By John Osborne aka lzjp16

Baseball card collecting was a hobby my best friend and I enjoyed. With the limited money we earned weekly doing various chores and begging our parents, we’d head to the local Walmart and splurge on a pack or two of cheap baseball cards. After ripping the packs open, the 1 year old Beckett or Tuff-Stuff came out and we’d search all over for our cards. Eventually, my step-brother, who is a few months younger than me, moved in with my family. We became inseparable and he became my best friend. Eventually he joined the hobby so he could spend more time with me.

He never really got into the hobby but he was always willing to hang out with us and buy a few packs so he wouldn’t be left out. One day, we realized that the local K-Mart was closing and we decided to venture inside with our parents. We stumbled upon 3 sealed plastic packages. It was an off brand baseball card company but the packages contained one auto from one of the major sports. They were $9.99 a piece, which was a lot of money for us, yet somehow we managed to annoy our parents long enough to get them to buy myself, my brother, and my friend a package for each of us.

We got in the car and began trying to pry the plastic apart. Even now, this is a very tough task to do. First my friend opened up his package to view a football auto, no one important but we were happy. My turn, I pull a Jeff Shantz auto, a hockey player for the Calgary Flames. Yes, I still remember the guy’s name and what the card looks like, even though this was 10+ years ago. We did not collect hockey nor even watch it. I was pissed. My friend and brother were laughing hysterically at me. I kept trying telling them that my auto of the hockey player was an All-Star, HOF bound, and etc., I had no clue; I just wanted to make myself feel better. Looking at eBay prices now, to say the least, the card is near worthless.

Then, it was my brother’s turn. We weren’t expecting much, but he pulls a RC Auto of non-other than Mr. Peyton Manning. I was shocked, in awe, and jealous. Little did we know what the card was worth and how good Manning truly would become. We put the card away as soon as we got home and eventually we lost interest in the hobby for a few years. Hard times had fallen on my family and card collecting was the last thing on my mind.

A year or so later, I was rummaging through my brothers stuff when I stumbled upon his Manning auto. A few hours beforehand, we had just gotten into an argument and had a “play” fight since he hit me in the head with a bat, a plastic one. Out of jealousy, anger, and wanting to get even, I ripped the card up and threw it away like ripping up a detention slip, which I did quite frequently. At the moment, I didn’t know what I had just done but I was even, I was happy.

It has been over 10 years since those events and even now, he has no idea what happened to the card. I don’t think he remembers having the card at all. He’s completely out of the hobby while, I rekindled my passion for the hobby and going stronger than ever, also spending so much more money. My brother later gave me all his cards; I just wish the Manning was one of them though. Karma, I guess. Even now, I’m going to keep cursing at myself whenever I think about the card of Mr. Manning.

This has to be the biggest blunder and ultimate foolish act I have ever done in my entire life. Not too sure how much the card goes for but it has to bring in a pretty penny. The fact that I was that foolish and stupid still amazes me. Luckily, it didn’t harm my relationship with my brother, which meant the world to me when I was younger. When I have kids, hopefully they don’t do that to my cards when they’re angry at me.

My brother and I kind of lost touch once he moved back to California. We became completely different people and he turned to drugs, partying, and all the bad stuff I try to avoid. I love him with all my heart but I haven’t seen him for 2 years. Last time I saw him, I nearly knocked him out for arguing and yelling at my parents. I surely do miss him and hopefully he can turn his life around. One day, when money isn’t an issue for me being a college student, I hope I can obtain one of those Manning RC autos, visit him and tell him what happened to the old one. Hopefully this can rekindle our friendship and our bond. Maybe a good laugh is what he needs.