Remembrance of Baseball Cards Past

In the Globe today there’s an article by James Sullivan about a new book whose author was fascinated by baseball cards while growing up in Vermont in the ’70s. The title of the book is “Cardboard Gods.” I was a big baseball card collector as a kid and into the first years of high school. In 1968, when I was 14, my cousins from Centralville and I discovered that we could walk to Notini’s candy and tobacco products warehouse on Aiken Street and buy Topps baseball cards by the box at a reasonable price. We cut out the Variety Store and Drugstore middle men, plus we got a ton of cards all at once. Who knew? Every time we discovered a new series was on the street, we’d head to Notini’s to buy a box. What great fun to open 25 or 40, I don’t remember, packs of cards at a time. I think we paid about $7.00 a box. Can’t remember. Read the Globe story here, and consider subscribing to the Globe if you appreciate the writing.

2 Responses to Remembrance of Baseball Cards Past

  1. DickH says:

    Paul, do you still have those baseball cards? I’ve got some from 1968 and after. I had to buy them retail at Zaher’s (corner of Pine and Morey, for decades “Highland Variety”). Five cents for a pack of five cards plus a stick of gum.

  2. PaulM says:

    My baseball card collection story is a sorry tale and one that is similar to many people my age. My first big batch of cards, all kinds that my brother David and I had from the late ’50s to 1966 (baseball, football, Western TV series, Space, Davy Crockett, Ted Williams, Zorro, etc.), got trashed when my family moved to California for a year. The Beatles cards were lost, too. In those days I wasn’t t thinking of the cards as an investment. And I was transitioning to other interests. But then the Red Sox were in the ’67 Series and I joined the town Babe Ruth League and then made the high school baseball team in Dracut, so my interest was renewed. After my college years the card collecting boom was on and I needed $600 for a round-trip plane ticket. I sold the bulk of the ’68-’69 cards to a card-shop owner in lower Pawtucketville. So long Mays, Mantle, Koufax, Aaron, Drysdale, Yaz, Robinsons Frank and Brooks, Lonborg, Killebrew, and the rest of the superstars and “commons.” In the ’80s, I began rebuilding my collection—picking up favorite players and Red Sox through the years. I didn’t replace the Hall-of-Famers at high prices, though. Nowadays, I buy a Topps Red Sox team set each year for the fun of it and put them in a shoebox for my son and the future.