Author: Austin Cassidy
As Mario noted, my day job is with a small community newspaper. I recently rediscovered card collecting. It’s a pretty familiar story, the 28 (about-to-be 29) year old guy finds a few boxes and stray packs of (mostly worthless) cards in an attic or garage. They’re the ruins of a lost city, probably only 20% of an epic past collection that’s been long forgotten. Except, it wasn’t much of a lost city. More of a legend in someone’s mind.
Back when I was first collecting, my favorite teams were the Oakland A’s and the Atlanta Braves. Among my circle of friends, Jose Canseco and Ken Griffey, Jr. were probably the coolest dudes in the entire world.
The first sensation was total disappointment. My couple of thousand card collection of Topps and Score baseball cards sucked – even back in 1991. And the handful of Bowman cards I still have are so bent up from being stored in the wrong size plastic sleeves that I might as well just throw them in the garbage. Apparently, it seems that I was collecting during a period when card companies were producing massive amounts of mediocre cards that hold almost zero value today. Yeah… awesome.
The second emotion was something entirely different. I missed collecting. I missed the smell of these little cards and the Christmas morning mini-thrill as I cracked open a pack. Hell, I even kinda miss the gum. (BTW, if anyone wants to destroy their teeth on some 20 year old gum… just let me know. I’m stocked!)
So that’s where my journey resumed. Except this time is different. I have access to the Internet and a credit card of my very own.
First, off to Beckett’s website. Then Google, which is how I wound up finding WaxHeaven. Then I bought a couple packs of basketball and football cards at Wal-Mart, just dipping my toe back in. Finally, after a few days, it was Google Maps to locate the nearest hobby shop — and luckily we still have three in my city. The owner of one told me that there used to be more than 10 shops here, but that the hobby is really moving online. He then gave me a card with his website on it.
Thus far I’ve just been purchasing bits and pieces, trying to learn as much as I can about the various brands, manufacturers and sports. And boy, have the cards changed! Comparing my 1992 Topps baseball cards to a recently purchased pack of 2007 Upper Deck basketball just blew me away. Even the CHEAP cards are beautiful these days.
The highest value card that I’ve pulled so far is a 2009 HIT Football Gold Autograph of Hakeem Nicks, numbered to 250. Beckett says it’s worth between $12-$30. If he keeps playing like he has in recent weeks, I wonder if that might even go a bit higher.
But anyway, that’s probably enough about me for right now.
I’m really excited to be undertaking this new adventure. Mario, through his more than 2,000 posts over the span of nearly 3 years, has built WaxHeaven into a trusted name in the card world. I’ll be thrilled if I become even half the blogger he was by the time I hit my 2,000th post (probably sometime in 2013). It should go without saying, of course, that Mario is welcome to come back and write guest posts at any time if the mood should strike him.
On with the show…