Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rookie Cards!

When I first got into collecting cards, I was  12 , and knew little about the accompanying terminology. I knew players, stars mainly, and teams. Hell I didn't even know they were worth money until one Christmas when someone bought me a card collecting kit with a tenuous price guide that only had a few sets listed with their card number and  value. There was no better feeling than matching the number on the back of your card with the one inside the price guide and finding out It's monetary value!I remember flipping out when I saw that my 1988 Topps Darryl Strawberry was worth 15 cents! I didn't know how popular  Rookie Cards were until I checked my price guide one day and realized   that players with a (RC) next to their name seemed to be worth a little more than the common players, even more than some established stars. Some players also had (FS) next to their names ,which stood for "Future Stars".Certain ,more prominent rookies had that written on the fronts of their  Topps rookie cards .My cousin and I had just bought a crap load of 1989 Topps  wax packs ,looking for a player named "Alomar" who was listed as a  (FS) and was worth 2 whole dollars!That was a lot for one card considering  each pack was only 50 cents.
  I was big on Canseco ,so naturally the card to have was HIS rookie. I saved up and my dad put the rest In ,towards a small set of cards put out by Topps called the "Topps Traded Series".These sets were released initially in the late 70's after every regular set and featured about 130 of the games most recently traded players and a slew of young rookies as well. The set I saved up for was the 1986 release, which  featured Canseco's rookie as well as Will Clark's, Bo Jackson's and Barry Bonds!
I think that set started It all for me as far as obsessing over rookie cards. From that point on you weren't considered cool If you owned the card of a star player, you had to have his rookie , too, to be considered a serious collector. Well , as serious as a 12 year old collector could be ,anyways. Down below are a couple of other popular late 80's,early 90's RC's from my personal collection. I'm not really collecting many cards theses days but I'll buy the occasional early 80's RC of a childhood favorite when the chance presents itself. I don't have an extensive collection but I'll be more than glad to see If I have something you might need and wanted to trade for ;) Enjoy the pics!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Post 9/11 Sports Therapy

After the events that took place on 9/11 in 2001, morale was down but the message was-"Go out and have a good time, travel and show the terrorists that they haven't won!". When It all went down I was asleep and hung-over from the night before. I remember being awoken by a "Breaking News" alert on my television which had been on all night. I had been living with my parents at the time, so as I stumbled out of my quarters and into the living room, there was my mom, dad  and sister all huddled around the T.V. set with tears in their eyes. We have family there, so naturally phone calls were made to make sure everyone was all right. It was all pretty nuts to say the least. To this day who knows what really happened that morning. I will say that as a result , peoples lives, day to day routines and mental states were forever changed .Some more than others, but changed, nonetheless. Things would sort of return to normal soon after, particularly In the world of sports, namely MLB. It was September ,which meant "Pennant Race" to those of us familiar with the sport. The perennial play-off bound Yankees were in the midst of another championship caliber season and all sorts of patriotism had people coming out In  droves to witness post 9/11 history and I wanted to be a part of it. Major League as well as N.Y. baseball would resume and tickets were selling like hot cakes. Now I'm not sure what a hot cake actually tastes like but I'm assuming they were pretty damn good because they sold fast. My sister knows how much sports mean to me and knew that I would jump at the chance to attend a baseball game In N.Y. , especially after what had taken place, and bought my ticket! I was heavy into drinking then and some time away from my stomping grounds would do me some good, my sister knew that better than anybody.She has always been there for me, In fact they all have (I have 3), and I don't know what I'd do without them. So,not only did we score some pretty good seats, the Yanks were playing the Orioles and this would be  Cal Ripken's last time in Yankee stadium! The memory of the game Is still fresh in my brain. The roaring crowd, Cal Ripken's farewell trot around Yankee stadium and the guy trying to sell me a Derek Jeter portrait after the game. Most of all, though, I can remember the cab ride to the game and the ominous feeling It gave the group we were with, my sister and I. There wasn't any talk about baseball or who we thought was going to win the game or how crowded the streets were. Just an awkward silence as we all looked out of the cabs backseat windows with the same thing on all of our minds. We all knew what we were thinking, but instead of talking about it, kept it to ourselves. In the end the whole experience proved to be rather therapeutic and I'd like to think that traveling to N.Y. so soon after the 9/11 events to enjoy a game of baseball ,played a small part in the rebuilding efforts, not only structurally/monetarily  but morally.
Actual ticket stub
Derek Jeter UD Playmaker bobble head I picked up while at game