Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cards from the Old Man: Part One (not a trade post)

In one of my earliest posts, I mentioned the "creepy" old collector my friend discovered in our small town. You can read about him here and here if you missed it the first time around. He had thousands of cards from the 1950s through the 1970s. He had duplicates of many of them and that was really the only stipulation to trading with him. He would only trade cards if he had more than one of them. He preferred Cardinals, but would take pretty much any stack of cards we had from 1981 and 1982. He was really amazed that Fleer and Donruss were making cards since he obviously didn't have any of those in his collection. I often wondered what happened to all of his cards when he died. His mother, who died after he did, was his only family and there was no one to claim their property. My friend, who originally found him and whose parents still live in that town, says he never saw another card from the guy after our first few trading sessions. I guess the knowledge that his collection might have been taken or sold off for peanuts or even trashed makes me feel less guilty for trading what amounted to trinkets for treasure. Of course, at the tender age of 12, I didn't feel guilty at the time, just very lucky to have some "cool old" stuff.

This will be the first of a series of posts highlighting some of the cards I obtained in those trades.

This was my first, and remains my only, card of a legendary Hall of Famer. THIS is a guy who's name says "HOF" when you hear it.

This beat up 1973 Topps Willie Mays was amazing to me when I first held it nearly 20 years ago. I didn't see the creases or the dings. I saw greatness. Sure he was in a Mets uniform, but for a kid who had never touched a card made before 1981, it was magical. This is what collecting should still be about today.

Willie Mays was traded on 05-11-1972 by the San Francisco Giants to New York Mets for Charlie Williams. After all those years with the Giants they shipped him off to the Mets. Charlie Williams played the rest of 1972 and 6 more seasons with the Giants, appearing in 237 games and compiling and 18-16 record, primarily out of the bullpen. Willie would go on to play the rest of 1972 and 1973 for the Mets before he retired.

Sure, I'd like to have all of those cards from 1951 and up, but I don't. Right now I have to settle for this one. And that's ok. A little "Say Hey, Kid" is better than none.


  1. Mays is still looking fairly strong there. His face looks older, course, but he's got some strong looking forearms.

    He could show a thing or two to the McGwires of the world. A thing called Class.

  2. Looks like Field of Cards beat me to it. The first thing I noticed about the card was Mays' forearms. Was he juicing at the end of his career?

    On a serious note, I got your package yesterday and I wanted to thank you for it. I had forgot about those cards and I am glad that you didn't forget about me. Plus, the Dee Brown auto was awesome.

    Thanks again and I am looking forward to the "old man" series!