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Ajax44's Blog
GarlicbreadII
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entry May 5 2007, 12:30 PM
I work at Harris-Stowe State College, a historically black college or university (HBCU). Coincidentally, our current baseball field sits on the site of Saint Louis Stars Stadium, the place where the Negro League St. Louis Stars team played (1921-32).

A few days ago, I was lucky to attend an event, in which the St. Louis Chapter of the Bob Broeg Society is placing a permanent marker on our campus at that site, to celebrate one of the places in Saint Louis where baseball history was made.

I had a chance to meet and talk to Sam Taylor, one of the last remaining Negro Leager's to play in the old stadium. He was a Kansas City Monarch, and he spoke of the days when the team would play 7 games in a weekend in 3 different cities, and then head home to their regular jobs. He met, knew, roomed, or played with all the greats: Paige, Robinson, Gibson, O'Neal, and many of the new Hall-of-Famers (Class of 2006).

It was a hell of an experience, and for him to take time out of his day, especially in his physical condition, at his age, is a testament to how important and special the Negro Leagues were in the history of baseball in America.

He also signed the program for me, which will become part of my Personal Collection that I hold dearly to my heart.

entry May 4 2007, 01:05 PM
I was born in 1974, and by 1980, I busted my first pack of cards. It was a pack of 1980 Topps, and the first card was Rico Carty. The first real card that I held in high honor was a 1976 Topps Hank Aaron. I, to this day, do not remember how I got it. But I do remember signing 'Hank Aaron' on it, before I realized that it was worth something.

I collected sports cards like a heroin addict, from 1981 to almost 1988, as I got older, and decided my money was better spent on cassette tapes and clothes.

I was in a trading group in Apple Valley, Minnesota, went to Schinder's in Burnsville, Minnesota almost every week, and was proud of my card collection (which today is probably worth almost nothing in trade value, considering the volumes of cards put out at the time, and the lack of base-card collectors).

As a child, sports was my thing. I came from a divorced home, and spent my summers in Busch Stadium (my grandfather's brother was a sports photographer for the old St. Louis Globe-Democrat). I am a die-hard Cardinal lifer, even though I don't really respect the game that much now. My mother's side of the family is Puerto Rican, and my great-uncle used to talk to Joaquin Andujar and the other Latin players alot. I got alot of autographs that way. He used to have a bar-b-que every summer where all the guys would come and hang out. I actually took Andujar deep in a wiffle ball game in 1985, at the age of 11.

In the Fall to Spring, I lived in Minnesota. So I had the best of both worlds. I had two cities; both had at least 3 professional teams within 30 minutes of my home(s).

In 1988, I went to my last card show of my teenage life. I bought a box of 1986 Fleer Basketball for $7. That was probably the day that I would go back in time to, if I had the chance, and buy every box that man had. After that...... cards and memorabilia just became less and less important.

By 1993, I was a high school graduate, basketball was my sport, and I sort of got into collecting again. Mostly basketball though. I kept my old collection of baseball cards, and all the random things I had gotten during the 80's (auto's of Cardinal players, a game-used Ozzie Smith bat that Andujar handed me right out of the dugout, ticket stubs, a 1982 Cardinals facsimile World Series ring, etc.).

By 1998, though, I was back out of the hobby. It just seemed to be exploding back like it did in the 80's, and I didn't want to invest money into something that I wouldn't eventually get back. I had also lost the passion for collecting; the real passion-- opening packs to see your heroes instead of what the Beckett Value of the cards were.

In around 2001, I decided to consolidate my cards and memorabilia. I've moved on to trying to collect Master sets of 1999 Century Legends (all sports), 1998-99 Topps and Skybox Premium Basketball, 1993-94 Fleer and Ultra Basketball, cards of NBA players that played high school ball in the St. Louis area, RC's of HOF'ers and future-HOF'ers, and Michael Jordan inserts.

It's going ok. I worry about the flooding of the industry again (game-used now is what inserts were 12 years ago). I worry about the future of the hobby for kids, for I feel it really isn't even part of their life anymore. But I won't let it go. I believe that ultimately, although BV rules the hobby, love is still the reason most people collect. I also have a son, and would like to pass it on to him.

Thanks for reading my introductory blog.

 
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Lo-Fi Version Time: 26th July 2014 - 02:34 PM
  

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