Collecting baseball cards for me has been a big part of my life. It has always been a way for me to get closer to the sports and players I enjoy. I quit collecting in high school out of pure frustration of the hobby and did not return for quite a while.
I am not quitting collecting, but for some reason I remember the first time I walked away from the hobby and thought I would share the story.
A little backstory
I originally stated collecting baseball cards some time in 1988 when I was seven years old. From that point on collecting remained a big part of my life until I turned sixteen and obtained my drivers license.
People often tell me stories how their interests changed when they obtained their drivers license as a teenager and I completely understand. Things change when you get a car or the ability to drive on your own. You grow up a bit and those things you enjoyed as a kid are not as fun.
However, this wasn’t the reason I quit collecting…
After obtaining my license, I immediately went out and found a job and a few days later I was busing tables at a local restaurant. I would receive tips every night along with a paycheck every two weeks. Finally– I had money to spend on cards!
Coincidentally there was a card shop next door to my work. Shinders was a popular chain in the Minnesota suburb area that I visited often to stock up on cards and search their sale bins.
Bring on the high-end
Now that I had some “cold hard cash”, I decided to purchase an expensive box. The product slips my mind, but it was most likely an Upper Deck hockey product. It cost me almost $200 and was the most I had ever spent on a box of cards.
It all changed in fifteen minutes
When I got home, I began to rip open the box. In just fifteen minutes, I was sitting with a small stack of worthless base cards in my hand. There was most likely a few inserts, but they were so bad that I forgot who or what they were.
Fifteen minutes was all it took to get me out of the hobby. A bad box of a high-end product gave me a good life lesson and removed me from the hobby. After ten years of collecting, I was done.
I like to think I am smarter
The idea of modern day baseball cards as a financial investment doesn’t register in my brain. Sure someone can get lucky and end up with a million dollar card, but that’s luck.
I collect a lot differently these days. Chasing the “rookie of the month” isn’t for me. I just try to have fun with it.