Monday, June 8, 2020

The Card that Started it All

When I was 9 years old, I opened up a box of cereal and watching a plastic-wrapped baseball card drop out of the box and onto the floor. I picked it up and placed it on the counter, poured my bowl of cereal, and went on with my morning.

I had always liked baseball, and I often played catch and Wiffleball out in the front yard with my dad and sister. But at this point in my life, I still didn't follow professional baseball in any kind of real way. I wore my Dodgers hat everywhere, but I wouldn't have been able to tell you a single thing about the team or players.

At some point later that day, I saw the packaged card on the counter and decided to open it. I suppose it was the first pack of cards I ever opened (though there was only one card inside, so I guess it was a pack of card?). Inside sat the 2002 Topps Post Shawn Green you see below.




I remember rushing over to my dad and asking him if Shawn Green was any good thinking I hit the jackpot. "He's alright," my dad, ever the pessimist, told me. As the card back shows, Green's 2001 season was more than "alright." He hammered 49 homers (still a Dodgers record) and batted .297. Definitely better than "alright."

I don't exactly remember what happened next, but Shawn Green very quickly became my favorite player and I began to pay very close attention to Dodgers baseball. I started to fall asleep to Vin Scully calling Dodger games on the radio, and I convinced my dad to buy me baseball cards every time we went to Target. My fervent love for baseball, the Dodgers, and Shawn Green only grew from there, all the result of a flimsy baseball card falling out of a box of cereal.

I thought about this story last week and decided to go and take a look through my Shawn Green cards. Lo and behold, I discovered that at least one or two of my binders must still be with my dad back in California, including most of my Shawn Green PC. I'll coordinate with him to have them shipped over to me in New Jersey, and I'm looking forward to their arrival. As such, the Shawn Green scan above was taken from ComC.


What card(s) got you into collecting? 

What better way to solicit answers to this questions than by holding a contest?

You can earn multiple entries in this contest, so here's what you need to do:

1 entry - Comment on this post with the card(s)/set/etc. that jump started your collection.

1 entry - Subscribe to the blog! Most of you reading this are probably already subscribers, so just let me know you are in the comments. If you are new here, welcome! Give me a follow if you'd like. At the time of writing this, the blog sits at 87 followers. I'll plan to add additional prizes if we can get that number up to 100.

1 entry - Pimp this contest on your blog by June 27th then post a link here in the comments.

That's a maximum of 3 entries per person. I plan to keep the contest open until the end of June, so you have plenty of time to spread the word and get your entries in.

Below you will see a list of of some of the prizes that will be up for grabs. I'll likely add additional prizes between now and the end of June and definitely will if the blog reaches 100 followers. I'll end up randomizing the list of entries and we'll hold a prize draft. The plan is for winners to pick their prize on a separate contest results post at the beginning of July. I'll also be tossing in some assorted goodies for all of the winners.

Prize #1 - 2020 Topps t206 Series 1 Box/Pack

Prize #2 - Allen & Ginter Relic Lot




Prize #3 - Bowman's Best Mookie Betts Blue Parallel #'d/150



Prize #4 - First Edition HOF Baseball Hall of Fame Heroes 12 Card Set




Prize #5 - 2019 Topps Hi Tek Lance McCullers Jr. Autograph




Prize #6 - Assorted Pink Refractors from 2018 Topps Chrome



Prize #7 - 1988 Donruss Baseball Hanger Pack


Prize #8 - 2019 Topps Hi Tek George Springer Green and Purple Parallels




Prize #9 - Topps Gold Label Blue Parallels (Stanton and Strasburg)



Prize #10 - 10 Cards from 2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Set 



39 comments:

  1. Good story. I would say my collecting itch goes back to 1993 Upper Deck Donruss Elite Barry Bonds. I was a 8 year old at that time and was only buying stuff (not with my money obviously) because my brother was. I happened to hit the Bonds (only numbered to 10,000!) and was super excited about. I actually put it up for sale on telnet and was offered 50 dollars but declined. I still have it to this day. That thrill got me hooked on collecting. I did Magic Cards for a while, quit for a while through college and then picked Baseball back up in 2011 and have been going strong since.

    I am already a follower as well.

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  2. Like a lot of people who will enter this contest, a pack of 1987 Topps is what started my collection.

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  3. Had you on my blog roll but am following now, too. One of my early favorite cards was a 1994 Collector's Choice Nolan Ryan with the silver signature. I also enjoyed any Ryne Sandberg card I got out of 1990 Donruss or whatever random packs they had at the local video game store that sold cards.

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  4. Man, I have no idea. I believe I started collecting cards during the 1971 season. I turned 5 in September of that year, so I have no recollection of that at all. I just know that those cards were in my collection from childhood. (I had a couple 1970 cards early on, but my recollection was that they were given or traded to me sometime later.) I have no idea whether my parents bought me a pack unprompted, or I saw some that another kid had, or whatever.

    What got me BACK into collecting after a long hiatus was a big box of junk wax I got from someone on a Freecycle group around 2014 or so. I think the big thing that made me want to collect again was that it had a lot of George Bretts from the era after I stopped collecting (basically the start of the junk wax era, oddly enough) and I already had a healthy number of his cards from his debut up to about 1984 or so.

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  5. Very very cool post/contest! For me it was the '69 Topps set that got me started. My '69 set does include some of my original cards that I opened in '69, yet I'm still four cards away from completing that set--and of course they're some of the most expensive cards. Love those deckle edge cards, too.

    I'm also a follower and have your contest featured in the "Blog Contests Lineup" right sidebar/widget of my blog, https://stadiumfantasium.com/. That means it appears on every page of my blog. I'll also mention the contest when I get around to publishing a fresh blog post later this weekend. Thanks for the contest!

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  6. Just followed (I don't know I wasn't before)!

    Cards that got me into collecting: the 1974 Topps Tommy John, the first cards I pulled out of my first packs of '75 Topps, Darold Knowles, Hal McRae, John Hiller, Mickey Stanley, etc. And the Ron Cey card from that same year.

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  7. fellow dodger fan and long-time follower here! i was handed a pack of 1977 topps cards one day by my uncle. the pack included a mike schmidt card and a bill travers card, among others. i was all-in with 1978 topps baseball the following season.

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  8. In 1986 I started collecting the Topps stickers. My first card was a torn in half Dickie Thon card I found on the ground in summer camp that year. I still have the card. https://borosny.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-first-baseball-card.html
    I'm following your blog and will post a link to the contest. Thanks!

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  9. Believe it or not, it was a 1980 Topps Frank White. My friend was showing me his cards and I noticed that the front of the Frank White said he was an All Star. I had no idea what that was, but seemed cool and my friend gave me the card. Off to the card collecting races!

    Oh, and I follow!

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  10. I was a young baseball fan in the late 1960s, and started to collect baseball cards to get my Heroes, the 1968 Detroit Tigers.

    This is a very cool thing you're doing, thanks!

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  11. Awesome contest! I have two main periods of collecting - When I was in middle school, the 1987 Topps set fueled my hobby love. The 2015 Topps design drew me back in after over 20 years away from the hobby. I'm already a follower, and will get a pimp for your contest out this week!

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    Replies
    1. https://diamond-jesters.blogspot.com/2020/06/highly-free-and-completely-arbitrary.html

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  12. Love this contest. For some reason collecting has given me feelings of nostalgia lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic and how it began with my dad.

    I started collecting in the late 90’s, when my dad started taking me to the local hobby shop which was five minutes from my house in a small shopping plaza. I think it was a basically a sports memorabilia store that also sold cards. They had a “50 cent pack bin” which was quite literally a bin filled with loose packs. I would save up my allowance and use it all on the packs in that bin. I also got into Pokémon which was sold there as well. My recollection is that Pokémon was just a compliment to sports cards for me, not a replacement. Anyhow, there was some really great stuff in there. Lots of Fleer/flair football and Fleer metal basketball. Good times!

    Thanks for the contest. I’m already subscribed!

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  13. Great post! I always love hearing these kinds of stories. I have a few of those 2002 Post cards, and one or two of them might've actually come out of a cereal box that year, but I (sadly) don't have any memory of that. I was never a big cereal eater, but I have to imagine I'd bug my parents to buy one if I saw a baseball card on the front!

    I tend to credit two specific cards for getting me into collecting: the 2001 Upper Deck Ichiro rookie I pulled from a pack was the moment I think I knew I'd be a lifelong collector. The 1965 Topps Ernie Banks I bought from a card shop a few years later helped me see the long and amazing history of the hobby, the history that existed way before I was ever born.

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  14. Very cool contest... and an excellent, yet difficult question. The first trading cards I remember collecting were 1977 Topps Star Wars cards. But I assume you're interested in baseball cards. I know that 1981 Fleer was the first set I ever owned. As for packs, it was either Topps or Donruss. I owned and traded both with kids on my block. And the card that stood out the most was the 1981 Donruss Al Hrabosky. We all wanted that card, because we thought it was a rare error since it had a purple border while the other Braves had a light blue border.

    I'm not sure how I wasn't subscribed to your blog. I've read posts before... but didn't see my name in your list of followers. Anyways... I fixed that. I'm following, and you're blog is officially on my blogroll and reading list.

    The pimping will come eventually. Thanks for the very cool contest!

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  15. Cool contest!

    I don't know if I have pine specific card I can trace it back to, but more so the green wax packs of 1987 Topps. I just remember being very drawn to the color green at the grocery store.

    If I had to choose one card, I'd probably say 1987 Fleer Mike Easler All-Star. It was so special looking and different than all the base cards I had seen up to that point.

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  16. Thanks for doing the contest! For me it wasn't any single card it was any card from the 1973 set as this was the first cards I bought packs of with my own money I was 8. So all these years later I'm still just an 8/yo with a hobby.

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  17. Here is link to my pimpage! https://dionsipautosonly.blogspot.com/2020/06/contest-alert.html Think I want to come in 5th place 1st would work too. lol

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  18. Looks like a fun, and generous, contest. I'll just sit on the sidelines and watch though, as I don't recall what got me interested in cards, and I'm not about to go and make something up just to try and win a prize.

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    Replies
    1. I got you down for one entry for following!

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  19. My 1987 Topps Reds Leaders card was the one that jump-started my collection.

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  20. Followed!
    For me, 1994 Topps football/hockey really hooked me in. The parallels in those caught my eye as a 12 year old lad and ever since then, I never looked back. One of those cards was a Jason Sehorn, I am NY Giants fan, rookie card that I still have to this day that means a lot. Brings back memories of collecting with my father (which I do some of today)

    And my blog plug,
    https://sportcardcollectors.blogspot.com/2020/06/ten-things-i-like-that-you-dont-like.html

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  21. First ones I remember were a handful of 1974 Topps including two Brewers - Pedro Garcia & Eduardo Rodriguez. Oh, and there was this guy named Yastrzemski.
    But we (me & the other kids in my neighborhood) didn't start collecting seriously until the 1980 set came out.

    I don't follow blogs because I don't know where that (feed) shows up. I use the blogroll site to keep up with everything. I'll make sure you're on my site's blogroll.

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  22. For me, it was a cello pack of 1988 Topps football that my dad brought home for me from the grocery store where he worked. I was six years old and I haven't looked back.

    I'm a new follower. Thanks for the contest.

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    Replies
    1. Here is my blog promotion: https://bumpandruncards.blogspot.com/2020/06/its-friday-and-this-stuff-is-free.html

      Delete
  23. Followed and will pimp the contest later today.
    I remember walking to the 7-11 on the corner in Norfolk, Virginia and buying a pack of the only cards available, Topps. I remember getting the Willie Mays card #50 out of the pack. On and off between 1968-1984 I would pick up a pack here and there. In 1985 I was working at Waldenbooks and we had a promotion where if you bought a certain book you would get a pack of cards. We had lots left over and that was when I seriously got back into the hobby. The size of my collection has gone up and down since then. And here is the link to my pimpage.http://padrographs.blogspot.com/2020/06/customs-page-19.html

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  24. For me, it was a pack of 1986 Topps cards that I bought at a barber shop of all places. I have no recollection as far as what drove me to go in the place -- probably other kids? After that day, I tried to scrounge up any pocket change I could find to throw towards those 35 cent packs (and others)... at least when I wasn't spending it on candy.

    I'm a follower of the blog via Blogger... I think that counts as a subscription?

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  25. As for baseball....the 1978 Topps set. (Before that was Wacky Packages).

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  26. Here's the promised pimping...

    http://sanjosefuji.blogspot.com/2020/06/spring-cleaning-and-feeling-good.html

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  27. Me and my neighbor used to mow lawns together, and then we'd go spend our earnings on 1969 Topps and open the
    packs in front of each other.

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  28. I started seriously collecting sometime around 1984 or 1985. So, my feeling is that a rack pack of those cards, with those Glossy All-Stars is what started it for me.

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  29. Thanks for the contest. Picking up packs of 1979 Topps at the baseball field after my Pony Baseball games is what got me started. I have been a subscriber for a while now, awesome array of prizes.

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  30. 1990 Donruss for me, funny enough. Longtime follower. Thanks for the contest!

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  31. Signing up just in time! Been a long time "lurker" but finally got around to adding to my blogroll. I am 99% sure I'm part of the 1987 Topps group. I do remember having a pack's worth of 1984 Topps as part of my collection early on though, and a vague recollection of looking at a pack of 1987 Sportflics. Thanks for the contest and the motivation to finally add you!

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  32. My first job was at a small wholesale distributor in 1983. I bought a couple boxes of 1983 Topps with my first paycheck. That really got me started.

    Been following you for a while, keep up the great blogging.

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  33. Just followed (but for some reason I'm a blank head). 1977 Topps got me started. That was way too long ago so I have no idea why I started. However, I do know I can't stop.

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  34. Follower from before. Card to get me started was 60/61 Topps hockey.

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