I was in third grade at the time and knew already that I would one day be the everyday backstop for the Baltimore Orioles. For reasons still unknown to me, I always wanted to be a catcher going back to my days playing tee ball.
Do you understand how odd that statement is? A catcher in tee ball... not like I was actually doing any real catching, but I can still pull out my first little league baseball card and see my position on the back listed as catcher.
So being a sure thing for the Orioles I naturally was interested when my sister asked my father for some baseball cards. My father likely assumed my sisters interest would last as long as the fad did (a few weeks as I recall) and bought this giant box of cards for her to share with my brother and I. My sister quickly left the cards to me and my brother, and since he never really liked baseball as much as I did, I soon found myself the proud owner of a giant box of cards.
To this day I still own at least 90% of those cards. A ton of junk wax from the late 80's.
So needless to say I never made the Orioles let alone the freshman team in high school, but I did stick with collecting cards. I never really had a problem as a collector until I started getting nicer cards and needed to share the excitement... but all I ever got back were blank stares.
That is until one day my cousin Adam got a load of my collection and being the kick ass man that he is instantly understood my passion.
He caught the bug and started his own collection of hockey cards. Although I didn't collect hockey and he didn't collect baseball we still both could appreciate amazing pulls and finally I had someone I could go to when I needed to get the reaction a big pull deserved.
So Adam is a HUGE Pittsburgh fan and of course I am a Baltimore fan and we love to talk smack and enjoy the rivalry our two cities share. For the last 4 or 5 years we've put a wager of cards on the winner of the Ravens v Steelers game. This year we split so we each got each other some cards.
Traditionally we bought packs, but this year we both decided to pick up some relic cards. He picked me up 3 nice cards and I got him 1 very nice card.
Here is the card my cousin claimed in this years bet!
2011 Panini Luxury Suite Sydney Crosby dual relic. Numbered 19/20.
I know... sick card... right!?
Check out the cards I got in return!
2004 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Rafael Palmeiro bat/jersey relic 240/250.
First up is a dual relic of Rafael Palmeiro. This is actually my relic card of Raf, and despite his legendary denial in front of congress and subsequent failed drug test, is still one of my favorite Orioles and a Hall of Famer in my book.
The next two cards are great additions to my collection, but are both Pittsburgh cards. Obviously my cousins little jab at the rivalry.
2004 Donruss Elite rookie auto of Neil Walker 28/100. Walker is a budding star with the Pirates and after playing every position but pitcher for the Pirates found his calling at second base.
The real gem of the three cards was this bad boy...
2008 Donruss Sports Legends Roberto Clemente bat relic card 32/250.
This would be my second Clemente card and is an amazing addition to my collection.
So I know what you're thinking... where the hell is the contest!?!
My cousin didn't realize it at the time, but Roberto Clemente and Neil Walker actually share a unique bond that no other Pittsburgh Pirate shares.
If you can tell me what these two guys have in common you win my contest!
First person to answer correctly gets a prize.
Stay tuned for my follow up post detailing the winner in "Christmas Pulls part 3"
Yup... still detailing the holiday pulls.
Till next time
Thanks for reading