20 years in #TheHobby.

While 1987 Topps is commonly used in reprint sets like Archives(Of which, check this and this out) and as inserts in Topps flagship, this year marks its 30th anniversary – as such they’re dedicating a S1/S2 insert run on the design. 1987 Topps didn’t have the glitz and glamour of parallel and autographed versions that today’s versions have – 30 years is an anniversary worth celebrating – IF they wouldn’t have over-saturated the design in other sets. The Twins did a thing that year(yet only have one 1987 insert through Series One, Series Two), and I was born in late September – so naturally I feel compelled to collect the insert set.

I’m drawn to it sure, but I’ll wait for a year end set on feebay to show up. I just can’t justify breaking that many cases to get a quarter of the set. I get the hobby hate for the wood grain, super cropped, semi-blurry set but it along with factory sets of 1991 Topps, 1991 Fleer and 1990 Score were my first hobby introductions. Reviewing the Series 2 checklist got my thinking about other anniversaries. No, not our first wedding anniversary(July 9th!), but of my first packs that I can remember opening….

My parents wanted to get me involved in collecting of some kind for a healthy hobby around the time I was eight or nine. While I had originally chosen post cards(as my father was in the Marines at the time, and we uprooted frequently), I quickly moved into older coins – wheat pennies especially. Around this time we’d enjoy family time playing old board games, Super Nintendo(of which Madden and Super Bases Loaded got plenty of play time), and watching Twins/Vikings games on TV.

Pops isn’t much of a regular season baseball person, and the North Stars had vacated Minnesota a few years prior but we cherished those times watching/playing MLB/NFL games together. As I entered middle school, I was given the choice to play football or baseball, and as the Vikings had only disappointed me, the history of baseball drew me in. Plus the stats helped with my math, and learning about different players from different eras helped me put into context different eras for my history classes. Sports probably engaged my learning than some of my teachers, and I sought out to learn and read as much as I could. There are worse hobbies, but my card collection doesn’t harm anyone, isn’t doing damage to myself(drugs, alcohol, etc.) or others so my parents saw no harm in encouraging #TheHobby. By doing household chores(mostly keeping my room clean), I earned 2/3$ a week that I could spend on anything I wanted. Naturally I would save these until I had around 18-20$ and go to Wal-Mart/Target and purchase different packs. Reflecting on the 1987 insert set that Topps is producing this year reminded me that it was around 1997 that I opened my first packs with my own allowance. I had a few dark years(I mean, we did live on Okinawa for ~3 years), but I had bought a few packs each year since 1997 until I began collecting hardcore in 2009 or so.

So while I celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Twins winning their first title with Kirby, Gary, Greg, Kent, Frank, and all of those early heroes, and my 30th birthday, this year I’ll also toast to 20 wonderful years in #TheHobby.  Hopefully, there’s many more decades of hobby collecting, championships(serious though…), and birthdays to celebrate. :).

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#1991-fleer, #1991-topps, #archives, #family, #flagship, #the-hobby, #twins