Card Collecting with Dad
When I was little, my Dad traveled a lot for his job. In 1987, my Dad went on a work trip and came home with a box of 1987 Topps… And that folks, was the beginning. I collected baseball cards from that moment on. Back when I was younger, (7-8yrs old’ish) I only knew the Cubs thanks to WGN. I wasn’t in Little League, never played T-Ball, I just liked watching Cubs baseball and playing catch with my Dad. Looking back, I realize, that Card Collecting Starts with Dad.
What Fueled the Fire?
I loved the Cubs. So did my Mom. Then we received news that we were moving… to… CHICAGO! It was around this time, my card collecting really picked up. I would ride my bike to the White Hen Pantry (basically a 7-11) just down the road from my house; this place was my go-to spot for buying cards. At .40 cents per pack, any opportunity for chores or spare pocket change from Mom or Dad went straight to the White Hen Pantry.
As I got older and started cutting grass for my neighbors, I found myself buying boxes of baseball cards and starting to trade with friends and even having Baseball Card Sales in my front yard. I still really didn’t know much about business, let alone profits or losses. All I wanted were Cubs cards, especially Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, and Mark Grace cards. Looking back, I know I made some really bad deals just so I could get a Dawson or Sandberg card that I didn’t have.
One gentleman came by and tried to set me straight on some deals. I remember it just like it was yesterday. For sale were several 1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr Rookies. I wanted $1 for each one. He told me, “you could ask for more ya know.” He told me about this great magazine that had prices and values. He didn’t buy the Griffey, he actually came back to my sale and brought a Beckett with him, and showed me how to look up cards.
It Grew Over Time.
For the next 10 years, my collection grew. I started collecting more than just Cubs. The Big Hurt, Griffey, Ripken Jr were some of my favorite players outside of the Cubs. Then I really got into basketball and this guy named Michael Jordan. Did my focus go from baseball to basketball cards? No, was just buying that much more. My Mom would drive me to our local card shop and he took me under his wing and taught me about card conditions, centering, corners, etc. We would do some trades, and it got to a point he would give me a discount here or there.
The End… Or was it?
Fast forward to my senior year of high school, I went to my local card shop and the owner was really excited about a new set of cards that came out and each pack was $4. Thinking to myself, “man, thats expensive!”; I begrudgingly bought it. There were only 5 cards in the pack and all I got was common cards. Now, I’m ticked. The shop owner kept asking me to buy another pack, “You can’t buy two duds in a row!” So I bought another, and yes… I got another dud. At that point, I said I was done with collecting. I literally didn’t buy any more cards …. For 20 years.
Coming soon, Part 2… Getting Back into it after 20 years.
Update: Part 2!