30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Do You Remember Your First?

Six months ago, Night Owl wrote an excellent post on "firsts".  In the post, he wrote about the first baseball card he ever saw, the first card he pulled from a pack he purchased, the first baseball card he saw on the ground, and a bunch of other firsts ranging from cards to magazines to articles.

If you're reading this post, then you've no doubt already read his.  However if by chance you haven't, you can click here.

In the article he mentions that he often receives comments like "I wish I had a memory like yours."  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I've left that comment on his blog at least once... if not multiple times.

His response was that maybe "people don't know how to hold onto their childhood", because "they're too busy trying to grow up".  He might be right.  I can't really say for sure why my memory sucks.  But that's one of the reasons I started this blog.  I'd love to document my memories here, so when the day comes that I no longer remember specific things from my childhood... I can turn to posts like this one.

Today... I wanted to document a few of my "firsts".  The original plan was to do this six months ago... but things have a way of piling up and getting lost in the shuffleBetter late than never, right?

Okay, let's get things started...

First Baseball Card I Ever Saw?????

1979 Topps #680

I don't remember the first baseball card I ever saw.  If I had to guess, I'd say it was a 1979 Topps baseball card.

My neighbor gave me a box filled with them.  But I don't remember which card was sitting on top, but there was definitely a Carlton Fisk

First Baseball Card Set I Saw In Its Entirety1981 Fleer

1981 Fleer #110

I've mentioned this a few times over the years, but it's worth mentioning again.  Back in 1981, my parents took me to Seattle to visit my cousin who was attending UW.  While there, we went into a store that sold sports stuff.  You know... things like jackets, hats, lamps, key chains, and baseball cards.

My parents let me pick a set and for some reason, I decided to go with the 1981 Fleer set.

First Boxed Set I Ever Owned1982 Topps K-Mart MVP Set

1982 Topps K-Mart MVP #16

When I was a kid, you were teased at my school if you shopped at K-Mart.  That's why I always tried to distance myself from that place as much as possible.  But somehow, someway... one of these sets landed in my collection.

I was never a big fan of these cards, but the card backs were interesting to this ten year old baseball fan.

First Card Set I Ever Completed1986 or 1987 Topps

1986 Topps #730

I started actively building sets in 1982 or 1983, but the 1986 Topps set was the first one I came close to completing.  This set was also part of a card heist I was involved inDecades later, I can't remember if I actually ever completed this set.

1987 Topps #749

But I know for sure that I opened up boxes and boxes of 1987 Topps, so if I didn't complete the 1986 set, I definitely built multiple sets of those wood bordered beauts.

First World Series I Watched: ?????

My first memory of watching the World Series was when the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles.  I have no idea which games I watched, but I vaguely remember going to school and talking about it with friends.

First Baseball Book I Ever Read?????

Sorry.  I just can't say for certain which one was the first I ever read, but the 1981 American League Red Book is a solid guess.  After searching Google images, I can say with 99.9% certainty that I owned this book.  I can say the same for the 1981 National League Green Book too.  Most likely they were purchased together, but back then I was way more into the AL than the NL.  Some of the late 70's and the 1980 books looked familiar too, but I'd only be guessing on those.

By the way, I realize that the Red and Green Books aren't your typical chapter books, but it says "book" on the cover, so I'm counting it.

Well that's it for today.  There's no way I'll ever be able to tell you the first baseball card I ever saw laying on the ground or the first sports article I ever read in a newspaper.  I guess there's a chance that one day I'll stumble across a Baseball Digest and it'll hit me that it was the first issue I ever owned, but I don't like my chances.

The bottom line is my memory is not nearly as sharp as Night Owl's... but I want to make one thing clear... I was never in a rush to grow up.   I'm truly grateful that I was able to experience an awesome childhood filled with positive memories.  Unfortunately... I'm just the guy who isn't good with dates or specifics.

A huge shout out to Greg for being the inspiration for this post.  This wasn't the first time I "borrowed" one of your ideas... and it probably won't be the last.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. i remember most of these milestones, and i've written about a few of them before. however, i don't think i've ever mentioned that the first baseball card i found on the ground was a 1978 topps cecil cooper that was in rough shape near the motel swimming pool where i was taking swim lessons in the summer of '78.

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  2. I, too, don't have many memories of my childhood days. I have no idea what my first baseball card was -- there's a select group of cards I can remember owning as a kid, but I have no clue where exactly they fell in my collecting timeline.

    The only questions I can answer for sure from this post are First World Series (2001) and First Baseball Book (Baseball's Hall of Shame).

  3. Yeah my childhood memory isn't great either, but I might be able to answer a few of these.

  4. I should do this post again without looking at the first one and see if I come up with the same answers.

    I don't think I was insinuating that people who don't remember their childhoods were in too much of a hurry growing up. I just know lots of people who were in a hurry to grow up so I was just throwing that theory out there. It amazes me how many people don't remember what happened when they were kids, it seems perfectly natural to recall that stuff. I hate to think what my blog would be without those memories.

  5. My memory is awful and I'm the biggest kid I know... That being said, I still remember many of my earliest baseball card memories, probably because I spent countless hours with my cards as a kid.

  6. I really like that Kmart card set (and I may be the oddball out of the broader collecting community) I’ve got nothing but positive memories from Kmart. But it’s quite possible I’m blocking some thing.

  7. 1st cards I saw were 1st series 65 Topps ,1st found card '53 Bobo Newsome found on a trash pile, 1st book "Hawk" by Ken Harrelson, 1st WS '66 Dodgers - Orioles, 1st set '79 Topps (with horribly centered Ozzie RC).

  8. K-mart Trax (shoes.... Yeah, I remember them, and Tough Skins jeans from Sears got you laughed at too. I also remember Converse being the cheapest shoes out there at $2.00 a pair.

  9. I need to bounce off from this as well. My memory is so-so with some things

  10. Let's see.

    The first card I owned was either a 1987 Ralston Purina Eddie Murray or a 1990 Star Line Darryl Strawberry. I'm not sure which came first.

    I believe the first baseball book I ever read was an old book my Dad had from around 1970. It was a history of pro baseball's first 100 years, and was pretty influential to me for a while.

    As I'm not very far removed from those "Firsts" I'm slightly embarrassed that I can't remember much more. Oh well.

  11. I could probably do an "earliest recollection" version of this post. I'd probably be off the mark on a lot of them, but it'd be a fun exercise.

  12. I was 10 and I attended a birthday party where every kid got a few packs of 1986 Donruss. At that time I wasn't even collecting. Who knows how many Canseco RR's were stained with birthday cake fingerprints and soda stains!

  13. First Card I Remember: 1986 Cecil Feilder RC card.
    First Card I Remember Pulling from a pack: 1990 Score Kevin Appier RC
    First Complete set I Remember seeing: 1986 Topps Traded
    First set i personally completed: 2016 Topps Archives
    The Persistence of Memory tracks 👣 in this post!

  14. First Card I Remember: 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson. Long story
    First Card I Remember Pulling From A Pack: 1983 Fleer Jim Smith
    First Complete Set I Remember Seeing: 1985 Topps
    First Complete Set I Personally Completed: 1986 Topps
    First World Series I Remember Watching: 1983 Orioles vs Phillies
    First Baseball Book I Ever Read: Maybe 1985 Topps Home Run Book

  15. gcrl - yeah, you've got a great memory. i wish i could remember all of the games i attended as a kid. did you pick up the cecil cooper?

    nick - oh man... i feel old.

    jeff b - sure hope you do, we'd love to read about it

    night owl - the redo post without looking at the original post is a great idea. as for the memory thing... i think it's like everything else in life. some people have it. others don't. i'm jealous of the bloggers out there that do.

    nachos grande - i wish i had started writing about cards back in the 80's or 90's while the memories were still fresh. i too spent countless hours sorting and just admiring my cards when i was a kid. actually. i still do.

    steve at 1975baseballcards.com - it stayed in business for so long, that i'm thinking i was in the minority. the funny thing is... my dad still talks about that and payless shoe source to this day.

    unknown - i don't think i've ever seen a well centered ozzie smith rookie card. i know my copies are poorly centered

    johnnys trading spot - vaguely remember tough skins. i never had fancy jeans. grew up wearing levi's which were pretty affordable until i became an adult. these days, they're so expensive. now i just wear old navy cargo shorts. as for cheap shoes... my friends and i never wanted to own pro wings.

    sport card collectors - take your time. it took me months to get around to writing this post ;D

    gtt - i can picture a purina eddie murray, but the one i'm thinking about is the 1984 or 1985 edition. as for the memory thing... it's okay. join the club.

    matt - go for it. maybe we can turn night owls post into a blog bat-around ;D

    big tone - whoa. that's awesome. i don't think i found any 86d in the wild in my area. lots of 86t and some 86f though.

    xavier higgins - which fielder? topps, fleer, or donruss? i definitely remember those being popular especially after he hit all of those home runs. oh and the 86tt was the first traded set i owned.

    the snorting bull - i remember watching the 83 world series too. don't remember who i was rooting for though. both of those teams are middle of the road teams for me. gotta go look up the topps home run book.

  16. 1986 Topps Football was my first followed by 1987 Topps baseball. Those were the days!

  17. 1986 Topps Cecil Feilder; My Father brought home a gigantic cardboard box filled to top with mostly commons from the late 70's to 87,across all brands and genre, when I was around 5 or six and my brother and I sifted through that junk for countless hours over the course of several years throwing commons and garbage pail kids in amongst other random ephemera...

  18. Good firsts. I have a lot of trouble remembering mine.