Baseball Cards, the Astros, and other Garbage Pail Kids

Highlights from my first pack, overloaded with Dodgers, of 2020.

As I dashed into Target last week to pick up a few food items that needed restocking, I swung by the display for the trading cards on my way to the checkout line. If there’s not going to be a baseball season, I reasoned, I need some baseball cards by which to remember it.

I grabbed a pack of 34 Topps cards for $4.99, wryly noting that we’re long past the days when you’d get a pack of five cards and a stick of gum for a nickel. 1963 this is not.

Even at my north-of-60 age, it’s always a thrill to open that first pack of the season. Since my schoolboy days in Cleveland, I’m always hoping to find at least one member of the Indians, and I was happy to spot Mike Clevinger and Carlos Santana. As I thumbed through, I found more good news: Christian Yelich of the Brewers and a psuedo-illustrated card of the Giants’ Buster Posey, featured in a series of “Prominent Base Ball Players.”

But five Dodgers and the LA team card? For someone who spent a quarter of his life in Northern California, rooting for the Giants, I thought that was excessive. I can only handle so much Clayton Kershaw.

I’ll give Topps credit. The photos in this season’s set are terrific, sharp and clear from edge to edge. It’s been a few years since I’ve bought cards, and I’m a bit puzzled at a couple in the pack with white (Luis Severino) and black (George Springer) borders and a silver medallion denoting a 35th anniversary, evidently of the 1985 card design.

I couldn’t find an explanation in a Google search, but I did find a reference to Topps celebrating the 35th anniversary of Garbage Pail Kids. You don’t suppose there’s some kind of tie-in to the Houston Astros, do you?

2 thoughts on “Baseball Cards, the Astros, and other Garbage Pail Kids

  1. I haven’t thought about baseball cards in years! I do remember my whole box full of them, and I suspect they went the way of all mothers’ house cleanings.

    I also remember the gum that came with the cards was terrible.

    1. The gum was TERRIBLE!!! Regardless, some of us would save up the sticks and trying chewing two or three of them simultaneously, mimicking big leaguers and their chaws of tobacco. Thank goodness I never tried that vile stuff.

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