December 15, 2014
Thank you, Sy Berger
As I headed to work this morning, my mind was on Sy Berger. He died this weekend at the age of 91.
My train ride zips through Manhattan headed to a place where magic happens -- a place with the ability to turn cynical adults into awe-struck kids as they look at pieces of cardboard that have pictures of their favorite baseball players on them. That place is Topps, the same place where Sy Berger worked and developed the 1952 Topps Baseball card set, which many consider the start of the modern trading card era.
From the time I was a child until now, so much of my life has been dedicated to collecting cards. My husband is a card collector. My best friend is a card collector. I have had a blog dedicated to cards since 2007. I work at Topps making baseball cards. All in part because of what Sy Berger started all those years ago.
It's surreal to think about how one person can shape your life, especially someone I had never met. If Sy didn't help mold that 1952 set and help change a hobby into what it is now, my life would be amazingly different.
Perhaps baseball cards don't become a central force in my life. My husband doesn't start talking to me about a card to break the ice. My best friend and I don't drive around New Jersey and Pennsylvania searching for card shops, strengthening a bond. We don't have A Cardboard Problem.
So, many lives were shaped by Sy Berger, from children wanting a piece of gum in their packs of cards to people who try to complete their sets every year.
I'm thankful for the contributions he made to the baseball card world because with out him I doubt I am the person I am today.