The 1986 MLB season is the first that I can remember. The main reason that I remember it was 1986, I think, is that it was the year that I started collecting baseball cards — those Topps cards being so recognizable to me now.
While I grew up in Milwaukee, one of my mom’s best friends lived in Long Island at the time and was/is a huge Mets fan. Starting in 1986, he would collect all of the Mets cards from the year’s Topps set and send them to me. I remember Darryl Strawberry and Gary Carter being big, though I wouldn’t comprehend the extent of their greatness or tragedy until twenty years later.
Until the Brewers moved to the National League in 1994, I was a casual Mets fan, as baseball cards still provided a big percentage of my insight into the game. (We didn’t have cable TV in my house when I was growing up.) Even after the switching of leagues, with the divisional realignment and the massive suckitude of the Brew Crew in the 1990s and early 2000s, I felt I could still root for the Mets. One of my favorite moments as a baseball fan was wearing the t-shirt jersey of one of my all-time favorite players, Rickey Henderson, while I watched him play for the Mets at possibly the shittiest stadium of all time, old Shea Stadium.
But anyway, this isn’t really about me, though now you know a bit about where I come from as a fan. Really, this is about the potential that ephemera holds for baseball fans — to start, jog, or create the memories that entrench us in the game. In honor of this, I have started putting together images of Topps cards that can be used as desktop wallpapers. The images are fairly high res, and are designed for 15-inch screens.
Below is the first of said, for your enjoyment. I’m currently working on another version of the 1986 Topps wallpaper that will include twice as many cards. Then, it’s on to 1987 and that beautiful wood border. I’ll continue to post them here when I have them.
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