Baseball Cards #1

Upon honest reflection, I have self diagnosed myself to exhibit Obsessive Compulsive Behavior most of my life.  I am of the “collector” persuasion.  I don’t recall when I got my first comic book, but I was always aware of when the new books came out each week.  Radio turned me on to collecting records. The “high rotation” placements – the “pick hits of the week” if you will – drove me crazy until I had the 45 in my hand.  But my problems really started with little cards with pictures of my favorite baseball players on them…

Five cents for a little slice of heaven.  A pack of baseball cards with FREE bubble gum inside.  The aroma was very distinct.  Nothing like the combination of waxed plastic and bubble gum.  Nothing like that stick of gum either… a calming diversion to the mania of ripping open a fresh pack.  You chewed and chewed while checking to see how many cards you NEEDED to complete the year’s run.  Of course, there were often “doubles” and “triples” along the way, but NEW cards, they were worth the endless flavorless chewing.

Image     I collected cards printed by Topps.  I dabbled in Bowman briefly, but never cared that much for the cards, nor the gum.  Topps released “runs” of cards in series.  Amazingly, despite the fact we didn’t have the Internet, or social media, or 24 hour cable television… no news spread faster through the neighborhood as when a new series at one of our favorite places of purchase was discovered.  Of course, much like a taster to ensure the king didn’t get poisoned, there was the sacrificial nickel to buy just one pack to verify the new series.  Even back then, you couldn’t trust big business.  Owners of small candy stores and groceries would sell out quickly and substitute leftover series boxes to dump them on trusting dimwits.  Much to the chagrin of the store owners, the nickel thieving was stopped cold when Topps began printing the series number on the display box.  This may have been the birth of my consumer awareness…

I’ll discuss specific cards, swapping with my friends and even storage in upcoming posts….


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