’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Things About Baseball Cards From My Youth That I Still Miss Today
Going to all of these monthly baseball card shows has really brought me back to one of my favorite past-times from my childhood.
And while my collecting habits and styles have changed quite a bit since then, attending these monthly shows is a flashback to when baseball card collecting was quite a bit easier.
This got me to thinking about the other aspects of the hobby that I recall from my youth that could be considered as highlights. Sure, I like many other bloggers, have touched on this before in random posts, but I have never put it all down in one.
So, I will do that for you now.
Here are my ‘Top Ten Things About Baseball Cards From My Youth That I Still Miss Today’
Honorable Mention – Topps’ Future Stars, wax wrappers, set building, the debut of a new company like Score and Upper Deck, and packs that cost just $0.50.
10 – Donruss Puzzles – I had them all. From Aaron to Clemente to Snider. And while I did put them together and then glued them into a completed piece, I certainly did not value the players that were honored by Donruss back then the way that I do now.
I do remember that the cardboard that these puzzles were made of used to leave little shards of cardboard all over the place…
9 – Baseball Card Albums – Man, I had a lot of these. Today I use just a simple 3″ binder, but back then you had to have the album with the cushioned cover and logo stamped right on the front!
I still wonder why the fronts were cushioned…
8 – Box Bottoms – Yes, I know that some card releases still offer a bonus like this today. But nothing beat finding your favorite player on the bottom of a box of baseball cards back in the day. I bought a lot of boxes as a kid, and it was always the four players featured on the bottom that led me to my decision of which box was coming home with me.
7 – Topps’ Glossy Send-In Sets – There are still all kinds of wrapper redemptions going on in today’s hobby. But they are not as fun or spirited as the ones from my youth. I collected a lot of wrappers as a kid, and being able to turn them into limited edition sets was a blast.
Plus, as a young kid, mail was not frequent. So, when I did get mail and it was baseball cards, what a thrill!!!
6 – The Gum!!! Personally, I was never a big fan of the gum. Yes, there was that time when I tried to chew every piece from one box – that ended with me ultimately gagging and having a sore jaw for a day or two.
I love the history that the gum brought. It is what connected dads to their children.
5 – Fleer’s SuperStar Special – One of my favorite subsets of all-time!! Fleer’s SuperStar Special brought players together for all of us to enjoy. I know that their have been multi-player cards issued since, but they do not re-capture this unique set from Fleer that in my opinion did not last long enough.
It was always a thrill to find your favorite players in these sets and see who they were paired up with. It’s too bad that Andre Dawson was not included in more of these.
4 – Baseball cards at grocery stores, drug stores, and gas stations – It used to be fun to go grocery shopping with my mom. She would go up and down every aisle re-stocking our house and would hang out with the baseball cards. The same goes for drug stores and gas stations too.
Back in the day, cards were at the register or in the candy aisle, or maybe on an endcap. Today, if you’re not at Wal-Mart or Target, you are not finding cards anywhere…
3 – Cello packs and Rack packs – I used to love these packs!! It was a little more costly than a regular wax pack, but the guarantee of a hit was well worth the extra money. If I found a pack that was featuring my favorite player, I would most certainly scoop it up.
I vividly remember that owning rack packs with the hottest cards being shown was quite a commodity back in the day. A pack with a Kirby Puckett rookie card showing would go for big bucks in 1985!!!
2 – Donruss’ Rated Rookies – Ah, one of the best subsets of all-time. Everyone love the Donruss Rated Rookie. Me and my friends always used to go after these guys, even though many of them never panned out.
I’m sure that there was some clever marketing going on, even back in the 1980’s. But if your card had a Rated Rookies logo on it, you were highly sought after!!
1 – Fleer Stickers – Easily the part of the hobby that I miss the most today. And it was never really close!
As the new school year approaches, I have two lists of supplies that each of my sons needs to bring with them before the official start of class. And between the specific pens, glue, markers, folders, and paper that the school is requiring, we have a few hours of errands ahead of us to get it all done.
I don’t recall there being school supply lists back when I was a kid.
Lucky for me, I was able to simply grab a binder and decorate it myself. And my mom used to wrap my textbooks in brown paper bags, and I would decorate them myself too.
My choice of decor?? Fleer baseball stickers.
Here are a few exmaples:
Wow, these stickers really take me back. I used to love the old logos and hats. My favorites were the pennants – I thought that they were neat!
As the father of two boys, I would love to be able to pass this hobby on to them. Currently at ages 4 and 6, they have no interest. They know that I collect. And they know that daddy loves to watch baseball on the television and play with his baseball cards. But beyond that, they are unaware of the joy that the hobby brought me when I was just a little older than them. Maybe, in time they will show interest. If so, very cool. If not, I can deal with that too. My only hope is that they too can cling on to something that can bring them a world full of enjoyment for as long as they wish – and baseball card collecting does that for me.
As for the ‘Top Ten List’, did I miss anything?? Was there a part of your collecting days that stands out that you wish was brought back to the hobby?
While I do not know the age of all of my readers, I know that I have teenagers and 50-year olds reading this blog – and most certainly every age in between as well. What do you guys miss about the hobby that you knew during your youth?
And please don’t say, ‘I miss when Upper Deck was licensed by MLB’. LOL