|1999 Ultimate Victory #145|
Rick Ankiel RC
This card was highly sought after and sold for a pretty penny back when Ankiel was a top prospect. I recall as a kid browsing through a Beckett magazine and seeing this card at the top of the hot list. I'm pretty sure people were dropping a couple Benjamins for it before Ankiel lost his ability to pitch. You can now find it for around $5.
What impresses me about Ultimate Victory is the quality card stock and foil, but what really brings me back to the set are the inserts. The one time I ripped a pack of 2000 UV I pulled the box "hit", a Diamond Dignitaries insert of Nomar Garciaparra.
I loved holding it, admiring every little detail and the refraction of light as I angled the card in my hand. That card remained in my collection over the years, and was buried within it for so long I forgot I had it until I pulled a card binder from my shelf and began thumbing through the pages. When I hit the Nomar section, this card stood out among the other 8 cards. It stood out so much in fact that I removed it from its pocket and held it in my hand like I did when I pulled it from a pack years earlier. That's when I decided I was going to collect the whole set.
Diamond Dignitaries has an insertion ratio of 1:23 and consists of 10 cards:
D1 - Ken Griffey Jr.
D3 - Chipper Jones
D4 - Ivan Rodriguez
D5 - Mark McGwire
D6 - Cal Ripken Jr.
I could have completed the set in one COMC purchase, but decided it would be more fun to acquire cards through other means (trades, card shows). I'm in no rush to finish.
What I love about Diamond Dignitaries is how well the gold backdrop compliments the red diamond centered behind the cropped poses of each player. The red, often a color representative of rank or royalty, pairs perfectly with the name of the set. The horizontal design and capturing the players left of center turned the set from a good one to a great one.
- Affordability/Availability - cards range from $0.75 to $3.00 and are easy to come by
- Checklist - This set contains elite players, many of which are now HOFers or future HOFers - there were no duds inserted into the set
- Size - 10 cards means one card will sit all by itself in a 9 pocket page behind the rest; not ideal since I like to store my insert sets in binders
Nostalgia gets me every time.