Second Year Standouts: 1998/99 Topps Chrome Refractors Tim Duncan

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TD FrontA perfect complement to my previous Second Year Standout, this 1998/99 Topps Chrome Refractor Tim Duncan card has a lot going for it.  First of all, it features a clean design and a nice action shot – I love how the ball appears to be sitting in the bottom of the net.  Moreover, the card back has all of the components that I like in base (or base set parallel) cards: biographical data, statistical data, a brief player write-up, and an alternative player image.  I was a freshmen in college and out of the hobby when this card went live; seeing a baby-faced Duncan with his career still in its beginning stages makes me wonder where the time has gone.

TD BackThe Big Fundamental had one of the greatest and most complete careers in NBA history.  As such, Duncan’s cards should hold value going forward, and will likely tick upward in price once he is enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in a few years.  Amazingly, there are no PSA 10 versions in existence of today’s featured card (according to PSA’s population report, there are four PSA 8’s and nine PSA 9’s).  So if you are looking for a change of pace in your collection, it might be worth your time to track down a clean copy and submit it for grading.  To me it looks like 1998/99 Topps Chrome Refractor Tim Duncan is being overlooked by the hobby marketplace.

Another thought – Topps Chrome was still pretty simple back in 1998/99.  There were no color refractors to speak of – only a base card and a standard refractor for each player. Some inserts also had a single refractor parallel.  As far as I can tell, no autograph or jersey cards were available in this set.  It is amazing how time can change perceptions.  Back in the late ‘90s, I thought card collecting was becoming too complicated and often felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of product.  Indeed, there certainly was an oversaturation of cards back in the late 1990s.  But in my opinion there wasn’t an oversaturation of “hits” like in the modern card market.  Looking back at 1998/99 Topps Chrome transports me back to a simpler time in the hobby.  I wonder to myself, what entity is really changing with the passing of time, the sports card industry as a whole or myself as an individual?  The answer of course, is both.

Word of the Day

ribald – crude, offensive; characterized by or using coarse indecent humor; ribald language; some of the movie’s most ribald, and thus funniest, scenes were cut for showing on broadcast television; a ribald tale rife with double entendres and racy innuendo

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