Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Type of Collector I Am

When I got into collecting baseball cards, I didn't know what kind of collector I was going to be. I did notice the backs of my 1984 Topps cards had numbers on them, so little by little, I started organizing them in numerical order. I was on a mission and buying pack after pack only helped me get closer and closer to my destination. Thanks to a local flea market, which had several baseball card vendors, I was able to bring a looseleaf sheet of paper with the remaining card numbers that I needed. I completed that set that summer. I had a lot of fun building that 792 card set, that I did it for the next 5 subsequent sets. Sadly, the only set I have from those years is my 1985 Topps. The rest, I ended up selling. Speaking of that '85 set, after spending over 2 decades in an 800 ct. box, I went to a local card shop (I have 2 fairly close to me) and bought an album and a box of pages. I have to say, these cards don't deserve to be stored in a box. They look beautiful in this book.

There's a reason I selected that specific page. If you're following Night Owl's 1985 Topps Blog, as of today, Alan Wiggins' card is the latest one that he has showcased. That blog is also the reason I decided to put this set in pages.

Besides sets, I also collected New York Mets cards and Darryl Strawberry cards (even the non-Mets cards). If a card had a Met on it, that meant that the card was off-limits from being sold or traded.

My Darryl Strawberry collection has always resided in a binder.

I was very surprised when I bought a pack of 2014 Topps last year and pulled a Darryl Strawberry insert card. Had to dust off the binder to put that one away.

The Mets cards don't get the same treatment. They're stored in a box alphabetically.

I do plan on moving them into an album shortly. Though, I may just limit my Mets collection and exclude any duplicates, except for Dave Magadan's 1987 Topps Future Stars card. Ever want to see what 50 of those look like?

At one point those had a book value of $1.25 each. Not that it mattered to me since I never got rid of any Mets cards.

My Mets collection grew quite a bit this week. Drew of had a post last week where he was giving out free cards from the team of your choice. I immediately commented requesting the Mets. Less than a week later they were delivered. I was amazed at the selection and the amount of cards that he sent. Most of the cards were my first time seeing these different manufacturer's designs.

In 1991 I became an autograph collector. I had discovered that the golf course in my neighborhood was a popular course for baseball players to play during the off-season. It was easy and the players were very nice. I also had the fortune of living very close to two spring training sites, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies.

From the very beginning, I never wanted to be greedy when asking for autographs. I would find the best looking card that I had of each player and put them in a box alphabetically, that way I could easily find it when getting ready to go to a spring training game or finding out about the latest celebrity golf tournament in my neighborhood.

With nearly 1,300 different cards signed, the size of this box has dwindled substantially.

This blog seems like it's going to be all nostalgic. I don't intend it to be.

Look, I bought 2015 Topps cards.

Maybe those will inspire me to get back into set building, but first, the cards of players I don't have autographs of need to go in my alphabetical box, which is sadly going to be most of them, since I've been away from the hobby for so long. Oh well, good enough excuse to go and buy more.


  1. I spy Glenn Beckert! Glad I could help you add that one to your collection, it's definitely a beauty.

    1. Glenn Beckert is a regular at the Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest each year, signing autographs with about 30 other former players, all for free. It's coming up next weekend, so I'm hoping he'll be there once again, so I can have him sign that card for me.

  2. I'm glad I was able to help contribute! Enjoy!


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