I was 7 years old in the fall of 1967, and my first memory of baseball was the Cardinals beating the BoSox and Carl Yaz in the Series. I saw on TV (in black and white) the Cards celebrate their victory. That was the day I became a baseball fan.
I was a Cards fan in 1968 and also started buying Topps baseball cards. One Wednesday evening before serving as an altar boy at a novena prayer service my older brother, Rick, pulled the "Lonborg wins again" card (#155) out of a wax pack. Wow, what a great card! Even though I was a Cards fan I loved the action picture, the TV set frame, Lonborg's knee up to his elbow and shoulder in his mouth. I remember days during summer vacation, opening packs on the steps of the corner grocery store and looking for Cardinals, especially Gibson and Cepeda (since I played first base; at age 7 1/2 I was not old enough for little league, but every day in June after school and then throughout the summer vacation, I played ball with kids much older than me and if I wasn't in right field, 2nd base or left out, I wanted to play first base because I'm left handed and everyone told me I can only play there, pitch or outfield.) Late in the summer of 1968 the higher series cards became available and I remember my brother getting the "Managers Dream" card (Oliva, Cardenas and Bob Clemente #480). Another great card! And then someone else got "Super Stars" (#490, Killer, Mays and Mick). And then, my brother, then and always an Os fan, got #530 "Bird Belters", one of his favorite cards. And things have never been the same for me.
Some 40 years later, after on again-off again collecting (I have the whole 1975 set, every card from a wax pack or a trade in 1975 and the 2000 set from foil packs), I have decided to go after the cards I truly want. After years of switching favorite teams as the NL winners changed - Cards, Mets, Pirates, Reds, and because I could not like the same team as my older brother (sibling rivalry and all), for some reason in high school I started reading Earl Weaver's book during biology class. Since then I've been an Os fan, especially Cal Jr. I went to his Hall induction in Cooperstown. My collecting dream is to have every Topps Os regular set card made (and the St. Louis Browns too) and all the Topps regular set special cards like #155, 480, 490 from 1968. I've made good progress on these collections, so I have expanded my focus - see my "Want Lists" page.