A few days ago, I posted a contest with a hanging box of 2013 Topps Update as the prize. All you had to do was guess the card that was the most influential card of my collecting career.
The five cards that are on this countdown are the ones that have done the most to influence my life and my collection. I could have just as easily used the word "important" as well.
The previous four were:
5.) 1977 Topps Pete Broberg
4.) 1978 Topps Lyman Bostock
3.) 1978 Topps Len Randle
2.) 1979 Topps Thad Bosley
To enter, you had to guess the year, brand, player and why it was number one on my list. So that it wasn't completely impossible I gave the following clues:
Year - It's from one of my first four years of collecting (1977, 1978, 1979 or 1980)
Brand - I'll give you this one. It's Topps.
Player's Name - He is from one the most recent expansion teams at the time (Blue Jays or Mariners)
Why It's Influential - This is going to be the hardest. If you look at the previous four, most of them are "firsts". This is actually a "last" but a "first" as well.
Even after all the clues, I still thought it might be pretty hard to guess the answer. So my plan was that if no one was close I was either going to give more clues or put everybody's name in the randomizer for a winner.
But I was pretty amazed when one of the guesses was almost dead on.
Many of you picked the right team, but not the right player.
So here is the card that holds the top spot!
So why is Rico Carty at number 1?
After collecting in 1977, '78 and '79, and not finishing any of those sets (and I still haven't), I was determined. I bought a lot of 1980 Topps. I remember the first pack I bought that year. I bought it at a convenience store called Gerry's Variety in my hometown (it's still there...both the store and my hometown), and I opened it up at the bowling alley. (Yes I used to bowl...it was candlepins...and I was pretty damn good).
But anyways, that first pack had this card in it:
I knew it was going to be a good year.
So all summer, armed with money that I earned from a paper route I was doing each week, I bought as much 1980 Topps as I could afford. I didn't have anybody to trade with that year (everybody that I knew that collected cards only did hockey), so I had to keep buying until finally I was down to one card.
No relic, autograph, SP, or insert has ever matched the excitement I felt when I finally pulled this card out of a pack. Not only was I excited about finishing the set, but since it was 1980, I was also done was baseball cards for the year. There weren't any card shops in my area , so I couldn't get any cards from previous years, and I don't think I realized baseball card magazines existed yet, so there was no bugging Mom and Dad to order some cards for me.
So congrats to Jim from GCRL, who correctly identified the year, brand and why it was number 1 on my list. A hanging box of 2013 Topps Update will be headed your way!