Saturday, September 1, 2012

Best upgrade ever, aka 2003 Leaf Mirror Blue /50 screwed the pooch but I dig it

This post may be a little long, so...bear with me.
I am oh so clever...

So I recently saw a Seneca Wallace card pop up on Ebay, and though it was a card I already had it had a neat difference that made it especially cool.  See, it was the second ever semi-legit Shield logo card I've ever seen of Seneca (the first being his 1/1 Mirror Black), which in the collecting community (well the forum collecting community anyway since they're all about relics and autos and whatnot) is basically the best kind of card possible.  The NFL shield is THE piece you want on your card, and it often brings a pretty little premium along with it if you're a re-seller.

Of course with big trends in cards come people who try to fake them to make a few bucks, so shields are often faked, and this one seemed suspicious to me.  See, it was a 2003 Leaf Mirror Blue, and the partial shield on this card was in a window marked "shoe."  Shoes don't have shields, and Seneca's Rookie Premiere shoes were black and white, not the blue in the background of the shield.  So...fake?

Nope.  I did some research, and it turns out 2003 LCM Mirror Blue messed it up.  See, the 1/1 Black, /5 Emerald, and the /25 Gold all had the helmet piece on the right side of the card where my Seneca shield was.  Here are two examples of a helmet piece on the right and the shoe piece on the left middle:

See how the bottom card has that shield showing?  That's kind of like the Seneca I found, but like I said the window on mine said shoe.  But then I noticed this Seneca from another collector's collection - it's the bottom left card:
See how it has that weird warning sign?  Those also aren't on shoes, but they are on helmets!  I found a few other similar cards with non-shoe pieces in that window, and I quickly learned that 2003 Mirror Blue /50 has a helmet piece in that space on almost every card.  Makes sense - you have the swatches set up one way for Gold, Black, and Emerald, and they must have forgotten to switch whatever places the swatches there for the Blues.  But man, talk about your errors across an entire print run!

Anyway, knowing this piece was now real, I needed it.  Thing is, I hadn't started my new job yet and didn't have the money to spend on this, especially since it was listed at $49.99 (or best offer).  So I quickly put up a bunch of sale threads on the forum, and after selling three lots I ended up at about $29.  I threw out an offer of $22, which is pretty fair (the normal card books at $20 and I bought the original for like $3 delivered).  The guy agreed, and now I have my first shield card of Seneca Wallace:
To a lot of you who love base and vintage, this may not seem like much, but it's really like the second best card in my entire Seneca collection now, if not number one!  And as much as I originally was like "ehhhh, it's just a piece of shield," it looks utterly FANTASTIC in person.  You can see a few of the stars from the shield, and the big old N with part of the F - it's great.  And along the way picking it up I learned a bit about a set and made a few bucks, so I'm glad everything worked out the way it did!  Cards are always better when they come with a great story.


  1. Sweet. Is there an MLB equivalent to the NFL shield? I can't quite think of one off the top of my head.

  2. Not that I can think of. I mean I guess it would be an MLB logo but I don't see any of those around ever. I wonder if they put those in cards?