Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Top 10: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

I decided to enter a post in the Collecting Cutch contest of top 10 favorite cards in my collection. Although I am not trying to win the prize (they are all baseball) I thought it would be fun to take a look at what I would consider my Top 10 list of the soon to retire Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Jr. has been my all-time favorite driver for many years, and I suspect always will be. I have never really chased his cards though, because from 1999-2007 he was sponsored by Budweiser and all the cards have been censored. That stinks.Even so, I have nearly 1000 of him in my collection, according to the Trading Card Database.

Luckily, he joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2008 and was finally able to get some real cards.

 And now, the countdown....
#10 1998 Action
In 1998 and 1999, Dale Jr. ran the full Busch series schedule, and won the Championship both years. I was only a casual BGN watcher before then, but I began watching full time in late 1997. (I quit watching the series full time around 2010). This card, like all from Action, was released with the 1/64 die cast version of the car shown.

#9 1994 Optima XL
This is the first card ever issued for Dale Jr. At the time he was racing local-level late models, 2 years before his NASCAR debut. He did appear on some cards with his family previously but this is the first all his own. I bought it as a single a year or two after it came out.

#8 2012 Press Pass Burning Rubber
Dale Jr. had a long dry spell, winning at Michigan in 2008 and then nothing until 2011...when he won again at Michigan, in a special Batman one-off paint scheme. This card includes a piece of tire used on the #88 during that race. I pulled this one myself, it's SN 002/199.

#7 Dale Earnhardt The Artist's Series

As I mentioned the last time I talked about this set, I'm not sure it's 100% licensed, but who cares? It's actually a painting, not a photograph, and I hope I don't have to explain the significance of this card's image. From a factory set.

#6 2002 Sheet Metal card

I can't remember off the top of my head which set this came out of- VIP I think, maybe Premium. I took this image from my race used file so it was just labeled as Sheet Metal. Although the images have been censored, this is an actual piece of sheet metal from his car. My favorite kind of relic to get, I pulled this from a pack.

#5 2015 Press Pass Cup Chase Cuts
So what's better than a single relic of sheet metal? How about a dual relic? I pulled this one also. The blue is metallic which will eventually help me out when I build a replica of his 2nd Daytona 500 winner.

#4 2012 Showcase Green
Although it's nearly impossible to tell from this crappy scan, the foil is green and is SN to 5 copies. I couldn't afford a box of Showcase but I was thrilled to be able to add this one to my collection from Ebay.

#3 2012 Showcase Purple
But I was even more surprised and thrilled when I nabbed the 1/1 Purple on ebay as well! I didn't think I would be able to win it, and it is the most I've spent on a card of his- it cost me around $35 if I recall correctly. (I have gone over $20 for one card maybe three times in the last decade, including this one) The fact that I didn't pull it is why it's not ranked higher. I actually don't have the base version yet.

#2 2013 FanFare Magnificent Materials Dual
The added push of pulling this one myself gets it the nod over the 1/1 which I bought. I'm not sure if anyone else feels the same way as I do, but I always put more "collection weight" to a card I pulled over one I bought. The hat has a piece of the Chase Authentics logo.

#1 2003 Press Pass Signings
I've shown this card before, as recently as in the 30 Day Challenge. What can I say, this is my favorite NASCAR card in my collection! I pulled this from a single pack purchase from the Target in Kingston, NY, in late 2003. Even though at the time I considered NASCAR my favorite sport, I was not much of a NASCAR card collector. I'd get one pack or maybe two if I was lucky, of each set, while I was getting 2 boxes of every NBA set. After I pulled this one, I finally gave the NASCAR cards the attention they deserved, even going to the point of collecting NASCAR only from 2006-09, before adding non-sports back in and eventually, in 2012, going back to the NBA.

There's not many cards that I can truly say changed the course of my life but this one did.
It's my only autograph of his, and luckily it came before they started putting a sticker over the top of it. It's on-card, although I don't care about that like some people do.

Thanks for reading. Instead of just going with whatever I can get cheap I should look for a couple more premium cards of him, maybe I will do that soon.

Here are the two Previous Top 10 Lists I've done: Boxes I want to open  NHL Cards in my collection (as of 3/3/2015, now outdated)

If anyone would like to see more Top 10 lists, I could do them for each and every NASCAR driver...they are a lot of work though, this being my rarest series, only my third post in 3 years' time. I could do them for a handful of NBA players as well but I still have a lot of scanning to do before I could do it for the NBA. For the NHL I'm still so new to it I have only a couple of people clear the 10 card barrier at all yet and I don't think any of them have gotten that many scanned yet.

17 comments:

  1. That's a pretty sweet collection! You've got a lot of neat Dale Jr. stuff. I ought to do a Top 10 list for my Josh Wise and Danica Patrick collections. Race car cards are fun.

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    1. Thanks! There will be more coming soon, I hope!

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  2. He doesn't even look old enough to steer on the '94 Optima card! It's hard to fathom his upcoming retirement. That'll really end my connection with NASCAR.

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    1. He was either 19 or 20 when that was taken. Now that age would have gotten him into a cup car, but not back then!

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  3. It was fun to see how much he has changed over the years...and YES, it is time to look for more Premium cards!!

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    1. I concur! If only I had more than 9 cents in my COMC account!

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  4. Billy, did you see the email I sent a while back about the Junior collector tin and cards?

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    1. No I missed it. I check my email about once a month it seems like. About when did you send it?

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  5. I always hold more personal value over cards I pulled myself versus purchased elsewhere

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way. For me the hierarchy is:
      Cards I pulled
      Cards I received as a gift or traded for
      Cards I purchased

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  6. I loved when he drove that #3 AC Delco Chevy. I even had a couple of tees. Then once he got to Cup, I became anti-Junior.

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    1. We might have the same shirt, if only I could still fit into mine...

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    2. HA! I doubt I'd be able to fit into mine either.

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  7. I love seeing non baseball Top 10 lists. Thanks for being a noble participant. Email me and I will get something to you as a prize relating to your cardboard collection.

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    1. Thank you! I would be happy to get my link added to your final post :)

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