1986 Topps #53
Back in the Spring of 1986, I was wrapping up my final year of junior high and most of my friends were into girls, skateboarding, or both. Me? I was into baseball cards and video games. Yeah... I'm not embarrassed to admit that I was a late bloomer and the stereotypical nerd.
But the story I'm about to share is very embarrassing and one of my least proudest moments.
1986 Topps #250
It was your average, run-of-the-mill afternoon and my friend and I decided to walk down to the local Long's Drugstore to buy some candy. While we were there, I noticed that they had received a fresh supply of 1986 Topps baseball cards. This was back in the day when stores still displayed their baseball cards in the candy aisle as well as their check-stands. I picked up a couple and we started heading back.
After reached the back lot, my friend pulled out a handful of packs from her jacket and handed them to me. I immediately knew that she had stolen them... but at the very moment, I didn't care. The only thing that mattered was the stack of packs in my hand.
1986 Topps #647
Now before I continue, you should know a little bit about our friendship. The girl and I had been friends since we were in first or second grade, and I had known for years that she had a crush on me. So I wasn't too surprised when she offered to get me more. Not just one or two packs, but a full box.
1986 Topps #531
Obviously, I should have declined her offer. I was thirteen years old and was well aware of right and wrong. My parents raised me to honor the family name, but on that particular day I had a major lapse in judgement. The lure of opening a box of thirty-six packs was too strong and trumped my moral beliefs.
1986 Topps #29
We went home... dropped off our stuff, turned around, and went right back. To make a long story... a little shorter. She got caught. Well... we got caught. As soon as we exited Long's, a security guard asked us to go with him.
He took us to a special room upstairs and made us empty out our pockets. I didn't have anything on me, but she had been holding onto the box under her jacket. She immediately began to cry and I felt like the worst friend in the world. Wait. Let me rephrase that... I was the worst friend in the world.
1986 Topps #1
They had us call our parents to pick us up, but before we left they took Polaroid pictures of us, plastered them on their wall of shame, and permanently banned us.
We never hung out after that. Part of it had to do with my parents grounding me for a long, long time. It didn't help that she went to a different high school and moved a few years later. But most of it had to do with me feeling guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed for taking advantage of a really good friend.
1986 Topps #689
I had completely forgotten about this story until a few weeks ago when I read one of Night Owl's posts. I probably blocked out this memory as a way to save face. That night I tried to track her down on Facebook and conducted a Google search, but was unsuccessful.
It's pretty unlikely... but maybe she'll stumble across this confession and accept my sincerest apology.
1986 Topps #80
Three decades later... baseball cards are still a huge part of my life along with the temptation to bust an entire box of cards. However... I promise to never put them above my moral beliefs.
Happy Thursday and sayonara!