Friday, August 4, 2017

Humbled Beginnings

From books to toys to television, nobody or nothing was going to make me interested in sports despite my father's many attempts to turn me that way. I liked what I liked and that was just the way it was going to be.

At least that's what I thought.

However, something drastically and magically changed on a grocery shopping trip we had taken in 1994. We were about to pay in line when my father saw packs of 1994 Topps football sitting on the shelf across from us, remember when cards were sold everywhere, I will never know why other than it must have been the Cardboard Gods, he told me to go grab two packs.

So I grabbed them, we finished paying and off we went to the car. Once we got in there, my father handed me a pack and he kept one for himself as well.

I watched him open his with his mouth, something he still does today, and watched as he looked at the cards telling me about certain players he had found. I, on the other hand without any sports knowledge or knowledge to open a pack, knew better than to open it with my mouth not knowing how many hands had touched those packs before us, so instead I had to fool around with the pack to figure out how to open it and finally did so.

As I rummaged through the cards not really understanding what I was seeing, nothing really caught my eye til I came upon this one....

1994 Topps Football Special Effects Jason Sehorn
I am not sure if it was the glisten on the card or the look on my father's face watching me look at this particular card, but for whatever reason, the card caught my attention and I wanted to open to see if I can find more. Boom magic. It was that simple how the hobby clicked with me. I will never fully understand why we bought the packs and why I was so intrigued by this card or what that day made me want to pursue the hobby. I just did and sometimes in life you just can't explain things.

So for every grocery shopping trip after that, we continued to pick up a pack or two. My collecting interests started to grow and I started to add in some hockey and baseball cards by 1995. My father was thrilled to see my interest in sports start to peak as well.

1995 was when my passion for the hobby and sports really started to explode. My collection started to build and in my spare time when I wasn't sorting cards or watching my favorite shows and cartoons, that certainly wasn't going to change, I would watch football, baseball and basketball. But, more on that later.

As for that Jason Sehorn Special Effects card above, I still have it. When I flip through my NY Giants binder and come across it, the memories of that day float in my mind and it will be a card I will always treasure the most.

So here was my simple humbled sport card hobby beginning. What was yours?

1 comment:

  1. Back in 1987, my brother and I were given money as a reward for good grades. We were told about our new found fortune before a grocery shopping run; there was a Walgreens next to the grocery store, and we had to stop there first. While wandering about the Walgreens my brother and I came across a fresh box of 1987 Topps. Since the grocery store was nowhere near the Toys R Us (and saving the money is not a part of a kid's thought process), we convinced dad to get us the entire box (the good old days of $.25 packs). We split up the cards and the journey began. I didn't start getting basketball cards until we found packs of 1989 Fleer at the old Venture (a competitor to Zayre (aka Ames) in the Chicago area), and football cards a few years after that. Looking forward to seeing the mid-90's goodness, as I was in college that time and card purchases took a back seat to Star Wars and Star Trek trading card games.