Every now and again I would go into an actual card shop instead of a convenience store and really get a chance to see some cards. Most in the display cases were cards from the 80's and many had price tags that weren't paper route friendly. However, one night I remember my step-father and I were out driving someone and he had heard some convenience store had a few singles in it and asked me to go in and take a look. At this stage my collection was all 1990's stuff and was pretty small in size, maybe a couple hundred cards at most and he didn't have any more than I did either. So I went inside and in a glass display case right by the potato chips and junk food were some cards. I honestly couldn't tell you which ones were in that case given it was 25+ years ago, but I did see one card that was very affordable and just spoke to me for some reason:
1980-81 OPC Pierre Hamel RC
It was one of the oldest cards in the case and I just thought it looked pretty cool. The price was 75 cents and having had more than enough change in my pocket it was a transaction I was pleased to make.
(As an aside, I actually have been trying to finish this set over the past couple years and am down to just one card!! I will share the set whenever I manage to get it. I decided to include this Hamel in my set which makes it a little more fun and personal.)
While the internet has softened the value of the cards from the 80's and no one is retiring off their collections, I do love the design of many of these sets and the memories I have from collecting them. I specifically remember my step-dad and I going splits on a Rack Box of 1982-83 OPC. The box cost us $500 at the time which was a lot for a 12 year old to come up with half of but I did and enjoyed breaking that box. We each got a full set and I was allowed to keep all the doubles which I still have to this day and all are in near-mint condition or better (except the miscuts). Of course in hindsight the smart move would have been to never open the stuff but it was fun and it's an important set for that reason.
Anyway, this was one of those posts for my kids to read down the line and thank you for stopping by and sharing in my memory.
Do you have any recollection of your first vintage cards or did you happen to just collect when it was the "good old days"?