My First Cards

No matter what Roger Clemens may have done in the past, this card will always be special to me:

I started collecting in 1985 and this card was among the first I ever had.  I didn't really know who was good and the idea of a prospect was something I'd never heard of.  But the real reason why this is among the top cards of my collection has nothing to do with book value or even what's on the front of the's all about what's on the back:

Before I had any card binders or Ultra-pro card sheets, I had a Mead notebook and some tape.  And this wasn't some nice Scotch tape, this was some hardcore "rip off the back of the cards" tape.  I would be busily taping my favorite cards in the notebook and my Mom would say, "Matthew, I don't think you should tape them in like that."  "It's okay, I like them this way," I would say.  Well, we can all see what happened later when I took them out of the notebook.  Nonetheless, this card will always symbolize the beginning of my love for this hobby.


Greg Olsen said…
Great story! I'm glad you have your first card. What wonderful irony that the tape mark "imperfection" is the very mark of value.

That card is special to me because it was - for awhile - the card I didn't have. In 1991 I was a kid with two 1990 Topps Ken Griffy Jr. rookie cards. An older neighbor guy - a teenager - named Chip found out that my next-door-neighbor and I had Griffy rookies and offered a trade. We said, "What have you got?" He disappeared and returned with a huge box filled with unprotected but otherwise pristine 1985 Topps. We could pick any card we wanted in trade for the Griffy. I chose the Kirby Puckett RC and my friend chose the Roger RC.

For the next few years, I'd constantly compare our cards in Beckett. Who got the better deal? For awhile it was me, then Fran(cis). Finally I broke down and picked up the Clemens at a card show for $5.00.

Those two cards are the physical memories of my excitement when Chip brought out that big ol' box.