Thursday, March 3, 2016

Finding Greatness in the Duplicate box

Had a bit of a surprise tonight...but a very good one!

As you all know by now, I'm always scanning something. I've been working hard on some sets to post to the Database, but when I was getting them out I also got out some other cards I wanted to scan- including my stash of LeBron James rookie cards, most of which were not posted yet. I scanned the 2003-04 Standing O card yesterday. That turned out to be important.

Quite some time ago, I no longer remember when, my brother got me a clamshell repack from our local Target. He does this from time to time and while I remember this one specifically, I don't remember when it may have been anywhere between 2014 and summer 2015 but my gut feeling says 2014.

I was surprised to find that in the middle of the repack was a LeBron James RC- or so I thought. I was excited to find it, but the excitement faded quickly when my records showed that I already had it.

But 2003-04 Standing O is not a set I really have a lot of memories of. By the time it came out in 2004 I was starting to lose my enthusiasm. I was still getting every box that came out but I would catalog them in my paper listing then type them into my Excel chart, the one I've talked about several times that I lost to a floppy disk crash shortly afterwords. It was one of the last sets that came out before the time I sorted my collection by player, where it has been ever since, sometime in 2004.

That is a long way to go about saying that this is not a set I really know on sight.

So...I did not realize exactly what I had.

Flash forward to today, March 3rd, 2016. I made a trade on the Trading Card Database, my first of the month. I needed to round up 36 cards to send off to their new home in Ohio. One of the cards turned out to be missing- I am 99% sure I traded it and forgot to remove it from my list. So, I went through the boxes of duplicate cards I've gotten in the last several years that I have not sorted and entered into my tradelist. They are so unsorted that they aren't even separated by sport. All duplicates I get go into various boxes until I sort them and enter them.

I didn't find another copy of the missing card, but I came across this LeBron James card...and I realized right away that this card was different from the one I had just scanned and edited the night before!

Holy mackerel, this is the Embossed parallel!

The embossed aspect does not show in the scan, but the silver foil "swoops" on the top right and bottom left were the first thing I noticed when I came across it in my duplicate stash.
Silver foil doesn't really scan well, but you can see it there in the corners.

Here is the base card, which if I had not just scanned, I would never have realized this was NOT a duplicate!
The foil aspect is most noticeable on his right leg.

The backs of the cards scan identically, but of course you can see in hand that the embossed card is, well...embossed! You can see a little bit of the embossing on the card back but not a lot.

What an incredible find...this great card, a legitimate rarity, has been languishing in my duplicate box for who knows how long?


  1. I guess this is what happens when parallels are more on the subtle side. I'm a bit surprised that they would have put a Lebron rookie in a repack. I wonder if that counts as the 'hit'?

    1. I think my lack of knowledge/visual recognition played a bigger role, honestly. I think it does, that is a "big" card to make it to a repack.