*takes a sip, feeling nostalgic today. Sounds like a good day for some #CardsOverCoffee*
With everyone at The National and myself at home, it made me think back to the good ole hobby days around me. The days where I had an LCS to visit and monthly card shows to snag new cards, trade or try to win the door prize at.
Those were also the days you could find cards at grocery stores, craft stores,
and even this gas station that stood as my LCS for many years after my real LCS closed.
They had cards at the register and a huge spinning rack where all of the unopened boxes were. It was heaven to walk in there as the smell of coffee hit you as the door opened to the inside because a Dunkin' was in there as well. Combine that with cards and you know what, you have #CardsOverCoffee. It's not where I came up with the name of this blog however.
When I was out of the hobby for two years from late 1999-2001, stupid ex-girlfriend, I didn't buy a thing from there. Then came 2002 when I met the girl who would become my wife. She would drive me there just so I could buy boxes and we even were late for her Bridal Shower later that year because we stopped there. If that isn't love, I don't know what love is.
I will never forget two collecting times we had together at that gas station. They are firmly tucked into my memory and a story I haven't told on any of my blogs until today.
*takes a sip, smiles remembering those days*
The first story is about the second box we ever bought and opened together. It was probably the best box I have ever opened in my entire life and it came from one of my favorite collecting products in 2002 Sp Authentic baseball box.
Having just come back into the hobby in 2002, I missed the big boom of Relic cards and autographed cards that happened a year or two prior. I came from a time where inserts and parallels mattered the most so that's where I remained. I knew about jersey and autograph cards and how rare they were in the 90's, but didn't know of the boom at the time and that they were in every box now.
So when I opened up this box, I was mainly searching for the inserts still since that was where my head was at. But, when I found a couple surprises, I wasn't sure what to think.
First was a redemption card for an autograph Sp Chiography card of Alex Rodriguez. I knew who A-Rod was, but didn't know what a redemption card was. So I just followed the instructions on the card and not long after that this beautiful card arrived to my door.
Then came the biggest shocker of my life.....
A Mark McGwire autograph /50. I can't tell you how many times I flipped this card front and back to see how real it was. I had no clue what I was holding, I just knew in case it was real I needed a toploader and fast. So after opening that box, I went straight to my parents house where my father had a toploader for it and I protected it. I may have also snuggled it on the way home that day as well.
The second story was a year later when I was working in a meat room and she had the day off. She always came to visit me on my lunch breaks on her days off and this time she brought a box of 2003 Donruss Diamond Kings along after stopping at the gas station.
I basically skipped eating to sit with her and open packs in my car. Who needs to eat when there is something to open!
I can't remember what else we pulled that day, but it was a pack she opened that had this inside of it that was the showstopper,
My first ever 1/1 and autograph of the legendary Nolan Ryan. It's a Recollection Collection autograph. I love it, but wished it wasn't signed on a sportflix card as you can't tell if the ink ran or if the signature is great because of the sportflix design makes it look that way.
And before anyone asks, yes, I still have these and no, they are not for sale or trade ever. These are memorable cards I will never get rid of no matter what you offer me. Even a Million Dollars (Dr. Evil laugh inserted)
*takes a sip before finishing up today's post*
My card busting days at the gas station with the Mrs went on for a few more years before an elderly woman (who was the next door neighbor to my grandmother and also had one heck of a MJ collection) was caught stealing packs from the gas station. It wasn't much longer after that, maybe a year later or less as she did it a few more times, where they stopped selling cards completely. It was frustrating to hear that since nobody else sold cards around me anymore since the hobby was a dying trend here.
So today, the only way I can open up stuff with my wife anymore is getting lucky finding retail, from a trade I do or from a Black Friday sale. The gas station still stands with new ownership and a new name and of course I still stop there. I noticed recently they brought back TY Beanie Babies in there for sale but what was once the card area is now the car area with motor oil, air fresheners and other trinkets. I really wished they would bring cards back, but I doubt that will ever happen.
For now, I just like going in there and smelling the coffee scent that still lingers on your clothes after you leave to remember the times................................and to also grab some Dunkin'.
*Coffee Card Blogger Out*