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How the other half lives

I think everyone knows by now what kind of card collector I am. I like vintage, and I dabble in the modern cards, but I don't get too fancy. Target and Wal-Mart are my friends, not my enemies. I'm thrilled with base cards and even something super simplistic like UD First Edition can make me happy.

Most high-end stuff doesn't appeal to me. But sometimes I'm intrigued, and even though I don't have the cash to buy the stuff, thanks to the blogs, I can get in on a box break, or at the very least, view the cards.

I was tempted to participate in I Am Joe Collector's break of this year's Topps Finest, but it came at a terrible time for me money-wise. Cash was super-tight then. It's still tight. So I passed on that and just watched from a distance.

So, you're asking, how in the world did I get a Topps Finest red refractor card (numbered to 25) of Russell Martin?

Well, another cool thing about the blogs is collectors who do have access to some of the fancier cards aren't afraid to send them to you. This great card came to me from Dan, ruler of Saints of the Cheap Seats. He's one of the great bloggers who will send you cards out of the blue.

He sent a number of fascinating cards, so I will try to do them justice here:

Raul Mondesi, 1995 Topps Finest. An ancestor of the Russell Martin card. This is when Finest looked like a carnival midway. I like it a lot. I've mentioned that. The scan makes the card look dark and dingy. Trust me, it's not.

Chan Ho Park, 1999 Skybox Metal Smith's Xplosion. Ah, Skybox. You thought you were so cool then. Now you're as dated as teal and "getting jiggy with it." I don't know what they used to make this card. It's definitely polished metal of some sort. I can see why they rounded the corners. You could do serious damage with this card if it had corners.
Hideo Nomo, 1998 Donruss Preferred, subset card (I think). I still stick to the claim that Nomo has the best cards of anyone in baseball history. One of these days I will display my limited collection of Nomos and wow you with his terrificness.

Chin-Lung Hu, 2008 Upper Deck Timeline. This brings the number of 2008 Chin-Lung Hu cards I have to 21. I'm sure there are many more out there. All for a guy who I'm not even sure will be a regular major league player.
Cory Wade, 2004 SP Prospects. Final card. Wade's just not having the season he had last year. I'm not all that surprised, but I hope he comes back.

Dan, many thanks for some cards that I wouldn't ordinarily seek out. They're great. And I'll be checking out D&A's in Buffalo this summer. Can't wait!

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