Friday, June 29, 2012

Baseball card stories from Erasmo Ramirez

Erasmo Ramirez pitched four seasons in the major leagues for the Rangers, A's and Marlins from 2003 to 2007, going 8-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 91 games. Now in his 4th year as Head Baseball Coach at Segerstrom High School in his hometown of Santa Ana, California, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"Collecting baseball cards are, without a doubt, some of my most favorite memories as a kid.  There wasn't anything like going to the store and having my parents buy a few packs for my brothers and me.  We collected pretty heavily from 1984 to 1990.  We loved pulling our favorite players out of those packs, especially Will Clark, Mike Greenwell, and Wally Joyner.  One of the best moments I had with card collecting was when the 1989 Upper Deck cards came out.  There wasn't anything like those cards and it was a huge thrill for us when we were able to buy a full box.  You can just imagine how delighted we were when we pulled the Ken Griffey Jr. card. 
Here's an interesting story about me and baseball cards.  After my first year with the Rangers, I purchased my first home.  So, I had to clean out a bunch of my stuff from my parents house and ran into all the baseball cards up in the garage.  I spent a few days sorting through some of those boxes and had a weird idea.  I called my brother and told him that I had the itch to open up some packs... just like the old days.  We went to Burbank Sportscards and came out with about $2,000 worth of unopened boxes from the early 1980's.  We got to my house and spent a week opening up these boxes that we weren't able to get back in the day.  Well,  it didn't end there.  I came across the online mecca of Dave and Adam's Cardworld and over the next year, bought many more vintage boxes.  It felt just as good as it did when I was a kid.
I didn't do any of this to store these boxes away or to sell the good cards.  That UPS driver would dump off a shipment from DA Cardworld and my brothers and I (and even my wife at times) would rip open those boxes and get pumped up about pulling Ripken, Mattingly, Boggs, and Henderson rookies (and many others).  We stored all of them in 9-pocket sheets and binders.  One binder for each box opened.  Needless to say, there are probably 50 binders on a huge shelf in my garage just waiting for my grandchildren."


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