rickey Henderson, Ronnie Lott) have eTopps cards and I picked up a bunch of former USC Trojan football players on the cheap. Still have them encased but thinking about cracking them to save some space.
I assume you've already opened it. I know you previously discussed cutting a Cey from a nice Kelloggs panel. I'm all for opening it.

I think that the back of the card looks better than the front. I never paid enough attention to know about these cards either.

Popular posts from this blog

Cards I'll never buy

I started thinking about the topic of this post even before I saw this image today on the Twitter page of @halocline_gg.

I immediately breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing the photo. This hobby disaster had nothing to do with me.

To run into a sign like this -- if it involved baseball -- would be deflating. And that's why I was relieved that it was targeting a product -- and collectors -- that are so far removed from the way I collect.

Here are the things that I don't care about concerning 2019-2020 Optic Mega Boxes:

1. It's Panini
2. It's basketball
3. It's basketball players on Panini cards.

There are few cards that I know I will never buy, but current basketball cards are definitely in that category.

And here's the exercise: since I have a wide variety of card interests and lots of things that I would buy, I tried to think of cards I would never buy. Ever. Not on a whim. Not on a dare. Never.

I came up with a few. Let's start with the topic du jour:



1. Current b…

Where pages go to die

One thing that I fail to do when trading in this hobby is make the best use of my PWEs and my extra pages.

When sending out a PWE, I usually pack maybe 3 or 4 cards into penny sleeves and fold some paper around it so the cards don't move around and then ship it off.

Meanwhile, people are stuffing up to 12 cards into one-third of a nine-pocket page and shipping it in that same PWE. What's wrong with me?

I don't know, I guess I don't have a lot of extra pages around right now. But that's not the main reason. The main reason is I don't think of it. And when someone sends me one of those cut-up pages, I don't keep them so I can be just as efficient when I send out PWEs.

Yup, those cut-up pages just get chucked. I'm the place where pages go to die.

I've got to stop that. I have a card room and a card desk and a card drawers full of supplies. I love my card drawer full of supplies. All I need to do is add those cut-up pages to the drawers and I'll be…

Eighties

I've been feeling a little guilty lately about neglecting my 1980s card needs.

All of my recent purchases have been related to vintage or Dodgers from the 1990s to the present. The poor '80s have been ignored.

I don't have anything against the '80s, not at all. It's pretty much my favorite decade. While I prefer the '70s for cards and the '90s for god awful situations, the '80s are the overall winner. I continue to live in them when it comes to music, recounting past girlfriends, and the best memories of all-time.

So why don't I gravitate toward the cards from the '80s?

Well, probably mostly because I have so many of them. All the Topps sets are complete. And most of the Dodgers team sets from that time were finished off long ago. My favorites from Donruss and Fleer are done, too.

That leaves the sets that aren't the greatest but do showcase the players that I grew up with, and that's why I'm still trying to complete some Fleer sets…