Friday, January 20, 2023

How I got started collecting baseball cards

 I decided that I needed an online place for my baseball collection and the opportunity to to talk about baseball, baseball cards and life. 

I've tried this blog thing before and wasn't very successful with it. I'm pretty sure that it was only read by about 3 people. This time I don't have any expectations about who reads or doesn't read it. This is giving me a chance to talk about my views on card collecting, cards I like, baseball and whatever else comes out on when I sit down to type. My goal is to post something at least once a week. This is something that is pretty new to me, so I hope that over time, my writing gets better and the content is something that might actually benefit someone else. 

Okay, enough of that...Let me tell you about about my baseball card collecting! 

It all started many, many moons ago back in 1980 when I got a job working at a card store in Dallas, TX. The store was in an old mall that had reopened as a bazaar type place. The store was owned by two great guys who taught me a lot and not just about baseball cards. Being a baseball fan, I was fascinated by the cards, the players and the people I met who collected. As I was learning about collecting, I didn't get any cards until the new release of cards in 1981. Wow, was that a release. Not only was there Topps, now there was Fleer and Donruss. The biggie at that time was Fleer, but not because of the new cards, but because of the error cards and the release of the corrections too. The card that everyone wanted was error "C" Graig Nettles card. 


It was selling for $10-$15 right out of the pack. Me, being the budding 18 year old entrepreneur, hit the streets in search of Fleer cards at every 7-11 or convenience store I could find. I don't remember what the trick was, but there was someway to tell if the packs were the first release and when I found them, I bought them in search of that $10 Nettles card. I drove all over East Dallas looking for those packs. I opened countless packs and ended up with two. I kept one and sold the other for a lot less than it cost me to find. Needless to say my venture into quick money as a baseball card investor came to a quick and relatively painless demise. However, I was hooked! Topps, Fleer, Donruss, I had to have them all. I completed the Fleer set, all of the error cards and all of the corrected releases, and I had boxes and boxes of Topps and Donruss. I never finished those sets. College came and I was still collecting, but really had no direction in what I wanted to collect. I really liked the 1975 Topps set, so I set my sights on getting that set.    


I finished the '75 set and it was a nice one. When I graduated college, I got married and God decided that I needed to grow up and become a Dad. I wasn't making much money, and with a baby on the way, I decided that it was probably important to put food on the table, so I sold the only thing in my collection worth anything(Still hurts a little today LOL!). 

Anyways, I kept buying packs of cards here and there as I had an extra dollar or two and found them in the stores. I actually accumulated quite a number of cards, but still had no direction in what I was doing. Finally, it happened...I quit buying cards! I went on hiatus for a few years. As my kids grew and their love for baseball grew, I started looking at my cards again and that old itch came back. I started looking for cards at stores again. Next thing you know I'd buy a pack or two, or three and I was off again getting into the collecting again. I was still just rambling through with no direction, no plan, just getting cards. Then one day, I decided enough was enough and I needed a plan. 

So, this is what I came up with...being a huge Texas Rangers fan, I decided that I would collect the Topps base sets from 1972(The year the Rangers began in Texas) to present. I would also collect any players that I really liked and I would collect Texas Rangers team sets. I have a long ways to go to completing all of those sets, but like I've heard on several youtube videos, collecting is a marathon and not a sprint. Currently, I'm focused on two of the vintage sets I need, replacing my 1975 set and the 1978 set. Of course I collect the current set when it debuts. 

I don't just buy sets. I still go out looking for packs, maybe a box or two from a card store, and start putting the sets together. I know that its not the most cost efficient or easiest way to do it, but half the fun is in the chase! 

My first grandson was born in 2019 so I decided that not only would I collect my set, but I would do one for him too. In 2020, grandson number 2 came on the scene, so I do a set for him too. Collecting 3 sets for the current year can be a lot, but I really enjoy it. I can't wait till the boys are old enough and that will be something that they can do with their Papa.

Well, I think that gives a pretty good history of my card collecting. There are a ton of stories and thoughts to write about, but that will be for another time. If you're a collector and happen to come across this, I would love for you to comment and share how you got started collecting!



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