This site is currently being updated with information about my baseball card collections.
The earliest memory I have of a baseball card is from the early 1980s. We were moving from Connecticut to Florida and I was helping to clean up – by throwing out what I believe was a 1978 Topps Reggie Jackson card. I must have intuitively known that reducing supply would lead to higher prices in the future. My dad, who is not a collector, asked me why I threw out the card, providing the origin story to someone whose colleagues have called him “the collector” (no relation to the Marvel character). The only cards I can remember throwing out since that time are some 2000 Paramount cards (which I spilled water on) and some 1980s-1990s cards that came my way via a storage locker that was unlikely to have been air conditioned (think cards in 1980s vinyl sheets in a storage locker in Florida).
The first “set” I attempted to complete was the 1981 Topps Sticker set. While not quite cards, they were an early introduction to the hobby. I went on hiatus for a few years (Star Wars action figures held more appeal) until around 1986 when I began playing Little League. While I had purchased packs from convenience stores, the first pack I purchased from a card shop was a 1986 Topps pack from Bob’s Baseball Cards in Port St. Lucie, FL (was hoping for a Gooden, got a Clemens; you win some, you lose some). It would not be the last pack I purchased.
The first actual card set I tried to put together was 1987 Fleer but it was too expensive, with the Seitzer/Stefero card being the most elusive at the time. The first successful set I put together by hand was 1988 Score. The last card was #133, Larry Andersen. I went to Bob’s around my birthday and he gave me the card; of course I also pulled one from a pack I bought that day.
Part of my scholarly work intersects with my hobby. My dissertation focused on competitive practices of card companies in the 1981-2003 (post-Topps monopoly) era.