The older I get, the more I miss the good old days. Not that they were all sunshine and roses, but I feel like life moved at a slower pace. The pressure and responsibilities weren't as great. No family to take care of was a big part of that. As for cards, there weren't umpteen million products to choose from and 187 different rookie cards of the guy you just had to collect.
There was just sweet cardboard like this 1979 Topps Ozzie Smith.
The potential for unknown rookies was triple fun to watch. Reaching legendary status ala Cal Ripken Jr was rare and led to Bob Bonner and Jeff Schneider being the answer to a trivia question.
A classic set, not fully appreciated until later, and a rookie card that didn't need an autograph or limited serial numbering to be worth a small fortune.
The first real "chase" card for me as I busted pack after pack of 1990 Leaf. So many in fact, that I pulled two of these cards. Like many things in life, it didn't hold it's book value, but the sentimental value is something that can't be measured.
Sure, they're all just pieces of cardboard. Pictures of men playing a boy's game. Unlike most everything else in my life, they take me back to my childhood. A simpler time, when worries were a thing of the future and the days of summer seemed to last forever. I think that's why I collect cards. They take me back.
And that's a good thing.