Featured Card: 1990 Starting Lineup Rookie Year (no #), Juan Samuel
First and foremost, I am a Phillies baseball card collector. Whatever else happens to be in the collection is purely tangential. Sure, to some of it I apply the label “baseball card” just because I want to count it as part of the baseball card collection (specifically, stickers and various coins/discs issued over the years), but at its heart, the cards are what’s most important. And, sometimes, I will resort to very non-collectorish behavior just to add an item to the Phillies card collection. Case in point: the 1990 Starting Lineup Juan Samuel.
That year, Kenner decided to make a change to the packaging and include a card celebrating the player’s rookie season. In 1990, Samuel was just one of many players who played with a different team during his rookie year, and like all those other players, there were cards in his Starting Lineup packaging showing him with two different teams. Even though I didn’t want the Samuel Mets figure, I really wanted the Samuel Rookie Year card from the packaging. I figured I would just wait until I found the card on the secondary market.
You can probably see where I’m going with this.
Yes, I did finally get tired of waiting and took matters into my own hands. I hunted for and found a blister pack that was in a lesser condition, bought it, and liberated the Phillies baseball card goodness. I have no qualms about what I did. One, I needed that Samuel card. Two, the packaging was at best in VG-EX condition — I wouldn’t have done this to a piece that was in the type of condition that would’ve made a SLU collector properly drool. And, three, the way I see it, in my own small way I helped make the remaining unopened Juan Samuel figures just a little more valuable. Besides, the reason I have all the other Phillies Starting Lineup cards throughout the ’80s and ’90s is that I actually purchased and opened packages when they were new. All I really did was wait 23 years before doing the same to this particular package. Based on the sticker price shown on the cardboard backing, and taking inflation into account, I spent roughly the same amount on it that I would have back when it was new. Clearly, this was not an investment-grade item.
So, if anyone is interested in the figure or the Mets card, send an email to mattapp@[insert name of Google’s email service].com 🙂