Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Sentimental Side of My Collection: My Favorite Cards (Pt. 1)

Today, I felt compelled to share with the the readers some of my cards which mean a great deal to me for varying reasons. Each reason brings with it an interesting story as to why I hold the card to be so sentimentally valuable to me. I plan on showcasing more in the very near future, but for today I picked three which mean a great deal to me. Without further ado...

The first card I chose to display is my 1994 Classic 4 Sport Nomar Garciaparra Rookie Card. Growing up, Nomar Garciaparra was my favorite baseball player by far. I had posters on my wall, jerseys, name it. I remember how emotionally spent I was when he got traded in 2004 at the deadline. I was only 7 or 8, but to me it felt like my heart had been broken. The ironic thing was I was wearing a Nomar shirt at the time, so I went upstairs when I found out (we were staying at a relatives house) and tried to rip my shirt in half, and couldn't so I tossed it into the empty trash bucket (I later picked it up and washed it, and still have the shirt today). Regardless, one Christmas my dad bought me a photobox that is generally used for storing pictures...but he converted it into a cardbox and replaced the picture windows on the lid with images from the Boston Globe issued on the day I was born. This was the best Christmas gift I had ever gotten, and with it I recieved a plastic case of various assorted baseball cards. And, lo and behold, one of the cards was this Nomar. I will always love this card for so many reasons. I continued to follow Nomar after he was traded, but eventually fell out of my line of sight due to me having new favorite players. But Nomar was never really gone. I had always held a special place in my heart for him. So, when he signed a one-day contract to retire with the Red Sox at the end of his career in 2010, I could not help but smile. I now have plenty of Nomar cards in my Red Sox binder, and I hope to eventually start a PC of my childhood favorite. So, here's to you Nomahhh!

1994 Classic 4 Sport Nomar Garciaparra RC
The next card I chose to showcase is this 2004 Upper Deck First Pitch Pedro Martinez. The card itself is so unassuming, and it's not necessarily the card but the photography which provides me the joy of sentimental collector's value. I've probably had this card for a long time, but believe it or not I just found it in my assorted card boxes a few weeks ago and slipped it into my binder. The picture, to me, captures one of the most dominant pitchers in the history of baseball pointing to God and thanking Him for his blessings as he always did after leaving the game. My faith and God is the most important thing in my life to me, without a doubt. I've always been fascinated by the connection between faith and sports, and I've always admired athletes who talk about their faith and how they play for a greater cause, but do so humbly. I always enjoyed watching Pedro pitch growing up, and next to Nomar he surpassed every other player in terms of being my favorite. I feel so blessed by God to be able to do all I do in my life, and be able to get a good education and enjoy the life he gave me. Little things like this make me happy to know that I'm part of a larger plan and that other people all over the world share the same Faith.
2004 Upper Deck First Pitch Pedro Martinez
The last card I chose to talk about is this 2004 Fleer Tradition Manny Ramirez card. This card denotes his winning of the 2004 World Series MVP, and as I recently just found out it is actually short printed. Shortly after the Red Sox won the world series in 2004, I was at an Olympia Sports at a mall near my house. While there, I was looking at the various baseball cards near the checkout counter with my mom, when a younger employee noticed I was doing so. He asked me if I liked baseball cards, which I said I did, and he and I started talking about cards and collecting. Being only 8 at the time, I was pretty early on in my collecting career. So, he told me he had something for me and that he'd be right back, and when he returned from the back room, he told me that he had in his hand some cards from his personal card collection. He insisted on giving them to me, and the card he specifically pointed out was this card. He noted that the gold wreath around the Fleer logo meant that the card was truly special. I was overjoyed, and I've kept this card ever since. I never got the employee's name, but he knows he mad a kid truly happy. I had watched the 2004 World Series with my Dad, and it was one of the better experiences of my life. The only game I fully stayed up for until the last out was Game 4, and I've never been as excited as I ever was when Keith Foulke underhanded a chopper back to the mound to Doug Menkevich for the final out.We had watched Manny Ramirez tear it up that series, and deservedly receive the World Series MVP award for his play. This card always brings back those memories upon simply looking at it, which is one of the reasons why it's truly one of my favorite cards.
2004 Fleer Tradition Manny Ramirez WS MVP SP

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