The Sweet Smell of Topp's Bubble Gum

Baseball cards life's blood of my youth an obsession that started when I was six and continued well into my teens. When I was six I would go to dad's studio with him in a downtown area. You know before mega marts and mall's people went "downtown". Well, of course, I was bored so one day dad said he would pay me .25 cents to sweep the building for him. At first, I thought what a jip but I did it anyway. I took my quarter down to the deli a few buildings away and walked away with a pack of cards and some candy. Wow, what a quarter bought you in '76 was pretty amazing right?

Well, that started the downward spiral as I went to work with him every day sweeping taking out trash washing the mirrors etc. all for the joy of grabbing a pack of cards! The first thing you noticed was that waxy wrapper that you will peel away in the back. You were then quickly engulfed with that sweet sweet smell of the cardboard-textured yet so dang good crack in your mouth gum! You would then slowly flip through the cards hoping and praying for those White Sox and superstars of the day! How could summer morning get any better?

My obsession with cards became a family thing in the 80's cards took off in a big way. My dad would take my brother and me to Baseball card shows all over the place. I was magical I would have to say, being able to flip through a box of "Commons" looking to complete your set. While trading away your stacks of doubles just to get that Pete Rose card that always alluded you! Life was good.

Now there is a downside to collecting and for my mom that was baseball cards all over the house! I will never forget how she would threaten me with burning them if she had to pick them up one more time! Well, damn if she did not get so mad at me one day and picked up a big stack and tossed them into the fire. I wept as Reggie Jackson slowly melted into ash. That will teach me.

The only other sad story would have to be about the card above. See my little brother who was very young at the time took this card down to a dealer down the street who was more than happy to tell him he would give him  five bucks for it. What he did not tell my little bro it was worth hundreds at the time! After dad approached  the guy said he did nothing wrong! None of us neighborhood kids went back to him again. It's funny though I looked up the card just before writing this and it was selling for $10 and under.

I will admit this was one of the best things my brother and I ever did together and like I said we went to show's well into my teens as I remember driving him to shows as well. I also think deep down it was fun for my dad too as he got to share with his boys the passion of baseball and collecting.

Sadly the cards still sit in my baseball rarely thumbed through anymore in hopes that one day they just might pay for my girls college. Yeah, thats funny I know a man can dream can't he?

Yes, I have Grease cards too!

So tell me what did you collect as a child? If it was trading cards for the movie's, tv, or even garbage pail kids what was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for stopping by the Man Cave and while you're here click this link A to Z Blog Challange and read a few other's post's!


  1. The only bubble gum cards I ever collected were the Beatles in the mid-60s. They'd probably be worth good money today, if I had kept them, alas.

  2. Growing up in Australia we had Rugby cards rather than baseball cards but it was the same thing. They weren't ever worth a great deal of money but it was fun to trade with your friends.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

  3. I didn't collect baseball cards, but I would have LOVED that Grease card as a kid...I was a huge fan of that movie!

  4. I grew up a decade earlier and it was cards from tea that we collected linked to all sorts of topics. I still have all the books with them in and really should find them a new home. I don't recall having any trading cards as such. Gotta love AtoZ for bringing such a variety of blogs together.

  5. I collected cards from the original Superman the Movie cards, but never baseball. I wasn't a sports fan. I also collected these, but they were free of course:


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