Tell me a fun hobby story...

With all that has been going on recently, the fun times and reasons why we are in this hobby can sometimes slip to the backs of our minds. I'd like to hear some fun hobby stories. If nothing else, it will help me get to know you all a bit better. So please post away with stories about what got you into the hobby, fond memories, great acquisitions, friendships you have made... really, just anything that helps to illustrate why you enjoy the hobby.

I will start... When I was a kid, maybe 10 or 11 years old (roughly 1982-1983), I was at a swap meet with my dad. My dad had grown up loving baseball and collecting cards, but a house fire destroyed his collection right after he graduated college. Anyway, we came across a seller at the swap meet who had a couple boxes of mid-late 1960s cards. He was a younger guy, maybe mid-20s. Anyway, my dad asked him what he wanted for the cards. I don't know how it came up in the discussion, but somehow the guy mentioned that he needed a clothes dryer as his had died. We had just replaced our washer and dryer, and my dad offered to trade him our old machines for the cards.

At 10 years old, I remember thinking that my dad was really going big for these cards with his willingness to give up a dryer in trade! Looking back now, especially to those days when department stores didn't necessarily take your old machines away to recycle them, my dad was probably thrilled to have the guy take the machines off his hands. Getting the cards would have just been a bonus!

I recall getting a 1968 Topps Mantle and three 1969 Topps Don Drysdale cards in that lot, but the rest of the cards have faded from my memory.

So, tell me a story...

Todd Tobias
PSA Employee & Grateful Collector
I focus on autographed American Football League sets, Fleer & Topps, 1960-1969, and vintage lacrosse cards.

Comments

  • RookieHOFersRookieHOFers Posts: 705 ✭✭✭
    edited June 14, 2019 10:05AM

    That's a cool story about your dad Todd. I wish I had memories of my dad collecting with me, but he never got into it.

    I am not sure I can tell you one story, as much as just a lot of great hobby experiences I have had my entire life. I have been fortunate enough to really collect my entire life with my best friend Bobby. Even from the very instant we met, there is a great story. I was 14/15 years old and lived behind him in the same neighborhood. I was walking from my house to his next door neighbors house one day and noticed that he had a ton of baseball posters on his walls. So after a day or two, I just walked to the front door, rang the doorbell and when he opened the door, I said something like, "I collect baseball cards, not sure if you do, but if you do; Here is a Beckett price guide". We were friends ever since.

    We grew up as kids canvassing Tampa area going to shows and baseball card shops endlessly. At that period of time, shows seemed like an every weekend thing, and shops were everywhere. We Got Bobby's car stuck in the mud many times trying to get to a shop more quickly as we would take a dirt road cut through from the back of our neighborhood rather than just drive out and around.

    There was a time when Bobby wouldn't fill his car up until it was nearly dead empty. Well on this Friday night as we were heading to a show, Bobby ran out of gas on I-4 in Tampa which is a major interstate. As he hitchhiked to go get gas, I got pissed and said I was walking back to our house (10 plus miles away from where we were) and well before cell phones were a thing. When it started to rain, I turned around to go back to the car, only for Bobby to arrive shortly thereafter with gas and beginning to complain about discomfort in his "man region". He had been picked up and gotten gas, and in the process of being brought back to his car, spilled the gas in his lap, and it soaked his groin. Off we went to the card show, all the while he was complaining he was on fire "down there" After we left the show, we made our way back home, with a stop at the Hospital in between.

    I remember the National in Baltimore where we went a Steiner party that many members of this board were at as well. Serious alcohol was flowing! There definitely was one of us who got up from bed, Threw up, showered, threw up again and then came out and said, OK, I'm ready for day number #2! There are great stories associated with other members about how their nights progressed after leaving the Steiner party as well. I will leave that to them to tell.

    Even recently, We went to a local candy shop in North Carolina that has some older 80's/90's junk wax. We both bought a box of 1992 Stadium Club Basketball for like $15-$20 a box and came back to my place in the middle of the day to rip. So you have two mid 40's guys ripping wax....Bobby ends up pulling the Shaquille O'Neal Beam Team card, and maybe 30 seconds later, as I am ripping I pull the Jordan Beam Team card. You would have thought that we hit the lottery. We were high fiving each other and jumping up and down. Subsequently, both cards graded PSA 10's and its safe to say neither of us would ever sell those two cards.

    Lastly, I can remember so many baseball weekend trips we have taken, where we would ship boxes of cards into the hotel in advance for us to rip in our hotel room. We literally would have stacks and stacks of worthless cards piled up in our room, laughing our asses off thinking about what the maids will say when they come in to make up our room.

    These memories are priceless to me. Its funny, Bobby and I talk every day, and recently with all the seriousness around the hobby have talked about getting back to the fun of the hobby and have discuss what this years National is going to look like. We both just plan to have a great time seeing the friends we have made in this hobby, eating good dinners every night at the steakhouses, etc.. and ripping junk wax back at our room every night. I guess you cant ever take the kid away!

    Great idea for a thread Todd, and I echo what others have said in previous threads, your doing a great job moderating this forum, yet allowing healthy and productive conversations to take place. Its noticed by the collective board members and appreciated.

    Matt
    I collect: Mickey Mantle and 86 Fleer Basketball
  • 1970 Bart Starr card

    My older brother and I both collected cards as kids. I was definitely much more into it as I also valued cards as a source of information and statistics. I started collecting at the age of around 6 so the first packs I opened were late 70's Topps. Of course I got obsessed pretty early on so I would open anything from Sports cards to Charlie's Angels cards. As long as it came in a pack I wanted to open it and see what was in it. My brother was 5 years older and was an athlete as well but his interest was not the same as mine. In fact, he generally used his cards as a leverage tool when he wanted me to do something. I would definitely do all the chores for some sports cards.

    The oldest star card he had was this really beat up 1970 Bart Starr card. This was below PSA 1 standards. It was taped in multiple locations, the corners looked like a dog chewed them up. The card had been through a few wars. However, to me, that card was like a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. Because i liked that card so much he ended up liking the card just as much as I did. For years I tried just about every kind of trade possible to get that card. Finally, some time in the late 80's I traded him for the card. It definitely was my top card. By that time I had a Reggie Jackson RC, 2 Jordan rookies as well as many of the major 80's rookies that at the time we all thought were going to be worth so much money someday. But that Bart Starr card was my card of cards. Around 1991 I became a bit disillusioned with the hobby. It started to become a business and not a hobby and I really hated that so I quit. I moved about a year after I quit and left all my cards in storage at my parents house. For the most part they were forgotten. I had no interest in the hobby at all for 20+ years. No clue at all where the hobby had gone. It just did not exist in my mind as even a mere thought.

    Around 4 years ago my dad calls me up and mentions that I still have a bunch of stuff stored at his house. I had been living in South America the past couple of years and just got back to San Francisco so I decided to go up and dispose of most of the items. When I came into contact with the cards i was like "great! this ought to pay for a plane ticket to some where in the world". I loaded up the car and bought them over to my place. Oddly enough, there was a sports card show the next week so I figured I would go over and talk with some people to see if I could sell them. I walked into the show and immediately started talking to people and not really paying any attention to the cards. There was some interest but everyone was telling me that I probably had a bunch of 80's garbage and that it's pretty much worthless. After hearing this over and over i started wandering around looking at the cards. I have to admit I felt embarrassment even looking at sports cards to the point I was hoping nobody would see me. At the time it just seemed like such a kid thing and here I am a grown adult looking at this stuff. So after awhile I get to a dealer and as I am looking at his old vintage football I see a 1970 NM Bart Starr card. I must of stared at that thing for like 10 minutes. I was absolutely amazed at what the card looked like in a like new condition. Even more shocked was that the price attached to it was only like $15. In my unknowing head this card should hundreds of dollars. I walked away thinking wow that was so cheap. I continued to walk around the show and no matter what I looked at I kept thinking about that card. Pretty soon my head was filled with thoughts that someone is going to buy that card and for some odd reason i REALLY want to buy that card. So I hurried back to the dealer and not really knowing the lingo of buying sports cards I quickly spoke about a mile a minute about that I wanted that card. Once it was in my hand it felt like I was holding gold. It was a thing of beauty. Something to be treasured. By the time I got home from the show I had bought about another $100 worth of cards and now for some reason the idea of selling the cards I had as a kid became a non-option easily rationalized by the fact I really did not need the money.

    Four years later my collection has grown far beyond what I ever imagined. The hunt for cards has become my biggest interest. Oddly, once I have the cards they just go in a box and probably won't be seen for 20+ years. It's all about the hunt and I only have one person to blame for this. Bart Starr.

  • raykasaraykasa Posts: 185 ✭✭

    Here's one of my favorite "card" stories i get to tell: about 15 years ago, i was walking a major flea market in the morning, going row by row looking for cards. at the midpoint of the market, i came across a stand that had tarped walls and ceiling (i thought for sun protection) and a weird panel swing door as its entrance. i saw about a dozen guys going through boxes and i thought i saw something catch my eye that was card related. i walk thru the swing door to find 30 some boxes full of adult dvds and vhs and a lot of guys "catching up on their collections"! before i could turnaround and walk out, i saw right in front of me a box that was full of baseball cards! The vendor yelled at me, "those are my son's cards. He wants twenty bucks for them. take it or leave it." i thumbed through the box to find some chipper jones rookies, 89 donruss schillings, bonds and Maddux rookies and a cool run of multiple Boggs, Sandberg, and Gwynn rookies from all three companies. i quickly bought the box, and ran out of there. But i suddenly realized that i was just as excited looking at the cards as the guys looking at the dvds! LOL!

  • That seems to be a norm at all flea markets. I would not touch those DVD's etc unless I had gloves on. I'm certain a black light would expose the kind of contamination that exists on those things lol

  • jay0791jay0791 Posts: 2,603 ✭✭✭

    I collected cards as a kid. Then I placed all the years together in a rubber band and put them in 2 old movie film boxes. Fast forward to 1991 when a neighbor of my dad's came over (both of our friend as well) when I was there and gave me a box of 1989 Maxx racing cards. I had done a favor for him and wanted nothing. He said, "There are not worth much and he didn't pay a lot but some cards are worth a lot of money and he had started collecting them." I told him I had some old cards. The next day he brought over a beckett magazine so I could find out what I had. My dad had moved and somehow a box was lost. I opened up the one and started going through the cards. Pulled out a 1969 Reggie RC and looked in the book...$500. Started screaming and getting really excited. I would soon meet a card dealer that is still my good friend and learn condition is everything. My Reggie was worth $100 not $500.
    Soon I was going to shops and card shows. In the early days of PSA we didn't care about graded cards. My first purchase was a psa 7 1966 Don Sutton. Neither of us had ever seen a graded card. I broke it out saying, " I don't need anybody telling me what grade I have."
    I can remember being offered cards like a PSA 10 1975 Brett Mini for $600 and saying, " who would be stupid enough to spend hat kind of money on a card just because its graded." The list is long that I can remember like a 1956 Mantle PSA 8 for $1200, Clemente's, Aaron's and other RC of HOFers.

    Now I don't buy anything unless it s PSA graded.

    Was everyone as naïve as me back then?????

    Collecting PSA... FB,BK,HK,and BB HOF RC sets
    1948-76 Topps FB Sets
    FB & BB HOF Player sets
    1948-1993 NY Yankee Team Sets
  • jay0791jay0791 Posts: 2,603 ✭✭✭

    Nice card Dan
    I should mention that my wife thinks I am an idiot for collecting cardboard with pictures of men on hem.
    About 10 years ago she gave me the one and only card for a gift. A 1968 Topps Yaz.

    Just this past week I bought my last Yaz card I needed for a complete Topps run...1962. I don't collect beyond the basic Topps regular issue.

    This is what I enjoy on these PSA boards. card collecting for pure fun and enjoyment. I get excited about peoples collections and what they have to share.

    Collecting PSA... FB,BK,HK,and BB HOF RC sets
    1948-76 Topps FB Sets
    FB & BB HOF Player sets
    1948-1993 NY Yankee Team Sets
  • lawnmowermanlawnmowerman Posts: 19,474 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 15, 2019 1:11PM

    As a child, I was mischievous and was constantly getting in trouble. I didn't do things I deemed terrible, I just did things to see what would happen. Most times, unfortunately, I acted impulsively. For instance, chucking a crescent wrench at the TV (chipped the screen) trying to move a pillow that was blocking my view, kicking out the side panel window on our front door while attempting to kill a fly or blowing pepper in my little brother's eyes just to see his reaction. The best part, believe it or not, was getting in trouble. My mom, being the sweetheart she is, always felt bad for spanking me.

    One time (I don't remember the offense) when I came home from school, there were racks of 1976 Topps baseball on the kitchen counter. I didn't think they were for me because I was in trouble. I thought they were for my little brother but I opened them regardless. I remember seeing the Johnny Bench card #300. Him standing like a bada** amongst a cloud of dust, pure coolness. I thought it was the coolest card I had ever seen.

    Before my mom came home, I did my best resealing job with scotch tape and put them back on the counter, hoping she wouldn't pick them up. She came home, went to the kitchen and proceeded to make me a grilled cheese sandwich. Then, in the midst of making the sandwich, she said I "oh I bought you some cards today". She felt bad for spanking me even though I'm sure I deserved it. That was the beginning of my card collecting.

  • DBesse27DBesse27 Posts: 441 ✭✭✭

    @jay0791 said:
    Nice card Dan
    I should mention that my wife thinks I am an idiot for collecting cardboard with pictures of men on hem.
    About 10 years ago she gave me the one and only card for a gift. A 1968 Topps Yaz.

    Just this past week I bought my last Yaz card I needed for a complete Topps run...1962. I don't collect beyond the basic Topps regular issue.

    This is what I enjoy on these PSA boards. card collecting for pure fun and enjoyment. I get excited about peoples collections and what they have to share.

    My ex wife and my subsequent girlfriend were also both convinced I was an idiot, for the card collecting reason and for 100 others. Luckily, I met the woman of my dreams last year and she also happens to support my collecting.

    Yaz Master Set
    #1 Gino Cappelletti master set
    #1 John Hannah master set

    Also collecting:
    1964 & 68 Venezuelan Topps
    1974 Topps Red Sox
    Andre Tippett

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 972 ✭✭✭

    The Brown Bomber

    I was having a bad day. I'll never forget it. I had bought a Wendy's chicken sandwhich combo with a Biggie fries. I took the food home to eat. I layed the chicken sandwhich doen in the ciffee table, and went to the kitchen for some extra salt. I turned around just in time to see our Golden Retriever trotting away with the chicken patty from my sandwhich in her mouth. Apparently she had seen me lay it down on the coffee table, and decided to grab it in her mouth and take off with it, leaving me nothing but the bun. A slobbery bun at that. So I had to go back to Wendy's. I ate my food at Wendy's this time, and decided to go to my local Library to get some DVD's. I grabbed a Joe Louis documentary that looked interesting and headed home. When I got home, I was I noticed trash strewn all across our front yard. Apparently the neighborhood Raccoon had been at it again. So I cleaned it up, and headed inside. I threw the DVD into the DVD player and started watching this Joe Louis documentary. I sat there for 2 hours and didn't move. Watching Joe Louis fights and seeing the old black and white footage fascinated me. His reign as heavyweight champion for 11 years, his dominance in the ring fascinated me. When he lost to Max Schmeling, only to fight him again and destroy him fascinated me. He was pribably the most significant boxer of the first half of the century. Muhammad Ali once said "Joe Louis is really the greatest of all time." Since that day, I have become ibsessed with him and his cards. I grab whatever I can get on Ebay, and have a pretty good collection so far. Whenever one of his rare cards turn up in Ebay, we fight like animals for them. It's wonderful.

  • AFLfanAFLfan Posts: 281 mod

    Great stories, guys. Please keep them coming!

    Here is an odd one for you all... About eight years ago, I bought a massive collection from the kids of a deceased collector. It took me five trips in my truck to get it all, was totally disorganized, and equally full of cool stuff and complete junk. Anyway, I hauled all of the boxes to my house, some of which I actually hadn't even looked in before buying. About two weeks after the purchase I was still going through stuff for the first time. I opened a box and among a bunch of cards and stuff I found a sandwich bag full of what looked like dust with a couple of chunky things in it. I couldn't think of what it was for several hours, until it finally dawned on me. I called back the lady I had bought it from and asked if they had cremated her father after he died. Her response was something along the lines of "Oh Sh*t! You found dad!"

    Turns out that after he passed, they cremated him and put a portion of his ashes in with his collection, as he loved it so much. I didn't get the stuff until about three years after his death, and they had pretty much forgotten about the ashes by then. I ended up driving them back to the lady and we both got a pretty decent chuckle out of the situation.

    Todd Tobias
    PSA Employee & Grateful Collector
    I focus on autographed American Football League sets, Fleer & Topps, 1960-1969, and vintage lacrosse cards.
  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 17, 2019 7:07AM

    I bring this story up often and I enjoy telling it. For many years, I have been trying to complete one of the rarest and most beautiful sets ever created. Released in 1951, the Wheaties Premium Photos are a set of 12 athletes on 5x7 cardboard stock cards. I know of only one complete set (in SGC slabs) and while you can complete about half the set without too much difficulty it becomes a major challenge thereafter. Raw or graded, there’s usually a few on eBay but the pop report is very low amongst all TPG. And believe me, I look. I had reached 10 and was missing 2 - Phil Rizzuto and Jack Kramer. One day, I received an email from someone I didn’t know with the subject line Rizzuto and Inclicked and inside was a scan and a note wherein the gentleman offered to sell to me one of those two rarities. After a brief negotiation, we reached a deal and I acquired the 11th card.

    Now, as it turns out, it was these very boards that helped me land a white whale and for that I am forever grateful. You see, the gentleman saw me posting on these forums and saw my set on the Registry and as a result reached out to me. The card below is one I never (ever) thought I’d own, it is only the 2nd ever graded by PSA and it got me to just one card away from the only complete PSA graded set; and this card found me on the CU forums:

    1951 Wheaties Premium Photos Phil Rizzuto B

    Curious about the rare, mysterious and beautiful 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos?

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/987963/1951-wheaties-premium-photos-set-registry#latest

  • DBesse27DBesse27 Posts: 441 ✭✭✭

    Awesome, Tim!

    Yaz Master Set
    #1 Gino Cappelletti master set
    #1 John Hannah master set

    Also collecting:
    1964 & 68 Venezuelan Topps
    1974 Topps Red Sox
    Andre Tippett

  • As a minority owner of a card shop in the mid-90s, it was my distinct pleasure to spend some time behind the counter with my son, back in the day when shiny cards and inserts were just starting to blow up and watching him pull favorites from packs while the store cash register was piling up holiday revenue, including his wages. We also facilitated him with price guides, posters, knick-knacks, and endless supplies of team issued sportswear.
    The card store eventually closed down. His collection sits in monster boxes in the garage.
    Ah the memories.

  • jay0791jay0791 Posts: 2,603 ✭✭✭

    I'm a lovin hat Rizzuto
    The 51 premiums are some of the nicest Yankees pics out there

    Collecting PSA... FB,BK,HK,and BB HOF RC sets
    1948-76 Topps FB Sets
    FB & BB HOF Player sets
    1948-1993 NY Yankee Team Sets
  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AFLfan said:
    Great stories, guys. Please keep them coming!

    Here is an odd one for you all... About eight years ago, I bought a massive collection from the kids of a deceased collector. It took me five trips in my truck to get it all, was totally disorganized, and equally full of cool stuff and complete junk. Anyway, I hauled all of the boxes to my house, some of which I actually hadn't even looked in before buying. About two weeks after the purchase I was still going through stuff for the first time. I opened a box and among a bunch of cards and stuff I found a sandwich bag full of what looked like dust with a couple of chunky things in it. I couldn't think of what it was for several hours, until it finally dawned on me. I called back the lady I had bought it from and asked if they had cremated her father after he died. Her response was something along the lines of "Oh Sh*t! You found dad!"

    Turns out that after he passed, they cremated him and put a portion of his ashes in with his collection, as he loved it so much. I didn't get the stuff until about three years after his death, and they had pretty much forgotten about the ashes by then. I ended up driving them back to the lady and we both got a pretty decent chuckle out of the situation.

    Once you ‘figured it out’?

    Curious about the rare, mysterious and beautiful 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos?

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/987963/1951-wheaties-premium-photos-set-registry#latest

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jay0791 said:
    I'm a lovin hat Rizzuto
    The 51 premiums are some of the nicest Yankees pics out there

    Thanks - I agree completely. They’re really something to see in hand...

    Curious about the rare, mysterious and beautiful 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos?

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/987963/1951-wheaties-premium-photos-set-registry#latest

  • AFLfanAFLfan Posts: 281 mod

    @1951WheatiesPremium said:

    @AFLfan said:
    Great stories, guys. Please keep them coming!

    Here is an odd one for you all... About eight years ago, I bought a massive collection from the kids of a deceased collector. It took me five trips in my truck to get it all, was totally disorganized, and equally full of cool stuff and complete junk. Anyway, I hauled all of the boxes to my house, some of which I actually hadn't even looked in before buying. About two weeks after the purchase I was still going through stuff for the first time. I opened a box and among a bunch of cards and stuff I found a sandwich bag full of what looked like dust with a couple of chunky things in it. I couldn't think of what it was for several hours, until it finally dawned on me. I called back the lady I had bought it from and asked if they had cremated her father after he died. Her response was something along the lines of "Oh Sh*t! You found dad!"

    Turns out that after he passed, they cremated him and put a portion of his ashes in with his collection, as he loved it so much. I didn't get the stuff until about three years after his death, and they had pretty much forgotten about the ashes by then. I ended up driving them back to the lady and we both got a pretty decent chuckle out of the situation.

    Once you ‘figured it out’?

    Yep. That's pretty much just how it went.

    Todd Tobias
    PSA Employee & Grateful Collector
    I focus on autographed American Football League sets, Fleer & Topps, 1960-1969, and vintage lacrosse cards.
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