Sunday, December 14, 2008

My First Baseball Cards

My grandmother was born in a farming village outside of Budapest, Hungary in 1888. She immigrated to the USA in 1912, living first in Chicago and then Cleveland. One day in 1961, she noticed that there were baseball cards printed on the back of a box of Post cereal. She knew I played Little League baseball, so she saved the box and gave it to me. At age ten, I was hooked on baseball cards immediately. I lived two miles from my grandparents' farm and visited them almost daily. I also had an aunt and uncle living next door and another aunt and uncle living across the street, so I quickly told them how great Post cereal was, and asked them to save the empty boxes for me. I can still somewhat remember that first panel of seven cards: Jim Coates, Ken Hamlin, Ed Bressoud, Haywood Sullivan for sure, then maybe John Callison and Vada Pinson. The last one might have been Tony Taylor or Jerry Kendall. The next box of cereal that I got, had the exact same seven players. I quickly alerted all my relatives to try to check the back of the box to get different players! Meanwhile, I cut my two sets of identical cards out and played the matching game, "Concentration", with them. I no longer have those cards, but at a card show in Virginia, in the mid-1980's, I saw a vendor with the same uncut panel for an outlandish price. Whenever I see Post cereal cards, I think of that first panel and fondly remember my grandmother.

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