Friday, July 20, 2012

Gifts from pop

I feel extremely lucky to have a family who supports my card collection.

I've mentioned this before, but I've heard a few stories where parents don't support their kid's hobby in the slightest. I'm not just taking about the financial side of it, though. Some parents, as I've heard, don't emotionally support it. I've heard tales of parents saying the hobby was a "waste".

My parents never had a problem with it in the slightest, for which I'm eternally grateful. They never said it was a "waste of money", or a "waste of time", or both. My mom will even at least feign interest in my new "pickups", even though she isn't a huge baseball fan.

Sometimes, they'll surprise me with new cards, right out of the blue, as was the case this afternoon with my dad.

He collected during the '70s as a kid, buying packs upon packs from the local corner store. He remembers most mid-1970's cards well. My original love for baseball cards basically comes from him.

As if making a generous "donation" to my card show fund a few weeks ago wasn't enough, my dad surprised me with a few great cards over lunch today.

Apparently, one of my dad's friends is a card collector who absolutely despises the White Sox. My dad's friend gave him this great 5x7 Frank Thomas autograph to give to me.

It's about a hundred times cooler than it looks in the scan.

Even though I am admittedly a Cubs fan, I'm not a "Cubs fan". I've never sat in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. Although my heart will always lie with the Cubs, I am a pretty big White Sox fan as well, which is pretty much like blasphemy in the city of Chicago.

I've always liked Frank Thomas, although I was a bit young to remember any of his prime years with the Sox. Nevertheless, this awesome 2001 Studio autograph of his will make for a great display piece in my room.

Plus, "The Big Hurt" has one of the neatest signatures I've seen.

My dad went on a little "Checkoutmycards" spending spree, for no specific reason.

He managed to hit my oldest "Dime Box Nine" need with this '85 Fleer Update Oscar Gamble. That card had been on that list since the day I made it.

No longer, though.

I always found it a bit odd that Gamble didn't have a regular issue with the Sox when he played for them in 1977. He hit 31 homers that year.

Unfortunately, there were no "Traded" sets in the late-70's, and Gamble's '78 issue has him airbrushed into a Padres hat.

He finished up his career with the Sox in 1985. He had a few cards in the uniform that time around, thankfully.

I picked up his '85 Topps Traded issue a while ago, but his Fleer Update issue is about a hundred times better.

A "Dime Box Nine" need, no longer.

It's a Hoyt sighting!

My dad even picked up a couple new Wilhelm cards for my collection. I have most of the issues from Hoyt's playing career, but I'm still missing a few of the oddballs.

Until today, this was one of them.

It's my first card from the 1969 Milton Bradley set. Except for the fact that some sort of game is supposed to be played with them, I have absolutely no idea what these are.

The backs of these make me think they were a primitive version of Strat-O-Matic or something.

Although these are among the plainest cards I've seen, they're still awesome in their own kind of way.

Especially one of Hoyt Wilhelm.

The final card of my "gifts from pop" is one that might look familiar to some.

I featured the regular Topps issue of this card in a past "Mondays with Hoyt" post.

This, however, is the O-Pee-Chee version of the very same card. It's my first OPC issue from the '71 set, in fact.

It even updates the fact that Hoyt was dealt to the Braves after his extremely short tenure with the Cubs.

I've always wanted one of these '71 OPC cards because of how awesome the backs are.

Any card from the set would've been a treasure for my collection, much less the Hoyt Wilhelm one.

The regular '71 Topps backs are among my favorites from the vintage era, but the O-Pee-Chee ones are even better. The centered floating head and the striking bright-yellow color puts these among my all-time favorite card backs.

Being an only child sure has its benefits. Just look at all this good stuff! I couldn't imagine having to share any of it with siblings.

In all seriousness, though, I feel truly thankful that I have a family that would go to these lengths to support my baseball card collection. I pretty much have them to thank for my collection sustaining itself through my high school/teenage years, a time period where most others forget about their "hobbies".

It really means a lot.


AdamE said...

I guess I never saw the back of a 71 Topps O-Pee-Chee before. I have a few old O-Pee-Chee cards but the backs are exactly like Topps except for the Printed in Canada at the bottom.

Zayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zayden said...

That is a really cool Frank Thomas! It's so awesome that your family is supportive of the hobby. My wife supports me, but the rest of my family doesn't really have much interest. It doesn't bother me though because they are not against it either lol It's just one of those things.