Here they are:
(1) Going to that old card shop on Archer Avenue;
(2) Sitting on the curb in front of my house in 1975 and pulling a Hank Aaron card out of pack;
(2) Going to the neighborhood pharmacy with my friends Adam, John and Todd, and buying packs of cards in the 1970s;
(3) Buying a large A&P paper grocery bag full of cards from the late 1960s/early 1970s from my friend Andy's older brother Mike back when I was a kid in the late 1970s;
(4) Buying two near mint 1956 Topps Roberto Clemente cards for just 20 bucks a piece at one of the old Hillside Holiday Inn shows in the late 1970s;
(5) Buying Jack Smalling's original baseball player address book in the late 1970s, sending out cards to players and receiving them back in the mail with an autograph;
(6) Attending the old flea market at the Twin Drive-In, in Wheeling, IL, in 1978 and buying my first vintage baseball card, a 1955 Topps Hal Brown, for fifty cents;
(7) Subscribing and reading Sports Collectors Digest in the late 1970s;
(8) I went from a collector to a dealer when I put those cards I bought from Mike into a photo album, priced the cards based on the advertisements in SCD (because Beckett did not exist yet) and along with a whole bunch of junk from the house, my dad and I set up at the Twin flea market in 1978.
(9) Still setting up at the flea market in 1980, I had a lot of money to buy packs of cards. I tried to complete the 1980 Topps set by solely buying packs. After coming up with three near sets, I broke down and brought a list of a dozen or so cards I needed over to dealer Jeff Blatt's house (a short bike ride from my house) and he filled the set for me.
(10) Attending the 1981 Baseball All Star Game in Cleveland with a pile of cards. I got most of the cards signed either at the hotel where the players were staying or outside the ball park. At the hotel, I rode on an elevator with Yogi Berra, Warren Spahn, Ozzie Smith and Terry Kennedy. I had all four guys sign a little program I had that listed all the all star game events over the entire weekend. I still have that signed program.
I could easily come up with another 50 or so top collecting moments, but I'll save those for another blog, or we can start a discussion in the comment section. I'd like to hear about your top ten collecting moments.
Back at the Civic Center, I had a real nice show Sunday. A regular customer picked up some '63 and '65 Topps baseball. Another regular picked up some '75s and 76s along with a 1970 Topps Hank Aaron. A regular customer picked up some '59s. A father and son team picked up some mid-1960s baseball. Steve bought my 1941 Double Play Charley Gehringer, a 1962 Gaylord Perry rookie, and a 1951 Bowman Early Wynn. An autograph hound picked up some 58s. A new customer bought some 1971 high numbers. A regular picked up some '75 minis. Another regular bought some commons from the 1970s. Chuck picked my '61-62 Fleer Pettit and a '71-72 Topps Rudy Tomjanovich rookie. Dave picked up a '59 Topps Moose Skowron All Star. Joel picked up some '65 and '68 White Sox. A regular picked up some '69s. Rick bought my 1956 Topps Jackie Robinson and some '70s basketball. A regular picked up some '73s. A new customer bought some '72s. My other customer named Dave picked up my '55 Topps Phil Rizzuto and some '55 Bowmans. Gil bought some '65s. A regular picked up some '52 Bowmans. Then Will, who always closes out the show with me and helps me pack up, which I really appreciate, bought some '64s.
On the buying front, I bought a pile of '64s, then a group of '57s and '58s, then a group of '68 and '69s. As I was telling Will, I wish I had brought an extra box with me to take all those cards home. Somehow, I was able to pack them up. Overall, a good show. We're only in Orland once in May. So in place of Orland at the end of the month, I'm setting up at the Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, IL. Next week is Gonzaga, a little earlier in the month than usual. I was talking with Bill Nest, a card shop owner in Milwaukee, and he thinks the early Gonzaga date is to avoid Mother's Day. Makes sense to me. I love the Gonzaga show. I'll be bringing newly reloaded '53 Bowman and '60 Topps baseball. It should be another great Gonzaga show. See you next weekend!!