Card Collecting Starts with Dad… Part 2

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Card Collecting Starts with Dad… Part 2

Continuing from my first post about card collecting … So…. fast forward twenty-some years… and here we are. I read an article about a Derek Jeter card that sold for a cool $100k. When I saw that card, my heart picked its pace up a bit… and thought to myself… I HAVE THAT CARD!.. After work, I ran to my basement, I dug out my cards and there it was… The 1993 Upper Deck SP Foil Derek Jeter Rookie. So I did some research, joined some forums and Facebook groups, why was this card worth so much?

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What I didn’t know about that card was, the card that sold was “graded.” So since the time I collected, and in order to get the best price for your card, or to drastically increase the value of your card, you now need to send your card to a 3rd party grader. The card that sold was a perfect 10, my card… not so much. I know it wouldn’t get a 10. I researched more, asked around in some FB groups, what to do, who to send it to, how much, etc. Once I got my answers, I sent it off with 14 of my best cards. I got my tracking number and I waited…

I knew to go into this grading adventure it was going to take some time, 30 days! Thirty days of impatiently, anxiously waiting. After a week, I checked my tracking number, and it said in transit. A couple more days later… in transit. It’s still in transit? It was only going to take three days. The next day the tracking said status pending. Rut Roh! I called the shipping company… IT WAS LOST. Fifteen of my best cards were lost!

I went back to the location I shipped the package from, asked them for help, they contacted their regional manager, I had 2 different people from the 1800 customer service working it from their angle. After 3 weeks, the customer service team said to consider the lost and to file a claim. I was crushed…. CRUSHED. Then my wife came up with a great idea…

In the world of social media, we went to the shipping company’s Facebook and Twitter pages and asked for help. After some basic interactions, no new information. My wife did some internet searching and came across the CEO’s email address. I instantly sent him an email documenting the whole issue. Then the unthinkable happened…

Within an hour of my email, I got a phone call from the CEOs office. Go figure, I didn’t have the phone close to me, and it went to voicemail. I was told they escalated my case and had their top tier team looking for it. By the end of the day, they found the package, and it got to its destination 2 days later.

Now the question remains… What grades did I get?

That’s Dad Stuff

Card Collecting Starts with Dad part 1

Card Collecting Starts with Dad.

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. 

Thatsdadstuff.com @thatsdadstuff

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.

The Mistake

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!