(The origins of "Cardboard Appreciation" stem from a concerted effort to find value in the cards in my collection, true. But C.A. was also born out of a backlash toward the "individual entitlement" mindset. You didn't know C.A. has socio-political beginnings, did you? It does. The pervasive feeling of individual entitlement is a plague on current U.S. society and can be observed in myriad forms from small to large. It's as if we're a nation of 13-year-olds. I'm a big believer in "be thankful for what you've got," or, if you prefer, "your lot in life isn't as wretched as you think." Believe me, thinking like this helps. A lot. ... OK, speech done. Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 135th in a series).
One of the best feelings in collecting is when I discover a card that I never knew existed when I thought I knew everything about the set from which it came.
Oh, finding oddball cards from 50 years ago or observing a set for the first time on Vintage Sportscards or Number 5 Type Collection is very cool, too. I love that "what is THIS?" rush.
But I received the very same feeling in the most unexpected way when I received an email from a young collector named Weston. He said he had a 2010 Upper Deck Supreme Matt Kemp card, and I replied a bit incredulously that I had never heard of an Upper Deck Supreme card. I wasn't bold enough to insinuate that it didn't exist, because if there's one thing I've figured out on this blog is that there are endless amounts of cards about which I know nothing.
Weston sent me a scan of the card, and, yup, it was a Matt Kemp card that was unknown to me until that very moment.
I was baffled. 2010 Upper Deck, right? The Great Unlicensed Baseball Set? The final UD baseball offering to be pried out its cold dead hands? The one where they couldn't hide the logos sufficiently? I wrote a pretty good amount about that. I read even more about it, too.
I knew about all the inserts, too. I've got cards from the Portraits set. Pure Heat. Biography. All World. Stupid Celebrity Predictors. Tape Measure Shots.
And for two years I figured I was done with it. Had all the cards I needed.
Didn't know about Supreme.
It turns out Supreme -- which must be a take-off on UD's Starquest inserts -- was a retail-only insert. The green is the more common insert (1:8). There are less common blue and red parallels, of course. My guess is I didn't receive this card until now because collectors, including me, didn't buy much 2010 Upper Deck. It wasn't on shelves long, and I certainly wasn't enamored with the cards. So Supreme slipped under the radar for two years.
Now that I know it exists, I'm glad I have the card, but a little annoyed that I know about its parallels. (And a little annoyed there are Russell Martin and Manny Ramirez Supreme cards).
Ignorance is so underrated.
Weston, operator of Fantastic Catch, also had a couple of other crucial items that I did know about. This Jonathan Broxton diamond parallel gets me within 5 cards of having the diamond-bedazzled team set.
And this Ozzie Smith Lineage miiiiiinnnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii is No. 114 in my quest for the 200-card set. Slowly but surely!
Thanks, Weston for those very key cards, and especially for finding a card for me I didn't even know I needed.
I don't even want to know how many more of those are out there.