Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Monday, April 3, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge (Day 3)

Day 3: A card from the first set you tried to complete

This is a tough one for me, because when I started collecting I "tried" to complete my sets, but I never really got anywhere close and in the end I've just gone back and bought cheap complete sets of all of them.
1992 Topps - [Base] #1 - Nolan Ryan - Courtesy of
The first set I remember trying to finish in earnest was 1992 Topps. We had just moved to Georgia and had nothing else to do, and my mom and grandmother were both quite generous with unopened packs and boxes. I bought a lot of cards from many of that year's releases, but '92 Topps stands out because of the Gold parallel rush. I don't think I ever pulled any high-value gold cards, only commons, but I did well with the scratch-off cards and ended up with a nice stack of Gold Winner cards.
1989 Topps - [Base] #500 - Jose Canseco - Courtesy of
But it goes back before that. The first pack I remember opening - the pack that really started my collection, was a 1989 Topps rack pack. And from there I bought more, and more, and more. And I never came close to finishing that set, but it stands out in my mind as the first set I bought a lot of, cataloged, sorted, and chased.
1989 CMC Jose Canseco Limited Edition - [Base] #18 - Jose Canseco - Courtesy of
And back then, Jose Canseco was my favorite player. I lived in San Jose, which generally supported Oakland over SF, so it wasn't hard to choose Mr. 40-40 as my favorite! I even had a CMC card set that came with a record (yes, a vinyl record) talking about his (still young) career.


  1. I remember working on both the 89 and 92 Topps sets back in the day (1989 to 1993 were my peak collecting years and I worked on all those Topps sets). The pink and black backs of the 89 set just make me smile for some reason, I remember them better than the fronts since I spent so much time sorting the cards by number.

    1. I think the fact that the '89 fronts are very nondescript helps make the backs all the more memorable. I got better at reading cursive by collecting that year, though! And in the 1990 Donruss set.

  2. I worked on both of these sets too. Still remember the good old days of using the flashlight to win those "gold winner" packs.

    Hey... when you lived in SJ, did you ever go to card shop called National Pastime? I worked there in the early 90's. We were located near Togo's (@ Blossom Hill Road and Snell).

    1. I flashlighted too. I got a ton of winners that way!

      That's a bit far from where I lived, so I doubt I visited. I might have made it once with my mom driving, but I wouldn't have gone that far on my own. I moved to Atlanta in early '92, so it would have been before that, but it doesn't sound familiar.