My first real baseball memory was the 1988 World Series when Kirk Gibson hit a game winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley - we all know the story, no need to rehash it yet again! However, I didn't really attach myself as a fan for a specific team until the next year - the "Earthquake Series". The Oakland A's had made it to the World Series for the second year in a row! The tragic events from the earthquake are what anyone does (and should) first think of when they think of the '89 Series, but it also helped pull my attention to a team and player I've yet to let go of.
The A's won the 1989 World Series and I found a nice comfortable bandwagon to jump on and I never hopped off. After becoming more familiar with the team I quickly latched on to Jose Canseco as my favorite player. How could I not? The year before he made history becoming the first member of the 40/40 club, was unamimously voted MVP, and was arguably the best player in the entire sport. I started collecting baseball cards - as seemingly every 9-12 year old did at that time - and pulled together any Canseco card I could find. Keeping things in perspective (remember I was 9 or 10 years old), I built up what I thought was something massive and more valuable than all the gold in Ft. Knox. I had a binder of around 100 different cards of Jose, all meticulously stored in those awesome Ultra Pro card pages, and me and my friends spent all of our hard-earned money making our separate player collections the best they could be.
One day I had brought my binder into school to show some friends, and I somehow forgot it on the library table when the bell rang to signify the end of the period. I didn't realize it until later that day and I ran back to the librarian wishing and hoping that she or someone else had noticed it and kept it behind the desk to wait for me until I returned. Alas, it was gone... someone had walked off with it. Long full-of-tears story short, I never saw that binder again - my Jose collection no longer existed. I tried to build it up again, but unfortunately that time also coincided with the demise of the card collecting hobby. I was getting older, gaining new (non-card related) interests, and baseball cards were no longer a focus of my attention.
On Christmas 2016, my family gave me a "present" - all of my old cards that had been sitting on a shelf in their basement. It was pretty funny, you could read between the lines that they were saying "ok, you're 36 years old and you have your own house - take these home with you!". We all had a good laugh about it. That night, I spent numerous hours going through all of my cards, rejuvenating a rush of nostalgia that I never thought could be imagineable. I was hooked again.
I started looking into what new cards existed now. Boy, I had no idea how much the hobby has changed over the past 20-25 years! Everything is chrome, the mass production "junk wax" was no longer a thing, and I didn't know where to start. After thinking about it for a while, I decided the best thing I could do was start up my Jose Canseco player collection again. The rest, they say, is history.
This website is my progress, thanks for looking.