What brought you back into collecting?

It was August 2007 and I was browsing one of my favorite stores, Barnes and Noble to see if my favorite magazine, The Ring had a new issue. When I was walking past the hobby section towards the Sports, an old friend caught my eye, Beckett Baseball Monthly. Out of curiosity I pick it up to see what my Mark McGwire ’85 Topss was worth, the only card I had left from my once massive collection of 30,000+. It had been exactly a decade since my last pack of baseball cards and seven years since I stopped watching baseball, the day Jose Canseco, my idol growing up, admitted to cheating to get ahead in the game. I felt lied to and betrayed and turned off the game for good on that day.

After finding the price of the card I went to put the Beckett down but before I did an advertisement caught my eye. It was a brand called ‘Co-Signers’ by a familiar company called Topps. The card pictured was a dual autograph of Alex Rodriguez and legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin. When I quit collecting 10 years prior the Piece of History bat memorabilia cards were all the buzz and the idea of pulling something like that or even an autograph in a pack was unheard of to a guy barely busting 2-3 boxes a year. I decided then and there to buy a box of Co-Signers, 10 years since my last product. As you can see from my review, I did not get the card I was hoping for but the pulls were so exciting that it ballooned to another box and then another and then another and now a baseball card blog called Wax Heaven.

So if you stopped collecting at some point what did it take to bring you back?



  1. I haven’t ever stopped collecting, but your story is interesting. Kind of surprising that Co-Signers was the issue that snagged you.

  2. I was “out” for awhile but even while I was out, I still was dabbling. Buying a pack here and there still staying abreast of what was going on in the hobby a bit. 2 years ago, I started doing TTM autographs again and wanted to get rookie sigs or more current players, I had to buy cards so I started doing that and then I saw some of the new sets like Topps and Bowman Heritage and Allen and Ginter and it just sucked me right back in. So here I am once again, collecting cards and now actually writing a blog about them. Oh I love this hobby.

  3. I got out around 1984, when they had just started to produce “too many sets”. I was going off to college then. I got back in at the end of 2003 when I had quit my job and was waiting to get the one I have now. So in the couple months in between, I found out about all the new companies (I only knew about Topps, Donruss & Fleer), jersey & autograph cards, grading (eww), and the sheer volume of product that dwarfed what I had seen in the mid 80’s, and eBay. I’m still mostly an “old school” collector (=set builder, player collector) vs. a lot of guys today that love memorabilia cards (only) and rookies (that haven’t done anything yet). I am addicted to these 2½ x 3½ slices of crack!

  4. I have three waves, so far. 1983 – 1987, 1990 – 1994 and 2007 – ?. Each time, it was the White Sox that initially brought me back. In 1990, I said, I was only going to collect the White Sox. That quickly turned into collecting everything.

    To be more accurate, my third wave actually started in 2004. I started collecting White Sox team sets on eBay. Each year, brought out more team sets and I realized the hobby had turned into something I didn’t recognize.

    2007 saw me buy my first pack since April 1994. I left in 1994, because packs were getting overpriced and there were too many sets coming out that year. I couldn’t keep up with them all, so I decided to quit. The strike later that year took away any hope of returning to the hobby the next year.

    I discovered a secret section at the Targets and the Wal-Marts that I had never noticed before. I decided to pick up a pack or three to see if I got the same thrill. I don’t remember the first pack, because I started collecting like mad from then on.

    It was only a few months before I found a card shop in the area and bought my first hobby box, Moments and Milestones. I thought the idea was interesting. I set up an eBay shop to sell of doubles and non-White Sox cards and I’ve been hooked ever since.

  5. I quit during the strike, but apparently I still bought packs sometimes thereafter because I found a pack of ’99 Fleer Premium in my collection the other day. This September while at a music store I snagged a pack of Bowman Chrome. I tried holding off because some old feeling was ignited in me, but I couldn’t. I buy packs and blasters now, but haven’t bought a box yet. It’s fun.

  6. I also had 3 waves of collecting but for me it was from 1978 – 1988, 1993 – 1997, and 2006 – ? I was always a fan of Topps and made sure I got it every year. I started collecting in 1993 again because of the players out there. Griffey was in full swing so was Bonds, Sosa, Thomas and Clemens. The options became too much around 1997 so I quit. Last two years I have been buying mostly Bowman football and baseball cards. I just like the Bowman look.

  7. Kinda late but….
    I collected from around 89-96. Nothing big, whatever I could afford w/ my allowance. Around that time my friends and I just kinda grew out of collecting I guess. Once every year or so I would check the Beckett to find out how much my ’90 Leaf Frank Thomas had dropped.
    Then in ’05 I started buying packs of football cards looking for Ben Roethlisberger. ’06 I was looking for Young, Bush, etc. After football season ended I decided to try ebay for a “cheap” ($20 was my max) Frank Thomas auto. I would always get outbid by $2-$3. Now I have a few Frank Thomas auto’s and im selling all my football cards…go figure.

  8. Hi Mario, I just happened across Wax Heaven today. I have returned to collecting cardboard after 15 years away from it. My interested was renewed by a new co-worker in our office, who is a Baseball fanatic. I am starting fresh as I don’t have any cars I collected from 1979 – 1989 ( my Mother sold them in a garage sale years ago). I recently purchased 2 Bill Ripken ’89 Fleer f**k face cards off ebay, A card I have always wanted but was impossible to get in it’s day ( especially in Canada). I mainly collect Rookie cards , and as an Alex Gordon fan doubt my collection will ever contain his Topps 2006 rookie error card. I recently learned of the card companies now initiating rules to govern rookie cards and identify them , which I feel is a great idea. Keep up the great work as I have much to learn about the card world, I look forward to your Blogs. Thanks Shawn Wintle

  9. I collected cards as a kid and had a bunch of badly beaten up Topps 1971/72/73/74 cards in a red Old Spice box. I hadn’t collected in 30 years and hadn’t looked at that box in probably 15-20 years.

    What got me going again besides a random pack maybe once or twice a year, was when I decided to get that box from my folks house and discovered it was GONE!.

    Nobody is offering up what happened to it. And there were only probably 2 or 3 hundred old cards is bad condition, so what am I going to do, start a war over then, naw, that wouldn’t be worth it.

    But my love for the baseball card was started up again, and is going strong. Now I have to rein in the purchases and yes paying the electric bill is more important the the next co-signer or hobby box, but not as fun.

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