It seems like a rite of growing up for most American kids is the time-honored hobby of collecting baseball cards. In the late 1800s, cigarette companies began producing cards of baseball players in an effort to sell more cigarettes, a practice that has thankfully given way to the slightly less carcinogenic piece of gum that has the same consistency as chewing on a fossil. Hardened gum aside, baseball cards have evolved from a way to get more people to smoke to a serious pursuit for fans of all ages, and a serious business as well. Any brief foray onto E-Bay will result in innumerable offers of cards for sale, while card shows generate millions of dollars across the country each year.
For most, however, baseball cards generate feelings of nostalgia. There is nothing that equals the feeling of excitement and nervous anticipation that you felt as a kid plunking down the money for a brand-new pack of cards. There is also nothing that compares to the disappointment you felt when, instead of the Ozzie Smith card you had pinned your 8 year-old hopes on, you get your fifth Mickey Klutts card of the summer.
Thankfully, with the Isotopes you don’t have to worry about hoping to get a Cal Ripken Jr. and instead getting a Jeff Blauser, as you pretty much know you’re going to get a card set that is representative of the team you see on the field every night. Tomorrow, the Isotopes will have their annual Baseball Card Night as the team opens up a four-game series with the Omaha Royals, with the first 3,000 fans getting the eagerly-anticipated team set. Be sure to get to the park early because this will be your only opportunity to get the set for free. If you can’t make it tomorrow, the sets will be available for sale in the Isotopes Pro Shop.
The sets are in and already the reviews are good. If you want a sneak-peak of this year’s cards, check out the review by baseball card collector/expert Kris Shepard in his “Cards In the Attic” blog HERE.
Until then, if anybody has an extra rookie Nolan Ryan they could part with, I have a mint condition 1984 Rick Camp and an ’89 Wayne Tolleson I can trade.