Most of you know me as Jrodcards, but my family calls me Jarrod, or J-rod without the cards.
To this day, I can remember a snowy winter day in 1984. Ten-year-old me was leaving a doctor’s appointment and my mom, sensing I was sad, bought me a pack of Topps. At the time, my favorite player was Willie Randolph of the Yankees (Doc Gooden had yet to burst onto the scene). I opened the pack, while standing in the snow, and what do you know- A Willie Randolph card! I was ecstatic. I remember taking the card and putting it in my room, taping it behind my fish tank so I can see it whenever I looked at my fish. From then, my love of baseball, and cards, began.
I must have spent every dollar I made from 1984-1987 on Topps cards. Pre junk wax era was fantastic. I had thousands of cards. When I went to college, most went to my cousin, but I still have a box (the old card collector locker box) full of about 300 cards from my youth. I learned, when I was 12, that my granddad was friends with Jackie Robinson. They formed a bond when Jackie came to Brooklyn. How good of friends they were I do not know, but I know I am named after my grandad (Jerry) and Jackie Robinson. My grandad always spoke of his sweet swing and sweet personality. My son, Jack, is named after me and Jackie Robinson.
Fast forward to 2020 and I am a crusty old man, long removed from New York, but not from the misery of being a Mets, Jets, Islanders fan. I also have the pleasure of the misery of being an Arizona sports fan. I am on Twitter, and I see 1989 Fleer packs for sale. I bought two, and “stacked” them. Then two more, then a carton. Today, a year later, I am all-in on both Vintage and current.
I have fallen in love with the rip, the chase, and the excitement of new cards all over again. I have begun a collection of 1986 Mets autographed cards, and I am still looking for my first true Jackie Robinson card. My goal in the hobby is to have fun. I have given away as many cards as I have sold. My hope is to get as many kids and teens excited about cards as I can. I want to see the next generation of card collectors be just as strong as the current generation.
Most of all, being back in the hobby has allowed me to spend time reminiscing about the great players of the past, as well as the not-so-great players. I often sneak into my office, open my locker box and flip through cards of guys named John Tudor, Neil Allen, Tommy Herr, Rafael Santana and go back to a place in time when I was a young and innocent kid, just getting into this great hobby of ours. When I “wake up” I am blessed to still be “playing with baseball cards”.
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