It was early into the 1993 season in which I first started getting into baseball. My father, a lifelong Yankee fan, exposed me to the game, and I was soon hooked. Baseball was the first sport I fell in love with and the memories from that particular season are ones I won’t soon forget. From Tony Kubek and Dewayne Staats calling the game on the MSG Network, to Paul O’Neill’s water cooler abuse, to Jim Abbott’s no-hitter, to the overall awesomeness of Donnie Baseball (even though his career was in decline at this point), this season made me a permanent fan of the game.
It was shortly thereafter that I discovered baseball cards. One day, while waiting at the checkout line at the supermarket with my mother, a blue cardboard display caught my attention. It read “1993 Upper Deck: Series 2.” I convinced her to add a pack to our bill and so it began. The funny thing is, I remember exactly where I was when I had my first pack of cards, but don’t remember much about what was actually in it. However, I do remember pulling my first Yankee card: a Jim Abbott, card 554, which looked a little something like this. I’ll never forget how happy I was at that time. Sadly, this is something you don’t see anymore. The collecting landscape has changed drastically and nowadays, it’s not about who you’ve pulled, but WHAT you’ve pulled. I’d rather pull a low-end insert of a team or player I collect than a subpar jersey card of some utility player of a team I couldn’t care less about, but that’s just me.
So what do I collect, you ask? Here is my wantlist by priority:
1. Paul O’Neill (havelist) – This man was and will forever be my favorite baseball player. Nicknamed “The Warrior,” it was evident that Paulie was only concerned with winning, and that anything less would be considered a failure. He was a batting champion, 5-time All Star, 5-time World Champion, and had an unparalleled passion for the game. In the first MLB game I ever attended, Paul hit THREE home runs and drove in EIGHT against the California Angels. I actually own a copy of the Daily News issued the day after the game. It is one of my favorite unique items. Sadly, that was the only game I attended with my father as he was battling with cancer and would eventually succumb to it the following year, just a few months before the Yankees’ dynastic run. Ironically, Paul was traded to the Yanks on 11/3/92, my father’s birthday! My O’Neill collection is pretty extensive (about 600 cards), but if you find something I don’t have, please give me a shout!
As far as trading feedback goes, I am a member of The Bench with the online handle Brodeur182. I have over 300 completed trades there with flawless feedback and countless references.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your own box breaks!