|1988 Topps Traded 44. Ty Griffin|
There's a good chance I'll never pull another card with as long as odds as 1:35,981. Those were my chances of getting a buyback from 2001 Topps Traded and Rookies Baseball. Yet, for whatever reason I managed to break the odds. And what did it land me? Ty Griffin biting his lip. And there's also no notation designating it as a buyback or a foil stamp like on the Topps Heritage buybacks. Nothing. Just the regular old card. So I can't even toss it on eBay and make more than a penny on the pretence that it's rare on the basis of a technicality or a serial number.
So while other people brag about their 1:1000 autograph hits, I'm left lamenting over what might have been had my "hit of a lifetime" be in the form of something more than a guy whose professional career didn't even amount to a call to the Bigs. Oddly enough, I'm also reluctant to part ways with my Ty, simply because it's a symbol of what could have been.
2001 marked Topps' 50th anniversary with baseball so the entire year had a historical theme. I had a blast busting packs that year, but one has to acknowledge that buy backs were a silly idea at such astronomical odds. Honestly, I'd have preferred another shot at an Albert Pujols rookie from the regular set. While the Topps Traded line is an important part of the modern collecting legacy, so few cards have made a major impact on the hobby that they need to be seeded at such long odds.
To see how far they've come, one need not look any further than the Topps Million Card Giveaway. They're everywhere already and we still have 2010 Topps Series Two Baseball and Updates and Highlights yet to come. Getting a Ty Griffin buy back at 1:6 odds is definitely not the kick in the nuts that 1:35,981 is.
Which big pulls have haunted your collection?