I love getting free stuff

My dive back into sports cards has been fun. I've managed to find some lost gems, realize most of my junk wax is useless and made some great friends along the way. I've also been able to share a bit of my love with those around me, and a few months ago I found myself talking to a coworker about football cards.
She is a pretty big football fan, but not really a card collector. Her husband is in the same boat, but a friend of his had given him a few boxes of cards a year or two ago. He held on to them for a while, but as they recently bought a new house they both realized they had no use for the cards. Hence, an email to me and a the P.E. teacher at the elementary school where I work.
Him and I decided we'd simply split the cards. We are both big fans - especially football - and we didn't want to be the "I got here first" guy. So we decided to simply split them fairly evenly. On a recent trip back to the school where I work, I swung by her place and picked the…

Reassessing My Priorities

New year, new me.

Yes, I know that's cliche and lame, but that's how I am approaching my collecting in 2020.

It was about 4 1/2 years ago that I dug my sports cards out of the basement and took some time to go through them. In that time, I discovered many retail possibilities for accumulating new cards. I could get them at Target, Walmart and even Walgreens. I started buying a lot of baseball cards, a good amount of football cards and some basketball cards.

Then, I discovered Twitter's card community. It drug me in even deeper. I started buying for buying's sake, and suddenly I have piles upon piles of cards to sort. And this is AFTER I SORTED ALL MY BASEBALL CARDS.

Sorry for the all caps, but it was that realization that made me reassess what it is I want out of this hobby. Accumulating numbers isn't it.

Also new to my interests is that the spousal unit and I have decided to really crack down on a budget in 2020. We really want to wipe out some debt so her and I c…

Upper Deck

As I spent some time sorting recently, it came time to sort through my Upper Deck stacks. This brought a lot of memories to the forefront.

It was 1989, and 12 year old me discovered this new set. Sixth-grade me was really discovering cards. It had been 2 or 3 years of serious collecting for me, and sixth grade brought a lot of new friends who loved cards as much as I did. We knew Topps well, in addition to Donruss and Fleer. 1988 also saw the addition of Score to the mix.

But Upper Deck was something all new - and it was amazing.

Topps, Donruss and Fleer were cardboard treasures. But Score tried to up the game. Thicker, stronger card stock and pictures on the front and back were new and welcome.

But what Score tried to accomplish, Upper Deck excelled in. It was thick card stock and there were pictures on front and back. Glossy cards weren't familiar outside of those KMart, Kaybee or other small sets you'd pick up for $1.99. Upper Deck was nearly there.

Middle school me was en…

Junk Wax Rookies Tournament

The Tournament

I grew up a Junk Wax Junkie. Born in 1976, by the time I was really focused on baseball - and able to get some cards, junk wax was my thing. I didn't know any better, though.
Junk wax was just baseball cards to 9-year-old me buying cards in the summer of 1986. By buying cards, I mean using the change from grandpa's cigarettes to buy some Topps packs. It started as simply trying to accumulate cards, but it progressed into chasing the big-time rookies of the 1980s and '90s.
Boy, was pre-teen me mistaken. These rookies turned out to be work very little nowadays. That Barry Bonds 1987 Topps I thought was special wasn't. That 1988 Tom Glavine? Yeah, not so much.
Thinking back on some of my misguided youth, I began wondering about those Junk Wax Rookies. There were so many guys we thought were going to be superstars. Todd Van Poppel, Gregg Jefferies, Todd Zeile ... I could go on and on. 
Those names inspired a Twitter tournament: JUNK WAX ROOKIES! Let's t…

Why I love collecting

To many, a pile of cards strewn about three folding tables in no particular order may seem like a nuisance. It may seem like a waste of space. It may seem like kindling for your next bonfire.

But to me, a stack of cards in desperate need of organization is a blessing.

Here's some backstory. I may need to write this in parts, because I got emotional just thinking about this topic for a blog post.

Growing up, I found baseball cards around 9 years old. It was the summer of 1996, and I remember buying a pack of Topps cards from the local convenience shop in my grandparents' small rural Wisconsin town. I don't remember much about who was in that pack - except it included two Brewers: Tim Leary and Jaime Cocanower. If you weren't alive back then - or if you didn't focus on baseball as much as me - you have no idea who those two were.

That pack started me on an adventure. By 1987, I was buying packs of cards any chance I could get. I got my allowance? Cards. Mom was at t…

Trades, winnings and purchasing ... OH MY

My return to card collecting has been slow. I've bought cards at stores here or there, but never really going full bore into it. I've stopped at Goodwill and added a lot of junk wax, and ShopKo, Walmart, Target and Walgreens has really helped me pad my collection (even if it is still in disarray).
But recently, I've hit a hot streak with adding to my cards. 
Twitter is to blame for my re-entry into card collecting, and it's starting to pad my card numbers.
If you are on Twitter, you no doubt see the countless "Retweet to win this card" posts. Well, I admit I'm guilty of retweeting a lot of those.
That leads me to my first new addition.
Bong Puffer and my retirement planThere are always fun cards out there that really don't have much value. Jay Johnstone with an umbrella hat made out of Budweiser labels comes to mind. The Menendez brothers have recently popped up on a junk wax basketball card. There are always those fun cards out there. Well, thanks t…

Another Goodwill Find!

If you follow this blog, you know I love some cheap cards. I especially finding cheap cards in the wild. A few months ago I stumbled upon a shoe box full of '80s, '90s and a handful of vintage cards. Read about that here.
Ever since that day, I've made a trip to Goodwill pretty much any time I am alone near one. The wife isn't a big fan of me spending cash on cards, so I try to not bring her into my dirty habit. I have stumbled upon a few bobbleheads but not many cards. A few weeks ago, I did see a few boxes, but they were all mid-90s football that had already been leafed through.
But last week, while dropping off a few items, I went into a local store and found SIX boxes of cards. They were all neatly packed in 800-count boxes. Leafing through, most had early '90s stuff. But not this box.
For $10, I couldn't resist (make that $11 by rounding up for Goodwill). Once I dug into it a bit, I realized it wasn't a Storage Wars-esque money maker, but it still had …