I don’t remember my first card, or even who was in my first pack, but I do remember the first card I coveted.
In 1987 I was at my Friend Anton’s house looking through his cards and came across this.
In my 11 year old mind it didn’t get much bigger then Pete Rose. This card has such a great shot of Charlie Hustle looking tough as ever. This was 2 years before he was tossed from baseball and just 2 years after he broke Cobbs record. He was very much a giant, I was in awe. The card comes from the bottom of a wax box. My friend’s dad helped him cut it out and it was perfectly centered (that isn’t the actual card above, it’s just a scan I stole form ebay). In our pre-teen minds the fact it was from the box bottom made it much more valuable. In the days before inserts we took our excitement anywhere we could find it.
I pestered him for months to trade it to me. Finally we worked out a deal, I don’t remember the all the details but I do remember I sent several GI-Joe figures his way in exchange for the Rose, some fireworks and a micro machines Porsche 911 (I think it was the black convertible with the red window, guys currently in their mid 30s know what I am talking about). I think a Playboy magazine he stole from his dad may have been involved, but don’t tell my mom.
It was the jewel of my collection. Sadly I have no idea what ever happened to the card. It was my first chase and holding that card back then was far more satisfying than any auto/relic hit I pull these days.