I'm supposed to relay how I first decided to collect sports cards and when. So says Fuji. Or maybe it's Nick. It's getting very confusing, and truthfully, I'm not playing much by the rules, so never mind.
The "when" part of this question is easy. I first collected sports cards (re: baseball cards) in 1974 when I was eight years old. As I've written here many times, I say "collected," but actually I had no idea what "to collect" meant in '74.
The 1974 Topps baseball cards I received that year came from my mother who had just returned from a grocery store trip. She handed my brother and I some cards from the store, one of those cello packs with about 30 or so cards, if I recall correctly.
And, as I've also mentioned many times, we admired, cherished and marveled over those cards for those summer months. And then, when school came around, we chucked them in the garbage. Don't rock the boat, baby. We already had Matchbox cars to collect. We didn't need another hobby.
I don't have many memories of those first cards. I've since completed the entire set in honor of my first year, but I have to stare at the cards for a very long time for any of them to transport me back to that time. Cards just didn't have a lot of meaning to me then.
I do remember being overpowered by the John Odom card. But I can't even tell you if I had the card or my brother had the card, or a friend had the card, or I just saw it in the street somewhere.
The Eddie Leon card was terrific, too. (Also mentioned before). But that was only because my brother had the card long after 1974 and it was great because it was an "old card."
And the Tommy John card sat on the top of my stack of '74s in my desk drawer. Because it's the first card I ever pulled out of a pack (I DO remember that) and it started me on the path to being a Dodger fan. (I've mentioned all this before, too).
But how did I start collecting sports cards? What were the reasons?
Damned if I know. I was eight.
When 1975 came along, I actually started spending my allowance on the 1975 Topps set, going out to stores and buying cards with my own money. This was true collecting. And I got hooked. I think this was because the set is one of the greatest ever, because I was just getting to know the game of baseball, and because I had ownership of these pieces of cardboard as I purchased them with my own cash. I was a big boy.
But really, this all speculation. In actuality I don't know why I did what I did. It was almost 40 years ago. I'm lucky I remember as much about that time as I do.
So, have I answered Fuji's ... er, Nick's question? I think I did. Although I know some teachers who would think I didn't answer it at all.
Let me try again. In eight-year-old speak.
How did I first decide to collect sports cards?
For the same reason we begged my mom to buy green slime.
It was cool.
Except my mom only bought the cards for us.
This could've been a green slime blog.