Well over five months ago, I pulled a 2006 Upper Deck Future Stars - Clear Path To History Triple Signature Card of Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran, and Bobby Abreu. As usual, I turned to Beckett to figure out how much it's "worth".
I then chided myself for not having gone to the true Price Guide for all things Sports Collectibles, eBay, only to find...
Ok, that's odd. Now what? Hmmmm...
I decide to email Upper Deck. Surely, they can shed some light on their product. After a couple of "we do not provide pricing for individual cards from our product" type emails and a few hundred, "please quit spamming me with automatically generated response emails from a bot based on keywords from my email" emails, I pretty much gave up.
Ei mitään...Gar nichts...
A few days pass and I all but forget about the card. That is until I receive an email from Beckett asking for scans so that they can update their database. Your welcome, Beckett. I expect my paycheck any day now for doing your job.
But, in all fairness, Beckett only reports set checklists and card information as it is given to them by the card companies. Upper Deck, you can mail me the check for doing your job, too.
I begin to wonder if maybe Scott Kelnhofer and Tuff Stuff Magazine's Sports Collecting Radio can help me. I promptly send my email question to fwpubs in hopes of making it onto the show and possibly finding some information on this card. I listened religiously to each show for weeks waiting for a response.
One night, I don't remember the date exactly, I listen to an interview by a man by the name of Mario Alejandro. I'm intrigued by his interview and talks of a "blog" so I click over to WaxHeaven.com and start reading the posts from the guy being interviewed. Eventually the time is up and the show moves in a different direction.
While reading old posts by Mario, I hear Scott say, "Our next question comes from Jason" and I perk up a little. Lo and behold, my question is posed on the same show that Mario is interviewed. What are the odds? Tuff Stuff has as much luck finding information about this card as I do at the time of the show's airing.
So now, I'm back to square one...
Roughly one month has passed, and on April 11, I receive an email from FIT, Upper Deck's official Fraud Investigation Team. At this point there have been multiple inquiries by me, Beckett, Tuff Stuff and God only knows who else. The response went like this:
"We have been made aware of a card that you recently pulled, 2006 Upper Deck Future Stars Clear Paths to History Triple Auto of Carlos Beltran, Bobby Abreu, and Jason Bay numbered CPH-BAB. In order for our team to investigate the card in question, please send scanned images of the card, front and back. Please also include when you purchased the card, where you purchased the card and any other information regarding the purchase of the card.
We look forward to hearing from you
Fraud Investigation Team
The Upper Deck Company, LLC
5909 Sea Otter Place
Carslbad, CA 92010"
Now, we're getting somewhere! Here's where it gets even more interesting. Not only can Upper Deck not find record of this card, they now think I'm a Sports Terrorist, hell bent on flooding the market with fakery. I get a little frustrated thinking that they are accusucating and making demandments (greatest line ever from a movie when the chimp says this in Babe 2: Pig In The City)
Now what? Not one single outlet that should know something about the card seems to. To this very day I've never seen one online selling anywhere, and now FIT has been called in to corral the situation back to normalcy.
From April 11 until April 30, FIT worked their magic. They toiled and slaved day and night while attempting to figure out this manufacturing faux pas. Just shy of three weeks later, they pull this little rabbit out of their as....sorry, hat...
"Thank you for your inquiry. This card was produced and is authentic"
Ekkert...nashi...Niente...Nihil... 아주 적은...jack
My response to FIT tonight after 3 months of eBay and Google Searches?
"I know it was produced. I know it's authentic. I'm HOLDING IT RIGHT NOW!
Is it the only one? If not, where are the others? In well over 5 months of searching for this card on eBay on a weekly basis, I have yet to see one selling online anywhere. Beckett was unaware of it. Tuff Stuff was unaware of it. Not one single dealer that I've spoken with has ever seen or heard of this card. Even you guys, Upper Deck, were unaware of it to the point of calling in the big guns, FIT, in particular.
Are there other copies of this card in existence?"
And, now, here I sit, knowing that this will go nowhere. The search for my card's long lost twin is futile.
So, I now ask the dedicated readers of TNB for your help. Has anyone ever seen this card other than in my scan? Has anyone ever heard of this card other than in this post? Can you help me turn all those translations of "nothing" into MO-JO.
I'd tell you how to say MO-JO in Greek but I can't find any information on it.
Maybe I should go work for Upper Deck.