Baseball fans have never seen anything like this. Remember when, as kids, putting those Mickey Mantle or Joe Morgan cards into the spokes of bicycles, or mom throwing them out in spring cleaning or the day after you leave from college?
For every kid not saving their cards, there’s someone who collected those cards, dearly. Putting them in plastic sheets, reading the Baseball Guide Price Guide the day it came out, and marveling at not just the price of cards now worth in their possession, but the beauty of them. The trivia on the back. The grand totals. That’s the stuff I remember, and can still recite years of stats of my favorite players by heart due to those cards.
Collecting the cards as a young pup was only the beginning for me. I still have those cards, still in sheets, and every now and again, I still go downstairs, open up a binder, and it still puts me right back into 1978. How does it do that?
Nothing could have prepared me, though, for what Topps Baseball Cards have done.
Topps Baseball Cards have found a way to turn old old memories into art. This could be the best idea I’ve seen in the collecting world, and I’ve seen a lot of them. It’s perfect for any baseball fan, any card collector – then or now, and good on Topps for making what was a fun pastime and great way to proudly display those heroes of our youth.
I want a George Brett 1979 print for the holidays. Just a gentle hint. I first saw George on the cover of SI during the 1976 season as a 6 year old, and was hooked. He was this blonde beach hero I had never seen before. When the Toronto Blue Jays began the following year, I became a lifelong baseball fan – I must have seen the Kansas City Royals play 40 times or so over my life. My mother used to send me the clipping of his .400 run when I was at summer camp in 1980 – that’s how much I wanted to keep up on his career.
Like most guys, baseball might have taken a back seat when I discovered girls, music and other stuff, but I always looked at the sports section to see how he did. And as silly as it sounds, when he retired in 1993, I lost some interest in the game. It’s like when your favourite DJ leaves a radio station, or the band you love breaks up. I still go to games now, but I get to bring my 10-year-old daughter with me. She goes through the baseball cards now and makes fun of everyone’s hair.
There have been a few bands I’ve signed solely on the basis they were baseball fans. You can’t go wrong with that gut reaction.
So, thanks Topps. And to anyone out there, I’ll take that 1979 George Brett print for the holidays.