Featured Cards: 2012 Topps Museum Collection Green #89, Steve Carlton; 2012 Topps Museum Collection Signature Swatches Autographed Dual Relics Gold #SSADR-CHA, Cole Hamels; 2012 Topps Museum Collection Momentous Material Jumbo Autograph Relic #MMJAR-RH, Roy Halladay
I’ve made no secret that I hate high-end issues, but I don’t think I’ve quantified how much I hate them. Think about the amount of hate Gollum has for Bilbo Baggins for “stealing” the ring — well, that pales in comparison to what I feel every time Topps announces yet another high-end product. If I had Nazgûl at my disposal, I would have dispatched them to the Topps corporate offices for the Five Star set. I long for the return of another manufacturer so that can more easily ignore product shipped in packs that cost far too many multiples of my hourly wage; I devoutly wish that my compulsion to maintain as thorough a Phillies collection as possible would wane for me enough to not acquire any high-end cards at all — even when I find such cards at prices I can easily fit into my budget.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself falling in love with 2012 Topps Museum Collection. It’s totally irrational, but it’s there. The cards are just so attractive and, compared to other high-end offerings from Topps, relatively affordable. While I wasn’t getting caught up in the parallel game (really, does anyone actually care whether they get a regular, Masterpiece, Gold or Platinum version of what in every other discernible fashion is the exact same card?), I found myself acquiring as many of the Phillies memorabilia inserts as possible. Before I realized what came over me, I even purchased a couple autograph-memorabilia redemption cards. The moment I did that is when I realized that my irrational love affair with the set had gone too far — I needed to reign it in.
For the past few months, I had managed to do so. However, I hadn’t completed my set of Material Jumbo Relics — somehow, I previously neglected to find an Utley card at a price I was willing to pay. So, treading carefully onto eBay, I went in search of one, and that’s when I inadvertently let my love for the set get the better of me again.
No, I couldn’t just content myself with looking for an Utley Material Jumbo Relics. I had to see if any of the really rare Phillies inserts were available, and that’s when I saw the Halladay Momentous Material Jumbo Autograph Relic. I posses very few cards with a print run of 10 or smaller — which probably fed into the sudden need to have it. Before the sensible portion of my brain could throttle the reptilian section that demanded instant gratification, I negotiated with the seller, blew my budget, and within a week was holding the card and calling it, “My Precious.” Interestingly, even though I am now in position where I’ve blown through over two months worth of my baseball card budget and will likely need to sell a few select items to properly justify the purchase of this card, I have no regrets. That is what a deep, irrational, non-abiding true love will do for you.
It should be noted that my particular quest with this set is still incomplete. Although I am now content with what I have acquired and will not be attempting to find any of the Phillies Dual Jumbo Lumber Relics, Momentous Material Dual Jumbo Relics or Museum Collection Autographs, I am still waiting on Topps to deliver the Hunter Pence Signature Swatches Autographed Dual Relic card for which I submitted the redemption back in July. If it comes back as a Giants card, Topps will need to wish that I do not find a way to hire some Nazgûl.