So he felt especially bad when, in 1976, he thought he had lost his collection. John Duggan, a family friend 12 years Keane's senior, had also collected cards and autographs. In Keane, says Duggan, "I saw someone who would have tremendous joy for the cards." So he gave Keane his collection.
Soon after Keane rediscovered his cards, he returned Duggan's cards to him. As for his own, he now has them tucked away neatly in plastic pockets.
"I can remember how much fun it was to send them away and have them come back," he says. "I used to eat baseball for breakfast. It was the first thing I really, really liked. These cards are my memories, and I don't want to sell them."
Nowadays, he says, baseball card collecting "is like the stock market. Everybody's trying to turn a profit."
Keane is hesitant to criticize others. After all, he did end up selling the '68 Ryan, but only, he says, because he really needed the cash. "I don't plan to sell any more," he says. "But you never know. If those 'payment due' slips start piling up...."
A fellow sentimentalist can only nod in agreement. You hope you never hit a slump, but if it comes, it's nice to have Mantle, Yaz, Mays and Musial coming off your bench.