View Full Version : Spells of nostalgia followed by depression

11-25-2013, 10:02 PM
My story: I was born in 1980, and from about the age of 7 - 13 or so baseball cards were a big part of my life. I vividly remember collecting 87 and 88 Topps, spending time with pops over 90 Fleer, and finally collecting 92 Upper Deck at the end. There was nothing like going through the latest Beckett and spending hours just lounging around the local card shop. I just miss spending time with friends who were interested in collecting and, more broadly, just being a fun-loving, carefree kid up until probably junior HS.

It's nice to reminisce about those days, dreaming of getting the seemingly ancient rookies of the early 80s or the hotshot rookies of the present, like McGwire, Jim Abbott, or Todd Van Poppell (:D). Nintendo, pizza parties, playing sports, and having fun with friends were important, too, but the memories of baseball card collecting are the most vivid.

Well, I go through regularly occurring spells of nostalgia where I want to spend, oh, $200 to acquire every card from, say, '80 to 92 that I ever dreamed of having as a kid, but these thoughts are seemingly always immediately followed by a strange, depressing feeling. I really can't identify it. It feels like I miss it so much I've developed some sort of psychological or emotional issue about wanting to relive those days. I'm generally happy with my life right now, but I have this longing for the good, ol' days of the late 80s and early 90s.

This post obviously encompasses more than baseball cards post-80, but it seemed fitting to share thoughts here to me, as people interested in cards of this era may have had similar experiences, whether fleetingly or ongoing. I hope reading my short, abbreviated story brings more fond memories of nostalgia than uneasy ones!

11-25-2013, 10:30 PM
That's exactly why I keep plenty of 1986 Topps boxes sitting around the house- when a particularly bad bout of nostalgia hits, out they come and the blue wrappers start flying! Nothing like a couple of Darren Daulton rookie cards and a whole pile of All-Stars and Turn Back the Clocks to make your day.. :)

I can feel your pain- I have most all of my childhood cards, and have continued to add to them. My wife doesn't understand it, but tolerates it very well.

steve B
11-26-2013, 11:16 AM
Having grown up a bit earlier and in a place that was a bit out of touch in a few ways (The town had a non-Bell system phone co, and at least one crank phone within my lifetime) I know exactly what you mean.

I'd love for my kids to experience some of the stuff, but it's like an entire culture is just gone.

Just know you're not alone.
And in ways that can be amazing.
There was a show on a few years ago, "living with the Kombai" Or maybe season two "Living with the mek" Two guys, one an ex military adventurer the other an anthropologist went and lived with tribes in Papua New Guinea that had little contact with outsiders. (Maybe more than they made it look like)
There was an older guy in one tribe - Hard to tell actual age since the life is so much harder- One episode he made the guys from the show chop down a large tree using a stone axe rather than the steel one they'd brought. Because it was how they did it. Later they needed a tree down and in a hurry before a storm came so he borrowed the steel axe.
Later on he was lamenting how the kids didn't want to learn the old ways, but instead were a bit obsessed with "the village" - Which consisted of a couple shacks alongside a grass runway. He knew that in a few years everything he knew would change and be replaced with something new but to his mind not necessarily better.

Yeah, the guy lived half a world away in a house made of sticks an leaves but I knew exactly what he was talking about. Upsetting and comforting all at once.

Other parts of the show were along the same lines, but much funnier. When they gave the anthropologist a hard time about doing hard manual labor - "Olly, you help the women make dinner. You can't help build the tree house because you'd fall and maybe die. Then we'd have to give your family pigs to apologize." (Their entire culture an economy seemed to revolve around small pigs)
I told my wife that while it wasn't specifically those guys, I'd worked with people just like them. Amazing how some things are so very human they cross almost all cultural boundaries.

Steve B

11-26-2013, 12:14 PM
I would recommend getting back into it. While the cards and nostalgia have been great, the lifelong friendships I've formed with others in the hobby have been the best part.

11-27-2013, 02:42 PM
1980 was the first year I collected cards. I am currently putting together a PSA 10 set from that year. I remember as a kid getting paid for my paper route and taking the money to the store to buy a couple packs. It was almost 3 miles each way. I would do it a couple times a day if I found a quarter, or I recycled some cans. Great memories.

BTW, I think $200 would buy every card made from 1986-2002. You may need a little more from 1980-1986.:)

12-01-2013, 11:42 PM
1980 was the first year collecting for me as well. By the time I was 10 I was working two paper routes and buying packs almost every day after school. I loved sorting and organizing cards, making sets and reading stats. So many great memories, hanging out with friends and at the local card shop.

I collected nonstop for almost 20 years. Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Score, Upper Deck.. My favorite player from 1988 on was Ken Griffey Jr. I loved watching him play, I wore his number on the ball field and I mimicked his swing. And of course I had to have all of his cards. But when he left Seattle I was completely devastated. I quit the hobby cold turkey.

Ive been back about two years now. Why? Something had been missing in my life. A void unfilled by other hobbies I guess. The first thing I wanted to do was go back to 2000 and start buying packs and building sets again. I did the same for 2001. I researched the different issues, card designs and inserts - bought a dozen different boxes and started colliating. Earlier this year I finished 2002. Ten more years and I'll finally be caught up, lol...

12-02-2013, 05:11 AM
Im pretty much like everyone. I was only 5 in 1986, and was amazed with that Topps set. My friend had the traded Bo Jackson. I still remember my favorite cards while trading in Jason Snyder's room, the 87 Topps Larkin and Canseco. Btw, I havent talked to Jason in 16 years, but always remember getting my paper route earnings and going to the Maverick's card shop. We'd play baseball for different leagues, go home for dinner, then ride bmx bikes off the steepest cliffs possible. Then trade and argue whether Rose and Mantle were better than Kevin Mitchell and Cal Ripken Jr.

Pizza Hut, Nintendo, Atari, yes. But, a rainy day gimmick. Playing outside and commuting to different tree houses to talk about Suzie and trade for Griffeys was where it was at. 1993 ended that for all kids with Windows and playstation. Seems weird how I grew up much different than someone only like 4 years younger than me. But short of the VCR and microwave, much was the same for kids, say, my dad's age.
As long as cardboard exists, I got my hobby!

Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk 2

Zach Wheat
12-03-2013, 12:20 AM
I would recommend getting back into it. While the cards and nostalgia have been great, the lifelong friendships I've formed with others in the hobby have been the best part.


Nostalgia is great, but I thought it was all about meeting other collector's as well......where else can you find a bunch of nice but sometimes quirky guys that have the same obsessive compulsive disorders that we do....:)

12-03-2013, 12:37 PM
I have that same feeling and can't explain it.

Summer of '86 I would take weekly bike rides to my favorite shop with a friend that also collected. Shop owner was a drunk that cared nothing about the business but had a seemingly unlimited supply of wax from early '70s to present. We would always rummage through the 86 Donruss and Fleer. Of course they were on the shelf right next to the 86 Fleer basketball that he couldn't give away and a shelf or two below the 1970-79 baseball and football packs that he never seemed to sell. Oops.

If only I had spent my $20 for mowing on 2 boxes of 86 Fleer basketball instead of a box of 86 Donruss.

02-02-2014, 01:18 AM
Matthew, I know what you mean. I'm in the same boat. I started collecting in '89 and miss the weekend long trades, in between playing RBI Baseball and Tecmo Bowl. The thing that made it alot of fun was that my friends and I each had a player we collected. If I had an Ozzie Smith or Canseco they didn't have, I knew I was going to add something to my Bo Jackson collection.

I think it was one of the best times to collect, because '80s rookies were still really hot and you had alot of new designs with Upper Deck and Stadium Club. Even though production numbers were through the roof, you didn't have 10 new sets each month. The hotel card shows were awesome too. I remember one show where '91 Stadium Club Football had been released. I didn't have the money for an Emmitt Smith, so I bought a pack and was able to pull it. Those were the days. Ebay just doesn't compare to being able to see the actual cards at a show. We didn't have to travel very far for a show either and they came about 3-4 times a year hear in Mobile.

02-02-2014, 08:15 AM
I was born in 1979 and have the same story as you Matthew; it's quite common. Collecting cards was a huge part of my childhood and I have lots of memories of collecting with friends, having Dad buy my first pack of cards and taking me to shows, and spending countless hours organizing and reorganizing my collection. Many of us have tried turning back the clock and buying old wax. I even buy the occasional new pack/box just to relive that excitement of opening a pack of cards.

We're no longer those spirited kids who cared only about getting a Ken Griffey Jr rookie. We're all now have to face the realities of life - jobs, marriages, kids, mortgages, health issues, and the like. It seems life today goes by much quicker, is far more complicated and too stressful.

02-02-2014, 08:46 AM
My nostalgia runs from the late 50s to the early 70s, and my depressions stems from reading about all you young guys reminiscing about the ancient 80s. IZ old :)

02-02-2014, 10:20 AM
Born in the early 1960's fortunate to see Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Al Kaline and others play baseball and get their cards from wax packs The late 60's ,mid 70's to me there was no rookie card craze. Also focused on picking up cards of Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and other great players from the past in the 70's. Today ask a kid about Joe Cronin or Eddie Matthews see what answer you get. Baseball is not just about today's stars but its the players who set the standards earlier, its everything combined

02-03-2014, 09:28 AM
I can relate 100% to the original post. Growing up as a kid in the 80s was pretty amazing. We had some of the best toys (transformers, GI Joe), some amazing games (RBI Baseball, still playing it to this day) and while most of our cards are worthless now, there is still no better looking card in my opinion than a 1984 Topps Traded Gooden!

Growing up in Brooklyn, it felt like there was a card shop on every corner.

02-03-2014, 11:43 AM
I have one stinging regret from my childhood.

On Fort Hamilton Parkway in Brooklyn in the 80's, there was a store adjacent to the Fortway Five Theater called ALPINE ARMS.

This was a gun store. It sold guns. Racks and racks of guns, rifles, etc.

Bear with me. This gets to cards very quickly.

It also sold cards. Yes, in the front glass case once you entered and turned right: baseball cards. And crammed all along a corner of shelves: traded sets, boxes, etc.

Only in Brooklyn.

I must have been in that store for days' worth of hours-- and I cannot recall one image of a gun. I never looked at them. Only the cards.

I bought many cards there. My late grandfather, a notorious cheapskate, lol, purchased a $20 Strawberry 84D for me there, in about 1988. I still have it in a screwdown. My father bought us a box of 1988 Fleer wax.

Now, the regret.

I realize I would have loved to walk into that gun store wearing Terminator shades, and tell the guy at the counter, in a Schwarzenegger accent, that I'd like...

"The Uzi nine millimeeda, a phased plasma rifle, and a 1988 Donruss Gregg Jefferies."

02-03-2014, 03:06 PM
Good one Matt :)

02-03-2014, 03:52 PM
"The Uzi nine millimeeda, a phased plasma rifle, and a 1988 Donruss Gregg Jefferies."

That made my laugh my ass off!

02-03-2014, 09:54 PM
A+. Would that phased plasma rifle be of the 40 watt range variety?

That store was amazing though. I still remember ripping that 88 fleer box. What a bargain at $30!

Nothing beats the hobby memory of going into Sports World on 5th ave and finding 84 wax packs in 87, running back outside while mom was double parked and begging for a few more bucks.

Think about it, we had C+C, Pee Wees, Frank and Alberts, Sports World and alpine all a few blocks away. And let's not forget Renata Galasso and Capital Cards. Such an awesome time to be a kid collecting. I feel for kids now, brick and mortar card shops are a dying breed.

Mix in Nintendo and transformers. 80s were and amazing time to be a kid.

02-04-2014, 02:20 AM
Mix in Nintendo and transformers. 80s were and amazing time to be a kid.

You can say that again, god do I miss that decade! Kids today have no focus on hobbies or any real interest, if it's not the latest tech gizmo or social media related, they could care less. It would take away valuable time from practicing their "pouty face" Facebook poses. My 10 year old step son is permanently attached to his Ipad. I told him why not go outside and play or find a hobby......he looked at me like I had a dick growing out of my forehead.......:rolleyes:

02-04-2014, 08:44 AM
my 10 year old step son is permanently attached to his ipad. I told him why not go outside and play or find a hobby......he looked at me like i had a dick growing out of my forehead.......


I Only Smoke 4 the Cards
02-05-2014, 11:22 AM
My 10 year old step son is permanently attached to his Ipad. I told him why not go outside and play or find a hobby......he looked at me like I had a dick growing out of my forehead.......:rolleyes:

My little brother is ten years younger than me. He is 17. His childhood was totally different from mine. When i was a kid my dad made me go outside all day. You could come home to get some water or koolaid and lunch. Other than that you spent the whole day playing and getting into (minor) trouble. However with my brother my dad wouldn't let him go outside if nobody was home because "things aren't as safe as they used to be." Keep in mind I grew up in the 90s when the crime rate was higher. Suffice to say I think some of the change is due to parenting.

02-14-2014, 04:55 PM
I feel ya. I was 13 when I got my first job. I worked weekends at Wild Bills Card shop in Crofton Md. I got paid a wax box of non upper deck cards. I always picked Topps. After work I would spend the night at either my friend Jamie or Kevins house and trade what I had picked up that day for Ripken cards. My friend Jamie was a yankees fan so we would trade Ripken for Sax straight up. It was an honest shop owned by two brothers, Tom and Bill. I still remember trading someone a 1990 Score Bill Speirs error card for 2 1982 topps traded Ripken rookies lol. We used to go to the Ben Franklin crafts store because they had 1990 donruss "error packs". That was the year Donruss filled their entire run with errors. Seems to me like they were trying to cash in on the 89 FF Ripken card, but at the time it was great to pull all those all star errors and the Juan Gonzalez reversed negative. Its kind of funny, when I was 13 I could afford a wax box, now I am 38 and I cant lol.

02-16-2014, 10:38 AM
Good story, thanks for sharing

02-17-2014, 12:59 AM
Awesome stories, guys...I can definitely relate to what everyone's saying.

I was born in '79 and started collecting in '87...such great memories. The greatest thing about ripping packs back then that I can remember was pulling the topps rookie all-stars...the ones with the small trophy on them...they were way cool and to me, were worth more :) Also, when you pulled an insert card...bingo! Pulling good ones were the ones worth $1-2 or maybe five bucks...nowadays if you don't pull a $100 card, you just lost out on the box you bought :( Man, how the times have changed. Nothing like the old days when collecting was fun and a lot of kids collected, so it was a common hobby amongst most kids...I miss those times dearly.

I understand completely what the OP is talking about. I collect prewar, but I have nice Griffey collection that I add to all the time and just looking at those remind me of the good ole days...that's why I'll probably always collect cards from my childhood and not totally convert to prewar. Nothing can replace the great memories that I had when I was a kid collecting, sharing and trading with friends...