Since i’ve gotten the blog up and running again, one thing I really wanted to do was be more proactive in picking up new Rickey Henderson cards, or at least new to me. I’ve been a huge fan of his since I first started collecting in 1985 and was able to collect all of his base cards and some oddball stuff from the 80’s through the mid-90’s. When i gave up collecting for a few years, roughly 1995-2006, i missed out on a lot of his cards and have been playing catch up ever since.
Recently, my targets have been anything that isn’t an autograph or an outrageously short print/low serial numbered card. Focusing on base cards, parallels, inserts and nice looking jersey cards that I can find easily and cost friendly. For some reason or another, his cards are extremely difficult to spot at the card shows I go to as well as my LCS…no idea why. I never have any issues finding Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr. or Cal Ripken Jr. cards, equally great players from around the same era…but the Rickey Henderson cards are difficult if not impossible to find. I have no idea why this is? Is it that he is such a popular player and people are hoarding his cards? Or maybe people don’t like him as much as the other players from his era?
When he was playing, especially near the end of his career, there was some negativity towards him. He had a rough end with the Mets. Seemingly played one year for every team on the west coast. Tried many times to land with the A’s for a late season push. Whatever the reason, there was some negativity around him. During his heyday, he was an extremely popular player and dynamic player. He was also one of the few guys from the early years of the steroid era that seemed to be clean.
He is also a player, in my mind that is the only ‘greatest ____ of all time’ that can’t be argued with. Maybe I’m wrong on this one, but I believe he is not only the greatest base stealer of all time, but the single greatest leadoff hitter. Maybe i’m biased, but I cannot think of any other player you could say something like this about, much less two things? Who is the greatest Home Run hitter? Greatest Center Fielder? Greatest Catcher, Pitcher? All of these topics draw major debate, but when i comes to the leadoff position and base stealing, There is no one better than Rickey, and that is one of the reasons why he is my all time favorite baseball player. I will keep looking for cards when i’m out and see who has anything new and exciting, I will also check in with the great Rickey Henderson Collectibles website to see what’s new and fantastic in the world of Rickey.
So without further adieu, here are a few images from my latest visit to the ebay and the LCS. (some of these cards may not be that new and exciting to you guys, but they are new to my collection and make me happy!)
The first card is a good ol’ fashioned hologram from the mid 90’s. Upper Deck put all their chips in on this technology and it didn’t quite work out for them…did it? The Denny’s cards are pretty classic though and a must have for your binders. From different angles, it looks like you have a silver-ish card with no image and from others, you can see the Man of Steal! Thank you Denny’s, this one set me back one hundred pennies.
The next two cars are from this years Topps set, The Greats insert and a Game Used Memorabilia Chasing History card. Both were bid on and won by yours truly from the electronic bay. I’m hit or miss on bidding from stuff at ebay as i have found the sellers/buyers difficult to deal with at times. When i do purchase stuff from ebay i go low budget in order to avoid any real issues. Both of these cards set me back about $7 shipped. I love the old and new Rickey on the cards. Classic vs. Legend.
The last one is the Allen and Ginter base card from last years set.
I also picked up this beast, Derek Jeter, from the 1998 Zenith set. This set came out in a period when i was collecting things not on cardboard. I seem to remember Stale Gum doing a box break on these odd ball giants and attempting to find a way to get the mini card out of the big card without damaging the big card…or the mini card. Many attempts were made and a valiant effort was given. I’m just glad these things don’t exist anymore…except with A&G, i guess their stuff is ok, right?