August 4, 2016
Like many of you, I grew up collecting cards before parallels, inserts and autographs. If you wanted an autograph in the 1980s you have to send a TTM request or meet a player. My most recent TTM success is from a player that my first autograph was from and the first pro athlete I met.
I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia. If you go there today, you will find a larger, more bustling town than the one I grew up in. As a card collector, a big thing that’s changed for me is the amount of card shops and shows there. Simply put, there are NONE now. It’s like card collecting doesn’t even exist. In the time I grew up there, there were multiple card shops. Obviously none survived. There were efforts though and some made it almost a decade. There weren’t too many card shows when I was growing up, but you could find them sometimes. Mostly they were mall shows. Do those even exist anymore? Now there are none.
I do remember in the early years of my collecting (the late 1980s), there was a show once or twice a year at the local Ramada Inn. At one of the shows, I’m guessing the offseason between the 1989 and 1990 seasons, the show had a pro baseball player there signing autographs. I’d never heard of him, but I was a 10-year old kid and was getting to meet someone doing what I wanted to do when I grew up.
The reason I think it was that particular offseason was that he signed three of four cards from the 1989 sets for me. With each company releasing a flagship set and little else in a season, the sets came out early. Sometimes I’d get boxes of product for the next yeat at Christmas. However, I don’t know if product was released that early at that time. If so, perhaps it was the season prior.
I know that Doug Dascenzo signed at least a 1989 Donruss, 1989 Topps and 1989 Fleer card for me. I believe there was another Donruss and know that he didn’t sign a Score card. Unfortunately, I no longer have those cards. I can’t say when or even if I got rid of them, but I know that they are gone. It is possible I kept them and they were in the fire that burnt down my dad’s house two years ago.
I picked up one of the Donruss cards on COMC and sent to him (along with another card I speak of later). Per the Sports Card Forum TTM manager, he had signed for someone recently and I knew he HAD to be a target. I’ve gotten back to my collecting roots and love the nostalgia of a different time in the last year. This only adds to it.
I like to say that I’m a good collector, but after the confession I’m about to make, many might disagree. The 1991 Topps Operation Desert Shield is an iconic set, in my opinion. Until I decided that I was going to send a request to Mr. Dascenzo, I had never owned a card from the set. Soon I will pick up cards of some of my other childhood favorites that were in that set but for now, I am happy to have this one.
Many may open this and because of apathy, not even read down. It’s not an autograph they’d search out. For me, it’s reliving a wonder memory of not only my youth, but also the card collecting journey that I’ve been on for 30 years.
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