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Thread: I'm Dreaming of a Cardboard Christmas

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    I'm Dreaming of a Cardboard Christmas

    The best memories I have of Christmas past have to do with baseball cards. As a child, the only thing that would rival the excitement Topps, Fleer or Donruss under the tree would bring me was maybe Super Mario Brothers 2 for Nintendo. At $60, it was a HUGE price tag for my family, but to this day, ask me if I'd rather play something on the PS4 or Super Mario, I'll probably go with the moustachioed plumber.



    There is nothing quite like learning from Super Mario Brothers 2 that it is okay to play as the princess (when no one was around) because of her sustained jumping abilities.



    Let's be honest, though. Christmas for me (and maybe you as well) was about baseball cards. My parents would complain about my Christmas list being all about baseball cards. Here is what one such list may look like:

    1986 Donruss The Rookies complete set
    1987 Donruss Barry Bonds & Bobby Bonilla rookies
    1987 Fleer wax packs (these suckers were expensive! $7 a pack!)
    1988 Score complete set
    1988 Fleer Update complete set
    1989 Fleer wax box
    1991 Topps wax box
    1992 Donruss wax box

    Notice a certain 1986 Donruss rated rookie not being on the list. Not because I already had it, because I didn't. It was simply too expensive to even dream about.

    Ahhhh, the possibilities! Imagine pulling a sweet 1987 Fleer Kevin Mitchell out of one of these. (I did pull an '87 Fleer Kevin Mitchell out of a vending machine from a swim park - it completely made up for the fact I had almost drowned an hour earlier.)



    The list above was a pie in the sky wish list. Back in 1992, you were probably looking at $200 to get all of those items. Nowadays? About $30 total, if you aren't counting shipping.

    I even asked for back issues of Beckett Monthly I did not yet have. Back then, aside from our friends (who ALL collected baseball cards) magazines like Beckett and Tuff Stuff were all we had to hold us over through the cruel off season until Spring Training. The only time my Christmas present snooping proved to be fruitful was when I found a small stack of Beckett magazines in my parent's closet. (Note to children out there: do not rummage through your parent's stuff - it could scar you for life!)



    No, I did not keep a pile of these for the past several decades. I picked up the spread shown above several months ago for some projects I have ideas for.

    Y'all - we need a time machine and ASAP. Check out what I found inside this bad boy:



    Flip to the 1952 Topps page and ....



    1952 Topps Mickey Mantle for $3,000 in NM condition! I figured this would be a fun way to commemorate the reason we need that time machine:



    So many childhood memories of mine are attached to cards and Christmas. Like the time my family went to dinner and I found a sealed box of 1992 Donruss in the back seat of our car. Dad snapped at me for finding it - he rarely did this, so it stuck out. Regardless, that beautiful, mouth-watering 1992 Donruss wax box was in my mind for the next week until Christmas.



    My brain would dance with possibilities of what could be pulled. Forget about the 5000 personally autographed verbiage on the front - it was just background noise to me as I knew darn well hitting one of those would be less likely than winning the lottery without purchasing a ticket. It is funny to think that while Donruss got a significant quality upgrade in 1992, there was still literally nothing good to be pulled for the average Joe. Those Diamond Kings though... they were definitely beautiful!

    I also remember waking up early and seeing a 1987 Donruss Barry Bonds rookie card peaking out of my stocking. To my parents, it was a piece of cardboard. To me, it was a prized possession - an artifact that somehow connected me with one of baseball's best players at the time. A status symbol.

    "Tanner, do you think Bonds is good?"

    "Barry Bonds?" (I say in a cool tone.)

    "Yeah, I think he's good."

    <pauses>

    "I have his ROOKIE card."

    <Walks away like a boss>



    What memories do you have of Christmas and baseball cards?

    http://tanmanbaseballfan.com/2017/12...christmas.html
    Last edited by mouschi; 12-21-2017 at 11:45 AM.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 - Questions about this? PM ME!
    Do you have rare Jose Canseco cards? Let me know! www.CansecoCollector.com

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    Senior Member jszczech's Avatar
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    The Christmas of 96 my mom bought me a box of 1996 Topps Finest series 2. She enjoys opening packs of card's more than I do. She had it stashed away in my parents closet and the draw of opening packs was too much for her. About a week before Christmas eve she took out the box and said we could each open one pack. Well that quickly turned into the whole box lol. I rarely buy wax these days but whenever I do I drive to my parents house just so she can open packs. She doesn't have a clue who the players are but is absolutely thrilled to pull any kind of insert or autograph.
    Kirby Puckett Collection: 2148/2990 71.84% (As of 5/13/14)
    Current Most Wanted Kirby Puckett's (As of 2/5/17):
    1. 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold
    2. 1992 Ace Novelty #307
    3. 2015 Panini Prizm Blue Baseball Retail Parallel
    4. 2016 Donruss 1982 Test Proofs Magenta/10
    5. 2015 Panini Cooperstown Golf

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    Senior Member joey12508's Avatar
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    Cool thread, 03 my ex wife got me a box of topps tribute and 16x20 paul oneill auto picture framed.
    Still have the Oneill

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    I remember getting the K-Mart and Ames sets from the late 80ís they made great stocking stuffers!


    Sent from my iPhone using Freedom Card Board mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by mouschi View Post
    What memories do you have of Christmas and baseball cards?
    Pretty much the same. I preordered and picked up the complete factory sets during the season and saved the traded, rookies and highlight sets for Christmas time so I could put them on my christmas wish list. Best memory of receiving/opening those was the 1986 Topps Traded factory set. I wonder how the printing seemed much cleaner and brighter than the normal set print quality. Was it because they were printed in Ireland?

    Nowdays my christmas list is cash for boxes to buy because I have so many sources I check and desired price points that the boxes might not reach that during the holiday shopping season plus my parent and sibling doesn't collect and there is so much stuff out there that could confuse them.

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    Junior Member Michael.petkus's Avatar
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    I remember getting a 1991 Upper Deck Basketball Box. Loved pulling those Larry Johnson and Dikembe Mutombo rookies. She also hooked me up with a 1986 Fleer Clyde Drexler RC, and a 1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg RC. The best times.


    Sent from my iPhone using Freedom Card Board

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    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    I'd say my best childhood Xmas gift and biggest surprise was getting the large Topps book of cards in 1985. I would have been 14 that year. I was nearing the end of my first phase of collecting, but I was still very much interested in cards. I had no idea the book existed at the time, so when I saw I could view EVERY Topps cards from their regular & Traded sets, I was awestruck! I spent many hours leafing carefully through the book (after all, it had to stay mint condition). I'd pull off the colorful dust jacket and set it aside and hold the large book in my lap, never fully opening it for fear that I would crease the spine.

    Even though I don't buy packs anymore ore, but I would enjoy ripping some anyway, my wife has not gotten me any cards for years. It would just be adding to the piles she already wants gone. Those days of Christmas card gifts are gone, although I gift myself on a near daily basis so the sting isn't so bad!!

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    One year I asked for packs of Proline football cards. I didnít even collect football cards, so im not even sur me why I wanted them. My older brother probably talked me into it because he collected football cards then and I collected baseball. My step-dad was so ticked off that I only wanted those packs. I said that was all I wanted that year and ended up with about a box and a half or so. My brother ended up with a Pioneer stereo receiver and the Proline football cards that I eventually gave him.

    My dad, however used to buy me cards all the time, I still have a set of 1990 Topps that he bought me for Christmas one year. I remember seeing it in the cart while we were shopping at Mejer that year. He didnít notice that I saw the box, so I played it off when I opened it on Christmas morning. He bought me a ton of cards and is a big reason I collected Kirby Puckett cards. Heíd lug me around to all the card shows and made sure I had money to buy any Puckett I could find.

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    my parents knew nothing about cards so they just grabbed any random box for me one year. This was in there:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I collect Ken Griffey Jr, Ryan Howard, Steve Carlton and the rest of the Phillies.
    My Site:
    http://bradswebsite.synthasite.com/

    Matthew 21:22
    "And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall recieve."

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    I love reading your stories - thanks everyone for sharing!
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 - Questions about this? PM ME!
    Do you have rare Jose Canseco cards? Let me know! www.CansecoCollector.com

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    Senior Member michaelstepper's Avatar
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    my first major baseball card gift was in 1990. my Mom bought me a Ken Griffey Jr UD RC. it was my first step into taking collecting seriously. I still have the card, in its original penny sleeve and toploader.
    the next few years she bought me signed bats. griffey, buhner and edgar. still have the bats upstairs in their tubes.
    Skip about 10 years I'm with an amazing woman who I eventually let get away. we spoiled the crap out of eachother that Christmas. she gifted upon me a couple griffey reds patches, the griffey immortal inscriptions "Junior" auto and a Lou Gehrig dual relic jersey/bat.
    since then I don't expect much except whatever I buy myself. the MT Secret Santa was an incredibly fun experience. my SS have gone above and beyond making the experience unforgettable

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