I'm a 90's kid. Well, technically I'm an 80's baby - but the 90's will always be the decade of fond childhood remembrances. And that holds true for my collecting interests as well.
From a collecting standpoint, that's great. While some of the higher end 90's inserts and benchmark cards have blown up in price recently, those lower tiers - inserts, rookies, and just flat out great looking cards - have largely been replaced in the collective collecting conscience. And that, my friends, makes for a dimebox digger's dream.
Though my collecting had slowed, 1998 and 1999 marked a significant increase in my sports fandom as I gained a better understanding for the games and the players. I can probably at least in part thank video games for that, as my neighborhood friends and I spent hours playing NFL Quarterback Club and MLB '98 on our Nintendo 64's.
There was perhaps no bigger deal in my sports world during those years than the rookie classes of '98 and '99. Perhaps it's just the naivete of youth, but those rookie classes of Manning, Moss, and Leaf in '98 and Rickey Williams, Edgerrin James, and a host of quarterbacks seemed like the biggest thing at the time. While obviously the careers of those players have gone in a multitude of directions, so have their cards.
I was thrilled to find this Rickey Williams Bowman Chrome RC in a quarter box at a recent show. Even a single pack of Bowman Chrome was well above my (mom's) price point in '99, let alone the hottest card in the set. The card was an immediate flashback, and the leather textured borders of the set have always made it one of my favorite designs.
But the real steal of the show (ok, maybe not in terms of "value") was this '98 Flair Showcase Leaf RC in a dime box chock full of 90's high end base cards. At the time, 9 year old me was convinced Leaf was a better quarterback than Peyton Manning by leaps and bounds. He just looked like a quarterback, dammit. Obviously I was dead wrong. But part of me still believes there's an alternate universe where Ryan Leaf is coming off his third Super Bowl victory this off season, and Peyton is spending his days babysitting Eli's kids (though I have warmed significantly to the elder Manning brother over the years.
I guess everybody has those favorites - the cards you once coveted and can now piick up for almost nothing. But for $.35, these two cards brought me more enjoyment and excitement than any $50 patch/auto could possibly hope to.