I mentioned the coin shop in my hometown in my entry about Derek Bell on my other site, but this set, the 1990 Donruss Rookies set, really takes me back to that claustrophobic little space. The only way I could ever visit was to ride in with friends, as my parents…well, I’m not quite sure why they never wanted to take me. But I remember the bell on the door, the musty dank air, the way I would glance for about a second at the coins in the display cases before my eyes wandered up to the magical sight on the shelves above: packs, packs, more packs, and the payoff: Topps Traded sets, Fleer Update sets, and Score Update sets. For a collecting kid on a budget, traded sets were water in the desert. Buying or collecting a full main set was way too expensive, but for the price of about ten packs, you could get an entire little set that captured all the happenings of that season, not the previous season. I felt like the other kids were suckers for picking up packs when I could have these little slices of heaven all for myself.
The 1990 rookies set was one of those sets that I got on such a sojourn. While my modern copy of the set came from eBay rather than the coin shop, I can still vividly remember buying this set and hopping in the back of my friend’s family Bronco, busting it open and admiring the small, complete puzzle for a moment before digging in to the rookies in the set. I’m pretty sure Grissom had a regular 1990 Donruss card, so I wasn’t as excited for it as some of the other players in the set, but you have to admit this is a beautiful card; I think the blue, red, and green compliment each other really well, and show why this is one of my favorite cards from the set.
I wish I could still visit that coin shop in downtown Harrisonburg, VA, but I have a feeling it’s long, long gone. Ah, well. I still carry the memories.