As a buyer and seller of baseball card collections for 15 years, I always enjoy being neck deep in cardboard. When it comes to buying Canseco collections, it is way more exciting for me, as I am able to keep out what I want instead of just selling everything. Check out how this last month went for me!
BUYING MATT’S CANSECO SUPERCOLLECTION
About 2 years ago, I was in the thick of selling off my Jose Canseco supercollection. One of the very first people to buy a significant portion of it was noted Jose Canseco Supercollector Matt. If you are in the Canseco collecting community, you know who Matt is. Like me, Matt had a website showing all of his cards, which eventually grew to well over 2,600 unique cards. When I told him I was selling off in 2018, he was shocked, but ultimately finished off the day being around 100 new cards richer from my collection. He would come back over the next few months to make a few other good sized purchases as well.
Fast forward 2 years, I’m collecting again, though not trying to pickup everything – just cards I love. There is no longer a desire to get everything. I’ve enjoyed getting back cards I love and making trades with other collectors over the past couple of years.
I have been trying to work a deal with Matt for a few of my old cards, but he would not budge. He wasn’t trading, and certainly not selling. Understandable! I have a number of cards like that myself. When I saw this, I fell out of my chair. (Figuratively speaking, that is … I was actually in the bathroom about to hop in the shower.)
I gave him a ring to see what was up, and he said he was just getting bored, and was ready to focus on other collecting ventures. I completely get that – selling off was the right move for me, as I was able to diversify and fall in love with vintage, while maintaining the awestruck wonder I’ve had for Canseco cards ever since I was a child.
I was excited for the possibility of being able to get about five cards. But then a thought crept into my head. What if we could work a deal where I could buy him out of everything?
After thinking about it and going back & forth a bit, we negotiated a price to where we both felt comfortable. Matt, where he could put enough money in his pocket that would justify the extra shelf space, and me where I could sell off the majority of it to make some money (or at least offset the keepers), while keeping a number of cards for my own!
Matt did an incredible job of putting together a world class collection. It was well organized, had the majority of the grail cards that people can spend a lifetime trying to acquire, and yet never have the luxury of ever even seeing in real life. It was clean, top-loaded and in order. If this were a concert, Matt’s Canseco supercollection was a beautifully orchestrated symphony.
But the concert isn’t over.
BUYING ANDREW’S CANSECO SUPERCOLLECTION
As the curtains close on Matt’s collection, the audience is met with bass, and lots of it. A wicked guitar solo fills the air. It is now a heavy metal concert, and the band: Andrew’s Canseco supercollection.
Days after the deal with Matt was completed, Jose Canseco Supercollector Andrew called me up, saying he was ready to part ways with his massive collection, too. After a day or so, we agreed on pricing and I had a lot more Jose Canseco goodness coming my way. To put things into perspective, the total weight of Matt’s collection was about 75 pounds, whereas Andrew’s was close to 300 pounds.
Their collections were opposite in every way possible. Andrew was in the game a lot longer. He didn’t have everything perfectly top loaded or in order, and had a lot of doubles.
Shown below are pictures of many of the “keepers” from both collections, along with a few cards I already had, and various cards I traded for with the help of cards from the collections that I wasn’t in love with.
So, here we go!
Nearly 10% of the entire 1993 Finest Refractor print run!
Several Glory of Their Time patch cards with a glorious pencil moustache is, well, glorious!
Having one of these is awesome. Having three is incredible! It is extremely difficult to get a hold of one.
A nice hoard of the serial numbered inserts that started it all – the first ever pack pulled serial numbered cards. To pull a single Elite Canseco, you could reasonably expect to have to bust 52 cases. Finding a PSA 10? Forget about it!
This Leaf jumbo relic rainbow used to be mine … it is back home with me again! PS – Leaf, you are super cruel. A rainbow of 1/1, /2, /3, /5 & /15? Shame on you! 🙂
I was in love with this run when I first saw it – particularly the gold, because it is Jose’s first “wave” material card. Having the 1/1 was great! I actually had a number of the others as well, but sold them off because I didn’t want to get into doing rainbows again. Well … Andrew had everything else except the 1/1. So I guess I’m gonna keep ’em 🙂 They look marvelous together!
I already had the middle card which features a rookie gamer Rawlings tag. Having a jumbo patch and swatch from the same rookie gamer seems to fit very nicely!
I *NEVER* thought I would be able to see these again. I already had the middle (after having bought/sold/traded it back and forth several times), but the black framed Museum trio definitely looks like they belong in a museum together. They are special enough, and low numbered enough that they may never be seen again in our lifetime…unless another supercollector sells out, that is!
In 2014, 2015 & 2016, Museum produced a special sepia parallel limited to just five copies each. I came into the supercollecting game too late for the 2014 issue, but never did come to grips with the fact that if one showed up, it would literally take a supercollector selling out to secure one. I was able to get the 2015 and 2016, but as with most of my other cards, I sold them.
To my surprise, Andrew had the 2014 and 2016, but not the 2015. I felt like I was playing wack-a-mole with the sepias! I was able to secure the 2015 from another supercollector by trading and equally as rare gold version and a few other cards. After years, the chocolate trifecta is complete! Mmmm….chocolate….
I never got into Diamond Icons before, but this trio is striking, and all 1/x. 1/10, 1/5 and 1/1!
I LOATHE cards without pictures of the players on them, so in order for me to allow them into my collection, they have to be extremely special. The 2017 Leaf Q features nasty Rangers jumbo patches that are second to none, and are framed in glorious foil. If the above rainbow I called out Leaf on was shameful, check out the numbering on these! /1, /2, /3, /4 & /7. Most of these were mine previously, so getting them back – as a complete rainbow – is exciting! They are showstoppers, in spite of not having a pic of Jose.
Three patch cards from the same /10 card.
Three of the ten Bash Brothers dual patch cards? Cool!
All kinds of Trajectory patches! I’m so impressed with this set. Before I sold out, I had the middle chunk below, minus the Rawlings sleeve tag. I missed out on that one, as it was sold while I was sleeping years ago. The elephant patch is something I found on eBay just while I was getting off of work. When I got back into collecting again, I bought back the 7th one shown below, thinking it was the 2nd one. I was really bummed, but today, I just got the 2nd one back in a trade, thanks to cards from the 2 collections I didn’t need! Here they all are, joined for the first time in some instances and reunited in others.
These 20 year old Gold Label Die Cuts were cards I didn’t really think much about once I bought them and checked them off the list. Now that I have them back, I’m loving them more now than ever!
Another beautiful and rare trifecta! 1999 Flair Showcase Legacy
The ’99 Flairs are great, but the ’97 Flair trifecta is even better! The middle one was on my want list forever. I had never even seen it for sale until earlier this year. I picked it up and loved it, but now that the other two were in one of the collections to go along with it, I love it even more!
Patches, a hat hole and batting glove!
Prime Patches are some of my favorites. Several of these have different serial numbering, depending upon if the patch is from the number, chest logo, nameplate, etc. IMO you can’t have too many of them – the important part is the patch portion, so in my book, even doubles aren’t doubles.
What kind of post would this be without some grail junk wax goodness?
Shown below is nearly 25% of the entire 2015 Topps Dynasty Run. I already had the 25th anniversary patch, and got back the top left green with the baseball patch recently as well. Some of my favorites!
These patches are extremely difficult to land … here is a nice run of them!
If you thought rainbows with tons of parallels was a new thing, you would be wrong. Check out these 20+ year old rainbow runs from 1999 and 2000 Pacific Prism. WOW – the colors POP! These vary from fairly easy to find to seemingly impossible to find.
That last picture is shine overload, I get it. Many of them can stand on their own and make me drool. Here are 3 Prisms (including 1 from a previous set) that seem to go really well together.
These are all cards made of actual wood #/10, #/25, #/10 and #/25. I never thought I’d see these again. It is fun getting them, especially since 1987 featured a wood grain design!
These all refract beautifully – ranging from unnumbered to /5
I actually picked up the Red Crusade a few months back, but the green and purple are a welcome addition to complete the rainbow! The red is a grail card, in fact, it is widely considered as one of the three best cards produced in the 90s of Jose.
Very few things get me as excited as older prototype cards. The left hand side is a 1998 Leaf Fractal Matrix Unreleased Gold Prototype. It came as a COMPLETE shock to me. I had never seen one, so I didn’t even know it existed. It was just sitting very unassumingly in a sleeve. I nearly fell out of my chair!
To the right of it is a pack released beauty. The Diamond Axis. I already have the Executive Sample Prototype, but the one I noticed in going through the collection has something extra special going for it. It is # 33/50 – Jose’s jersey number! I don’t go hard on jersey numbered cards, however, I remember seeing this one several years ago thinking if I were to, this one would be it! I was unable to secure it. Unbeknownst to me, the exact 33/50 card was in one of the collections! Here is a picture of the two beauties together.
There are patch cards, and then there are PATCH cards. Landing any one of these from 2000-2001 Upper Deck is a treat. A card nearly 20 years old that is numbered to /25 is a pretty big deal, considering these are some of Jose’s first patch cards. We may see /25 as relatively high numbered these days. To put it into perspective, the chance of landing a similar patch card to one of the other unnumbered patch cards shown below was 1 in every 7,500-10,000 packs! These could be considered by many to be centerpiece items! Black, White, Yellow, Green, Blue, Turquoise, Purple … gahhh … love the colors – and textures – of these patches!
The source of these four are all different. The first one was a trade, the second one was purchase from overseas which became the first sale I made when I opened up my collection to the public for sale. My good friend Jon ended up with it and sold it back to me back in 2018 if I recall correctly. The third and fourth were from Andrew’s collection, though Andrew bought the fourth one from me to begin with. The first one is obviously my favorite, and it would not have happened had I not had good cards to trade! In fact, Andrew actually had the exact patch card Jon hoped to get back in his collection, so thanks to this deal, he was able to get it back!
The card I pleaded with Matt about the most to trade back to me over the years was the one in the middle: The 1998 Donruss Preferred Prized Collections. Its story actually begins 5 years ago when I purchased a large collection it was in. I didn’t think much about it, and even mislabeled it on my website. I didn’t even realize I had a rarity until a year or two into having it! With a print run of 55, it is pretty much perfect. It is hard for non 90’s enthusiasts to understand how big this card actually is. I’ve only seen it up for sale a couple of times. In fact, during the deal I was making with Matt, a former set collector of these sold out his collection. He spent 20 years tracking down nearly all of them, and told me Canseco was one of the few he could never find. It was a card that didn’t mean much to me the first time I had it. Now that I have it a second time, it has never shined brighter!
The card on the right is sneaky. Super sneaky. In fact, I didn’t even remember it having much shine and nearly dealt it away AGAIN before it came back to me. I decided to hold off selling it for a second time *just in case* it had a refractor finish. Sure enough – it did! Emblazoned on the back in big, black letters is “SAMPLE”. Like the middle card, it didn’t mean much to me the first time I picked it up, but after doing some research, it is apparent to me that it just might be rarer than the card in the middle! Both cards are in my wheelhouse – extreme rarity matched only by their extreme beauty. The card on the left is not rare – it is just there as eye candy to complete the trio since it is in the same run.
Have you ever looked at a rainbow/set and decide from the outset that it is simply impossible? That describes this run – 2000 Topps Tek Gold #/10. I had 15 of the 20. I paid good money to get these into my collection the first time, and sold them all to Matt. If Matt’s collection was a pot of gold, this would quite literally be the gold that shines brightest. While they were in Matt’s care, he added the red, and when I got them back, I was able to trade for the yellow. I am three away from the entire run – if you have any, please let me know!
Now that I have successfully eaten up all of your bandwidth, I should probably wrap this up. There are so many more noteworthy cards not shown, so I’ll finish up with one final graphic that includes a number of my favorites from both supercollections. Included are a letter patch that I’ve been wanting to get for a couple of years, three 1/1s that were initially mine, Grand Finale, Super Rave, a Material Ink auto patch that I tried extremely hard to pick up a few years ago from another seller, but failed (literally the exact same one!) and most notably for me, my favorite button card, ever. I had to trade BIG for it, but the trade simply would not have happened had I not been able to use cards from these collections.
In my entire collecting “career”, I have never experienced acquiring such depth of exciting cards in this amount of time. It doesn’t get any better than this for me. So many mysteries have been solved, runs completed, regrets of selling some cards have been washed away, and a number of trade opportunities have opened up! I sold a number of rarities from Matt’s collection, and thankfully, Andrew had copies of many of them as well, so what may have been a regret turned out to be several bullets dodged.
Taking the pictures shown above took a lot of time, but I had a TON of fun doing it – I may even consider taking pictures of pretty looking cards a hobby!
These past couple years since I sold off my supercollection have been a great time of learning and gaining experience. Getting back into collecting without the need for everything has made me truly appreciate beautiful cards that may not be rare. An unnumbered refractor means so much more to me now that it isn’t just a chore getting one to check it off the list. In doing so, even the bigger cards are that much more rewarding for me as well, and as you can see, I now have a lot.
If you have read my book, you may recall that I was contemplating buying out a massive collection, but decided not to, which ultimately ended in me selling off my own collection. It is funny how things have come full circle, but I am so glad they did. I’m having so much more fun now in this hobby than I ever have, and I think the key to it all was not trying to have it all, and focusing only on cards that I love.
It has been a few weeks since I’ve closed these deals, but am STILL super excited/joyful/grateful for them. Matt and Andrew, thank you for allowing me to be the home for your extremely impressive collections. You both built something to be proud of, and I couldn’t be happier.
Wow nice…I was a serious canseco collector back in the day. Still have a few autos and rookies…happy with what I have..grats to you
Thank you Ross!
I loved reading this. In a hobby that has become all about flipping and making a buck, it’s awesome to add a real collection. Congrats.
Thank you Dan! I really appreciate that.