Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Once in a Lifetime Topps Trade

"And you may ask yourself: did I get here?" Once in a Lifetime/The Talking Heads

If today's card were to ask me how it got here- into my possession- I'd simply tell it the story of a once in a lifetime trade, facilitated by Charlie over at Lifetime Topps Project. If you haven't checked out his blog, you really need to- it's one of my favorites in the blogosphere and is a goldmine of information on the various flagship offerings from Topps over the past thirty-five years.

Anyway, Charlie recently shared in a post about a couple of the white whales that he had picked up on eBay. One of the cards just so happens to be one that I've been searching for what seems to be a lifetime- the 1991 Topps Golden Spikes Award Mike Kelly card.

The cards were handed out during the USBF Awards Luncheon on November 20th of 1991, with only a reported 600 in existence. And while today's cards often feature cards with lower print runs, we are talking about a card from 23 years ago. Yes, they are very difficult to come by.

And you may ask yourself- How do I work this? 

I commented at the end of the post, congratulating Charlie and saying it was a card that I have long searched for. To my surprise, I was informed that he had picked up a second one in his purchase and that he was willing to trade it to me. So I dug furiously through a box of stuff, looking to find some items off of his wantlist & found enough to strike up a deal.

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife...
  • 1989 Freshman of the Year (Collegiate Baseball)
  • Named National Player of the Year during his Sophomore season by 4 agencies (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, The Sporting News, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association)
  • Only three-time All American in ASU history.
  • 1991 Golden Spikes Award
  • Member of the ASU Hall of Fame (2002)
  • Uniform #24 added to the ASU Baseball Wall of Fame (2014)

And you may ask yourself where is that large automobile? And you may tell yourself this is not my beautiful house, and you may tell yourself this is not my beautiful wife!

Atlanta chose the Arizona State outfielder second overall in the 1991 MLB draft. He was supposed to be a can't miss five-tool prospect, but instead he missed plenty...of pitches at the plate. A high strikeout/low contact rate doomed his professional career- although he would play in six major league seasons with four major league teams. 

Kelly may not have become the impact player that many (including yours truly) predicted, but you can not take away the fact that he was arguably one of the top collegiate players of the past twenty-five seasons. 

Thanks again, Charlie, for the opportunity to own this beautiful card.


  1. Glad we could trade! I know these are a bit rare to come by - glad I could send it to a Braves fan!

    1. Again, thank you. It was very much appreciated!!