Sunday, November 25, 2018

Striking Black Gold

Those 1993 Topps Black Gold inserts might be my favorite inserts from the junk overproduction era. I remember I pulled a Frank Thomas back then and it was like winning the freakin' lottery (the card is now worth less than a buck, but it was sooo awesome at the time). Foil/shiny cards were fresh and exciting. While '93 was when my interest in collecting was waning-- and I would soon step away from the hobby for a couple decades-- if anything put up a valiant effort to keep me around, it was the luster that Black Gold.

(Coincidentally, "Black Gold" was a 1993 single by the band Soul Asylum, which along with the hits "Runaway Train" and "Somebody To Shove", helped their album Grave Dancers Union go multi-platinum.)

Fast forward to modern times, like I say, they're all worth pocket change, and while I hope to finish the set someday, it's not a big priority. But what if they were actually rare and special today, like how they felt to me as a kid? Then you'd have my attention and I might have to go out of my way for them. Well, buybacks to the rescue, and Topps Archives Signature featured some signed '93 Black Gold cards. After keeping an eye out for several months, I finally landed one...

HOFer Dennis Eckersley! That's a nice card. Yes, it's silly that the black background eats up the majority of the autograph (would have made more sense for Topps to have provided metallic pens instead of the old standby blue Sharpies), but I'm still very much into it.

Here's an angle where you can see the full signature a bit better.

I almost thought a little about trying to build a full signed set of these. But, well, I'm sure any Kirby and Gwynn representatives that might be out there would have been especially tough to find. Then a Mark McGwire Archives Signature of these just recently sold for over $100 and I'm like, yeah nah, maybe I'll just be content with Eck here and call it good.

But wait, while I respect him and his accomplishments, Eckersley is not a guy I collect. How can I shoehorn this card into my collection.

Oh yeah, that's right, I do have a shadowbox display featuring a card of his. So I cracked open the display and swapped out the Eck cards.

That looks pretty good! I'm happy I've been able to work a '93 Black Gold card into a display on my wall. I've now swapped out both cards from the original display I bought years ago. I believe the original Kirk Gibson card (2004 Retired auto, featuring Gibson on the Tigers) ended up with Dennis at Too Many Verlanders (it was made expendable to me when I eventually scored the refractor parallel).

Replaced by the Black Gold card was this 2004 Retired Eck auto which is now available (I've got the refractor, so by my self-imposed collecting rules, I don't need to keep the base auto), so if anyone wants to make me an offer for it, let me know. It's a great card, but no regrets for me choosing the Black Gold card over it.

While it'd be a stretch calling myself a Dodgers fan, as a baseball fan, you've gotta love that Gibson World Series home run (unless you're an A's fan, I suppose).. such an incredible baseball moment. I really love how this display has turned out.. with the alterations making it more special to me.


  1. I can't say I'm the biggest Eck fan (mostly due to his work as a commentator), but the Black Gold card signed is awesome.

  2. I'm interested in the Eck. Let me take a closer look at your Want List and see what I can do.

  3. Sweet display! Minneapolis music represent! I have probably seen Soul Asylum live more than any other band, they do lots of free concerts and often are in local festival lineups in the Twim Cities. Great live band.