I'm like RedsBaron and collected cards from about 1964 through 1970 buying one pack at a time from Dooley's in Kettering with my hard-earned grass-cutting money. Used to ride my bike there, buy a pack of cards, a box of Atomic Fireballs, and a Justice League of America comic book. All for about 50 cents. Life didn't get any finer.
When my son was born in 1988, I started buying the complete Topps sets so he'd have something to look at through about '98. He never caught the bug though and the boxes are in the basement collecting dust.
My cards from '64-'70 are pretty beat to crap and depleted. When I was off to college in the early '70's, my little brother ran into some poker games he couldn't afford and sold off the good baseball cards (and coin sets) that I had. I'm left with the Choo Choo Coleman, Floyd Robinson, Ed Roebuck, and George Altman cards.
GAC, I still have a few of those coins you mentioned.
The downfall of baseball cards started when they dicontinued putting bubble gum in the pack. It was the world's lousiest gum that was unbelievably stale and would break into shards when you chewed it. I used to like the bubblegum dust that got left on cards (which I understand was why they discontinued it). But I liked it.