The year was 1996, I was in the 6th grade. Life sucked. Starting middle school, puberty, and so on. I was not a fun person to be around as most family members of tweens can attest. My collecting habits were controlled by how often I got my haircut which was next to my LCS and how often I endured grocery shopping with my mother, little brother, and little sister. That summer I had a few old becketts I would spend hours flipping through in my bed. I would make fantasy shopping lists and would memorize how much each Nolan Ryan, Cecil Fielder, and Jose Canseco cards were. Someday I would be rich enough from playing Major League Baseball to own all of their cards, of course. My eye would always go to the Donruss Elite inserts that always were worth so much money. I remember seeing a tiny black and white picture of a Cecil Fielder one in the beckett and a Jose Canseco one in another magazine. Those were the cards I wanted but could never have. Here is what I remember from my greatest card collecting glory day: One day I was out with my mom and her cousin doing some shopping. Somewhere along the way I picked up a pack of 1995 Donruss and started opening it before we got to an ice cream shop.
There was something shiny with a patterned edge...
angels sang and the sun shown down only on me...
I saw the back first. It was an ELITE!
"I'm rich!" I yelled as I started to shake.
Whoever the player was didn't matter. The Elite cards were worth big bucks in my eyes.
I slowly flipped it over and began to tear up...
THE HOLY GRAIL
A rush of emotion came over me and I shit my pants, peed, cried and screamed. Cardgasm. I couldn't even describe to the occupants of the minivan what this card was, what it meant! I had won card collecting.
I never took good care of my cards back then. Grading was unheard of to me and my cards were for me no one else. I was a hoarding collector. But luckily I had a wall plaque to hold onto this card. It had an 8X10 of Jose and held two cards. It was never left the plaque until now when I scanned it. The scan doesn't do the card justice. It is perfect. It will now go into a one touch mag for eternity. To this day it is my favorite card that will never leave my collection.