Story Time – All About Baseball Cards

Let’s all flashback to 1979-1980 shall we?

Even though this tale actually begins in the summer of 1975 when my friend Marie and I met at 10 years old hanging out in the back warehouse-type rooms of our parent’s workplaces. We had no where else to go when school was out so we hung out back there.

Sometimes I helped my mom add up stuff as she kept the books for their business (and we wonder why I am an accountant?).

Most though it was too hot back there and we kept the back door rolled up so I would wander along the line of the back alley of the business park. There I spotted another wayward girl hanging out in the back of the shop where her mom also worked and a lifelong friendship was born.

Even though we didn’t live in each other’s neighborhood or go to school together we had a lot in common.

Neither of us were girly girls.

We were both only children.

We both loved baseball.

Tucked away in the corner of the same strip mall of stores was the perfect place for us – a baseball card shop! We spent pretty much all of 1975-1981 hanging out together during school breaks and buying nearly entire collections of Topps cards (and oh weren’t those delightful rectangle pick sticks of bubble gum just the BEST?!)

Now, we weren’t modern day collectors by any means. Heck, that wasn’t why you bought cards back then. You bought them to PLAY with them. To trade them. We didn’t preserve them in baseball card holders or binders. Keep them in wrappers? Oh heck no!

Our cards were well well well worn! Some ended up clipped to our bike spokes to make that tell tale “clack clack clack” sound. Mostly though, we made up card games with our collection.

Instead of hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades we used teams as suits.

Our favorite game?

Well, a bit of variation on Old Maid.

Being the semi-barely-rebellious pre-teens and then early teenagers we were, we called it “Oh Shit”

You scored bonus points if you had one or both of our two favorite players – they were Wild Cards that could be used any way you wanted. You got negative points if you ended up with one of the two Oh Shit cards.

The cards?

Well, so named of course because we were girls who were starting to notice boys and naturally our favorite players were as much about being cute as they were about being good players (though I will point out that MY favorite in those days was a perennial All Star and did end up in the Hall of Fame):

1979 Bucky Dent
1979 Carlton Fisk










The two Oh Shit cards are naturally so named because that is pretty much how both of us reacted when we first saw them in our bubble gum packs:

1980 Bruce Bochy
1979 Jack Clark









Of course what is so funny about us naming Bruce Bochy as an “Oh Shit” is that as any long long time blog followers know, 15 and I had season tickets to the Padres from 2004-2006 (he was not 15 in those days of course!) The manager for the Padres? Bruce Bochy! And I kid you not but I would see his picture up on the jumbotron when they did the lineup announcements ‘As penciled in by the manager: #15 Bruuuce BOCHY!’ and a voice in the back recesses of my brain would say “Ooooohhhhhhh SHIT!”

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