Friday, June 21, 2024


I never started this blog with the intention of padding my collection.

Blogging was nothing more than a vehicle to post a few random thoughts here and there, random gibberish I figured I'd be lucky to get three people to read. That was really my only hope for the blog at the time Then, after a while, something magical happened. People started sending me stuff! It's still mind-boggling to think typing a few words a couple times a week ended up having such a profound impact on my collection.

Even though I'm nowhere near the prolific blogger I once was (this is my first post in almost a month!), people still somehow stumble across my blog now and again, and sometimes those people insist on giving cards to me. I recently received one of those precious I've-got-some-cards-for-you emails from a reader named Andrew, who said he had a few things he thought I'd like. 

I, of course, profusely thanked him, and a package showed up on my doorstep later that week - but imagine my surprise when a '57 Ernie Banks fell out!

This presented me with a weird kind of dilemma since Dad actually gifted me the very same '57 Banks for my birthday this year.

So here I am with two copies of a card I so badly wanted for years and years. Certainly not a position I ever thought I'd be in. (Andrew's '57 Banks is actually a slight upgrade over Dad's copy, so I'd love to get the latter to a good home if anyone needs it!)

To surprise me with a '57 Banks would've been more than enough, but Andrew wasn't stopping there, because there were two other cards tucked behind Ernie...

...and I audibly gasped when I shook the first one out.

That, my friends, is a '56 Topps rookie of Mr. Cub's counterpart across town, Luis Aparicio! It's a former "Keep Dreaming" member and a card I've wanted for as long as I've been collecting. HOF rookies are tough finds regardless, but add in the beauty of '56 Topps and the fact that I live near Chicago, and you have a card that has long been out of my price range.

To say that this is one of the greatest cards I've ever received as a blogger would be an understatement. 

And yet, somehow, it didn't even sniff being the biggest of the three cards Andrew sent me.

This being a family blog and all, I can't type the words I said when I saw what was waiting behind Luis Aparicio - I'll let you use your imagination at my reaction in the moment I was holding a real, actual BOB GIBSON ROOKIE CARD in my hands.

After a '55 Clemente rookie, this was probably my #1 most wanted baseball card. It's also one I chose to leave off my "Keep Dreaming" list because there's a remote possibility that dreams come true. That didn't seem applicable here. It has all the shiver-inducing terms for us shallow-pocketed collectors: vintage, Hall of Fame, rookie card, high-number.

I'll just say that every copy I've seen at card shows has ran in the four-figures. Beaters show up online every now and then for $400-500. It's just not anything I thought I'd ever own in this lifetime. But now, against all odds, it's mine thanks to an act I don't even think I can safely define as "generosity." It's something more than that, perhaps a word we haven't even invented yet.

I've always said that my collection wouldn't be the same if I didn't start this blog, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd own a Bob Gibson rookie because of it.