And the first pack is here…

18 Nov

My eBay purchases arrived one on top of the other, as I excitedly opened my first pack of 1985 Topps in 25 years.

Why am I so excited. I gathered the essentials for the rack pack: the pack, scissors and a beer. Hey, I might be reclaiming my childhood, but I AM still an adult. As such, I am entitled to an adult beverage or two.

I sliced open the pack, and pulled out the cards.

I must say, buying packs of cards is fun, but for practicality, I’m going to go with rack packs from here on out. They are hard to search (if not impossible) and there is a lack of gum stains and wax stains. Two cards of every pack were ruined from every wax pack. Maybe more!

I scored a pretty decent on the first packs…the flip side of my first rack revealed a Darryl Strawberry, his second year card. There was a time when this would have been an awesome score, but like his counterparts, The Straw succumbed to the pressures of 1980’s baseball, namely cocaine.

I remember his suspension from baseball in 1995. It was just 10 years after this baseball card came out, that Darryl Strawberry’s career was in permanent jeopardy.

In 1996, he was out of Major League Baseball, playing for the Independent League St. Paul Saints. I remember watching a few highlights of Strawberry on the news in those days. Soon after, he would sign again with the New York Yankees.

In spite of his troubles, Strawberry still played fairly well until 1998, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Comparisons to Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth seem long gone from now. There was a time when The Straw could have written his acceptance speech for Cooperstown. Today, he’s a side note to the awesome Mets teams of the 80’s.

In the packs, I didn’t score so as well. I did find another one of Strawberry’s cohorts in the set.

Eric Davis.

He’s another case of what-might-have-been, but of a different sort. Davis was just injury prone. Did he ever have a season where he didn’t spend a good portion of it on the DL? Speed, form, power, a great swing…all the tools needed to be a huge player.

I remember, during the Reds 1990 World Series win, the television announcer held up the 1985 Topps card of Eric Davis, talking about how the card was now going for more than $20. My brother and I raced upstairs to see if we had any Eric Davis cards of any sort.

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