We'd like to thank everyone who participated in our first COMC Challenge and we learned some things which will improve future segments. We'd also like to begin by congratulating John Ayres, the winner of the first contest. The first adjustment will be that instead of the first correct answer, we will keep track of all correct answers and then have a random drawing for a winner. That way the challenge will last longer. We will continue to adapt to make this more accessible for our readers as well as for COMC users.
OK…Our second challenge will involve completing a small retail Topps set from 1997. Normally you might think a three-card set is something Beckett should have had in their checklist but one issue we always dealt with at Beckett was that despite the excellence of the hobby PR people, they were not always aware of what was issued on the retail end and so the information sometimes never made it to us.
I remember the first time we ran into that issue, circa 1993, when I was on a show trip and saw some Upper Deck packs which had a 'retail" insert we had never heard of. When we contacted Rich Bradley about those cards he had no clue and we had some tough days until we got some packs, described what was on the packs and he went back to the retail area and got us the information we needed. A few years later, I started going into various "music trivia" rooms in AOL and one of the regulars one day after we found each other on Facebook asked me how I knew Rich. As it developed, he was her cousin, and I realized that sometimes the world is very small indeed. I still see her in the music room and I would like to thank her for sending me some Charlotte Knights minor league team sets. I did enjoy looking at those cards and never knew Hideo Nomo had a minor league card in 2006 with the Knights.
Since retail was produced totally separate from hobby we would have to go to either Walmart or Target and find retail packs so we could learn what else was in these packs. And that is true even to today, for if you check eBay for any new product, you see just about no retail inserts for sale when a product is first released. So, many of these fly under the radar until some collector asks about what they are and what their value might be.
The set for our second challenge is much like one of those ‘under the radar’ sets. During the research for this card we discovered a three-card set was issued as part of a retail box which contained one of three jumbo cards plus 15 retail packs. Recently COMC received a Ken Griffey Jr. 1997 Topps Jumbo (not Chrome) card clearly numbered 2 of 3 and they already had a Cal Ripken Jr. numbered 3 of 3. Your challenge is to complete this set by providing us with card number 1.
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