Don’t miss the latest installment from Kim & Jason Chalkboard columnist Allan Dash. Baseball fans will enjoy his reflections on the days before trading cards were slathered with glossiness and a pack cost an arm and a leg and an organ to be named later. Here’s a taste:
Now that the season is well underway, and the Phabulous Phillies are slogging along on their annual March to Mediocrity, a not-so-young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of… well, baseball cards. By chance, this year marks the 55th anniversary of my first foray into card collecting, which actually began pretty much by accident.
In the late ‘40s I used to peddle down to a small, local food store that, happily, sold lots of gooey candy. I might buy myself a Hershey bar, or a package of Jujubes, or – on one occasion when I was unaccountably rich – a whole jar of Marshmallow Whip and a little wooden spoon. I became deathly ill well before I finished stuffing my mouth with the sweet and sticky contents of that jar. But what a way to go!
About that time I also discovered the rubbery, pink pleasures of bubble gum, and often bought some of that, too, if my allowance could take the hit. One day the proprietor showed me some small, flat packages wrapped in waxed paper and explained that they contained not only bubble gum, but trading cards with pictures of baseball players on them as well. Intrigued, I…(read more)