Wednesday, March 30, 2011

OUTSIDE THE BOX: Hello To Another Baseball Season!

Well, the 2011 baseball season is upon us. And to celebrate this day, I thought I'd share some of what remains in my baseball 'collection'.

In all honestly, it's not really a collection since I'm not actively collecting baseball cards. It's more of a baseball 'pile'.....stored in a card box.....placed in a Rubbermaid container.....sitting in the basement of my place......with dust on it.

But I cracked them out to take a look. Brings back some great memories and some 'what was I thinking moments'. Forgive me if my years are off. :)

1981 O-Pee-Chee
#240 Nolan Ryan

1980/81 was the year I discovered sports cards. While hockey was a must have, baseball would be the summertime project. I never really completed any of the sets (I normally managed 250 or so cards from the release) and found it tough to build since I didn't have too many doubles and there weren't too many friends to trade with since they didn't collect baseball.

This Nolan Ryan became more than just 'one of the cards' in my set. It became the tracing card for many early custom projects and scrapbook adventures. Oh, the destruction of cardboard that I unleashed. This ones got a great crease across the front, some nicely dinged corners and the back of the card shows some nice ink soaking around the edge.

A definite keeper.

1982 Topps
#200 George Brett

My favorite player growing up. Why? Well, his last name is the same as my first name. For a couple years, I actually thought his name was Brett George.

I laugh every time he leaps out of the dugout to spaz at the umpire. Classic television.

1983 O-Pee-Chee
#83 Ryne Sandberg RC

1983 was the year I completed my first OPC set. I was pretty happy with the accomplishment. Looking back, I wish I had kept it intact. All that remains is a couple rookie cards and a few star cards.

This Sandberg ended up getting some nice water damage on the left side (no clue where it came from), but I chose to keep it as opposed to giving it away or just chucking it out.

1983 O-Pee-Chee
#143 Tony Gwynn RC

I actually have 2 of these. They would be a couple of my 'high-end' baseball cards. I've had them stored in the good ol' 4-screw hard cases. They've been encased in them for probably 20 years.

I cracked them both so I could figure out which one to scan. Wouldn't you know it, both of them have a tiny crease in them.


By the way, I love the old uniforms. San Diego, Houston and Pittsburgh especially.

1986 Sportflics
#26 Wade Boggs

1986 was the year I got to go to Disneyland. Yeah, yeah, yeah the rides, the oversized stuffed animals. It was all nice. But the sports cards! I had never seen anything like it.

I picked up a couple rack packs of football and a couple packs of Sportflics.

They're cool looking cards, and to a 12-year old, they were unlike anything I had ever seen. I thought these were priceless at the time.

There were two poses and a head shot embedded in the motion cards. I got guys like Ripken, Brett, Gooden and this Wade Boggs card.

To this day I think these cards were ahead of its time.

1989 Topps Major League Debut
#133 Larry Walker

In 1990, after a few years away from collecting, I got back into sports cards. Hockey was again at the forefront. But this time, I gorged on football, basketball and yes - even baseball.

I wanted anything and everything. Of course, with my limited budget that meant anything and everything - cheap.

Looking back, not a good plan. I'm still sitting on a bunch of cards from thos overproduced early 90's. The junk wax era.

Still, sifting through the cards can be fun. This card of Larry Walker reminded me of how great the Expos were in the early 90's, how they were robbed of a World Series appearance and how tiny Larry used to be. Hmmmmmm.

Again, love the uniforms!

1997 Bowman
#196 Kerry Wood

In the mid-90's, after I got my 'I want everything' phase out of me, I decided to be selective in my baseball purchasing. Specific players who were pegged to be huge.

I felt like I had my finger on the pulse of great knowledge.

Yeah......right. Tell that to my collection of about a dozen or so Kerry Wood cards, all nicely encased in the 4-screw screwdowns. Ouch.

Still, a nice memento of my collecting history.

1993 Bowman
#511 Derek Jeter RC

My last card in this show & tell is one I didn't even know I had until I got digging.

I remember buying a partial set of Bowman back in the day and was gung-ho to complete it. Well, that never happened and the cards went from nice Ultra-Pro sheets, to a monster box, to a storage bin....well, you know the rest.

I saw the partial set and sifted through the cards. Sure enough, a Jeter pops out. Well, that made my day.

And while it doesn't really rekindle the desire to collect baseball cards, it makes me take a second look at this container full of forgotten cardboard.

Will I get rid of them? Maybe. But I'll be sure to pluck out the cards of importance first, be it monetary or just sentimental.

Play Ball!

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