I ended up being second in line, and I waited patiently to find out if the first deal would fall through. Luck was a lady that afternoon, and $30 later I had one of the highest-end cards in my PC on the way to my mailbox. Judge for yourselves if that $30 was wisely spent on a card that arrived in my mailbox this very afternoon:
Stan Musial 2004 Donruss Leather & Lumber Leathercuts auto (#84/96)
Um, wow. And you only want $30 for this? Are you sure? So, the obvious flaw is the peeling going on starting from the middle of the front left edge. The scan actually does a pretty good job of showing just how minor of a flaw it really is. And whether you can get past that or not, let me reiterate that this is AN AUTOGRAPH OF A HOFer WHO WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS OF ALL TIME. Yeah, I'm pretty excited.
This will simply fit in beautifully with my collection of baseball HOF autos (some are duplicated due to their showing up in multiple albums) and easily becomes one of the best cards in my collection period. In terms of autographs, he's neck-and-neck with Willie Mays for best player, ahead of Juniors Ripken and Griffey and the Baltimore Robinsons, not to mention Warren Spahn and Tony Gwynn.
I'm still in shock because you just can't get a Musial autograph this cheap these days, and rightly so. A member of the Hall of Fame class of 1969, he was a .331/.417/.559 hitter in 22 seasons, compiled an amazing 3,630 career hits and 475 HR, and won three MVPs and World Series rings. Oh yeah, and every one of his Baseball-Reference Similarity Scores players is also in the Hall except noted cheater Rafael Palmerio. For an entertaining read about his career and life, check out Stan Musial: an American Life by George Vecsey.
Well, I can't imagine I'll be able to top this one for a while, but regardless, it's 100% awesome to have something like this appear out of the blue and jump right into my collection. I hope each of you have had a similar experience, and if not, will soon. You just never know what might show up in your mailbox tomorrow--maybe even The Man!