I have many passions in life, one of the strongest passions I have are baseball cards. For many a baseball card is just a piece of cardboard with a player’s image on it. For me, it’s much more than that. Baseball cards are a great way to connect to a favorite player, connect to a childhood memory or just a great diversion in life.
I have four cards in my collection that mean a lot to me. In the card collecting world, the phrase for this would be NFT/NFS, Straight PC. (Not for Trade / Not for Sale, Personal Collection). I thought this would be a great time to share 4 of my cards and why they mean so much to me!
2018 Topps Update, Ronald Acuna Jr, Photo Variation, White Jersey, Holding Glove.
Fall of 2018 was the release of Topps Update. With a lot of “flagship” releases, I sold quite a bit of boxes. I happen to have a few boxes left in 2019. My mother started to really suffer the early part of 2019. I spent many days in Monmouth over her last few months on this earth. Back in Wisconsin we were building out home and staying in a 3 bedroom apartment. That’s right, our family of 4 kids, 2 adults and 2 dogs was in 3 bedroom apartment. This apartment was really a 2 bedroom as one of the rooms was my office for the baseball card business. We were very cramped to say the least.
One March Sunday Night I just returned from Monmouth, IL to visit my mother. She was not doing well, I came back to Wisconsin knowing her passing was near. I got back to the apartment very late, everyone was sleeping and I was stressed out. I needed something to take my mind off life, then I remembered I had about 6 hobby packs of 2018 Topps Update. Ripping packs is such a great way to relax, and these are “cheap packs.” I thought it would be fun to rip a couple, read the backs and go to bed. My 2nd pack, BOOM.
I noticed something different about this one, it’s an awesome Ronald Acuna Rookie Card Photo Variation! Was so excited about this hit. It was a great diversion, even for a few minutes, on tough times going on in life.
2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Champ Pederson Autograph
In opening hundreds of thousands of packs, I’ve pulled cards that have made me shout for joy, laugh, make me nervous, just about every emotion. But I’ve only had 1 card that I pulled that made me cry.
Allen & Ginter is an annual summer release Topps Set that is known to feature subjects that are non baseball. It has had everything from autographs of actors to a dinosaur tooth in a card!
In 2018 Topps Included, Champ Pederson the Older Brother of Los Angeles Dodgers Outfielder Joc Pederson. Champ has been featured in some advertising with Joc and travels with the Dodgers. Champ happens to have Down Syndrome, same as our son Malix.
In the summer of 2018, Malix was less than 2 years old. As a parent of a young child with Down Syndrome, it’s a lot to process. Like many dads with sons, I’ve always dreamed of having a son that is a professional athlete. When we realized Malix had Down Syndrome, a lot of traditional father dreams change. The minute I saw this card, I came to the realization, that my dreams for my child are not vanished. This card speaks to me loud an clear that Down Syndrome does not limit anyone and having a child with Down Syndrome.
I’m rarely lost for words opening baseball cards, but this pull had me speechless. The collector who hit this card, was nice enough to sell it to me and it’s a staple in my collection.
1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg PSA 10
I realize my passion of cards is not something that everyone in my life shares, but I’m fortunate that my wife appreciates. Michelle gifted me this 1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg Rookie Card for a Birthday a few years ago. I did have a Sandberg Rookie Card, but not in a graded PSA 10.
This is a staple in my collection and a great gift she gave me.
1991 Fleer Ultra Ryne Sandberg Autograph
Summer of 1991, my father (Al) took my brother (Ben) and I to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. This game was rained out and I was devistated. As we waited for our bus, I went to a chain link fence to see what was going on. To my surprise, my favorite Player was walking out, RYNE SANDBERG!! I was shocked and nervous. I pulled out this new Fleer Ultra Card I had in my holder and he signed it for me.
Ryne signing this card, turned what could have a disappointment of a day into a great day. More than a signed card, this really speaks to me about what my Dad would do for us kids. Like a lot of parents, my parents were very busy people, but they always took time to do something special with us! Creating memories like this is something I strive to do with my own children.