If you remember awhile back in my box break of Spx Football 1997, I mentioned picking up some packs of 1996 Spx Football and how later on I would tell you a story that was attached to them. Well, now is the time to tell that story. It's a sad one so try not to get your keyboard wet from your tears and I will try to do the same.
In 1996, I went to the yearly local card show with my father looking for new additions to my Ken Griffey Jr collection and to be able to open up some card packs of new product as well. As I walked around the show from dealer to dealer looking for gems, I kept hearing these great things about this new product called Spx and how everyone had to get their hands onto it because of its design, rare inserts and the possibility of pulling autographs of Joe Montana and Dan Marino. I knew I had to have some.
I continued walking around the show a couple more table before deciding that I needed to make my way back to the main dealer who was the only one selling the Spx ( he also ran the ONLY local LCS and was running the show) to make sure it didn't sell out and saw that the box of Spx only had a third of it left. I knew I had to buy some then or I probably would miss out. Then I looked at the price tag of $6.99 per pack and knew if I wanted to add anything else to my collection at the show because of my low card budget, I would only be able to pick up a couple of packs. But I knew it was better than none. I began to reach into the box when my friend's uncle Tim came over to show me his stack of cards he had already bought from the box. There were some great looking cards that only made me want them more so I grabbed the top two packs.
I paid for the packs and handed one to my father and kept one for myself while Tim stayed to watch us open. The pack my father opened yielded him a Emmitt Smith base card (that later when I got back to my parents house my mother who collected Emmitt scooped away) and then my pack had this Barry Sanders base card in it:
Just as we were closing in on the next dealers table, I all of a sudden felt a quietness over the show. Dealers from other tables and fellow collectors at the show started to head towards Tim at the main dealers table, so my father and I did the same.
As we approached him I could see him holding an Spx wrapper backwards and the dealer handing him a toploader and penny sleeve. I managed my way through a few collectors and could see him holding in his possession a........STINKING JOE MONTANA SPX UPPER DECK TRIBUTE AUTOGRAPHED CARD!!!!! (if you are wondering what one looks like look HERE) I could only stare with my jaw dropped then immediately wondered what might have been. What would have happened had I not wanted more Griffeys and simply just picked up another pack or two? Would that have been mine? Could have that been mine? OH MAN! I can't believe it! What a card! I congratulated Tim and continued on with the show holding in possession a Barry Sanders card that would always make think back to that moment and what could have been.
So to this day, every time I stumble upon this card when sorting, it brings me back to that moment. The time I almost could have pulled a Joe Montana autograph. I then wonder how many other collectors have been through something like this. If you have, please share. I will try to hold back my tears as I hope you did for me.