Do you love collecting?

Do you love collecting baseball cards or do you do it to pass the time? Do you have a passion for your collection, or are you trying to make a quick dollar on eBay? I am not here to judge you and your collecting ways. I believe we all can get along, from the old timers collecting pre-90’s stuff and reminiscing about a time when there was only four brands, to the youngbloods who crave the rookie card, parallels, and the almighty Bowman Chrome release. If you truly live for collecting, whether it be building and completing sets, to picking up every single Bill Ripken “Fuck Face” card ever released, or simply spending thousands of dollars on Bowman autograph rookies…..what brought to love this hobby of ours?

Mine is a simple tale of an immigrant mother and son who made their way to America to start a new life in 1987. Three years into my new life we found ourselves shopping at a local Ames in Plantation, Florida. I had just turned all of ten years old and being a single child, not to mention spoiled rotten it meant that every time I went shopping with mom it meant a new toy I could earn. Unfortunately, Ames sucked. They had no Transformers, no M.A.S.K, not even those classic W.W.F wrestling figures. Instead, I had wasted an hour of my life that could have been better spent riding my bike around the block. At the cash register I saw a vague blue box that had the shape of playing cards. I thought to myself it would be fun to build a house of cards and begged my mom to get it for me. In the car I got quite a shock when I found out that instead of Jokers and Queens I had a stack of Rickey Hendersons and Nolan Ryans. Who were these old men and what the hell were they playing? I vaguely knew what baseball was but only because I heard about it in school. We never played it and I had never seen it on TV. While flipping through the cards one by one I started throwing the ones I didn’t like out the window. Kirby Pucket; short & fat, Keith Hernadez; looks like my weirdo uncle, Dave Winfield; looks like he’s taking a dump! As I was about to give up on the cards one of them stuck out from the rest. It was a card of a young, muscular, and very angry-looking man named Jose Canseco. I decided to keep it, along with a couple of other cards, mainly Cal Ripken Jr. and Darryl Strawberry. Those three cards were the foundation of my baseball collection. A couple of weeks later I pulled a 1990 Donruss Jose Canseco and from that moment on I knew he was the player I wanted to collect. That was 18 years ago and today I have 756 different Jose Canseco cards.

Over the years my love for the hobby has come and gone and miraculously come back again in late 2007. I know that with patience and responsible spending I will be able to continue for another 18 years if it means I am guaranteed 1,000 different Jose Canseco cards!



  1. Is completely pathologically addicted an option?

    By the way, expect your Canseco collection to get a boost sometime next week. There’s more coming too.

  2. The reason I collect is simple. I like the cards. I do not consult book values. I do not do internet auction values. I collect the cards that appeal to me. If the set is well designed and is appealing, I buy it. Plus I am a bit compulsive on completing sets.

  3. The only time I consult book values is when I sell and occasionally when I buy. If I want the card, I’ll usually get it if I can justify the price regardless if it’s book value. I collect who I like and sell or trade off the rest. I almost never consult book value in trades.

    Surprisingly, the card that got me into collecting was not a White Sox card. It was a 1983 Topps card of Alfredo Griffin. There was something about that card that got me hooked.

  4. I remember watching baseball as a kid an I remember always hearing about the mighty Oakland A’s and their young sluggers. Jose Canseco was having a good year (1988) and my mom and step-dad said that they had read somewhere that all of Jose’s cards where worth over $100 and to get some if I could-within the next couple of days I was at my friends house trading cards and in his pile of cards I saw it-a 1988 K-Mart Jose Canseco-I traded my ass off and he clearly got the better of the deal, I traded probably ten cards for that one.
    It turns out that there was really only one Canseco card that was really worth $100 at the time, but after pulling a few more Canseco cards from Topps, Donruss, and Fleer packs, I had myself a little Canseco collection going!
    I collected most all cards over the years but Canseco was without a doubt my favorite-so eventually I sold off every other sports card that wasn’t Jose and the rest is history.
    I still have the exact card that I traded for that day-

  5. I think what got me into collecting was my father owning a small store which sold packs of baseball cards from most of the top brands in the late 80’s. I remember buying and opening packs of 89 upper deck and all the griffey rookies I pulled from all of the companies that year. I had a nice little Griffey stash but my main collection was and still is Jose Canseco.. My brother and I both started collecting our own players only back in the late 80’s and today both of our collections are right up there with some of the best we’ve seen of each player count wise even though we both took a decade away from the hobby at the time of the big insert craze. I think we both lost the passion for the hobby for a while but it has come back around full circle.

  6. I came programed to collect. I was the son of a sports junky father. From the time I could walk he had me playing ball. It was just natural that I was attracted to those little cardboard heros that I got from time to time. Then came the concession stand at my little league games where I got to use coke and snow cone money for cards.

    I love the hobby. I love the cards, the players, the teams, the history and my fellow collectors. Plus you can be under the influence of cardboard and there is no law against it.

  7. My son collected Jose canseco. he was his favorite player, and now I have a wooden box anf 5 type written pages of his cards. I donated the clock and all other posters and most magazines.
    I have never known of another collector. I would like to sell my TV Guide and all the other cards, but i wonder if anyone out there wants them. Thanks for some hope. Marie

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