Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Suspense Filled Post About My Obsession With The 1978 Topps Set!

I have to MC a roller derby event in 2 hours and I really should be getting ready. The wife is off running a bridge or something athletic like that, me I am sitting at the computer writing myself some non-funny jokes, drinking coffee and… Since I will be gone all day and probably won’t post till late tomorrow I thought I would lay down an epic post before I go. What better topic than 1978 Topps Baseball?
I started collecting ’78 Topps when I was 5 or maybe 6 years old. As soon as I was allowed to ride my bicycle beyond my suburban neighborhood, I was searching for any way I could to get my hands on a dime or money of any sort. The dimes went to a drug store in downtown Milford, Connecticut, where I grew up. This drug store had three things that I desired-popcorn, candy and discounted packs of 1978 Topps baseball cards. I could get any one of these for a dime or I could get the needy little kid discount and get all three for a quarter. This is a very long story waiting to happen, but it won’t get that long, yet… I did buy a bunch of packs of ‘78s at that drug store; I was still buying them well into 1982 when they finally ran out. From 1979 up till 1990 I bought my Topps wax from that place, but by then I was in a car, a 1987 Ford Escort, not my bike. Bad decisions and a bad divorce which ended a marriage to a bad woman cost me most of the sets that I had built over the years, but my rag-tag collection of ’78 Topps is still with me thirty plus years later. It’s mainly because the cards were in horrible condition and were stored in an old office binder that my brought home from work. They didn’t exactly look proper sitting on my book shelf next to a set of 1959 Topps… That said when you rebuild, you really appreciate what you do have and I have grown to appreciate this awesome set more and more over the past year. When I first started this blog, I removed the aforementioned thirty year old card board from said ratty office binder. I made a list of what I had, what I needed and which cards badly needed upgrading. It turned out that I had only about half of the 726 card set with a bunch of doubles of common cards in not so great condition. I posted the original needs list in August and since then I have made a few trips to the card shop and quite a few trades. The card shop trips didn’t yield much as he didn’t have any stars, just commons, but they were in very good condition and I upgraded many cards while saving the old ones, too. Most of what I have got for this set has come from the kindness of the blog-o-sphere. Most notably the 120 card swap that I got from Dan of Saints of the Cheap Seats fame-this is what really gave me the hope that I could complete this thing. As I write this the set is 99% complete, but I figured that it would sit like that for years. The b-o-s has been super helpful in hooking me up with Hall of Famers and stars alike, but the 6 cards I still needed were pretty darn pricy and hard to come by. Even after I got a package from a reader with cards of Hawk Dawson, Nolan Ryan, Robin Yount and George Brett, I still needed 6 more cards including the most famous two (and most expensive) cards in the set-Eddie Murray and Paul Molitor’s rookie cards. Yep, two Hall of Famers rookie cards stood in the way of my finishing this set. I had prepared myself for a very long wait for those two slabs of awesome cardboard. First, they are well beyond a Troll’s budget, but even if they weren’t, my local shop doesn’t have them and I don’t do e-Bay, so all a Troll can do is wait. I decided that the blog-s-sphere was tapped and prepared for a very long wait…
Well, welcome to a long wait concluded! Enter, on a white horse, my buddy, the tradingest blogger I know, the pride of the State of Florida, the man, the myth, the legendary Alfedo “Wicked” Ortega!!! He is the author of two awesome blogs, both with the same name-“My Past Time, I Love It!”. Alfredo and I have traded a bunch of times, in fact, I had received a package from him earlier this week jammed full of Roberto Clemente cards and a stack of former stars of the Negro Leagues! Of course he included some Tampa Bay Rays cards in there as well. I think there were more than 50 cards in there and they were all new to me. It might take me a month to get all of them scanned up for your viewing pleasure, but here is one-an Action Packed embossed card of Roberto Clemente, the greatest of all time! It turns out that Fredo is an artist, too. The envelope was decorated with a perfect portrait of yours truly-for anyone who has met me, this is exactly what I look like. Anyway, back to the topic at hand-my pursuit of the 1978 Topps set. I have thrown up a few posts about this set in the past two weeks and I am sorry for ’78 overload. I like this set so much, I started a blog about it- and I will start posting every card from the set, front and back, very soon. The playoffs are rolling on, the Red Sox and Cards are already eliminated and last night was one of the best games ever, with a horrible ending… The Yankees beat the Angels in thirteen innings on an error. All that and I am still writing about ‘78s. It has become and obsession of mine. Apparently Alfredo has been paying attention to my obsession. He sent these two AMAZING cards, as a total and complete surprise to me with a note that said “just read your blog about the ’78 set, now this is what I have” and he went on to say “I’m really glad that I could add 2 great pieces to from that set for you!” Well if he is really glad, I am super really glad!!! Oh and I am out of time… Sorry for the lack of pictures and all of the suspense… You will have to come and read tomorrow morning to find out what he sent. Off to the bout! Go Bombers!!! Troll out.

1 comment:

  1. The 1978 set is a great one. I was 11-12 years old. I mowed lots of lawns and delivered lots of papers to pay for my '78s. :)