I began collecting baseball cards in 1977 and became full-on obsessed the following year. This lasted into the early 1990s before taking a long hiatus so I could “adult” till around 2014. It’s an incredible thing to be back into this hobby as an adult with an actual job and the whole internet at my disposal.
Obviously a lot of the cards I would have loved to buy as a broke college student almost 30 years ago have gone up considerably, but the funny thing is how many haven’t. And famously, an awful lot of them have gone down in value so much that the biggest barrier to purchase has become postage.
Like a lot of collectors my age, I find contemporary issues to be so overwhelming and different that I don’t really go near them, even if a great many of the cards are genuinely beautiful. What I do chase are the cards I grew up dreaming about as a kid as well as the cards I actually had but in some cases no longer do. Here are the main things my collection centers around–
- My “Top 100” project is the centerpiece of my collection. It is a framed display featuring vintage cards of 100 HOFers or “personal HOFers” across 50+ different sets, beginning with 1933 Goudey and ending with 1981 Topps Traded.
- My Hank Aaron collection is the other big prize. Along with a framed display of 50 vintage Aaron cards from 1954-1976, I also have all of his bobbleheads, nearly all of his magazines, and various extras (more cards, autographs, programs, etc.).
- My son and I collect vintage Isaac Newton, and may well have the largest collection in the world at this point.
- Completing the framed category are my 1956 and 1957 Topps Brooklyn Dodgers team sets.
- Aside from the Hammer, my favorite old-time MLBer is Ted Williams. I am one card away (yes, THAT card) from completing his 1959 Fleer set. It would be incredible to collect his entire career, but I don’t really see it happening.
- My single best card is my Jackie Robinson RC, depending how you define RC.
- I am working on a project involving the “Black Aces,” which I hope to donate to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
- I also LOVE vintage cards of HOFers and stars from the 1930s-1970s. That said, a consequence of focusing my collection is that I tend to do more selling than buying in this category.
- I am slowly finishing up sets from back in the day, roughly 1978-1991, and Conlon Collection through 1995. Some Want Lists are here. Bounce around the different tabs and let me know if you can help.
- I collect Dwight Gooden and am working on filling a binder with 600+ different cards from his playing days. My checklist is here. Look for the “Dr K” tab. I may add bobbleheads into the mix, which at the moment wouldn’t involve much.
- Other favorites growing up were Steve Garvey and J.R. Richard. One of these days I can see going a bit nuts and chasing their oddball issues. For now, I’m good just having their entire Topps careers.
WRITING ABOUT THIS STUFF
- NEW! As of January 2019 I am doing some writing for the SABR Baseball Cards Committee blog. I also had a guest piece published over at COMC.
- A number of pieces on stats, baseball history, or collecting can be found on this very site. I am slowly building up was is probably THE site for half-baked, unsubstantiated, and off-base detective work on the iconic 1933 Goudey set. Enjoy!
- I have a separate blog site for Isaac Newton and math-related pursuits.
- I am working on a collector’s memoir, “Ejected: A Love Story,” that may someday make it out to the world.
- My friend and I are also designing our own set of cards. Details to follow.
Thanks for stopping by. You can find me on Twitter as @HeavyJ28. You’re also welcome to browse the handful of items I have on sale on eBay. If you’ve done deals with me in the past, I’m also happy to give you VIP access to some early bird sales before things hit the street. I’ll also throw in extras on request. Just drop me a line.