It was how everyone kept their cards in the early 1970s.
In shoe boxes.
Baseball cards in your shoe box meant quick and easy access...just in case you needed to look up Manny Sanguillen's batting record. You wanted to fill the box up, but it took time. If you had enough money or a birthday and were lucky enough to get a whole box, you sorted them by number and checked the checklists. If not, you sorted them by team.
That's how they stayed until the hobby changed or you got rid of them.
He was a boy in Brooklyn back then, never dreaming his life would end before his 50th birthday. His cards stayed right where they were until that unfortunate moment came. Luckily, the man's brother knew there was a baseball fanatic living next door, someone who might give them a good home.
NPR's Mike Pesca has a story that's both sad and uplifting at the same time.