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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Big 2013 Gypsy Queen Purchase - Chicago Cubs Triple Auto Relic /10 (Sandberg, Banks, and Williams)

After (kind of) teasing an EPIC purchase I made from 2013 Gypsy Queen, I finally got it in the mail (sort of).

After sacrificing a good portion of my wax budget for the time being, I am now the proud owner of a redemption card good for a triple autographed relic card of Chicago Cubs legends Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, and Ryne Sandberg, numbered to just 10 copies (or less).

A lot of this had to do with the fact that Ryne Sandberg's, autograph is on the card.

When I was younger, my family moved around a lot. My dad worked for a power plant construction company, so naturally, in that line of work, when one job gets finished you get transferred elsewhere, to wherever the next job site is. Needless to say, we never really lived anywhere long enough for me to establish a "home team." Early on, I was a Twins guy, just because my dad was. I started developing my own baseball interests in 1989, when two things fell into place. One, we had WGN, and two, the Cubs were having a pretty good year.

When you're nine years old, and you know very little about the fundamentals of baseball, and the finer points that make one player different from another, your "favorite player" is simply just whoever is considered to be the best player on that team at that time. For me, that player was Ryne Sandberg. He was producing at the plate, and was one of the best fielders in the game, so for me, it was a no-brainer.

Fast forward to now, where I have accumulated a respectable collection of his cards, both from his playing days and present day as a retired player. The one thing I don't have, though, is an autograph of his. There's no real explanation for this. I went after a few of them on Ebay, unsuccessfully a while back, but I suppose that ever since focusing my collection more in a puck-related direction, my Sandberg collection has gone largely ignored.

The other part of it is simply that because I waited so long to get his autograph, I wanted the first one I acquired to be a BIG one.

Mission accomplished.

The only drawback to this is that I only "technically" own this card, as it is a redemption. I'm ok with waiting for it, though. Knowing that although there are only 10 of these, one of them will soon be in my collection, makes me feel pretty good, even if there's a little bit of impatience sprinkled in. Also, most of these triple auto relic cards seem to be redemptions, which is a little surprising, considering these are done with stickers, that they couldn't scrounge up 10 stickers of Sandberg, Banks, and Williams.

I was, however, able to find a different card from this set on Ebay, just to take a look at the layout, and I must say, it's pretty awesome.

The one concern I have is this. Over the years, Topps has used different types of stickers for their autographs, as evidenced by this card. If you look closely, you'll see that George Brett's autograph is done on a silver foil sticker (older), while Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt signed on a clear sticker (newer). I'll admit, I'll be happy with whatever I get, but hopefully, they can keep the stickers consistent with my Cubs card. With as much money as I spent on the redemption, it would make it look thrown together and a little sloppy.

Still, I like with this one how they mixed up then relics, with one guy getting a solid swatch, one guy getting a pinstripe, and one guy getting a bat piece. The variety they placed on this one for the relic pieces helps make up for the inconsistent sticker material.

Still, who cares about these guys? Bring me my Cubs!!!!!