It’s crazy to think that more time has passed since I quit supercollecting Canseco than the entire time I was a Canseco supercollector. Admittedly, it is a bit difficult to quantify exactly *when* I became one.
In October 2013, I wrote about how I was going to sell my entire childhood Canseco collection. I loooove one of the things I wrote in that article:
Seriously? A serial stalker? Oh, 2013 Tanner – wait until you meet 2014-2018 Tanner LOL. Here’s a pic of the bulk of my collection in 2013 that I sold. The biggest card I owned was probably a 95 Donruss Elite.
It didn’t take me long to consider the question “What if I were to have another go at a Canseco collection, but do it right this time?” My website records that I pondered this a mere month after I sold everything in October of 2013.
I don’t think that is when I can truly say I became a supercollector. Maybe it was when I first went on a Canseco buying binge. Or perhaps it was when I made my first ever Canseco custom cards and had him sign them.
Or was it when I literally went to Canseco’s house, having him wear a bunch of jerseys and sign a bunch of my customs?
Upon searching my website for any mention of when I may have become a supercollector, I found this gem titled “Join me LIVE in going to Super Collector status … plus … customs!” – an article written on January 23, 2015. If that’s the case, then based upon my public message talking about walking away from supercollecting Canseco in June of 2018 I would have really only been hardcore looking for anything and everything Canseco for about 3 1/2 years! Wow, that is shocking to me.
As you may or may not know, I’ve had quite the journey post supercollector-dom. I’ve come back to collect him mere months later (albeit in a much more limited capacity) much like I did when I sold out the first time in 2013. My criteria was fairly simple…ish. Collect only the Canseco cards that I love. No more going after every rainbow under the sun, and everything with a 1/1 stamp.
This has proven to be quite fulfilling for me, and has allowed me to dive into the wonderful world of collecting vintage. Not only that, but also as my previous article talked about, I’ve enjoyed dabbling into comic books, M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, and most importantly to me, Transformers.
Since I sold out, I have bought out multiple Canseco supercollections, and it is possible that I’ve bought/sold more high-end Canseco cards than anyone else on the planet. 2022 has certainly been a down year, as I’ve sold much more Canseco than I have bought, and have added less than 5 cards to my PC.
I think that is largely because I’m super content and happy with my existing Canseco collection, though, there are a number of cards of his I would absolutely love to get my hands on!
That leads to this: For Christmas this year, I decided to modify a Canseco tree I made a while back – this time, utilizing 33 of my favorite cards (because, well … his # was 33!)
There are several other cards that would could easily go on this tree too, but I thought the shape, number, and category coverage in this works well.
I have a number of stories behind each card, so I’ll tell a few of them along the way, while giving you a close up shot of each branch … err … leaf … err … card.
Here they are from bottom to top, left to right.
The Trunk features Allen & Ginter minis: A wood 1/1, his only mini superfractor 1/1, and a metal /3.
2004 SP Game Used Patch Legendary Fabrics #/25 – my favorite patch I’ve ever seen in this card – it has the elephant logo’s face!
2018 Bowman’s Best Superfractor 1/1 – To my knowledge, his only Blue Jays superfractor at the time of this writing.
2016 Museum Barrel 1/1 – I have the video of this being pulled online. I sold it, and was able to trade back for it after it bounced around a couple times to various collectors, including my friend Jon. While I have had several Canseco barrel cards over the years, it is perhaps my favorite barrel of his, given the design, full name, and model name perfectly centered!
2019 Topps 1984 Style Superfractor 1/1 – I’m a huge fan of the 84 Topps design, and just love how it looks.
2001 UD Game Patch Gold /25 – Quite possibly the most colorful patch card that Canseco has ever had, and the best I’ve seen in this set! This card has legendary status, as a small, grainy picture of this card has bumped around among collectors for several years, without knowledge of where it was. It is also one of only 2 types of patch cards that were produced during his playing career, if I recall correctly. Words cannot express how delighted I am to own this! Given it is a playing career card of his, and possibly his most colorful (and perhaps most aesthetically pleasing?) patch, this has the potential of being considered his best patch card, ever. (As the owner, yeah, I’m biased, but I’d probably say that before it was in my collection as well!)
2010 UD Exquisite Collection – A unicorn patch card where it is estimated only 5 were produced. This is a highly sought after set, and I think the other 4 of this card are already locked up in collections! This card is a dream come true to own.
2017 Leaf Q 1/1 Logo patch – If ever there was a perfect Leaf card, this is it! The colors, holographic foil, and massive logo patch all work together so well! It is one of the few cards I kept from my original collection. Quite possibly my favorite A’s logo patch card of his that, in my opinion, outshines most (if not all) of his high end licensed logo patch cards. I remember landing this when my family was on vacation during Thanksgiving at Legoland.
2020 Topps Sterling Bat knob 1/1 – The knob markings, design, and finish make this my favorite Canseco knob card I’ve ever seen. I’ve had several knobs in the past, but this one is my favorite to look at.
2000 UD Game Patch – This logo patch is legendary. It is the best I’ve ever seen in this release for Canseco, and is his very first patch card. Having the best and first marks this high on my favorites list. I traded my buddy Curtis a lot … and I mean a LOT for it (including a barrel!) I still think I got the better end of the deal! Another card that I’d consider to be a candidate for his best patch card, given it is a nice logo patch, and his first ever patch card.
1999 Fleer Brilliants 24k /24 – A very slippery card. I’ve bought and sold it a few times, though I’ve never seen it on the open market. It never comes up, but I can almost guarantee you the next time it does, it’s gonna go higher than Canseco’s 89 ALCS upper decker moon shot. It is among the most gorgeous of cards ever to have been made. Truly a gem to enjoy looking at.
2016 Archives Signature Series 1997 Finest Refractor 1/1 – I used to have the lion share of the Canseco buybacks, and now don’t have many at all, but a few special ones. This is my favorite. It is the only one I’ve seen that is a playing days refractor, so it is super special, and super gorgeous!
2003 Flair Greats Sweet Swatch 1989 World Series logo patch – Fleer advertised the 1/1 with the middle portion of the World Series patch back in the day, and I remember watching the card with the right side of the patch being pulled from a pack on youtube. This card makes me super giddy, especially because it is a patch from the series of what I would consider to be the pinnacle of my childhood – the 1989 World Series, or, the Battle of the Bay! I still remember my house shaking due to the earthquake, even though we lived hours away.
2018 Triple Threads “Cartoon Hero” Wood 1/1 – At the end of 2018, my entire family was sick and bed-ridden with the flu. We had recently found out we were pregnant with Beckett, my dad had passed away a couple months prior, and I was about to launch my book (Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict – on Amazon – grab your copy today!). Like any cardboard addict, I was sick as a dog looking on eBay for my next fix. Lo and behold, the Canseco wood 1/1 pops up – the one that has a Simpsons reference! I have a strong connection to that episode and even self-inserted myself once.
I lost out. By $25.
Luckily, my friend Curtis picked it up, and since Jose had a few other 1/1s, he said he would trade it if I could land another 1/1 since the Simpsons didn’t mean anything to him. I had to go through three other collectors to do trades and buys to make it work, but ultimately ended up getting the card!
2018 Museum Wood 1/1 – In the past, I’ve been fortunate enough to have owned all the Museum woods of Canseco at one point or another. I loved the 2015, but when the 2017 came out, I loved the 2017 way more. I ended up selling it when I sold out of my supercollection, and thankfully, the 2018 found its way into my collection. It is a true work of art! I’m not sure if I like the ’17 or ’18 better, but either way, I’m super thankful to have another fine example of a Museum wood card.
2016 Topps Own the Name 1/1 – I just love these full letter cards. In fact, I’ve put together a few custom sets myself! But very happy to have an example of one in my collection.
2019 Flawless Rawlings Sleeve Tag 1/1 – I had the entire rainbow of this, and wish I still did, but ultimately got to keep the 1/1. Rawlings tags are extremely difficult to come by for Canseco, so this is an incredibly tough card.
1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified Platinum Gold Dealer Sample – the pack pulled versions of this are incredibly difficult, but this is way rarer. I actually sold this card, and traded back for it. Super happy. This would be a top candidate for a card to stay in my forever collection! It is perfect and quite possibly my most favorite 90s card ever made.
2019 National Treasures Rookie Laundry Tag 1/1 – I won this on Thanksgiving day of 2019, and my jaw absolutely dropped. This laundry tag is from a rookie game used jersey that I was able to trace to an auction house. It is by far my favorite laundry tag card of Canseco that has ever been produced!
1998 Donruss Crusade Red /25 – If there was a contest to show what 90s parallel is top dog, the Red Crusade just might take the crown. Absolutely gorgeous, and iconic – grail status in every sense of the meaning! I’ve been fortunate to own three or so over the years, and am thankful I have one now!
2015 Topps Dynasty 25th Anniversary Sleeve Patch /5 – This card has been bought, sold, bought, and sold. The Dynasty set is one of the few licensed patch runs for Canseco, and I’ve had nearly a third of all of the production run at one time or another, including two of the five 1/1s. The two 1/1s I had were sold once I worked to move my entire supercollection, but eventually bought a hoard of others. When they were just sitting in a box here, I figured they’d do much better for me in the form of a killer vintage card.
During my last selling spree, I moved this card as well, then really felt like I made a mistake, since the patch was so rare and the card was so beautiful. The next day before I shipped out, I made another deal to keep it with me. I’m glad I did! It is a superb example of a Canseco Dynasty card. For a long time, it irked me that it wasn’t a “1/1” but as time goes by, the more 1/1s they create, the less the serial number means to me, and the more the actual content of the card means to me. To me, this patch surpasses that vast majority of 1/1 cards out there today.
1998 E-X2001 Essential Credentials Future /61 – This is one of the two parallels in the set, and is incredibly gorgeous. In fact, if either one of the parallels were a standalone, they just might be up for consideration for top card of the 90s! Instead, they make up perhaps the greatest 1-2 parallel punch the 90s has to offer.
1999 Ultimate Victory Gold 1/1 – I’ve long considered this as quite possibly the most beautiful card the 90s has to offer. The gold holographic style foil looks like it fuses multiple technologies together. It’s one of those cards that doesn’t get much recognition because there isn’t a camaraderie other collectors who have this same card. If you have one, the ability to rub shoulders with multiple people who have the same card simply isn’t there. For example, if you have a Red Crusade, 24 other people might have one, too. It is like being a part of an exclusive club.
2016 Gypsy Queen Button 1/1 – This is my favorite button card that has ever been created for Canseco. I ended up selling it, and trading a whole slew of cards to get it back! Very happy it is back in my collection.
2021 Topps All Star Rookie Cup Foilfractor Auto 1/1 – Jose’s first and only (so far!) foilfractor autographed card. This card looks like it fuses superfractor and refractor technology together. It is one of the more fun cards to flick back and forth under light!
1998 E-X2001 Essential Credentials Now /40 – Everything I said to the Future /61 card applies to this one. Putting these two together … WOW. Perhaps the best 1-2 punch in all of the 90s.
1998 Leaf Fractal Diamond Axis Executive Prototype Die Cut – Extremely underrated card where, there might be only one or two Executive Prototypes that have been created. These are insanely beautiful die cut cards, and it is one of my favorites!
2004 Topps Retired Chrome Refractor Auto /25 – Another card I sold, but ended up getting it back in my collection. (Thank you for dealing it back to me, Chad!) It is my favorite refractor auto of Canseco. It is just super striking!
2003 Topps Retired Chrome Refractor Auto /25 – Another card that would be in contention with my favorite refractor auto. It has beautiful white borders, and a gorgeous blue sky background. It’s like the opposite of the 2004!
2020 Topps Transcendent Wood Framed Sketch 1/1 – In mid 2021, Steve Y. reached out to me asking if I was interested in this card he pulled. When I woke up and saw this message, I was floored! What did he want in exchange? Nothing. He literally gave it to me. It now sits atop my Canseco Christmas tree as one of my favorite cards. As an added bonus, I know the artist of the card, Dan Bergren. Man, he does an incredible job!
So there you have an up close look at my Canseco Christmas tree, consisting of 33 pieces. There are a number of cards I kind of cringe that I couldn’t fit in, including a card I’ll never show publicly, but I think this tree allows me to satisfy a number of categories: Superfractor, barrel, knob, button, laundry tag, logo patch, world series patch, anniversary patch, foilfractor, sketch, buyback, mini, wood, metal, nameplate, prototype, etc. – that is kind of what helps me to be okay with owning ONE barrel, instead of ALL of them.
Oh, and while we’re at it, I figured I’d share my Canseco Claus refractor minis I created, along with a Canseco Claus snow globe.
Yes, the snow globe works – it sits on my desk, and I shake it several times during the day – if I’m being honest, this thing is probably gonna sit here for far longer than December 25th. I love it!
Man, I’m tempted to do a Vintage card Christmas tree … and even a Canseco Custom Card Christmas Tree! That would be fun. Here is the Canseco Tree one last time:
As always, thank you for reading while I gush over Canseco cards. Merry Christmas to all of you – I hope Santa brings you all some killer PC cards to your collections!
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