Merry Christmas Eve. The holiday season always brings back great childhood memories of looking at my baseball cards.
This Christmas marks the 26th Anniversary of my first ever unopened box of trading cards. By 1991, I was more of a football card collector, mainly hoarding Joe Montana cards. Montana was my favorite football player despite being a Chicago Bears fan. Who wanted to collect Jim Harbaugh cards?
What a year 1991 was, at least for me. Not only did Santa gift me a brand new sealed box of 1991 Upper Deck, but also under the tree was the recently released Tecmo Super Bowl Nintendo cartridge, Metallica's self titled album on cassette (popularly known as the "Black Album"), and Home Alone on VHS. My entire Christmas break was split between watching Home Alone 50 times, and playing Tecmo Super Bowl six hours a day.
1991 Upper Deck football remains a favorite set because of this holiday connection. Years later it would become a collectible set due to the Brett Favre Rookie card. But at the time, the sought after Card was the short printed Darrell Green "Fastest Man" card. At release, this card was listed at $12 in Beckett. That's a lot of coin for a 9-year old in 1991.
Aside from the Green, I was chasing my idol Joe Montana. Not only did the set feature a pretty cool base card, there was an entire subset chronicling Montana's career.
My favorite card of the subset was Montana pictured in his college Notre Dame uniform. At one time I was a Notre Dame, and this was probably around the time because I was also a big fan of the "Rocket" Raghib Ismail.
Another highly sought after subset was the Holograms. These are still cool to this day. While holograms didn't exactly take off in the collecting world outside of their brief two year (or so) existence, that's probably what still attracts me to these cards. A semi rare concept that reminds me of a simpler time when these were the "hits" in a box.
Since 1991, cards have always been under my Christmas tree, mainly stocking stuffers (even in the years I wasn't collecting). Looking forward to ripping into a few packs tomorrow morning, and will be sure to post about my Christmas break.