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Cardboard appreciation: 1975 Topps Steve Yeager

(Today we are appreciating a concept that Ralph Kramden could get behind -- the jettisoning of women into space -- "To the Moon, Alice!" Actually, May 26th is "Sally Ride Day." Remember, Sally Ride, the first woman in space? You couldn't turn on a TV in 1983 without hearing about her. So here's to women in space and baseball cards. And, no, I can't draw a connection between the two. This is the 32nd in a series):

Do you remember the first card you pulled of a player on your favorite team? Just as importantly, do you still have that card?

I do. It's staring right back at ya. Beautiful ain't it?

I was 9 years old when I pulled this card. It just celebrated its 34th birthday. And even though I have discarded, misplaced or just plain lost a small mountain of possessions since my 9th birthday, this card still remains.

You know why? Because it's important to me. Don't let anyone ever tell you that baseball cards don't mean anything. They do. I can tell you exactly where I was on the school playground when I first pulled this card out of my pocket (yes, I just said I pulled it out of my pocket) to show my friends. In fact, I could drive to Binghamton, N.Y., head for the south side of town, park in the parking lot at my elementary school, MacArthur School, and walk to almost the precise spot in which I was standing on that day in 1975.

I can't tell you half the things that happened on my wedding day, or even the day my daughter was born. But I can give you latitude and longitude of my whereabouts on that spring day in May, a mere month after Hammerin' Hank hit No. 715.

Here, this is probably a better representation of what I saw when I first pulled the card from the pack. I would study this card endlessly. I guess that's pretty evident given the condition of the original.

You'll note this is the pre-perm and glasses Yeager. I loved the mid-swing pose. I loved the shiny blue helmet he wore. I liked the green grass stretching behind him, and the orange stands in the background, and how they matched with the colors that made up the border.

This was the only Dodger card I had for quite awhile, and Steve Yeager was my favorite player for a brief period until the Ron Cey card came along.

This card will always remind me of a blooming love for the Dodgers and the game of baseball. There aren't a lot of cards these days that evoke feelings like that in me. So that is why I keep that tattered Yeager card. It's something I definitely appreciate.

I hope you have the first card you pulled of a player on your favorite team. Because it is a truly unique card in any collection, a card that in all likelihood will explain to someone who doesn't know: "See this card? This is why I still collect baseball cards."


Matt Runyon said…
I still have the beat up 1974 Topps cards that I got when I was seven years old. I don't remember all of the cards that were in that first pack, but I do remember getting a "Hank Aaron special." I've upgraded the set, but I kept the original cards that I had.
gcrl said…
i thought your first dodger pull was a tommy john. oh well. i don't really remember my first dodger, sadly. i do remember the first card, though. i am working up a post on it so you'll have to wait. ha.
night owl said…
Jim ~ the first card I ever saw was Tommy John. It was in a pack of cards my mother bought me before I knew much about baseball (I threw the cards from that pack out, that's how much I cared at the time). But the first Dodger I ever pulled from a pack that I bought myself was Steve Yeager.

The Yeager card means more because I was into baseball enough by then that I would seek cards out at the store. So, to me, that's the first Dodger I ever pulled.
gcrl said…
ok. makes sense. btw, that hoyt wilhelm photo is from a team issued postcard i found online. no luck on boog or marichal in color. they both have b&w photos on the target set cards i believe.
GOGOSOX60 said…
I still have a well worn 1975 Topps Wilbur Wood in my wallet. It's funny a baseball card is just as important in my wallet as pictures of my kids are...