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My Card Collecting Story

Posted by houstoncollector on February 27, 2008

I grew up during the 80s, and my mother has worked at Wal-Mart off and on for most of the past 25 years. In 1987, she was in charge of the products on the registers, one of which was (at the time) sports cards. I had already been collecting baseball cards since 1985, when I got the set of 1985 Topps from Sears, although I was stupid and traded the best cards away at a card shop months later (Clemens and McGwire, among others).

Anyway, in 1987 cards were big, and were good sellers. For some reason, and I can’t recall if my mother did it or if the store did it, but we ended up with a LOT of 1987 Topps towards the later half of the year, and my mother got the directive to start marking it down. It was originally like 40 or 35 cents a pack, but after about 2 months, it was dropped to the incredible price (and about what it’s worth now), 5 cents a pack. My mother was nice enough to pick up the better part of half a case of product. We spent about … two or three weeks opening packs of 1987 Topps and throwing away the gum. I easily completed my set, and then about 2-3 extra sets and all kinds of stars and commons.

On New Year’s Eve, 1987, we took the extras to a card shop about 40 miles away, that I had never been to before. After a lot of talking and trading, I ended up getting about $150 in cash…and 8 boxes of 1988 Score…which had yet to even hit the shelves, as they weren’t supposed to come out until the next week or so. I then made a set of 1988 Score as well, and traded many extra stars in for MORE cards later on.

It was a lot of fun when I was 15, and would be a lot of fun now, too (which is why I bought 7 boxes of 1991-92 product off Ebay a few months back for like $20), and even though the cards are worthless now (and I don’t even have any of them, other than some that are apparently in a box at my father’s, who I haven’t spoken to in nearly seven years), it’s a nice memory.

What’s your memory?


2 Responses to “My Card Collecting Story”

  1. Joe said

    I always enjoyed buying the packs two or three at a time in 81 and 82. After doing work my grandparents would give me a dollar or two and I would skidaddle across the unbusy highway to the Majik Market to ponder over what to get. Topps baseball, football or basketball. I even splurged on E.T., Pac-Man and Donkey Kong Cards.

  2. houstoncollector said

    Yeah, I was a bit too young when 81-82 came out, as I was only 9-10 years old.

    Sad, really, because I missed the early and mid 1970s. Even worse, my dad collected cards growing up, and my grandparents threw ’em out. I was following baseball then though, as I remember being sick in either 1980 or 1981 and watching the Astros go to the playoffs. Then again, I remember watching Earl Campbell on Monday Night Football in 1978, too.

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