"Ever since I can remember, my Dad and I have collected baseball cards. Growing up in the cold winters of Boston, we would look forward to finding the first pack of Topps that would come out that year, as it meant baseball season was getting closer. To this day, we still miss the hard gum stick that used to be included. Even now, some 40 years later, my Dad and I will still find packs of baseball cards and won’t open them until we’re together.
When I was probably seven or eight years old, I still remember trading a card that had Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays on it for 25 “random cards”. It was my first negotiation and my first lesson that quantity is not necessarily better than quality. I grew up opening packs of cards hoping for a Rico Petrocelli, George Scott, Fred Lynn or Jim Rice. The first ball I was ever given at Fenway Park was by Al Zarilla…my Dad found his baseball card and I still have it.
I remember when Donruss first came out with their baseball cards and you would open a pack and there were always doubles of the some of the cards.
When I was drafted by the San Diego Padres, our first baseball cards were taken in front of stores in the local Spokane, WA mall. Later our team held a card signing in the mall and the signing went on for two hours…I’m still amazed that I had a baseball card and even more surprised that someone actually wanted my autograph.
As a young boy, collecting baseball cards with my Dad was something I looked forward to every weekend. He would go out early Saturday and Sunday morning to get the paper and would always bring home packs of cards. We still have all of them in the house where I grew up. While we don’t really collect them anymore, if we ever see a pack of cards, we’ll usually buy 2 packs and then open them when we’re together. I actually have two unopened packs in a drawer waiting for his next visit. Baseball cards are a right of passage, though they were more fun when there was a stick of gum inside."