Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Tale Of Steve Largent Packed Out

In 1994 the Seattle Seahawks were in a tough position; the team owner Ken Behring (who was the most hated man in the Seattle sports world at the time, now it is Clay Bennett) was flirting with moving the team to Anaheim, payroll was increasing, the Kingdom was nearly 20 years old and ticket sales were dropping. Fortunately the NFL rolled in to town in early July in the form of the NFL Experience, which is now connected to the Super Bowl. A weekend dedicated to fans in the NFL’s version of a theme park at the Kingdome.
With Pacific being a local company, they were based out of Lynnwood about 15 minutes north of the Kingdome, they produced an 8-card NFL Experience Seattle Seahawks set based on the 1994 Pacific Prism release. Now the set is nothing special, essentially the same as the 1994 Pacific Prism release but the backs are slightly different with the NFL Experience logo and the player’s years with the Seahawks.
In 1994, while living in Arizona, I spent my free time in my local card shop. I had recently returned to collecting in 1992 and it was a way to build camaraderie with collectors. While opening packs of 1994 Pacific Prism Football I pulled a Steve Largent, who was not on the set checklist. I didn’t mind because I have been a life-long Seahawks fan and Largent is easily my favorite all-time Seahawks player. I did notice the different back but I didn’t know about the cards from the NFL Experience (and no internet to find out) and nobody at the card shop could explain why it was different. I put the card in to my football binder and didn’t think any more of it until I had moved back to Seattle in 1995. Surprisingly nobody at my new local card shop knew about the card either, I would have to wait until 1999 when I attended a card show at the Tacoma Dome to finally get an answer.
I had dragged my pregnant wife, bad call, to the show and when I came across Pacific’s booth (The Tacoma Dome is about 50 miles south of Pacific’s Lynnwood office) I started talking with the lady at the booth, who happened to be Pacific’s VP of Advertising. She was able to enlighten me about the card, it turns out that the Steve Largent card was to only be part of the NFL Experience set, it was not supposed to be packed out in hobby boxes.
The card is special to me, there is no additional value to it but because I pulled it out of a pack at a friend’s card shop it has some sentimental value for me.

Here is what the regular backs look like

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