How can going through your sports collectibles be like listening to the car radio? Think about it. You’re driving down the road when a song comes on that captures your attention. The song instantly evokes memories of a time long past—so long ago, it seems like another lifetime. We’ve all had this happen before—right?
Well, what if I told you this same thing happens to me when I look at my sports collectibles? That’s right. Certain pieces of my collection take me directly to a time and place long ago. Here are just a few examples.
Nolan Knows Bo—In the early ’90s, Bo Jackson was a superstar. He was a two-sport athlete who was quickly taking the sports world by storm. Many thought he was the next big thing in baseball. Around this time, a card was issued capturing Nolan Ryan holding a Bo Jackson baseball card. This card had the caption “Nolan Knows Bo” on it. Seeing the card instantly reminds me of the day I got it. It was a Sunday morning at a local flea market here in Pearland, Texas. In fact, I even remember the exact location of the booth—just inside and to the left. I saw the card and knew instantly that I had to have it. Thankfully, my parents bought me the card. Why do I remember this? I really have no idea. The card is pretty cool, and Ryan is my favorite player, but it does seem random that I have such vivid memories attached to this card.
Nolan Ryan Pin—Not to drive the Nolan Ryan obsession into the ground, but another collectible I have is a Nolan Ryan pin. Honestly, the pin probably isn’t worth that much, but it has sentimental value. The main association I have with it is my dad bringing home an envelope for me and my brothers. It was around the time of my oldest brother’s birthday, and he got the coolest gift. A signed birthday card from Nolan Ryan. I got the Nolan Ryan pin, which isn’t unique, but it still takes me back to the day my dad surprised me with it.
Souvenir Baseball Bat—Going to your first baseball games as a child is almost like a religious experience. If you love the game as I do, it’s something you will always remember. Fortunately, I have a Houston Astros souvenir bat to commemorate the event. Even though I was probably just 4 or 5 years old at the time, I have many remembrances of this occasion. The main thing that sticks out in my memory is when we were walking to our seats, you could actually hear the catcher’s mitt popping from catching the warmup pitches. And guess who was pitching that day? Of course, it was my childhood hero, Nolan Ryan. I do remember the Astros lost that day, but I’m not positive who it was they were playing. Regardless, it was an event I will always cherish.
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