When I was younger and growing up in St. Louis, my Grandmother owned a little corner confectionary, consequently, I would spend a lot of my time down there eating ice cream and candy. At one point, my mother stepped in and told my Grandmother, “He’s had enough. No more sweets!!”. That was when my Grandmother threw me a pack of football cards and said, “Here, you can have these.” My Grandmother’s thinking was, “Don’t tell your mother, but there’s gum inside.” Well, what she had no way of knowing was that 40 years later, I’d still be after those packs of football cards. The good thing is...... there isn't any gum anymore.
Me and my son, Cameron in 2004
Me and my son, Avery after one of his football games in 2012, (That's Cameron in the background)
How I got into collecting
Growing up in St. Louis in the 80s wasn’t too convenient as far as being a football card collector. St. Louis was, is and will always be a baseball town. Baseball card conventions in St. Louis back then were truly that. Football cards were a distant second. Every local card shop I visited told me the same thing, “Football just doesn’t move. So we don’t carry a lot of products.” All the cards I bought were from boxes and packs and as far as completing sets goes, I really got beat up time after time. Some sets would go incomplete for years,( like the 1990 Action Packed), and if they were completed they were done so at an exorbitant amount of time, effort and money. By the time I completed the set, it was done so way above book value. However, in 1998, all of that changed.
In 1998, I found my hobbies savior. It was the introduction to online auctions. eBay changed the way I collected. Gone were the days of buying packs and boxes. Now I only buy complete sets or lots large enough to get me a few cards away from completion. Now, all those sets that only existed in the pages of Beckett, are now at my fingertips. I even started selling some of my doubles online. You can visit my “About Me” page on eBay to see my feedback rating.
I had some thoughts of stopping with the 2002 sets. However, after some more soul searching I finally decided that I would continue to collect all brands and all titles for as long as I can. I figure that by the time I get around to start collecting 2004 sets, it’ll be 2020. I mean, I’m still trying to put together sets from the mid-’90s. Besides, my first son, Cameron, was born in 2003. I think he should be responsible to collect from 2003 on.
In the world of card collecting, I don’t just buy cards and put them in boxes. I display them, (See “My Sports Bar Page”), and I do a fair amount of research. In 2006, after years of trying, I finally got ahold of Dan Hitt from Beckett magazine. I had been trying for years to get ahold of Dan to inform him of the many errors and unreleased cards omitted from Beckett. I’ve since gotten about 30-40 of my discoveries included in the latest Beckett price guides. Some of my findings that have been included are found here, “Card Errors / Omissions”. And, as a result, I’ve gotten my name listed in the Beckett Annual price guide as a contributor.
So while I did decide to keep collecting beyond 2002, one thing remains certain, “Thank God, my wife allows me to do it”.
If you have any questions about anything regarding football cards, please do not hesitate to ask me. I am a regular contributor to Beckett magazine and I answer all my e-mails.
Me and my wife, Maria with our 3rd son, Tyler at Vikings camp in 2014.
Me and my family (My wife Maria, Me, Avery, Tyler and Cameron in 2016.
Me and my family (Cameron, My wife Maria, Me, Avery and Tyler in 2017.
Me and my family (Cameron, My wife Maria, Tyler, Me, and Avery in 2018.