‘Million Dollar Question’ – What Was The First Pack Of Cards That You Recall Opening??

‘Million Dollar Question’ – What Was The First Pack Of Cards That You Recall Opening??

My fascination for baseball card collecting began pretty innocently.  I was really starting to enjoy watching baseball on television, and my Little League play was starting to take off.

As a reward for getting good grades on a report card (third grade, I believe), my mom took me to the baseball card store in the local mall.  Yes, card shops were becoming pretty popular back in the mid-1980’s, and while moms, sisters, and daughters spent their time shopping at Burdines or Macy’s, the men and boys of the families would hang out at the card shop.

Anyway, as a result of bringing home a pretty solid report card, my mom brought me into the shop and told me to pick any five packs that I wanted. 

I did as instructed, and I have to guess that her investment that afternoon was less than $2.00. 

I know that I purposely picked five different packs, though I had no specific reason for my selections.

In the group of five, I recall getting packs of 1985 Topps, 1985 Fleer, 1984 Topps, and 1984 Donruss.  For the life of me, I cannot remember what the fifth pack was(it was almost thirty years ago, cut me a little slack).

I asked if I could open them in the car on the way home, and my mom agreed.

The first pack I opened was this:

1984 donruss pack

1984 Donruss!!  I remember really liking the card because of the ’84’ that was stamped on the fronts.  The other cards did not offer that unique feature.

So, tonight’s ‘Million Dollar Question’ is one that will probably take you back to your childhood as well. 

Dust off those memories and let us know ‘What Was The First Pack Of Cards That You Recall Opening’?

That is tonight’s ‘Million Dollar Question’.

Thanks for reading.  And participating, too.

Million Dollar Question


61 responses to “‘Million Dollar Question’ – What Was The First Pack Of Cards That You Recall Opening??

  1. I remember the exact day I first bought a pack of cards and fell in love with our hobby. It was a hot summer day in 1977, and I spent my allowance on 3 packs. The only specific cards I remember getting was George Brett, with the all-star designation on it, and a Larry Demery card of the Pirates, which was my favorite team. I right then and there decided to work on the complete and make a second set of all the Pirates. As I got close to completing the 1977 set, I then thought how cool it would be and start working backwards and completing previous year’s sets. A goal that still continues to this day. 🙂

  2. I got my first pack of cards the weekend after I attended my first baseball game ( which happened to be Earl Weaver’s last game as manager of the Orioles). It was my first (of many) visit (s) to Burton’s Coins & Cards and I got a pack of 1986 Topps and the first card I pulled out was a Jack Clark. I don’t remember the other cards I got in the pack, but I do remember digging through a 50% off bin looking for every 1986 Topps Orioles I could find because I loved that design. After digging through that box I came away with a Denny Martinez, Earl Weaver and my favorite player ever Eddie Murray for a whopping 15 cents. I’ve been hooked ever since!

  3. The pet shop in town had a large candy counter in the front of the store. During the summer of 1969, my older brother and I rode our bikes there and bought some baseball cards (we may have got some pixie sticks too!). The packs set me back a whole nickel each. I don’t remember the cards I got, but I know there weren’t any Cubs in those first packs.

  4. My first pack of cards would have been 1960 Topps Baseball or 1960 Fleer Football. This would have been in late summer or very early fall. Here in WV everyone had Pirate fever. Of course the Pirates went on to beat the Yanks on Maz’s 9th inning homer. Dad would stop by a small store on his way home from work and buy me a pack. I still have the cards. I can blame my card addition on my Dad.

    Patrick Wentzel
    Parkersburg, WV

    • Patrick- Very cool that you still have such vivid memories. I have to imagine that it is due to the tie to your dad.. 1960 Topps is a classic!!

    • Patrick, 1960 Topps baseball is also the first pack I remember opening. I got a few cello packs in my Easter basket while visiting my grandparents in Brooklyn. I don’t recall any of the cards except the Albie Pearson. That one stuck out because even at 8 years old I was a die-hard Orioles fan.

      I had a few 1958s and 1959s but I don’t remember how I got them. Probably from friends. Those 1960 packs really hooked me on cards.

      • Commishbob- very cool! I have to assume that Easter has been your favorite holiday ever since!

      • CommisBob,

        Hi! It appears we are about the same age. I also had a few late 1950’s cards. Most likey they were traded from my cousins who lived across town. In later years we visted each often so we could acquire cards from differen series. Being we are old-timers, we remember the joys of finding out you couldn’t get the complete set from one or more boxes at your favorite store! Where are you located? Do you still collect the old cards?

        Do you have an 1960’s Post Cereal cards to trade?


  5. 1974 Topps Baseball. I was 7 years old. It was about the same time Hank Aaron broke the HR record. I remember opening 2 packs. One of the packs had a “Hank Aaron Special”

  6. Definitely 1987 Topps, and I remember looking through the logos on each card to see if I got a Yankee. I used to get them at the Great American grocery store. I remember the bright green wrapper very well.

    In 1987 I was four years old, and remember thinking to myself whether or not I should steal a pack. How awful, right? I was going to put a pack under my shirt, and then when we got home tell my mom that I found them under the couch. Not sure why I remember it so clearly. I did not take the pack that day, I’m proud to say.

  7. 1974 Topps. My mom came home from the grocery store with cello packs for my brother and me. I don’t think I even knew what baseball cards were until that point. First card I saw was Tommy John. I was hooked on the Dodgers and cards for life.

  8. The first one I remember opening was 1988 Topps – I got cards of Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry and a bunch of other guys I can’t recall.

  9. The first pack I recall opening was 1991 Fleer. The first card I ever remember owning was the Henry Cotto card from that set, though I sadly don’t have the original – I was only eight at the time. Not a traditionally great looking set, but it’s one of my favorites, because you never forget your first.

    I actually blogged about it a month or so ago:

    Great question!

  10. 1986 Topps.

    Got an Eric Davis in it, which started a craze I have been in since then.

  11. My first pack was 1979 Topps. I don’t remember any specific cards but do remember going down to the local Qwik Stop on my bike with a couple friends to pick up the packs.

  12. My first pack was a 1986 Topps Rack Pack. Shortly after my dad passed away that summer one of my cousins bought me some packs of cards. I don’t remember a single card I got but getting those cards got me started in the hobby. I will always be grateful to my cousin for getting me started in the hobby and for making the summer a little better.

  13. 1981 Fleer. The only card that I remember was the mustached Steve Carlton. It set me back 32 cents with tax.

    • Play at the plate- Those were the days! 3 for a dollar was awesome back then.

      It’s too bad modern stuff is not more affordable for kids. Maybe that would make it more appealing to today’s youth?

      Thanks for sharing!

    • A buddy and I from the lab started dealing in cards in 1981. Dealers were offering unopened boxes of 1981 Donruss wax packs at $5.00 a box in 1982. They had a hard time giving them away.


  14. The first packs I actually remember opening myself were 1990 Donruss. My dad bought us two boxes. We sat in the car and opened them in the parking lot at the park before one of my soccer games.

    Now my dad told me stories about us going to the corner store and buying 1987 Topps together. I was only 6 and I guess those memories have faded.

  15. 1980 Topps. I was disappointed I didn’t get any Tigers. I think I got the packs from Weiss Fruit Market. I had some ’79s but I was just four and don’t remember how I got them.

  16. 1985 donruss at the local stop’n’go and i was hooked…it only took one pack and i was hooked. i couldn’t tell you who i got in the pack but i was there the next few days spending my left over lunch money on cards.

    • Kenneth- Very cool! The 85 Donruss set offers up a fantastic slew of rookie cards. I’m trying to recall which one was the most sought after during the release.

      Probably the Gooden…

      • Ron Churchwell

        Yea Dwight Gooden and Eric Davis led the pack of rookies that year out of the gate, while future studs like Roger Clemens and Kirky Puckett were merely after thoughts. LOL I still remember buying Clemens’ rookies for the ridiculously low price of 30 cents each. .Along with Tim Teufel, Danny Gladden, and Shane Mack. LMAO

      • Ron- I wish I had as many Davis and Gooden rookies as I did of Shane Mack!!!

      • Ron Churchwell

        I was always very big into Gooden. Ironically years later when my first daughter was born, she had the same birthday as Gooden, so once again, I started buying all the Gooden’s I could find to give to her since she thought it was cool they shared the same birthday. She still has a binder full of him.

  17. I got no problem remembering. My older brother came in with something red in his hands. It was 6 packs of 1983 Fleer. He tossed me a pack and said I could have it. He opened his 5 and got the Ryne Sandberg rookie and not much else. I opened up mine. Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs rookies back to back.. A Dave Stewart and Rickey Henderson were in the middle. Follow by 2 more rookies of Willie McGee and I believe Storm Davis. The last card was the crown jewel (for that time). The Ron Kittle rookie. To this day it remains one my best pulls from a single pack.

  18. The First packs of baseball cards I ever opened were 1981 Topps, The first card I remember seeing from the pack was Willie Stargell… The packs cost me 30 cents @ a convenient store called Lawsons and I remember blowing $10 that cold April up in Union City, PA

  19. 1987 Topps. After an afternoon of fishing with my dad and younger brother and my best friend and his dad. It was spring of my first grade year. Don’t remember any specific players, just that I got a few Blue Jays and their uniforms looked awesome. I also remember riding my bike by myself to Clark’s Pharmacy to buy 1990 Topps, Fleer, and Donruss. That’s not unusual, except that we lived four miles outside of town on a gravel road. That’s not easy pedaling with the old bmx bike!

    • Jeff- great story! I think we all have a fondness for the 87 Topps set.

      I, too, had to do a lot of pedaling when I lived in IL. The local card shop was a straight shot along the train tracks in the next city. Looking back, that was a long ride just for 1991 baseball cards!!!

  20. I vaguely remember buying packs of ’71 Topps at the local hardware store. I remember liking the coins that came in the packs and I remember my grandmother helping me get the cards organized. I don’t believe we ever finished the set and I have no idea what happened to those cards and coins, although I suspect my mother threw them away!

    Flash forward to 1976 – my parents had gotten a divorce and in retrospect, I think I was looking to fill a hole. Either way, my friend’s father from across the street came home one day with some cards and I was hooked. I worked all summer to earn money to buy Topps cards at my local 7-11. And while I don’t remember what was in that first pack of ’76 Topps cards, I do remember the last card I needed to finish my set – Eric Rasmussen of the Cardinals. I’ve been collecting ever since…

    • J-Bro, baseball cards at the hardware store, huh? It’s probably a better fit that what it sounds like, but I cannot see that happening today at Home Depot or Lowes!!

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      • Ron Churchwell

        I remember buying cases of cards at Costco in the early ’90’s since they were so much cheaper then anywhere else. Sadly, they no longer carry them either.

    • Yes, the early ’70’s were simpler times. This was a local hardware store that also carried candy, soft drinks and baseball cards for the kids – a very “mom and pops” store – nothing like the mega hardware store of today.

    • And Ron, I used to buy from Costco as well, but it got to be crazy. I remember after a while, the Costco employees at my Costco started holding them for dealers or would buy them themselves, shutting the rest of us out.

  21. 1980 Topps was the first baseball cards I bought. The Cobra, Dave Parker was the first card I pulled. We just came off the frozen lake from ice fishing and the bait shop had them. I had previously bought 1979 Topps football so I thought I would give baseball a whirl. So glad I did!

  22. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s memories.

    My earliest memory of buying cards comes from 1972. I bought my first pack from Hegewisch Pharmacy with money that my Dad gave me. The only card that I remember was #751 Steve Carlton. I remember this card of course because of the big “Traded” stamped across his chest.

    As a 5 year old that was just learning the game and the players, to see Carlton in a Phillies jersey with “traded” stamped on him confused me. To me, Carlton always played with the Phillies, even though it was just his first season there. I remember asking my dad to explain the card, I’m sure he probably told me something about ‘print schedules’ and ‘series 6’, but it was all above my 5 year old brain. All I know is that I always loved that card……and yes, I still have it.

    ~Russel http://wrigleyregular.mlblogs.com/

  23. In the spring of 1982 I somehow acquired a winning $2 lottery ticket. The 7-11 clerk cashed it in for me and i bought 4 packs of 82 Topps baseball, a Coke, and a fudgesicle.( I think I had 8 cents left ) Anyway the only card I remember pulling was the Cal Ripken Jr rookie! I still have that card to this day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s