The woman responsible for getting me into sports cards

My Great Grandma Irene wasn't necessarily a sports fan before I was born, but according to my parents, when she heard she had a Great-Grandson coming, she studied up.

I loved "Grandma Great" dearly; she was a sweet little lady who showed a kindness to everyone. I think I got my unconditional compassion from her, but I digress.

Every Sunday after church, we'd have lunch over at my Grandparent's house, and she'd sit in the same chair with armrests in front of the television. We'd watch every Vikings game (and the occasional Ravens game if I could talk my Dad into letting it be on the screen).

Ultimately, I owe my love of sports to my Dad, but I owe my love of sports cards to Grandma Great.

When I was young (I can't remember if it was for Christmas or my birthday), Grandma Great bought me my first binder full of pages for holding cards, and a bunch of packs to open to fill those empty pages.

I remember the joy of opening those packs and obsessively paying attention to every player on every card.

At that time it was just about whatever player I got, not about pulling that big autograph or anything like that.

It was just plain fun.

I kept all those cards. It reminds me of that first joy with collecting.

I'm so glad she introduced me.

I mean, you might say that without Grandma Great, there would have been no DMN Takeover.

Grammie Donna, my Mom, the cutest little baby you've ever seen in your life (aka Me), and Grandma Great.