I don’t even know where to begin. I have been living a lie. During Wax Heaven’s original 2+ year run I promoted all things Crusade. If there were 1,000 articles on the site, a good portion of them were related to 1998 Donruss Crusade, an insert many collectors have dubbed the greatest of all-time.
So it’s safe to assume such a Crusade crusader (sorry, I couldn’t resist) would have all three parallels of his hobby hero and player collection, Jose Canseco, right? Well, the truth is I do not own any version of the ’98 Crusade featuring one half of the Bash Brothers and to be completely honest, I have never even seen one in person.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen many Crusades of other players in person but the Jose Canseco version has been shunned by me ever since its release in 1998 and there are many reasons why. Mostly, it has to do with it not being aesthetically pleasing. For starters, Donruss was in the gutter by 1998, in my eyes. There was just so many great products being produced by Topps and Pinnacle that Donruss’ flagship release had no hope of ever competing.
The base card of Jose Canseco in their flagship release was also a dud, which featured a boring photograph of Jose tossing a baseball. It was a picture any fan with a camera and an expensive lens could have taken from the cheap seats and that’s not why I collect baseball cards. I want to see good photographs to go along with all those shinny gimmicks. It didn’t help the fact that the actual Crusade card of Canseco also uses a dud of a photograph and appears to chop off part of his face. So essentially, it’s the worst looking card in a set considered to also be the prettiest looking insert of the 90s. Isn’t it ironic?
Another reason why I don’t own a Canseco Crusade is because of the price. Look, I own serial numbered cards, parallels, short prints, game-used relics, certified autographs, whatever there is you name it and I have it in my now 25-year old player collection. It’s just that Crusade cards are highly sought after by Crusade set collectors with deep pockets and worst of all, insane Canseco collectors with even deeper pockets who have helped drive this card into the stratosphere.
As for how many there are out there, well, not many. There are just three on eBay at the moment with the cheapest sporting an $85 dollar price tag and the highest holding steady at $1,500 (#lol). Although it’s an important card for any player collector, I just don’t see myself grabbing one any time soon. Hell, it’s been 17 years and I have been able to resist temptation without a problem.
There is one small problem: Today I will be opening up an eBay account.