by Matt Contreras aka KingAlbert1

Albert Pujols

It was sports card trading night at my neighborhood sports shop Jersey’s Cards and Comics in Gloucester, Virginia. It was about five o’clock when my mom dropped me off there. I brought some jersey cards to trade. For example I brought my Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and Bill Mazeroski cards. My Albert Pujols jersey card, though, would come in handy a little bit later.

I was specifically looking for some Derek Jeter or Albert Pujols memorabilia cards, but since my favorite team is the Yankees anyone on the Yankees would do. After I walked in, I asked for the memorabilia card box, as usual, and began looking at the baseball cards. I came across lots of game used, some autographs, and a couple of patch cards, even a Marilyn Monroe relic dress card. This amazing bat card crossed my eye along the way. The card was a 2001 Topps Traded Albert Pujols ROOKIE bat card!!! Even though I forgot my price guide at my house, anyone in their right mind knows an Albert Pujols rookie card is worth something!! Especially if that rookie card has a piece of his bat on it! The problem was the most expensive card I had to trade was that other Pujols jersey card, and that was only worth twenty bucks!! I decided I would try to trade for it anyway. I handed the card to the manager, Jon, and he started to look over it for quite a while. You know what, though, it was definitely worth the wait.

After my mom picked me up from the shop at 6:00 I was practically kissing the card, worshiping it basically. When I got home I saw my dad watching the Yankee game. I immediately went to my room to get the price guide. I brought the price guide and the card to the living room to show my dad and to figure out how much this card was worth. I show the card to my dad first and then started to look for it in the price guide. So, I began to flip through the pages and went to the year 2001. After I went to Topps Traded, and then finally went to the rookie relics. I look through the player list and guess who’s on top. ALBERT PUJOLS BABY! And the grand total is… $175!! Score! Of course it was in mint condition or else it would’ve been $100. The funny thing was the second most expensive card was a Wilson Betemit bat card. And that was only ten dollars! I was in shock. My dad, who has been a 20 year baseball card collector, didn’t believe me himself. He had to double check for me. I didn’t blame him. Still in shock, I went to my computer to look on eBay to see how much the card sold for. Sure enough it was selling for $175 buy it now. I couldn’t believe it!! I got one of my favorite baseball players and as a bonus his rookie card. It was my first hundred dollar card. I started thinking, why in the world did Jon trade me a $20 card for a $175 dollar card. I know he wasn’t stupid, but I wouldn’t say I ripped him of either. I’d just say it was a good trade. For me at least.

I figured out later that the rookie card wasn’t worth as much as the other Albert Pujols relic rookie cards in 2001. There were some worth $200, $500, and one card was worth $4000!! I didn’t care though. I still made a great trade and that is all I cared about.

Well at the end of the day I know I was definitely happy. This card has definitely changed my life and in my baseball card collecting. Since then I’ve traded for a Topps Tribute Lou Gehrig bat card and a Prime Cuts Albert Pujols bat card. I admire this card so much, and I never let this card out of my sight. I will keep this card until Pujols retires, and hopefully this card will boost up in price when he makes it to the Hall of Fame. This will be my most prized possession for a very long time. Better yet, it’s my Holy Grail.