Cards take me back to younger days

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Jul. 16—This past weekend, I was taken back to memories from my younger days. I came across my baseball card collection and decided to take a look and do a little organizing.

Most of the cards are from the late 80s and early 90s, but some stretch back to 1977-78. Aging myself a little with that information.

As I sat in my Man Cave (figured my wife didn't want all those cards in the family room), memories came flying back. I remembered the players and remember watching them on TV and even a few in person at Riverfront Stadium.

I found a Chili Davis card and that immediately took me back to the 80s at Riverfront. The only baseball I ever caught at a big league game came off the bat of the Giants' Chili Davis. I still have the ball in the Man Cave from the June 27, 1986 game.

That ball reminds me of that crazy game between the Giants and Reds. The game went 12 innings, which was cool. But the thing I remember most was the record set by San Francisco's Robby Thompson.

Thompson was caught stealing four times in the game. I still remember thinking, "maybe he should respect Bo Diaz's arm a little more."

The longer I looked at the cards, the more the familiar names popped out at me. I was a big baseball fan back then. I started playing at the age of five and loved the game and looked up to some of these players that I was now looking at their MLB cards.

Part of my growing up years was spent in Centerville. I have fond memories of playing baseball with my friends. After one Little League game, I went to watch a future MLB pitcher Barry Jones pitch for the Bulldogs at the high school field. Jones didn't start that day, but was brought in to pitch the final inning. The final inning for the opponent went by in a breeze, three straight strikeouts as Jones sealed the Bulldogs' win.

Jones went on to pitch eight seasons in the majors and I have a few of his cards as well.

I also came across cards from my two favorite players — a Hall of Fame pitcher and a Hall of Fame everyday player.

Nolan Ryan was my favorite player and what drove me to become an Astros fan all those years ago. I have cards of Ryan as an Astro and also as a Ranger.

I also found Ken Griffy Jr. I have his Bowman rookie card.

Here are some of the Hall of Fame names that I came across: Bagwell, Bench, Biggio, Gwynn, Griffey Jr., Ryan, Boggs, Martinez, Brett, Carew, Eckersley, Carlton, Dawson, Carter, Fisk, Glavine, Smoltz, Gossage, Henderson, Lasorda, Jackson, Larkin, Johnson, Maddux, Puckett, Raines, Morgan, Morris, Piazza, Murray, Rice, Ripken, Rodrieguez, Sandberg, Seaver, Thomas, Winfield, Schmidt, Smith and Yount. I left off the first names so you fans can reminisce.

I also found an unsealed box set from Topps 1993 for Series 1 and another box full from Series 2. Not sure why I never opened these, but there they were just waiting on someone to break them open.

I didn't open them, after all Topps stopped putting the gum in the packages in 1991. Remember that gum? A long thin stick that usually broke into pieces as you started to chew it.

Having not kept up on the card collection game, I have no idea if any of these cards are worth anything of monetary value. So, I downloaded an app that allowed me to scan the cards (front and back) and get a "raw" value for the cards from sales on Ebay and other sites.

Most of the cards that I checked ranged from under $1 to $5. I did find a few with possible monetary value. A 1991 Topps Bo Jackson card with raw value of $100 and a Don Mattingly card in the $45 range. That was pretty cool to see.

The monetary value is not going to make me rich (sorry Lisa), but the memories that come rushing back when I look at the cards are worth more than a few dollars. The older I get, the more these memories mean to me. I recently caught up with a buddy from my Little League playing days. Norman "Storm" Baney lived up the road from me and we played baseball on the same team, coached by our Dads. I appreciate Storm's friendship from all those years and thank you friend for your service to our country.

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com