Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Holy Grail FOUND: Jose Cortez Edition

A while back in my sidebar, I had two long term wants. One was a Ben Gay Titanium Jersey card /75. The other was a 2002 Wizards of the Coast NFL Showdown Jose Cortez card. I hadn't ever seen either card in years of searching, and figured an all call might help. No dice.

So I put a post up on the Blowout Forums to see if anyone could find the cards for me. After all, it had been years, so I figured why not. Post #1 looked like this, and was posted on 7/13/11. Months and months went by, and finally on 9/26/11 some guy found a site that said that Gay's jersey card never existed. That was the end of that, and after some sadness I gave up the Gay search.

The Cortez card, however, seemed to exist. NFL Showdown's own website said that the card existed, though none were available for purchase and the price was substantially higher than that of other cards. I also kept finding old haves list from 2004 or 2005 where people mentioned owning a Cortez. Yet the card wasn't on Ebay, or COMC, or Sportlots, or the Beckett Marketplace, or ANYWHERE. So it seemed this was just a dime box common that people were too lazy to dig for. Incentive was needed.

So on 9/29/11 I created ANOTHER finder's fee post. At first there were no nibbles, and I wasn't too concerned since Condition Poor made me a sweet custom of Cortez. If I wasn't destined to find the real thing, at least I had something! Here it is again in all its splendor:
However, on 10/7/11 everything changed, as a Blowout user named Meansfan commented saying he busted a TON of Showdown cards back in the day. He assumed he must have had at least a few Cortez cards. I hoped he was right.

Then later that night he said his old checklist claimed he owned a few. Don't tease me I thought...I've messaged so many potential leads and been shot down too many times...the old ticker just couldn't take it.

Then finally, two days later on 10/9/11, he posted a scan with a message to message him. THE CARD WAS FINALLY FOUND!  And now, it is MINE!
Ooooo. So pretty. I never played football NFL showdown so I think I would need to read up on the rules before any of this would make sense. Like why do you need a 6 for 32-41 yards but an 11 for 22-31 yards? Doesn't make any sense. I would've had Cortez on my team all day if I had played NFL Showdown instead of MLB Showdown back then.

Since this card represents years of searching, I figure the back deserves a look too, even if it is plain:
The back alludes to the confusion that led to some of my issues finding the card. The set is labeled 2003, but the production year was 2002, and Wizards of the Coast isn't detailed well in guides, so this card was crazy hard to pinpoint. Mostly though, it's just a case of a common card that was almost lost due to the sands of time. Thankfully I had a few bucks to spare and a guy with an old NFL Showdown habit reading my posts. Seeing this Cortez in person is easily one of my happiest moments as a card collector, as weird as that sounds. But hey, that's the thrill of the chase!


  1. Haha, love the story, and congrats on landing the card finally!

  2. Congratulations on reeling in your white whale!