From the time I started collecting baseball cards in 1981 through the release of the 1986 Topps set, I solely collect baseball cards for entertainment. It provided my OCD an outlet to sort things in different ways, while collecting my favorite players and teams.
But that era came to an abrupt end when I was introduced to pallets upon pallets of 1987 Topps baseball wax boxes at my local Costco/Price Club. That's when I officially transitioned from a collector to an investor.
That year, I must have opened ten... maybe twenty wax boxes trying to build sets and create player lots in hopes that Dave Magadan, Rafael Palmeiro, and BJ Surhoff would one day pay for my college tuition. However that's the topic of a future post.
Today I'm focusing my attention on the third challenge in Tony's 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge, which happens to target a card from the first set you tried to complete. And if my memory serves me right, that would be the 1986 Topps set.
Before then, I made haphazard attempts with the understanding that I'd never actually complete anything since I didn't realistically open enough packs. Then I started selling candy to my classmates, which allowed me to purchase more packs than usual on a more frequent basis. I don't think I ever actually completed this set, but years later I added one to my collection.
1986 Topps #250
I picked Dwight Gooden for this post for a few reasons:
#1: It features a great action shot of Dr. K.
#2: Back in 1986, this was one of the most valuable cards in the set.
#3: The Mets won the World Series in 1986.
The final reason I decided to go with this card is because it's a healthy reminder to learn from our mistakes. Gooden is sometimes remembered for his off the field issues and this 1986 Topps set often reminds me of a cardboard scandal I was involved in.
But part of being human is learning from our mistakes. 1986 Topps helped me learn to appreciate my friends and resist taking advantage of them, while 1987 Topps helped me see that I'm better off collecting baseball cards than investing in them.
Happy Wednesday and sayonara!