7.12.2014

1962 Topps All-Star
Willie Mays

It must have been 1982 or so and I was earning about $20 every Saturday helping my uncle put newspapers in racks around town. One day after completing the route, we stopped by a local baseball card shop.

If my memory serves me, baseball card shops were starting to spring up about then. A few years later, there would be hundreds to choose from.

As I made my way throught the shop, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I know that phrase is overused but that's the best way I can describe the feeling I had as I saw shelf after shelf of vintage cards in cases.

The pricetags were scarry for a 13-year-old. Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Earnie Banks, Willie Mays. Superstar cards selling for $20-30 each!

How could I justify spending my entire earnings on a single card? What would my mom say if I told her I spent it all on a baseball card?

Instead, I gravitated to a binder marked 25 cents. Looking through, I found my first poor old baseball cards. Warren Spahn, Bob Lemon, Ed Mathews, Luis Aparicio, Early Wynn, Al Kaline, Juan Marichal and this Willie Mays. All cards from the late 1950s into the 60s.

I was thrilled. I must have spent $3-$4. Each card went into my binder.

It was in that same shop that I bought my first Bowman, a 1955 Art Ditmar. Later I learned about Goudey and bought a 1933 Phil Collins. And then I saved up for my first T206, a George McQuillan.

I remember, for some reason, really wanting a 1933 Goudey Frankie Frisch. I must have called that shop every day for months asking the owner it's price. It was always too much.

A week ago I got a 1934 Goudey Frankie Frisch. I'm still waiting for that 1933.

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