Of course I have baseball cards. Over 50,000 at last count dating back to 1952. Yes, I might be called an old guy, even though many in the 1950s were purchased well after I was born and picked up at flea markets and garage sales, long before baseball cards became an industry.
On display were hundreds of theme dispensers, ranging from Will and Kate, to Elvis, to Star Wars, to college football, to Peanuts characters and Bugs Bunny. The only PEZ I remembered growing up was a Popeye, which they had on display, but not for sale.
There was Ohio State and Michigan. Mets and Yankees. I didn’t even know they had MLB. There’s one of each, and you can even order them online at I was thinking of picking up one of each team. Maybe later.
It got me to thinking of all the various types of memorabilia I’ve collected over the years other than the cards. There were Sports Illustrated issues featuring prominent Mets events and players. There was even one of the Tom Seaver trade to Cincinnati. I know, I know, that one stings.
One year the TOPPS company inserted metal coins in the packs. I believe it was 1964. I got a Ron Hunt. Another year they inserted decals.
There were posters that had to be unfolded. That produced a Seaver. I remember giant baseball cards almost three times the size. From covering baseball I saved old media guides. What I picked up as a kid, but you don’t see anymore are yearbooks and game programs.
The yearbooks were especially cool. You bought them at the stadiums, but there was a dealer outside the old Yankee Stadium that sold them from each team. I remember picking up the Orioles, Reds and Dodgers. Why don’t teams make them anymore?
It was all there, my youth in boxes and bins. It will be a project to organize and display them all, but that will be a December project.
I do have an impressive collection if I say so myself, but there are others that blow me totally out of the water. I know this guy who converted his basement into a mini-museum. He even built an addition.
There was a period where I bought a pack of cards every year just to see the new styles. I don’t know when, but that stopped. It is hard, but you don’t find many places than just sell the cards by packs. They sell them in designer packs of over 100. They put a star on the outside so you can see him. The Idea it see the star and buy the pack. Inside there are some slim pickings.
They also sell them by the complete set, which is a double-edge sword. Yes, you have the whole set, but what you don’t have is the fun of building a set. I can remember years when I’d collect almost the entire set, but could never find that Washington Senators second baseman.
It was fun seeing all those old PEZ dispensers, and yes, I could have purchased them all. Then, I would be left wondering where I could find a Montreal Expos, or a Senators, or a St. Louis Browns. They never made them that far back. Too bad.
By the way, in February a new line of MLB comes out. Baseball caps. In case you were wondering they don’t have NFL and NBA. A licensing issue. Evidently, there’s not enough money in it for the NFL.
Oh well, that’s another issue.
But, hey, if you are a Mets collector, I’d live to hear from you. Email me a firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe I could show your collection on the blog.