This card is a perfect example of why I am a Red Sox team collector. It illustrates clearly why I am a much happier collector since I decided to focus on the seven-time World Champions.
I acquired this card during the ’85-86 off-season. I just had to have it. I didn’t have many “old” cards like this one. I loved the photo showing the red caps, and pullover uniform top. I also didn’t have any cards displaying the Topps All-Star rookie cup. What a great element. (Of course, I just had to wait a couple months to get some more since Topps included them on their 1987 set) The card was so perfect that I was willing to overlook the small pinhole at the top of Rice’s cap. I didn’t care. What did I need to give up to add this beauty to my collection? A1984 Fleer rookie card of some youngster named Darryl Strawberry. Sure, he was an up and coming star. Sure he just beat my Sox in the World Series. It was still well worth parting with his rookie in order to grab this Rice.
Of course, in the coming years, I wouldn’t be so positive about that. I watched Strawberry have monster year after monster year. The value of his rookie cards shot through the roof. Rice on the other hand started limping to the end of his career. But, I was still glad I had the Rice card, even if it meant taking it on the chin with Strawberry. Then, of course, things reversed themselves. The value of the Strawberry card went in the toilet along with his career. Suddenly, the Rice card was the better of the two again.
Which, I suppose, is the moral of the story. If you collect what you like, you’ll always be pleased with it. If you try to collect all the hot young stars, you’re going to be burned along the way. Sure, I might have been able to get more for my Strawberry if I had dumped him at his absolute peak. But, I still love the Rice.
And that’s really all that matters.