Sometimes you meet people in the hobby who have been away for a while but used to be huge buyers "back in the day." I often find that these people have some crazy valuations about cards, especially their cards, and it can take some time to talk trades of purchases before you find something reasonable. But it's often worth it in the end, even if it can be a bit headachy in the process. This is one of those stories.
The guy messaged me first on Blowout, as a fairly new member with like ten posts to his name. He mentioned he was returning to the hobby and that he busted a ton of college product around the turn of the century. He kept any teams/players that interested him, meaning he had a fairly substantial collection of cards of various college players, including Seneca Wallace. I needed just one of the cards, but it's one I had never seen before, so I was hooked. So the fun began.
I first offered to buy it outright, but he said he'd rather trade for certain Nebraska players.
So I looked some up and found a few he might like. But he said they wouldn't be enough, because the Seneca was one of his better pulls back in the day and, as he put it, it was one of the key value cards should he ever decide to sell his Iowa State cards as a group.
Key card? It's like a $20 card!
That sucked to hear, but it was his card so he had the right to price as he wished, and since he had been away for a bit his pricing was a little...off. So I went digging. And I found this beautiful dual on-card auto of Roger Craig and Tommie Frazier /50:
Thinking to myself that a dual on-card auto of two of the best players to play for this dude's favorite college was an easy trade, I offered it to him via Blowout.
And he said NO. His reasons:
1. It's not numbered (which IT IS, on the back, out of /50)
2. Roger Craig signs a lot, so his autos aren't that rare (fair enough)
3. It's not a rookie card or anything (Tommie Frazier has precious few rookie cards and the guy only needed the crazy rare ones, like me with Seneca. So this wasn't gonna happen for me)
Needless to say, value wise and in regards to point #1, I was not a happy trader. I answered totally nicely and said I'd keep digging, but IMnotsoHO, this was PLENTY for the Seneca Proof. So as I fumed, I messaged Dennis of Too Many Manninghams, and in the process of our convo he jokingly found a few rare-ish/cheap-ish Nebraska cards on COMC, just for funzies (It was like a plate, an auto /25 of some QB, and a jersey card I think).
And then we joked about how it'd be funny if I offered those cards to the guy for the Seneca.
So I did.
And it worked.
I was stunned.
Even more stunning - the guy was really appreciative of the digging (we) did, and said he thought he had some Shyrone Stiths and Rod Smarts too so he'd look for those. He didn't find any new Smarts, but he did find quite a few Stiths I needed, including one /15.
So he made everything well worth my while, and I ended up sending him the dual auto /50 too because it's better in his PC than mine. It just took...a while, as things sometimes can when old box breakers return to the hobby these days. But it was well worth it, and it turns out he has some J.R. Redmonds I might need too, so it looks like we'll probably end up trading again down the line. All's well that ends well.
All that said, you probably expected to see some cards. So here's the new cards haul - only five, though he sent like 20. All the Rod Smarts were doubles and then I had a few incorrectly listed Shyrone Stiths on my list so those "new" cards ended up not being new. But these ones were:
He also sent this Leaf Red Preview XX/50 that I swear I had:
Turns out I was just watching it on Ebay for a while. Again, no longer.
Then there's the epic /15 card that's new. He apologized for the condition/chipping, as it's a tricky set to find mint condition for. I laughed because condition is never a big deal for me, especially with rare cards of PC needs:
And then of course there's the card that started it all. Seneca's Sage Jersey Player Proof /20. It's a nice little two color:
And that's how I ended up with two huge PC gets under /20. May all your interactions with hobby returners be just as fruitful in the coming months!