Back in the day of buying baseball cards to "play with" I remember many an afternoon or early evening (always before the dinner bell rang) playing the traditional games of flipping, tossing or even colors (variation of war) until the parents would break "us kids" up and hop on my bicycle to ride home. Invariably the cards I "won" were strategically placed in my bike spots to "show off" to anyone who noticed.
As we got older, early teens, the game of poker came into our lives and many of us "invented" other games to play with our baseball cards and then the real playing cards came out. One of the first poker games we played with these new cards (of the 52 suited card) was indeed a game called "baseball". A variation of seven card stud with all cards face down had three's (outs) and nine's (innings) wild and if you get a four (walks) you have the option of getting a additional card.
Baseball cards were now stored away in the traditional shoe box of the day, rubber banded for security and shoved in the closet . . . poker and "real" card games took over our lives.
Today "playing with cards" involves sorting, placing in plastic (pages or holders), logging them into a catalog (or want list spreadsheet) and storing them carefully among many other rituals of collecting.
Interesting to note is that Topps began in 1951 issuing two 52 card sets, red and blue backs as they were called; simulating a deck of playing cards. The connection between baseball cards and playing cards has a long history.
For me, as some of you may know, I "play" with both. I still collect and now store properly the baseball cards of my youth (and now some "modern" cards) but I also am a blackjack and texas hold'em "dealer".
Every once in a while I get nostalgic and think of those days when both hobby's were taken less serious and "playing with cards" meant something very different.
4 hours ago