This is an odd one.
But it came to mind that what really got me interested in sports, other than Vin Scully, were baseball cards.
We moved to Jose Way in Fullerton in July 1964. I was 11 at the time. Alan Garber lived across the street. I think he was at least a year older, or maybe two. Mark Monroe lived next door, and he was a year or two younger. That summer, and probably the next, we played a lot of wiffleball in Alan’s back yard. The challenge was to hit the wiffleball from his backyard, over the roof into the front yard; Home Run.
Alan was a baseball card collector. I think he got me started. Back then a pack of baseball cards, with gum, I believe was 5 cents. I rode my bike over to the liquor store in Sunny Hills, or maybe I walked. Anyway that was my source. Most of the cards I collected were 1964 cards. I spent a lot of time looking at the statistics on the back and the pictures on the front. If you show me a card from that season, I can probably tell you who that ballplayer is just by the picture. I also have quite a few memorized statistics, such as the number of doubles by Johnny Callison, the number of games played by Jose Pagan, and the number of wins by Sandy Koufax in 1963.
Although I think you were supposed to trade baseball cards with other friends, I don’t remember ever trading very many, although I was able to get rid of some of my “doubles” to Alan in trade for a card I didn’t have. Back then, there were no card shows, at least that I was aware of, and no internet, where you could go on Craig’s List and buy the cards you needed to fill in your set.
I am not sure how many cards I have from that era. I gave my ‘64s to Brian when Marijane and I got married. He was 10. Hopefully he still has most of them. I have a few thousand here at the house, some in notebooks, and others in bins in the garage. I am sure they are worth a fortune, or more.
I did learn you need to be careful about baseball cards. When I went away to college, and pretty much for good, my Mom got rid of some important containers. Unfortunately my baseball “coins” were in those bins…never to be seen again. I would be retired now if that had not happened. Oh, well, I am just as happy to be working.
I have been a closet-collector ever since those days. I have a bunch of old coins, and my Dad’s stamp collection (don’t tell my siblings) and my postcard collection, which I am now trying to get rid of by mailing postcards every other day to Eli during these pandemic days. I also have a few hundred football cards and golf cards. You may want me to bring my golf cards over next time we visit.
I may start collecting old baseball cards again when I am done collecting data on lots and land to sell. I have a couple of hundred notebooks of those. Maybe that’s how that got started….
SSOMG hopes that baseball cards don’t go the way of most things and become virtual or something like that. I think there is something cool about collecting cards of your heroes and being able to look at them and turn them over and memorize how many home runs Duke Snider hit in 1960…