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!