Happy and Blessed New Year to all!
Today I want to give you a glimpse into last year's card experience, how and why I got back into collecting baseball cards, and my goals for this year, 2016.
Last year was a very interesting one for me, collecting-wise. My cards laid dormant in a large chest since I had left for college nearly eight years ago. During that period I moved seven times across five states. My love for baseball and collecting never died, but took a back seat while I continued my studies, started my career, and got married.
Looking back, I started to feel card collecting was a dying hobby. The only LCS I knew of within 100 miles closed when I was a young teenager, and the only other places I knew of to get cards were at Wal-Mart or Target. Every once in a while I would pick up a pack of cards at these stores to see what the cards looked like for that year. I wasn't too impressed considering Topps' designs were so plain, and, being on a college student's budget, there was no incentive to continue purchasing retail packs of such boring-looking cards. I never had luck getting hits, I couldn't afford to buy whole boxes, and I could no longer recognize the players names on the cards (gone were the days of cards with the names Ripken, Gwynn, Henderson, Johnson, Griffey, etc.) I didn't have a real vision or goal for collecting, so the chest of cards remained closed...
Years passed, I finally "settled" down in Colorado, and my old college roommate came out for a visit. He brought with him a tub full of baseball cards and a list of LCSs in my area he had researched prior to coming out. Nostalgia kicked in hard when he pulled out his cards, so I cracked open the chest and we started trading. We sat in that room for close to 2 hours trading cards, talking baseball, and just admiring our collections. I loved every minute of it.
We hit up the first card shop on his list and I wasn't impressed. It was a tiny shop in a run down strip mall. The guy had a box of overpriced "vintage" singles and maybe half a dozen hobby boxes of the current year's cards and a bunch of sports memorabilia that I never take interest in. Not knowing if the next shop was going to be any better, I bought a few packs anyways and tore them open only to realize that some of the cards didn't have any logos on them!! I asked the owner that the heck was up with the cards and if they were even legit and he told me that Topps was now the only company licensed to show MLB logos on cards. I thought to myself, "man, maybe it's really NOT worth getting back into this." But my friend assured me that there's still cool stuff worth collecting.
So we left and went to the next LCS on his list. We walked in and I felt like I stepped into the Disneyland of card shops. Amazing!! They had everything you could imagine, and the store was huge. The owners were neat, organized, friendly, and (as I learned later) priced their products very reasonably. We dug into some of the hobby boxes, purchased some packs, and I got my first hit from a 2015 Topps Series 1 Jumbo Pack...
|2015 Topps Evan Longoria Relic|
I was officially hooked. Over the next few months I dug out all my cards from the chest, reorganized them (the 9-pocket pages had yellowed and tons of dust built up inside at this point) and bought more cards to add to the collection.
Looking back, it was a good year for me but I also learned a lot:
- The hobby is not dead, but very much alive
- There is a community people who blog about cards, and I should too
- I need to collect with a purpose, not aimlessly and impulsively
- There is more than one way to collect (card shows, COMC, eBay, online trades)
- Have fun! Collecting is a hobby, not a business (for me anyways)
For 2016, my goals are to accomplish the following:
- "Tighten up" my collection
- Player focus (past) - Steve Finley
- Player focus (present) - Paul Goldschmidt (I still have yet to acquire an auto of his!)
- Team focus - Arizona Diamondbacks
- Set focus - 2015 Topps Heritage
- Set up blind trades
- Help collectors with their "want lists"
- Hold a few contests
What are your collecting goals for 2016?
Thanks for reading!
"Cards My Mother Didn't Throw Out"