UCB Roundtable Response: What are your favorite baseball cards?

by on March 8, 2010 · 2 comments

[Ed. note: Once or twice throughout the season, the United Cardinal Bloggers undertake a roundtable discussion via e-mail that involves and answers various questions from the bloggers taking part over the course of a few weeks. We’ve spent most of our writing time answering those questions and taking part in those discussions (gladly, I might add), so figured they are fair game to post here – not to mention trying to gain a little exposure for both the project as well as some other blogs you all should be reading.]

The McBrayer-Baseball Blog asks:

Some of the questions have been very nostalgic for me when thinking about my youth. One thing I still remember as a kid of the 70’s was riding my bike up to the local 5&Dime to buy a IBC Root Beer and packs of baseball cards. Me and my neighborhood friends would look through each others cards and flip for certain players, and thats how I got my Ted Simmons rookie card. I thought to myself, this might be a great question for this round table. Do you all collect baseball cards and if so, what cards are in your top 5 of all time favorite? I was a huge collector of cards. I have boxes and boxes of baseball cards stored away, but I do have a collectors book of my favorite cards. Here is my list:

Robin Yount 1975 Topps Rookie
Ted Simmons 1971 Topps Rookie
Mike Piazza 1992 Bowman Rookie
Willie McGee 1983 Topps Rookie Card
Lou Brock 1965 Topps

Fantastic question.

I was a big-time collector in my youth, Topps bubble-gum cards, boxed sets for birthdays, etc.  Loved trading cards with my friends, rearranging them every couple of months from a system of “by year, brand, and card number” to “by team, alphabetical by last name” to whatever the next appropriate way to store them was (yes, I was a geek).

My regular collecting probably dropped off shortly after the introduction of specialty sets and the increasing cost and decreasing number of cards per pack.  I distinctly remember Topps Stadium Club being rolled out, but struggle to remember any other premium sets being sold at the time.

As such, my collection is of a more “vintage” appearance – and you’ll have to forgive my memory, because my cards are all still in a box in my parents’ basement.  I haven’t looked at them or even really thought much about them in years.  Thanks to your motivation, I’ll be grabbing them next time I visit mom and pop.

1985 Topps, Mark McGwire Olympic – I was a huge McGwire fan long before he found his way to St. Louis, and still have an extensive collection of his cards.  This one was obviously the gem.

1987 Donruss ‘Rated Rookie’, Mark McGwire – He looked so young and innocent on that card, eh?  And I don’t care what anyone else says about the ‘Future Stars’ or whatever other logos and card subsets, Rated Rookie was the best.  In fact, I think I should buy one of those t-shirts…

1990 Score, Bo Jackson ‘Black and Blue’ – Bo was clearly a sports icon of my youth and this card about summed up why.

Sportflics – Ok, I know this isn’t one specific card, but I had a few of these refractor cards and just thought they were amazing.  Didn’t matter what run of the mill player was on them… YOU COULD WATCH THEM THROW A PITCH!  Talk about keeping an adolescent boy entertained for a while…

1975 Topps, Lou Brock – This card wasn’t actually, technically mine – I purchased it (along with another card that I can’t recall anymore) as a Christmas gift for my dad one year while I was in grade school.  Dad was long removed from collecting cards by the time I was around (he used to regale me with stories of cards in his bicycle spokes though), but I read in a magazine (probably a Beckett Price Guide, if I had to guess) that getting your dad a card would be a nifty gift.  The two cards I got from the local shop stayed in their protective sleeves in dad’s dresser, but I think he appreciated the effort.  I suspect these have found their way into the same storage compartment as my collection by now.

Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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Joe Magennis March 8, 2010

Hi All, love this topic. My nostalgic trip through my card collection has generated a post a day at my site (sorry for the direct plug – but it is the best way to see my cards) and has stimulated great conversations in comments, on Twitter and Facebook.

Not going to identify a specific card but I will give you generalities. The ’71 Topps cards were my favorite look. That dark border seemed cool to me at the time. I was also partial to the action shots – I thought if I was a player I would insist on it!

I was never a “professional” collector. With the exception of one set from 1989, all the cards were acquired a pack at a time, so the cards range mostly from 1968 – 1978.

Fun topic, some classic old names and a great way to enjoy baseball history.

PH8 March 8, 2010

Thanks for reading Joe. Once the entire post with all of the responses is up I’ll be sure to link it here. There were a lot of great cards listed by others.

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