Don’t pay any attention to all those bandwagon jumpers who decided in the mid-80s that baseball cards were the investment of the future. Their interest was as wide as the outfield and as deep as the chalk on the baselines. Real baseball cards have a historic and visceral appeal that transcends dollar values.
Not that it isn’t fun from time to time to pull out, say, the 1958 Al Kaline card and ponder its value. But I honestly get more of a thrill just looking at Al’s mug against that bright red background than I could ever get by selling it. I remember the smell of the gum that Topps inserted in each pack. And how it was often stale, and broke into pieces when you tried to chew it.
Baseball cards are a small part of what makes America special. Kids today look for rookies, embossing, and swatches from game-worn uniforms. But you can’t beat the old cards. They were from a simpler time. A sweeter time.
Originally posted April 3, 2009