Sometimes mini Jackie Robinson on the box winks. Other times Ty Cobb is squinting devilishly. Mini Cobb says, "Oh come on. I'm marked down from $25 to $9.99. Don't be so damn cheap."
And I say, "But I'm a poor grad student. I need that money for smokes and McDoubles."
"You don't need that junk," Mini Jackie says. "Do cards, not drugs, like Dayf always says."
"I don't know. Retail blasters have hurt me in the past. I think I'd rather buy some singles on Ebay."
"Are you serious?" Howard shouts over his shoulder. "Do singles give you the rush of splitting wax? Does Ebay give you instant gratification and surprise scraps of Rocco Baldelli's pants?"
"Yeah, maybe I'll by some cleats instead."
Mini Cobb lifts his bat, says, "You're a sub for a beer league softball team. You don't need any damn cleats."
"Look at Honus," Howard says. "You're making him cry."
I didn't want to make Mini Honus cry. Plus I had a Dunham's coupon for 20 percent off anything (anyone can get these if they sign up at the register). I could no longer resist that box of T206.
And I ended up pulling a pretty amazing card, one of the best in the set. I'll show you soon, or you can just skip to the bottom of the post. I really can't stop you. But Honus will cry.
I didn't get a single Tigers card in the whole box, not a single friend for Mini Cobb on the box. Instead, I pulled a bunch of Yankees:
Jeter and A-Rod short prints. What the hell? Actually, both cards are pretty cool. Jeter looks daunting against that blood red curtain, and A-Rod looks like he had lots of fun on this postcard featuring his trip to the big city: Hi, Mom. We're having lots of fun on the field trip.
Here are the obligatory minis:
The Ortiz is a Polar Bear and the Gomes is an Old Mill. I think. It could be the other way around. I should've scanned the backs. Something funny is going on with the Cahil. It's number 289, which is listed as John Whitesell on COMC, but COMC pictures Cahil, as does my card. Is that some kind of error? Intentional shenanigans?
By the way, that's not the big hit. Here's the big hit:
My ridiculously smart scanner likes to crop out unnecessary whiteness. Any way, I pulled a Polar Bear relic of Mr. Ruth. His name's so tiny on here you have to squint to see it. But we don't need to read his name. It's Babe. You know when he arrives. You can smell it in the air, or in the pack. Once I saw that bulky frame sticking out between the other cards in the pack, I knew it was going to be an epic hit. Definitely the highest BV on a card I've ever pulled from a pack. And I can't believe I got this in discounted retail.
But there may be a problem. I'm not exactly sure what to make of this relic. At first I thought it was a piece of rubber from a shoe. It's black and somewhat smooth. But there are some bumps in there, and I think I see grain when it catches a glare. OK then, a piece of bat? Topps remains vague, as always:
Here's a closeup of the chunk o' somethin':
It looks odd. I was thinking maybe it was a stained piece of bat or maybe it was just old and petrifying. I did see another relic like this on Ebay, but they didn't explain anything. Then I saw a few Ruth relics from this set with much more wood-looking relics. Yeah, I said wood-looking. Then I started looking at the back of the card more. Here's a closeup:
It's hard to tell through the plastic, but this side is kind of wood-looking. Could they have put the relic in backwards? Is this level of blundering possible? Would one side be black and the other a light-hued grain? Is this an outside piece of a black-stained bat? That would be cool.
I'm quite stumped, and I'd love to hear what you guys think. Have you heard of this? Is the relic supposed to look this way?
Regardless, it's a great card. I'm thrilled to own a nondescript chunk that Babe once touched, rather than a scrap of Rocco's pants.