Saturday, June 14, 2014


   I discovered baseball cards in 1993.  By then I'd missed out on some beautiful cardboard. All those years gone by when gum/card packs could be had for 15 cents, I was busy pasting bubble gum rockers from 16 Magazine and Tiger Beat to my walls.  Now all I want is the 75 Topps set!   (I just didn't know.  Please  forgive me.) 

  1975 was a pivotal year in my life.  I was ten years old.  My mother died, my father remarried six months later - and I learned there was no Santa Claus. (Yes, most kids find out much earlier. As you can see I'm a bit slow to catch on...which is why it took nearly thirty years to discover baseball cards!)  A part of me still longs for the early 70's, when I could just be a kid having fun. The 1975 Topps set is exactly this for me!  The colors schemes are youthful, bright and fun!  While I love 72 Topps for the mod design, I know how difficult this set is to build. It was hanging with a friend in her attempt, that I was introduced to baseball cards.  Yeah, I was a mocker.  I saw expensive little pieces of cardboard and ribbed her endlessly, until the bug bit me. 
The Bug
       This  friend of mine was also a Ryan collector.   I'd noticed    her admiring  this gem at the local card shop. Her birthday was coming up, so I stopped in to pick up the Nolan.  What came over me when I held it in my hand, I can't explain.  Suddenly, I had to have one too.  It was humbling since I'd dished out so much grief over her card habit.  But it wasn't just this card, no.  One wasn't enough.  The desire to have this card came with the need to assemble this insert set.  Just one set...
  I broke up with card collecting in 2002.  Packed up and turned my back on the hobby, cold Turkey Red.  Only one of many a frustrated collector in a time of  too much product!  I sold many of my nicer cards: rookies of Arod, Jeter, McGwire, Pujols, Griffey etc. and my 1961 Topps starter set.  Avoided the retail cardboard shelves for years, until the Fall of 2013. 
The colors on this card are fantastic!
Johnny's hat really stands out
thanks to the red border.
My friend (affectionately known here as The Ump) actually collected cards when she was a kid. She owns a few 68-72 Topps cards.  When she finally asked to see what remained of my collection, I unpacked several boxes of
sets and player collections. She is a big Tigers fan so I started pulling random 
Tiger cards for her collection. (Did you know Mantle was a Tiger? Me either. She assured me he was definitely a Tiger and belonged in her collection. )   
Little did I know,  when I opened the Pandora's box of cards,  the bugs inside were still very much alive..