Do you collect baseball cards?
Yes, I collected baseball cards growing up starting at an early age. My parents and grandmother would buy me cards when they went to the grocery store. I liked the gum that was inside. This was during the 1980’s and the beginning of the big baseball card boom.
I had an old price guide that came with a baseball card collecting kit. In that price guide, it listed a 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly rookie card at $3. One day, I went to a local baseball card shop, Bankston’s, and they had the card in a case selling for $100. At nine years old, I had to do a double take. Surely, that wasn’t the same card? After examining and questioning the workers there, I determined it was the same card. I was rich!!! That got me hooked even more. I always loved baseball, and this just added more excitement to it.
When I was a little older, my grandmother gave me a box of cards that I had left all over her house throughout the years. In that box contained Joe Montana and Jerry Rice rookie cards. That was an awesome find!
Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player?
Two cards come to mind. One is the 1991 Upper Deck Michael Jordan. I was a big fan of his and seeing him in a baseball uniform made it twice as exciting. The other card is the 1985 Topps Mark McGwire USA. McGwire came onto the MLB scene very hot and was an exciting player to watch. This was also a year or so after the 1984 Olympics and everyone was patriotic. It was cool seeing him in a USA uniform.
Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?
Being a huge baseball card collector growing up, I was so excited to sign my first contract with Topps. A Topps representative met me one day at our baseball stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania (Phillies AA) and I signed 2000 cards for them. I think it all sunk in when I saw my card listed in the Beckett price guide. I grew up looking up card prices in that magazine and it was very humbling to see my name in there. I was very proud and honored.My girlfriend at the time and wife now were walking through the mall one day when we saw a box of 2002 in a toy store. I told her that I had a card in that set. She said she was going to buy a pack. I told her that I wouldn’t be in that pack, because there were hundreds of cards in that set. Sure enough she opened the pack and my card was in there. I thought that was pretty cool and a great silent brag.