Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Start at the beginning"

Spring 1987. I was a 9 year old boy helping my father and uncle clean out my grandmother's basement. She was leaving her house of over 25 years to go live with my uncle because the crime rate had sky rocketed there by the mid 80's. She lived in downtown Trenton NJ alone since my grandfather died of lung cancer in January 1985, a place not safe for an elderly woman to live on her own. Her home was a row house on St Paul Street with a driveway, modest backyard. I remember the steps up to the front door sloped a little because the cement wasn't flat when it was set. The house belonged originally to my grandfather's parents. It had a feeling of home even though I never lived there I still have that sense when I think about it now. 

While in the basement, my uncle handed a large box of old cards to my father. My uncle's first impulse was to throw the cards out but my father thought they would still be good to have around. He started going through the cards while I stood bored by the sudden inactivity. "Look at this? Ever heard of Mickey Mantle?" My father showed me his card.  I wasn't interested in baseball cards and my face probably showed that. I looked at the picture of Mantle on the front, smiling while sitting in a dugout.  I half expected to see Mickey Mouse after he said his name. In a way, that set began my off and on obsession with sports cards, a hobby which carried my imagination and dreams of when baseball was a game for the past 23 years and counting!

Through the images on the vintage cards I later collected I was able to see the stadiums in the background and dream of being in the old stands of Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds and Old Yankee Stadium (before the renovation).

I was able to see the quiet modest sports heroes who just went out on the field and played their hearts out, not for the money, but because of pride and for the love of the game. Because I never had the money to collect the big named stars, I focused on the minor stars and worked to collect as may cards of theirs as possible. My collection lacks the Mays', Mantles' and the Dukes but what it lacks in their cards, it is made up in the Gil Hodges' Ted Kluszewski's' and Bobby Thomson cards.

I quit collecting current cards in 1993. I stopped short of getting any Jeter or Arod rookies (I did buy a few '93 Upper Deck SP's but got a Russ Davis instead of Jeter....remember Russ Davis??) I spent a lot of years ignoring the hobby but that all changed because of Ebay in 2003. Literally all of the cards i dreamnt of owning were only a point, click, bid and paypal purchase away. That site has done more for the fledgling sports card hobby than perhaps even the grading revolution (and unlike the grading revolution, Ebay is saving the hobby instead of crippling it).

This intro is longer than it needs to be but, well, I am the boss and now for the point of all of this writing. I spent the better part of a month a few years ago scanning the fronts and backs of every 1967 Topps baseball card in my now completed set (the doubles helped financing the search for the missing cards, wish my father hadn't sold off those near mint condition high number cards back in '88. I can still see the cards Adcock, Ricketts and Estrada, disappearing behind the table. My father has always regretted selling those cards almost as much as his mother throwing out his collection of early 1950's cards when he was a boy. Who here cannot share this same story. Alas.....

You will see every card front and back as well as a little commentary about each card and who is featured on it underneath. I promise the commentary will not be so long winded as this introduction. Well, I won't be so long winded if I really do not feel a memorable twinge when I see a specific card. Anyways, enjoy.

BTW,I couldn't care less if any of you use these images of the '67 Topps cards. I went through the trouble to scan them so that I and others could enjoy them. So please, enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I just found your blog today. The 1967s have always been my favorite set.