I will probably never know what it is like to own a "gem mint" rookie card of a baseball legend. That's okay! Condition is not the "end all, be all" for me when it comes to baseball cards anyways. Yes, I would prefer them in the best condition that I can afford. But as long as I can read the words, admire the statistics and enjoy the picture(s) - I'm usually good to go! Still, seeing something historic in perfect condition is pretty special. And while I will probably not have the chance to hold such a baseball card in my own two hands, I can at least gaze upon them in delightful high definition and watch as folks with a larger petty cash pile than myself bid away on these cardboard beauties. You can, too! What am I talking about?
Allow me to explain.
Dmitri Young is known to many of us as the former major league baseball player with quite the dramatic 13-year career. He was a two-time All-Star amongst a plethora of chaotic personal issues but ultimately triumphed over his demons in 2007 with the Washington Nationals when he stepped in for the injured Nick Johnson and earned the "NL Comeback Player of the Year" honor. I dig that because I prefer happy endings.
Even better, Dmitri shares our passion for the great hobby of baseball cards. How sweet is THAT?! Amassing shoe boxes of cards during his childhood years, his love for the hobby never truly left him and was rekindled over the past 13 years as he brought together one of the most impressive collections of Hall of Fame rookie cards that the world has ever known.
Why is it so impressive?
Mr. Young, along with his partner and fellow collector Dave Bailey, only pursued cards that garnered a "gem mint" grading by PSA. While a lot of us do not consider condition to be imperative for ownership or cardboard appreciation (mostly due to cost), I am sure that we can all appreciate an amazing card that has survived in amazing condition. Dmitri's collection contains more than 500 of these perfect specimens and has been featured on the MLB documentary, "Cardboard Treasures". Here's his flawless copy of Roberto Clemente's 1955 Topps card, card #164:
If you enjoy a good drool session every once in awhile like I do, or are simply curious to see what these slabs of cardboard and plastic will fetch - I highly encourage you to check out the action here: SCP Auctions. Dmitri's cards have about two more weeks to go. There are already some impressive numbers being posted which is great when you consider how the funds will be used.
Dmitri Young's career and personal mission are moving on to the next level as he begins his own non-profit organization, the Dmitri D. Young Foundation. His charity will host baseball and softball camps and clinics, support the Boys and Girls Clubs, and sponsor programs and scholarships for student athletes from Dmitri's hometown area of Ventura, CA. I hope that he can still find time in his schedule to do some work with Card-Corner Club Radio for whom he has been a co-host for many years. While I'v never caught a live broadcast, I've enjoyed the articles that Dmitri has written about his career, his collection and his passion for life.
Congratulations on your collecting achievements, Dmitri, and best of luck as you continue to work for the betterment of others.
Long Live The Hobby!