1990 Donruss #660 - Harold Baines
After July 29, 1989, I was pretty bummed. One of my favorite players was just traded from my favorite team for a bunch of nobodies, or so I thought at the time. My only consolation was that Harold Baines was traded to the team closest to my maternal grandparents. I talked to them every Sunday, so I got the scoop from my grandpa about Harold every week.
In August of 1990, Baines was off to Oakland and my updates were strictly from the paper, ESPN and baseball cards until his return to Chicago. That's the way it went in the dark ages before the internet was available to everyone. I still tried to collect as many Harold Baines cards as I possibly could, but it was a little more difficult considering he was no longer in Chicago.
The trade was in the middle of my first non-collecting period (late 1987 to mid 1990). All I had to go on, at this point was the newspaper and my grandpa. I hadn't been a regular viewer to ESPN. I was more concerned with sitcoms and MTV (when they were mostly music videos). I had been out of the baseball collecting loop for awhile and had no idea what was in store.
I started picking up packs of baseball cards, intending only to keep the White Sox cards, but got swept up in the fever that was sweeping the hobby. I was certainly aware of Harold having a few cards in the Donruss set, but I figured that they would all be with the Rangers. I picked up a Donruss cello pack at Dominick's (when grocery stores had a wide selection of packs) and thumbed through the cards on my walk home. I ran across the All-Star card of Baines about halfway through the cello pack.
I was flabbergasted. I fully expected this to be another Rangers card. The fact that there are four different variations of this card didn't enter my mind until much later. Regardless of how the design and the errors look now, this was a big deal for this Baines fan, back in 1990.