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Your Fondest Baseball Card Memories

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  • Your Fondest Baseball Card Memories

    I started collecting baseball cards in the early 80's. One of my favorate memories of collecting was when the 1985 Topps were first coming out. I lived on Long Island and Dwight Gooden Hype was in full swing.

    I spent a lot of time at the local card shop (The Batter's Box, long closed) and always opened my new packs right there in the shop. I wasn't really into pitchers, hitters were much more exciting and played everyday. Every time I got a Gooden Rookie the owner of the shop would trade me a Kirby Puckett rookie and three wax packs for it. I was a fan of Puckett because he was kind of built like me and proved the chunky kids could make it in baseball.

    I had a lot of fun hanging around the baseball card shop that year. I remember the adults thinking I was crazy when I said Gooden would burn out but Pucket was a sure thing. I wish I could go back and rub their nose in it.

    As an adult I've bought some packs here and there and my son has started his own collection, but I haven't been able to rekindle that old flame. They were really magical days for me.

    What are your fondest collecting memories?
    Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
    -Truman Capote

  • #2
    I started collecting cards at 7 years old in 1970 mainly because my older brother collected them as well. Back then it was only Topps and you bought them at the local convience store.

    My fondest memory actually takes place two years later in 1972. Our family was visiting relatives in Maine for our summer vacation which also happened to be right around my birthday. My aunt (who is also my Godmother) gave me an entire box of cards for my birthday. I had never opened that many cards at one time. I think I got pretty much the whole second series out of that box and still have most of the cards.

    That's pretty much the only birthday present I still remember getting when I was younger.

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    • #3
      I started collected in 1978; but not hard core until 1982 when I was old enough to take my bicycle in to town. The only "card shop" in town was actually an antique shop that specialized in old coins, but he had packs available, but more importantly is that he had a dresser that was just filled with old baseball cards. Every card older than 1971 was 10 cents, any from 1971 to present was 5 cents. I would spend hours sitting in front of those drawers, pouring through every card I could find looking for old Red Sox players that I could bring home and talk to my father about... good times.
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      • #4
        Going to card shows as I was just getting started in the early 80's. There used to be one major card show a year in SE Michigan, in the Plymouth Holiday Inn. It just seemed so large, with so many dealers and autograph signers and little buckets of discounted cards. I actually got a hold of the program from that first Plymouth show at an antique show in Springfield, OH. The guy selling the program has actually set up as a dealer at that show.

        I still remember purchasing four cards at a small show at the mall walking distance within my house. I later picked up a 1961 Sandy Koufax for a couple of bucks and being disappointed when the Beckett price guide only listed it at $10. That same dealer tried to pass off the writing on the back of a 1972 Carl Yastrzemski card as being Yaz's signature. It was not his signature but I was 11 and really didn't know better.

        There were some great cards shops around that time. Free Press writer Jim Hawkins had his own shop a short bike ride from the house, and there was a great dealer who was in one mall for a while, then moved to another location much closer. I bought so many packs and individual cards through the years from him as he would eventually go through three different locations. Wherever you are now, Jim Hamon, thanks for making collecting so enjoyable. I think my desire to collect really took a hit when your shop finally closed for good.

        Blackhat, one thing that kind of got me back into collecting was helping my father put together a 1970 Topps set the last couple of years. I now am focused on finishing some other sets of my younger collecting days.
        Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
        Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
        Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
        Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
        Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Utter Chaos View Post
          I started collecting cards at 7 years old in 1970 mainly because my older brother collected them as well. Back then it was only Topps and you bought them at the local convience store.

          My fondest memory actually takes place two years later in 1972. Our family was visiting relatives in Maine for our summer vacation which also happened to be right around my birthday. My aunt (who is also my Godmother) gave me an entire box of cards for my birthday. I had never opened that many cards at one time. I think I got pretty much the whole second series out of that box and still have most of the cards.

          That's pretty much the only birthday present I still remember getting when I was younger.
          Good story and nice thread! I was more of a casual baseball fan and didn't have any baseball cards of which to speak, but then 1986 came and I was swept off my feet by the Red Sox pennat race and I was hooked. I remember pulling a Darryl Strawberry and a Pete Rose card out of my first pack of '86 Topps. Of course, this was before Straw turned to drugs and Rose was caught gambling, so those were two pretty good cards at the time.

          That was back when the box bottoms were made up of four baseball cards and the owner of the store at which I used to buy my cards would let the person who finished off the box have the bottom. Those cards aren't worth much, but the way we tried to get 'em you'd think they were made out of gold

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          • #6
            I started collecting in 07, so my best memory is either pullin my first auto from a pack, 07 topps (Dontrelle Willis) or, pulling my albert pujols jumbo jersey patch card from an 09 topps hobby box! Then getting my first TTM was special too (Andre Dawson January 09)
            Go Big Pelf!!!!
            Check out my blog where you can find pictures of my Mike Pelfrey collection including 1/1s and autos @
            mikepelfreyshouse.wordpress.com

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            • #7
              I remember going to the card shops as a kid and thinking I was in the best place on earth. I always enjoyed opening packs and pulling the newest Braves players and of course making trades with freinds. Sometimes it would take a few days to complete a trade because of all the negotiating.
              My collection of autographs: TTM Autos

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              • #8
                Here's one for you. I'll list the facts, and then proceed.

                1. Bobby Bonds was my favorite player.
                2. We were driving in the summer of 1973 from Missouri to New England to visit relatives.
                3. On the way, Dad arranged for a stop in Pittsburgh at the time that the SF Giants were in town. He found the hotel were the Giants were staying in downtown Pittsburg and asked whether it was worthwhile for fans to hang around the lobby on autograph hunts. The hotel staff was cooperative, so it must not have been unusual.

                On the morning I arrived, a few hours before gametime and before the team bus had left for Three Rivers Stadium, I was able to get about 7-8 Giants' players, but missed Willie McCovey as he rushed out the door. He almost missed the bus.

                The next morning, our family went out to lunch in the restaurant downstairs before returning to the room and then spending an afternoon shopping. When we returned from lunch, the room had been picked up. However, the cleaning lady had noticed what she thought was scrap paper sack, and ended up throwing away my 8.5" X 11" page of autographs. and my few Giants' cards inside. They were gone, and Dad tried to track them down, but to no avail.

                So, he made a change of plans. While my younger brother and Mom went shopping, he bought two tickets to that night's game and arranged to spend a second afternoon hanging around the lobby with me. I had no cards for autographs, but the players were very cooperative on Day 2, almost like they knew to be there.

                I ended up getting about 15 Giants', including Bonds. Most conspicous was Juan Marichal. I missed McCovey again in the same fashion, and I think he avoided autographs. From memory, the page lists Chris Speier, Gary Thomasson, Dave Kingman, Marichal, Bonds, Tito Fuentes.
                Last edited by abolishthedh; 08-15-2009, 11:02 AM.
                Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

                A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

                Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

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                • #9
                  I started collecting cards in the mid 1970s and I remember when we went to my grandmothers every Friday, it was tradition for her to give us all a glass Pepsi bottle to bring back to the corner store and get a treat (this was in Maine where you could redeem them for 10 cents each)--- my sisters would get 10 pieces of penny candy (yes when they were actually a penny) and i would get a pack of topps cards-- a lot of my better 70s cards (73 ryan, schmidt, evans, 74 winfield, 75 brett, yount, rice....etc etc) came from those "bottle trades"..... imagine being able to do that today!!! geez, some of these packs today will cost you your paycheck..... havent bought a pack in 10+ years for that reason, i trade for cards & sigs now------ah, good times, good times.....

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