The last trade of 2023 was a super fun one, and it capped off a phenomenal year for my Canseco PC.

For a little bit of a back story, the first card I remember ever pulling is a 1987 Topps Jose Canseco. While it isn’t his true rookie, it is his most popular Topps card, and perhaps his second most popular card ever, behind his Rated Rookie.

In 2017, Topps came out with a set called “Clearly Authentic”. In it was a 1986 Topps Canseco Rookie Reprint – and a 1/1 parallel. I thought it was the coolest thing – well, the coolest thing to me would be a 1987 version, but still …

Oh, and the ’86 style version sold for $1,600 once upon a time.

Fast forward a year later, 2018 Clearly Authentic came out … about a month after I called it quits for supercollecting. Wouldn’t you know it? Topps made an ’87 version with … you guessed it … a 1/1 parallel.


It took FIVE years for that card to surface, and it is now in my collection! This card means more to me now than it would have when I was supercollecting, because I try to satisfy certain “categories”. This card does that on two levels: it is a special 1/1 version of the first card I pulled, and is a 1/1 clear card. I guess you can say I’m … CLEARLY happy with this addition … bwahahahha!

So the next card was one I had previously in my collection a couple of times. For whatever reason, I moved it, maybe because I was sick of all the buybacks, I’m not sure. But this one is different.

In mid 2002, Jose officially retired from baseball at the age of 37. To me, that’s crazy. It means he’s been retired for over two decades, and at the time of this writing, I’m 6 years older than he was when his career was over.

A few months later, Donruss released some special buyback cards called the “Recollection Collection”. Soon after his retirement, collectors were treated to a chance of a pack-pulled signed card of Jose’s most famous card ever, the Rated Rookie. It is quite possible he signed these before he retired, which were in turn released after he retired.

Limited to only 21 copies, this buyback captures something that perhaps no other buyback of Canseco can. It takes a card which is not only his most famous, but is in the running for most hyped card of the 80s. There was a time when a base card of this was selling for $175. It’s the stuff dreams were made of for collectors in the 80s.

Imagine pulling that very card, but signed by the man himself right around the time he retired. Now imagine being able to land one of them over 20 years after it was released! Yeah, I’m happy.