David Hoover: Sports cards round out the collecting

David Hoover

Between Marilyn Monroe, philatelic and sports card collecting, the latter is the one that I have been doing for the longest time.

I remember receiving my first complete set of baseball cards on Christmas of 1988 when I was 10 years old. It was the 1988 Score Premier Edition Collector set featuring 660 player cards and 56 magic motion trivia cards.

Being only 10 years old, I didn’t understand the importance of leaving the cellophane unscathed and not opening the box. That was exactly the first thing I did. I tore into as fast as I could and started looking through the cards. I was looking for all the Atlanta Braves players. Slowly but surely they started popping up: Ken Griffey Sr., Dion James, Dale Murphy and my favorite at the time, Jeff Blauser. My eyes were as big as the moon as I continued searching through the cards.

Somehow between searching and separating the cards, my sister came up with the plan to laminate these individual cards. I guess I thought in some way I was preserving them, so I agreed.

I had no idea I was rendering them worthless, but then again, at 10 years old I didn’t really know cards would be or could be worth anything in the future. And of course, my parents didn’t object either. They knew I was happy with what I was doing and that was what mattered to them. I think we maybe got 50 or 60 cards laminated before we ran out of laminate.

From that day forward, I was hooked on baseball cards and eventually migrated to football and basketball cards. I became interested in looking up card values and placing the more valuable cards in special holders. This process would take hours upon hours and I found myself going through cards over and over as the values fluctuated upon the performance of the player. As I got older, the frequency between sorting cards became greater and greater and almost died out completely. But maybe once a year I will purchase a price guide and browse through looking at prices of cards I know I have.

My wife always harasses me when I brag about a card that is actually worth something. She says, “why don’t you sell it for that price then.” Well, mainly because there is hardly anyone out there that will purchase a card for what it is worth and if I did sell it maybe a couple of years down the road it will be worth three times as much and I would be mad for getting rid of the card earlier. For those reasons alone, I cannot sell my cards.

You know, it kind of seems like a never-ending process, which is why I also have boxes and boxes of sports cards, which are next to the boxes and boxes of stamps, which are next to the boxes and boxes of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, which are all collecting dust, and which will probably remain in the boxes for many more years.

David Hoover is the design editor for The Carthage Press. He also collects way too many things. To contact David, email dhoover@gatehousemedia.com