Friday, September 28, 2012

1975 redux

There goes Night Owl, trotting out the big words again.

I have a fascination with words that I don't know. "Redux" is a key one for me. I first read the word in the chapter title of a Roger Angell article when I was a teenager, and the word bounced around in my head for years. "RE-ducks. RE-ducks." I didn't even know if I was pronouncing it right. (turns out I was).

Anyway, the word means "restored." It's a great word for this blog, and my other ones, because I do a lot of "restoring," otherwise known as "waxing nostalgic."

My favorite thing to "redux," if I can use it as a verb, is the 1975 Topps set. As you know, I think it's the greatest thing ever. In fact, one year go yesterday, I posted the last card on the 1975 Topps blog that I created. A complete set blog from beginning to end, which hasn't been done very often.

Even though I've moved on to the 1971 and 1985 Topps sets in blog-form, I still miss posting on the 1975 Topps (it's far out, man) blog. That blog was a favorite because it wasn't just my favorite set. It was the first set I ever collected. It has more memories in it for me than possibly every other set combined.

In honor of the '75 blog anniversary, I was trying to think of something about the 1975 set that I haven't covered here on this blog, and I couldn't come up with anything. I really think I've run out of ideas.

So I decided to do something simple. I decided to post all of the cards that I still have from the first three packs of cards I ever bought in April of 1975. I saved a lot of the cards that I bought in 1975 and some of them I remember pulling out of those first three packs.

I don't have all of the cards that I pulled out of those packs -- at least not those versions of the cards -- and I can't remember all of the cards that came out of the packs. So why not include the ones I do remember on one post, so when I lose even more of my memory, I can always go to this post and know exactly which cards came out of those packs I bought as a 9-year-old?

There were 10 cards in a pack in 1975. And I was able to determine nine of the 30 cards that I pulled that day.

What I believe was the first card I ever pulled -- the Darold Knowles airbrushed card -- is at the top of the post. (I've gone back and forth between the Knowles card and the Hal McRae card as the first I ever pulled, but I'm now pretty sure it's Knowles. I can even remember where I was standing in my bedroom when I saw it for the first time).

Here are the others, in all of their pulverized glory:

What I thought about Foli's card when I was 9, according to the '75 Topps blog:

"I thought it was a cool shot of Foli, looking very suave -- despite the glasses -- after a casual swing of the bat."

What I thought about Murray's card then:

"This is one of the cards that I pulled out of the first three packs of baseball cards I ever bought, back in 1975. Everything about the card is ingrained in my brain. When I see it, I'm immediately transported to my bedroom on 6 Chadwick Road."

What I thought about the 1958 MVPs card then:

"This is one of the cards that I pulled very early in my first year of collecting. Again, I couldn't tell you whether it was one of the cards in the first three packs that I ever bought. It could have been." 

(In a rare moment of clarity, I've come to realize that this actually was one of those first cards).

What I thought about the 1960 MVPs card then:

"Now, I KNOW this was one of the first cards that I ever pulled from a pack that I had purchased. ... No real thoughts back then other than Maris' crew-cut seemed rather different to me. He looked like a tough guy."

What I thought about the 1971 MVPs card then:

"Both card pictures left an immediate impression and stayed with me until this day. Obtaining either of these cards, for me, is akin to hanging one of the most famous paintings in the world in my living room. When I gained the Joe Torre card, I couldn't believe it was actually in my collection. I felt like I was practically stealing it when I made the trade for the card. I held it in such esteem."

What I thought about Koosman's card then:

My "Plan B" team has been the Phillies for a long time. But before that, it was the Mets. I changed my favorite team to the Mets for one day after receiving a glove for my birthday that was signed by Tom Seaver. Jerry Koosman was another favorite.

What I thought about D'Acquisto's card then:

"It's got a special place in my collecting heart. Even if it is a Giant."

What I thought about LeFlore's card then:

 "It helped me become a Tigers fan at an early age, since I also pulled the Mickey Stanley and John Hiller cards out of those first packs, too."

I wish I still had the Mickey Stanley and John Hiller cards that I pulled out of those packs. And the Hal McRae card. And the others that I can't remember gazing at that spring day 37 years ago.

But I've come to realize I'm fortunate.

I used to think that a lot of collectors kept the first cards they ever bought. That these cards weren't that big of a deal. They had meaning to me, but nothing beyond that. But then I realized that not everybody does this. And that owning the very first cards you bought, when you were a little boy, is something very special.

In fact, if there is ever a Night Owl museum, these cards will be in a display of their own, probably on the second floor, in a place of honor.

(Wow, first Night Owl is using words like "redux" and now he's building museums to himself. Who does he think he is?)

This will probably do it for posts on 1975 Topps for awhile -- except for exclamations when I land more minis from the '75 set.

Unless you have your own ideas about the set. I'm always willing to listen ... and write about the '75 set.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty col that you have memories of the cards you pulled out of those first packs. I wish I could say the same. I DO remember that I pulled an Albie Pearson out of my first '60 Topps pack on Easter of that year. I'll never forget that card. I owned '59s and remember seeing '58s but I don't have many clear memories of which ones I had and which ones belonged to friends.