For starters, this card is really rad looking, as it's designed to look like a genuine Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown, which is pretty cool. Also, back in 1995, the rounded top edge of these cards really seemed as badass as wizardry. The idea of a card being more that a rectangular piece of paper just seemed downright incredible to me. On top of all of its resplendent beauty, this card was serial numbered and limited to only 5000 copies. It was among the first cards to be issued in such a way, and this was another aspect of it that made it desirable to me.
On September 6, 1995, Ripken played his 2,131st game, breaking Lou Gehrig's record streak for consecutive games played. That alone assured Ripken would have a real plaque in the Hall, but he'd had a great career all along. This card, along with all of his others, went through the roof in value after his accomplishment. At its peak, it was selling for $160, an unimaginable sum for a kid.
Well, it took me years, but I finally landed one: number 3,093 of 5,000. It seems like nothing ever gets cheaper, but this card had gone down in value just a little bit. I picked it up for a measly $3.99.