Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Topps and Flops

A fun article about the death, in popularity, and of big value, of baseball cards. My first compete set was a 1981 Fleer set, and I don’t think the set has increased in value since.

My favorite card story was trying like heck to get the 1979 Dave Kingman card. Kingman was a then-unheard-of free agent signing by the Cubs, and he rewarded us with a 48 HR season in 1979, so that summer, his card was a hot item, and I couldn’t find it. Luckily, none of my trading partners could, either.

Then, on a trip to the A&P across from the library, I got one. I cannot quite put into words what this meant, but I knew I could get whatever I wanted for it.

So, I causally told my pals in the neighborhood, in between whiffle ball games featuring the lineups of the Cubs and Pirates, that I had the Kingman card.

To make a long story short, I was convinced to take, along with numerous other cards, the “rookie” card of a Yankee phenom, sorta like Brian Doyle, the hero of the 1978 World Series.

George Zeber had great numbers in limited action in 1978, so I agreed to do the deal. I refused to take any Hostess baseball cards, as I found them to be beneath me.

I then waited for George to be on an All-Star ballot, and take his place among Willie Randolph, Manny Trillo, and Dave Concepcion. It never happened.

Luckily, I found another Dave Kingman card that summer. But I still remember George Zeber.

And I still have boxes and boxes and binders and binders of cards in my garage. Gathering dust.

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