30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Can't Remember My First

Forty years ago... I ripped into my first packs of baseball cards.  Don't even bother asking me the first card I pulled from my first pack, because I have no idea.  I couldn't even tell you the brand, but if I had to guess... I'd go with Topps or Donruss.

I remember trading both of those brands on my porch with my neighbors back in the day.  One of the hottest cards on the block was the 1981 Donruss Al Hrabosky which I've written about before.  Back then... I think the only cards more popular on the porch were cards of Rickey Henderson and Fernando Valenzuela.

Over the years, I've discovered tons of other awesome 1981 baseball cards.  One of them is this Mike Schmidt I picked up for $4.29 last year... right before the lockdown.  

1981 Topps #540

I don't think any of my friends owned this card.  If they did... it wasn't part of their trade stack... because even the 9 year old version of me would have loved this card.  Just look at Schmidt glaring or even yelling at someone.

Plus he was coming off of his first MVP season when collectors were first pulling this card.  I'm kind of glad I didn't own this card back then, because I might have been lured into being a Phillies fan.

Anyways... this card is dedicated to Elliptical Man who recently removed me from his will because I chose Ichiro Suzuki as my favorite player with the last name starting in the letter "S", instead of Schmitty.

Since this is sort of a Throwback Thursday post... I figured I'd share two more cards related to 1981:

2013 Topps Supreme Stylings Orange Autograph #SS-MK

Munenori Kawasaki was born on June 3, 1981... exactly 40 years agoHappy birthday Kawa!

If you're not familiar with this guy, do yourself a favor and click here.

2009 Donruss Americana Movie Posters Materials #41

And that week... Billboard's #1 song was Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes.

Never heard it?  Click hereGreat song and fond memories.  What about you...

Any fond memories from 1981?

Happy Thursday and sayonara! 


  1. Fernandomania and the powdery donruss gum are two things I remember about 1981, along with the strike and ken landreaux catching the last out of the world series.

  2. Fond memories from 1981....I don’t remember it, but I was born in 1981. As a kid I always thought it was super cool that 1981 was also the first year for Donruss and Fleer. I have an 81 Topps set, but someday would like to add the other two to my collection.

  3. You name it, I was probably doing it in 1981.

  4. 1981, duh, the Dodgers won the World Series.

    Other memories: end of sophomore year/start of junior year, which meant all of my classes were in the cool, downstairs portion of our high school; one of my least favorite years of No. 1 songs on the pop charts; the ELO album "Time," which was the first ELO album I bought at the same time it was released; the Styx album "Paradise Theater" and Rush's "Moving Pictures"; my very weird Spanish teacher Mrs. Spanfelner; my friend John (who I'm still bud's with on Facebook); the emergence of the 49ers; "Rapture" and "The Tide Is High" by Blondie; and the year I started my paper route job.

    Oh, and trying to buy 3 brands of baseball cards instead of 1 for the first time. I didn't have money for that!

  5. I was not alive in 1981! That Kawasaki autograph is neat. I don't remember him on the Jays at all.

  6. I was 6 in 1981, so not a ton of vivid memories...my brother would have turned 1 that year, while my mom would have been pregnant with boy #3...

  7. I think I was just a year away from my first baseball card pack buys in 81. I had been introduced to the, but I don't think I actually made a purchase until 82.

  8. The '81 Schmidt is one of my all-time favorites.

  9. gcrl - landreaux catching the final out is a great piece of baseball trivia. when i hear powdery gum, i think of fleer star stickers.

    daniel wilson - i always liked the fact that my first year of collecting baseball cards coincided with the end of the topps monopoly on baseball cards.

    johnnys trading spot - i'm picturing you as living the scarface lifestyle

    night owl - that's cool that you are still friends with someone from back in 1981. i'm down to one friend that i keep in touch with from that year, but these days we only text each other happy birthday. out of the three albums you listed, i own two of them (styx and rush). my brother donated both of them to my lp collection

    the lost collector - interesting. the jays are pretty much the only team i associate him with.

    matt - totally understand. i don't have a lot of vivid memories from when i was 6 either.

    the diamond king - 1982 was a great year to start collecting. i can close my eyes and picture the 82d billy martin and san diego chicken cards.

    anonymous - i hope one day another blogger does the research and figures out the story behind what's going on with schmidt on this card.

  10. Now I have that song stuck in my head