Full confession… I haven’t purchased a pack of baseball cards since 1993.
That’s right, it’s been 10 years since I actually walked into a place of business and put down American-made currency and walked out with a pack of baseball cards.
But there was a time when there was nothing I would look forward to more than “Baseball Card Reveal Day,” the day when Topps would release their new baseball cards for the year.
What would they look like? What would the design be this year? Which Phillies would be featured? Would they have weird haircuts? What kind of trivia questions would be on the back of the card? Would there be any error cards with a player writing some obscene word on the knob of his bat for all the world to see?
These were exciting times, when all I cared about were pictures on pieces of cardboard.
And we had to wait the hard way. When I was growing up, there was no interweb.There was no Googlenet. I couldn’t hop on a search engine and see an advanced promotional picture of what the cards would look like. We had to keep walking up to the neighborhood drug store to see if the new packs had come in yet. For weeks, we’d enter the store with great hope, and leave disappointed.
That is, until that magical day arrived when the new cards would be sitting there, a box freshly opened, sitting in their wax packs, just waiting to be purchased.
In the mid-to-late ’80s, baseball cards cost 35-50 cents a pack.
Now, they cost $3. It’s easy to see why I stopped collecting.
And today, there are far more things on my plate that take up my attention. A wife, a small child, a job, and, well, just a life in general.
But I still look with curiosity when Topps (now the sole card-maker with an MLB license) releases their new cards for the year. And recently, the company unveiled their batch for 2013.
As you can see, there’s nothing fancy about this year’s batch. A simple white border with the team logo in the bottom right-hand corner, and an action photo in the middle.
It’s very basic, simple and, dare I say, a bit boring.
So far, only two Phillies cards have been released to the public for early viewing. Ryan Howard’s (above) and the man Topps obviously thinks is going to be the next greatest hitter to ever play the game.
Yup, that’s a sweet, sweet card of Darin Ruf, y’all. You just know he hit a home run here. You can see it in his eyes.
It’s good to know that Topps is continuing their tradition of packing the backs of their cards with information you can use, even if it is depressing as all get-out.
And Topps, as they have been doing for years, created special insert cards for this year, including this one featuring Mike Schmidt called “Chasing History.”
What purpose it’s supposed to serve, I have no idea. Fun, maybe?
And that’s pretty much it. Look for future Phils cards to be featured here in this space over the next few weeks, but for the moment, hopefully these snapshots of Howard and Ruf will suffice.
I know the urge to see a Laynce Nix card in print can be overwhelming.
Just try and hold it together until I can get my hands on one.