Welcome to my new blog devoted to trading cards and I feel that a brief introduction is in order. As a kid in the late seventies/early eighties I was a huge trading card collector. Baseball, Star Wars, superheroes and Mars Attack cards could all be found in piles around my bedroom and some of my earliest memories involve buying packs of cards at the local convenience store.
The first real “hot” card I can remember around my Cleveland area childhood neighborhood was the 1981 Topps Joe Charboneau rookie card. The summer of ’80 had seen “Super Joe” come out of nowhere to win the AL Rookie of the Year and inject new life into the Indians, something that did not last long. I spent that summer buying pack after pack of Topps baseball hoping to find the Charboneau rookie, not knowing that his best baseball was already behind him.
When my family left Ohio for New England in the mid-eighties I fell into one of the great years of sports in the area. At one point around 85-86 we had the Patriots make a Super Bowl run, the Red Sox played in the World Series and both the Celtics and Bruins would be champions. What a great time for a twelve year old sports fan in New England and I really thought it would be like that every year. Little did I know that it would be ten years before another championship game was played and over fifteen years until a New England team actually won a championship. Those were tough years.
In high school I even worked part time at a local sports card shop in Cumberland, RI which was run by two hippy NASCAR fans. It was then that sets like Fleer Ultra and Stadium Club started to come out and blew away what I thought a trading card could be. Anyone else remember the back of stadium club cards with its percentage breakdowns?
Through it all I bought and traded cards with my friends right through high school and into the Army. Although I had dabbled in Hockey for a brief period when Lindros was the featured Score athlete I always found myself returning to baseball. The best part about being stationed at Ft Leonard Wood in Missouri was that the local collectors could care less about Red Sox players and I scooped up many an Aaron Sele card to add to my collection for pennies.
Then the baseball strike happened and my interest in baseball wained. I stopped buying sports cards and instead started buying Magic: the Gathering to play on base during slow times. I still followed the Red Sox and Patriots but I did not feel the need to buy cards anymore, there were too many sets coming out and too much investment needed to keep my interest.
Cut to early 2013. Since I stopped collecting cards I have had the pleasure of watching three Super Bowl championships, two World Series sweeps, a Stanley Cup and a NBA championship all come to New England teams. My beloved Red Sox had turned into the Yankees and started spending money without regard and I found my baseball interests return to my original home town team, the Cleveland Indians. Thanks to MLB At Bat I could now watch the tribe play everyday and soon my love of baseball was rekindled.
I was cashing out at a local Target store when I saw the 2013 Topps cards hanging on the rack. Now, I had bought the occasional pack through the years to see how they were but this time there was a new element involved, my seven year old son Lucas. Opening packs to look for Red Sox and Indians cards stirred something inside him and soon enough he asked me the question that Topps management wished more kids would ask, “Dad, can we go buy some more packs of baseball cards?”
One of my sons favorite Topps cards
Thus it came to be that a forty year old Indians fan and a seven year old Red Sox fan started picking up more and more low price baseball card packs and would spend sunny days playing ball in the backyard while rain would mean sorting our cards in the living room. Neat piles of 2013 Topps baseball cards stacked by team, then by number and then by type of card; it seems like Lucas is always resorting the cards in some fashion and while I watch him with the TV, Nintendo and computer all turned off I cannot help but smile.