People often ask me, ‘Josh why do you collect so many baseball cards?’ Okay, so no one other than my wife has actually asked me that question but in case anyone other than my wife were to ask me this question here is the answer.
I like baseball. Do I need to say more? Yeah, that answer usually doesn’t fly with my wife so I had better go into details.
I have been collecting baseball cards since I was a kid. It was the first thing I ever collected and it was something I got almost every birthday as a kid. It was such a joy to open a new pack and look at each card hoping to pull my favorite players.
Let me make one thing clear though, I never liked the gum in the packs and usually gave it to my friends. I still don’t know why people actually ate those things.
I know that it was my dad that started me on the path to card collecting. My dad collected cards growing up and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed opening packs with me just as much as I enjoyed opening the packs.
The time spent with my dad running to card shops, buying packs, and looking through my cards is the initial reason why I enjoy collecting but it didn’t take long for the love of collecting cards to become my own passion.
Every card that I held was an opportunity for me to dream about one day reaching the Major Leagues. I always dreamed of having my own baseball card and I enjoyed each summer when I got my baseball photos back for Little League because my parents always bought the trading cards. I felt like I was a professional baseball player holding my card.
Baseball cards represented all that I wanted to do and be.
Another reason why I love baseball cards is because of the memories it brings up for me.
I can tell you that my first complete set of cards was the 1987 Topps set that my parents bought me for a Christmas present. I was so excited when I opened that present and see a complete set. Today I’m going back through that set and trying to get as many of those cards autographed as possible. I don’t have a ton signed but the ones I do have are pretty good.
In the summer of 2012 my parents gave me a pack of 2012 Score cards for every base hit and great play that I made. That was one of my favorite summers of baseball and it doesn’t hurt that I got quite a few packs of cards (I have the 1992 Score collection to prove it).
I remember the first time I made a trade with a player for a card he had never seen of himself. I still have the card that he traded me and of course signed.
Even this past summer I remember asking a player to sign a card only to have him respond with ‘I don’t think my Mom has this card yet.’ I had two so of course I had to give him one for him to give to his mom.
Baseball cards are just such a unique connection to the game for me. Each card has a moment in baseball history captured for everyone to see. Many photos may just be of players doing nothing but there are a few that have a captured moment that goes down in history.
I get autographs on cards today as an adult because of that unique connection to the game. Not only do I have the card of a player who has achieved something I dreamed of growing up but also because I can talk about the memory of meeting that player and prove it.
Collecting baseball cards isn’t just for kids with dreams of making the big leagues. They are for the adult who loves the game and still smiles when he pulls the card of one of his favorite players.