Friday, February 8, 2008

Card Spotlight 2-8-08

1982 Topps #654 - Jim Morrison

When I was in junior high, I was a huge Doors fan. I listened to every piece of music I could get my hands on and read every book. I lived and breathed The Doors. I was happy to see a movie finally being made about them when I got to high school. I liked it, even though I didn't see it until it came to cable.

I knew the rumors of Jim faking his death were complete rubbish, but still I always wondered what if? In the middle of this craze, I worked as a paperboy for a local free paper called the Penny Saver. I delivered once a week. I moved over to a paper called the Star, which was owned by the same company. The difference with this paper is that it wasn't free, it was bigger and it was delivered twice a week.

Eventually, I didn't enjoy getting up early to deliver this paper and still catch the school bus in the morning. The pay was pretty bad and I wanted to sleep in. The company had this catalogue with different prizes. I forget exactly how it all worked, but I had earned enough points for four or five of these repackaged blister packs of cards, by the time I quit.

The woman who took down my order at the office tried to talk me out of getting so many packs. She understood after I explained that different cards came in the packages. They weren't the same exact cards in each one. She thought I was pretty smart after that.

The blister packs arrived in a few weeks. I found so many cards that I had only heard of. Most of the older cards were commons, but to a kid in junior high, it was complete bliss. The oldest card I got was a 1967 Topps. I was surprised to see a 1971 card of the Cubs manager. I had heard that those cards were rare due to the black chipping off the cards after very little handling.

In one of those packs I came across Jim Morrison. I did a double take right on the spot! Could this be? I quickly realized it wasn't the famous singer in disguise, but it became one of my favorite cards due to the sheer oddity of the moment.

Jim looks more like a simple farmer boy in the big city on this card, rather than the Lizard King. I always kept an eye out for his cards after that though. I think it would be scary if I ever found a card of him with a beard. It may reactivate that teenage fascination with the death of Jim Morrison.

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