My baseball card story part one.

7th Base

Bench Warmer
It was 1989 and my family and I had just relocated to a new house in Portland Oregon from an apartment in Coos Bay Oregon. I was 7 years old and didnt know anything about baseball till my dad walked through the door one Saturday morning and tossed a double pack of Bowman 1989 baseball cards in my lap. I didnt know what to think of them and sort of quickly lost interest. It would be another year or so before they would buy me more. I kept them in a shoe box and they got all bent up. First was the Topps 1991 cards. They probably bought me like 10 or 20 packs of those altogether. Back then they were like 75 cents a pack.

I soon became friends with the boy that lived directly across the street whose name was Travis and his dad looked exactly like Garth Brooks, he even showed me a Garth Brooks CD and told me how much alike they looked. His dad collected cards too and had 1960s and 1970s cards in a binder kept hidden in his closet while in the living room was his new Leaf card collection that he prized so much because of the premium gold imprinting on the cards. He soon became aware of my horrible caretaking of my cards and sent Travis over to search my shoebox for a Griffey card and found it. It was probably in bad shape but I didnt care and said take it if you want.

Then came the massive amount of 50 cent Donruss 1991 packs. The local grocery store literally had towers of Donruss 1991 boxes at the end of the aisles. Soon my dad and my mom would pick those up everytime they went and I wouldnt still get interested till a new neighbor that moved in on the other side of the house started visiting me and showed me his own collection. He was trying to get the whole set and so I sort of followed his example. Then I watched the 1991 world series on television, having been given the cards before ever seeing a game or playing a game. My parents made me watch it on the spare television that us children played video games on in me and my brothers bedroom. Nobody cared when I tried to tell them about who won and honestly I dont think I knew all that much myself what that meant except they got me into this baseball thing and never really explained anything to me. So it was that 1991 world series that sorted out the details for me and cleared up the mystery about what the cards were all about because to my young mind it all seemed sort of strange.

So now it was 1991 and I discovered Upper Deck and that was $1.25 a pack, well out of my price range but my mom did buy me a few packs just not anywhere near as many as those Donruss. So my new friend next door was obsessed with trading me cards to complete his set and I usually said yes even if it wasnt a double because truthfully I didnt really effin care. So, his parents fixed houses and resold them and when 1992 rolled around he was moving away to their new house because they were done fixing that one up. A day before they moved away he brought his card album with his newly completed Donruss 1991 set to our house and we were searching through my now more organized larger box of cards. He was being very rude and I wondered why because I was sad to see him go because I didnt have many friends, it was usually just me and my brother sometimes my sister. He kept being a jerk and I avoided making it worse and then he outright accused me of taking one of the cards out of his book. I of course did not and wasnt truthfully all that interested in baseball cards as much as video games or neighborhood hide and seek. He started yelling at me and insisting that I took one of his cards. This upset me and he got visibly threatening towards me so I grabbed the tennis racket off the wall and smashed it over his head breaking the tennis racket. I mean, it probably didnt hurt that much because its soft and bouncy but he immediately grabbed up his collection stormed out of the house. I never saw him again.
 

7th Base

Bench Warmer
My baseball card story part two

Travis got ever more interested in cards and started collecting the new Stadium Club cards and the Upper Deck football cards. I was impressed with the premium quality and was finally starting to care more about collecting once I started playing baseball with my brother and friends. I continued to collect the 1991 Donruss set because even a year after they were out the grocery store was desperately trying to get rid of their enormous stockpile and started selling them at 3 packs a $1 then at the end there 4 packs a $1. I didnt collect them all and had massive amounts of doubles and triples, collecting about 80%-90% of the set. My little brother and I would go through the box of cards together but he was usually less interested than me. I made a friend down the street that had the yellow fleer cards but I didnt want to trade for them cause I didnt like them much.

We soon moved to Minnesota in 1992 and mostly all of my Bowman/Topps/Donruss/Upper Deck collection disappeared. I was saddened by this so my grandparents bought me a huge lot of like a thousand cards at a flea market. Most of them were Topps 1992 and the rest a random mix of sets I was already familiar with plus a small number of cards from earlier Topps sets like 1986 and 1987. Some anomalous Tiffanies. Then soon the adults were buying me 1993 Donruss and I liked those ones a lot more than the 1991 set. They were glossy and some of them had gold on them and that impressed me. Then I was very excited about finding a gold card in a couple of Topps 1992 packs because they were so rare. I wasnt a great collector but started to take physical care of my cards getting a binder of my own.

Then my dad one day in 1993 showed up with two boxes of 1993 Topps and I was very excited because I thought they were for me but sadly they werent and I watched him sit there and open both the boxes. Every pack had a gold card and although I was very interested he wouldnt let me touch them. He pulled a blackgold card I cant remember what player. I thought that card was the greatest thing because I never had anything that rare myself. He was a big asshole for doing that and I did get over it quickly but still who does that to a kid? He kept them in a messy stack inside the boxes they came in on a counter near the dining room, always there as a reminder of that horrid day.

Well my parents split and my mom took me back to Oregon from Minnesota in 1994 right the day after my birthday, once again leaving my collection behind. At that time I was a lot more into baseball having played dozens of games with neighborhood friends in Minnesota and even owned my own baseball glove
 
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7th Base

Bench Warmer
My baseball card story part three

So it was 1994 and my mom and I were living at grandma and grandpas house way out in the wilderness of Coos County Oregon. I learned my grandpa collected cards himself ever since he retired as a post retirement hobby so he didnt have any cards from the time when he was young. He sorted them in dozens of binders by teams and kept all the cards of each player together. Once a week he would take me to the card shop and buy us both a few packs of cards and take me to lunch. I would help him sort his new cards and find their rightful places in their binders and he gave me all of his doubles. My aunts would start buying me a lot of Upper Deck 1994 Collectors choice cards and these ones were really glossy but I liked them because of the holograms and that I didnt get many of them before. I watched many games with grandpa on satellite TV, his favorite team was the Pirates while I always rooted for the Mariners. Then the tragic strike of 1994 happened and I was in shock believing they were never gonna play again.

Around 1994/1995 I cant remember precisely when, my mother got an apartment next to the Coos Bay airport and there I made new friends none of whom collected anything except video games. So I would collect by myself without my brother there, my grandpa being the only person to share my baseball hobby. All my new friends played football and smack the queer and only a few times could I convince them to go to the park and play baseball and we didnt finish a full game. Usually about 5 innings.

One of my aunts bought me a half box of 1995 Flair. I was really impressed with that set. Other highlights were seeing all the Hostess cards in my grandpas collection. He had a bunch of cards you couldmt buy in packs that were inserted into products all made in the 1980s, cards youd never see in a card shop because they were off brand. I also remember back in 1992 getting ultra mini 1991 Topps cards out of cracker jack boxes.

My mom would give me a few dollars here and there to spend at the card shop but my interest started to wane and with my grandpa as well who was also bitter about the strike but we continued to watch baseball games together all the way up to 1998. Then for some reason neither of us really cared anymore. Instead, we'd watch classic movies together because he collected them, buying used VHS tapes from rental stores and recording his favorites off satellite TV. That was about the end of baseball for me.

None of my cards were extremely valuable probably $20 at the most for any single card, the rarest were the new inserts from the mid 90s insert craze.

In the years since I checked out the card aisle in Walmart just to see that the packs got skinnier, boxes got lighter and the prices skyrocketed. And actually I didnt know at all that Topps remonopolized baseball cards till last year. I had no idea that the other card companies went belly up till 2020 I was that out of touch with sports hobby.
 
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Chavezforprez

MVP
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It was 1989 and my family and I had just relocated to a new house in Portland Oregon from an apartment in Coos Bay Oregon. I was 7 years old and didnt know anything about baseball till my dad walked through the door one Saturday morning and tossed a double pack of Bowman 1989 baseball cards in my lap. I didnt know what to think of them and sort of quickly lost interest. It would be another year or so before they would buy me more. I kept them in a shoe box and they got all bent up. First was the Topps 1991 cards. They probably bought me like 10 or 20 packs of those altogether. Back then they were like 75 cents a pack.

I soon became friends with the boy that lived directly across the street whose name was Travis and his dad looked exactly like Garth Brooks, he even showed me a Garth Brooks CD and told me how much alike they looked. His dad collected cards too and had 1960s and 1970s cards in a binder kept hidden in his closet while in the living room was his new Leaf card collection that he prized so much because of the premium gold imprinting on the cards. He soon became aware of my horrible caretaking of my cards and sent Travis over to search my shoebox for a Griffey card and found it. It was probably in bad shape but I didnt care and said take it if you want.

Then came the massive amount of 50 cent Donruss 1991 packs. The local grocery store literally had towers of Donruss 1991 boxes at the end of the aisles. Soon my dad and my mom would pick those up everytime they went and I wouldnt still get interested till a new neighbor that moved in on the other side of the house started visiting me and showed me his own collection. He was trying to get the whole set and so I sort of followed his example. Then I watched the 1991 world series on television, having been given the cards before ever seeing a game or playing a game. My parents made me watch it on the spare television that us children played video games on in me and my brothers bedroom. Nobody cared when I tried to tell them about who won and honestly I dont think I knew all that much myself what that meant except they got me into this baseball thing and never really explained anything to me. So it was that 1991 world series that sorted out the details for me and cleared up the mystery about what the cards were all about because to my young mind it all seemed sort of strange.

So now it was 1991 and I discovered Upper Deck and that was $1.25 a pack, well out of my price range but my mom did buy me a few packs just not anywhere near as many as those Donruss. So my new friend next door was obsessed with trading me cards to complete his set and I usually said yes even if it wasnt a double because truthfully I didnt really effin care. So, his parents fixed houses and resold them and when 1992 rolled around he was moving away to their new house because they were done fixing that one up. A day before they moved away he brought his card album with his newly completed Donruss 1991 set to our house and we were searching through my now more organized larger box of cards. He was being very rude and I wondered why because I was sad to see him go because I didnt have many friends, it was usually just me and my brother sometimes my sister. He kept being a jerk and I avoided making it worse and then he outright accused me of taking one of the cards out of his book. I of course did not and wasnt truthfully all that interested in baseball cards as much as video games or neighborhood hide and seek. He started yelling at me and insisting that I took one of his cards. This upset me and he got visibly threatening towards me so I grabbed the tennis racket off the wall and smashed it over his head breaking the tennis racket. I mean, it probably didnt hurt that much because its soft and bouncy but he immediately grabbed up his collection stormed out of the house. I never saw him again.
Welcome to the bench. If you are getting back into the hobby, this is a great place to do so. I grew up in Portland also.

Great Story,
Billy
 
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