At first I thought, I don't have very many cards I'd consider vintage, and the ones I do I mostly came across accidentally or just bought them because they were old. But, I gave my collection a glance starting from the oldest cards and found the obvious answer staring me in the face:
|1964 Topps #244 Tony La Russa|
When I was a kid in 1994 or so, I really wanted this rookie card, but the only card shop near me had it at a price that was too high. It was probably semi-reasonable as card shops go, but it was over my budget. For awhile I went to that card shop almost every week, and usually peeked at the card. In 1996, La Russa came to St. Louis to manage, and the card got even more expensive. I quit collecting cards sometime in 1999, still not having the card.
When I returned to collecting in late 2010, Topps was doing a little thing called the Million Card Giveaway. I bought a ton of rack packs of 2010 Update, and through entering codes and completing trades, worked my way up to around 80 mediocre cards and a few gems. Then, I noticed how much shipping was going to be, and knew I needed to try to trade a big lot for a good old card. I decided to offer a huge pile of cards for the La Russa, and someone accepted the trade. I traded for a 1968 Dave Duncan that year as well, though that's not his rookie card. I think I can definitely say this is now my favorite vintage card.
And thanks again to Fuji for dragging a good post out of me.