Volume 1, Issue 2, Page 1, August 1998
My First Cards
By John Harrell
My very first baseball card purchase was a pack of '52 Bowmans. I got them after school at the neighborhood grocery, right across the street from A.B. Hill Elementary. I was only 6 or so at the time, but even then I could feel something akin to the collecting bug in me about to metamorphize. Had there been '52 Topps around things might have developed differently, but they weren't, at least not in my neighborhood. In fact, I don't remember seeing any of them until a number of years afterward.
I also don't remember seeing Topps in '53, but I do remember the '53 Bowman color cards. Boy were they pretty, and a great improvement over the somewhat small and drab '52 Bowmans. Also, they had wonderful statistics on the back and talked about faraway places like Yankee Stadium or Comiskey Park. But my love affair with baseball pasteboard was only in the budding stages.
In 1954, for the first time, both Topps and Bowman cards were available in the several groceries and 5-and-10 stores scattered around my neighborhood. The '54 Bowmans of Roy Campanella and Country Slaughter were the most memorable cards of my childhood. For some reason, the photos on those cards just grabbed me in a special way, and I've always remembered them.
But the biggest bombshell was when my Dad noticed that I was getting into collecting cards, swapping them with my friends and beginning to appreciate the game of baseball. One evening he came home from
work with a whole box of '54 Topps cards for me. That did it. I was in nirvana. A whole box of cards still in their wrappers. No one in my neighborhood had ever seen a whole box of cards, except in the stores. I was very popular for a few days and can vividly remember trading away several Aaron and Kaline and Banks rookies for a Willie Mays. Who wanted these guys, anyway?
After that experience, I was hooked for good on pasteboard and collected not only baseball but football and Scoops cards (if you remember these you're up in years). Many thousands of cards have since passed through my hands but nothing can replace that magical year of 1954 when I became a cardboard addict.
By Jim Montgomery
To be a member of a group that will come to the aid of another without question, reasoning or understanding.
To enjoy the vast differences that makes us so alike.
To have been touched by random acts of kindness.
To have known Stan Hack, Minnie Minoso, Taki, Batman and numerous others that fade with the memories of time.
To have been able to bring joy, gladness, sorrow, and anger to others without the worry of intolerance.
To have been able to give without providence.
Volume 1, Issue 2, Page 2, August 1998
What is a Baseball Card?
By Carlos Alcazar
What is a baseball card? In the 1800s when baseball cards were first introduced, baseball cards were a form of advertisement. The card had no value at the time, it was merely a way to make people want to buy more of the cigarettes. By the 1950s, baseball cards were something that many children would go to their local grocery store and would put down a penny or a nickel and would then rip open a pack of cards. The child would then walk home chewing the gum and sorting the cards.
By the beginning of the 1970s, card dealers began to slowly open their doors across America. To dealers, although some had been collectors themselves, a baseball card was a product much like a book at a bookstore that they would sell and try to make a profit.
To the speculator, a baseball card was merely a vehicle that could be bought in groups of 10, 50 and 100 and if the player became great could be sold at great profit. Most of the speculators may or may not have ever been collectors themselves; to them, baseball cards were stocks in a stock market that was entirely controlled by price guides.
To the modern collector, a baseball card is a way to get rich. You open a pack of cards hoping to pull a rare insert and then sell it for a fortune. Some modern collectors see a baseball card as a lottery ticket. And why not? On the back of many modern packs you will see odds of finding a particular card. And then the price guide determines how much the "winning" ticket is worth.
So what is a baseball card? A baseball card is only what you want it to be, and nothing more.
A tip of the hat to all those who have contributed articles so far. They have been fun to read, and everyone is encouraged to contribute something. A big thanks goes to Jim Pearce, who designed the newsletter head for us. Jim turned in no fewer than six different designs, but the newsletter "staff" decided that the one you see at the top of Page 1 was the best. Hope everyone else feels the same.
Keep those articles coming!
O B C : A T r a d i t i o n o f E x c e l l e n c e S i n c e 1 9 9 1
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