|The first baseball cards I've purchased since 1994: a 1954 Topps Jackie Robinson card, and a 1973 Topps Mike Schmidt rookie card.|
Growing up in the Philadelphia area in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mike Schmidt was every boy's hero. If we got a Mike Schmidt card when we opened a new pack of cards, that was a good pack. But older Schmidt cards were a bit harder to come by, and I'm not sure that I ever even saw a Schmidt rookie card. It had never occurred to me, until a few days ago, that I could now just order myself a Schmidt rookie card. With my wife saying that it was ok, I picked out the non-professionally graded 1973 Topps Ron Cey/John Hilton/Mike Schmidt rookie card pictured above. In a way this is achieving a childhood dream, but not really -- owning a Schmidt rookie card seemed so impossible that I didn't even dream about it. Having this card moves me a significant way towards thinking of my collection as being complete.
Thinking about my Bill Bruton card (see the previous post) and how I want to share my collection with my son when he gets older led me to thinking. As I said, Bruton is one of MLB's early black players, but of course there are other, better-known black players who helped integrate baseball. I thought I should help teach my son this history by acquiring cards of more of these players, starting with Jackie Robinson. My wife liked this idea too, and I picked out a 1954 Topps Jackie Robinson, graded PSA 4. To the twelve-year-old version of myself who was so into collecting baseball cards, the idea that I would ever own a Jackie Robinson card would seem impossible. But here we are. I have hopes to, over the next few years, probably, add cards of other pioneers such as Larry Doby, Don Newcombe, Roy Campanella, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Maury Wills, and Satchel Paige.