In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share a brief interview with my dad. He's the main reason I got into collecting (back in the early 2000s), though he hasn't done much collecting himself since the 90s. Now that we're on opposite ends of the U.S., we FaceTime each other to open up packs and blaster boxes.
Thanks for answering my questions, Dad!
When did you start collecting cards?
Around 1990, I received the complete set of 1990 Topps baseball in uncut sheets. To that point, I’d never thought about buying cards or even collecting, but this opened my eyes to the hobby.
What really got you into collecting?
I remember being in a store called MacFrugals (now a Big-Lots) and seeing a box of 1992 Pro Line NFL football cards at the check stand. Packs were .25 cents and, on a whim, picked up two packs. I ended pulling an Autographed Joe Montana Portraits card. I remember checking a Beckett’s price guide and seeing it go for about $300-400. I decided to sit on it – it’s sitting in a safe somewhere now.
What cards did you collect?
I was primarily into baseball, but I did buy NFL, NBA, NHL, and some World Cup Soccer.
Were you a set collector?
I was never a set collector – I was more interested in getting the valuable cards – if there was such a thing in the junk card era – or at least, collect cards from my favorite teams – LA Dodgers, LA Lakers, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Rangers.
Where did you buy cards?
There was a local card shop in the little community in Madera Ranchos, California. Odd little story – the owner once told me that he ran over the owner of the Oakland A’s back in the 70s. The shop is long gone, but I probably purchased 95% of my cards from the shop.
The 92 Pro Line Joe Montana Auto. No other card specifically sticks out – though I know I have several decent rookie cards.
Biggest change you've seen in the hobby over the last 25 years?
Topps – and how they seem to own everything and have the only rights to use baseball team names and logos. Gone, it seems, are Upper Deck, Fleer, Donruss, and O-Pee-Chee companies, though some survive as units of Topps. Having not really followed in the past few years, it seems the sports cards industry has really fallen off. Card shops have seemed to all but disappear. You can still find stores that sell cards, but cards are no longer the focus – it’s more about jerseys, Magic, and other collectibles.