I guess I should let everyone know a little about me. I've been collecting since around 1986 when I bought my first pack of Topps baseball cards with my own money from chores. It was exciting to open the packs, see all the players I knew, and eat the stale gum. I remember the first card I pulled...
Ozzie Guillen (obviously not "the" one I pulled but it looked just like it).
I also got Kirby Puckett and Cecil Fielder in those packs. I remember being excited to see these guys since they were big men and, even as a kid, was also a bit on the larger side. I looked up to guys like this and others too, like Bobby Bonilla knowing that if they could play, so could I.
As the years went on, so did my collection...growing larger and larger. My mom even threw away a fairly large box of 1987 Topps because she was "always tripping on it." The early 1989 was pivotal in my collecting. I began absorbing other sports like Football and Hockey into my collections. The following year I added Basketball, rounding out the four major sports.
As the 1990s rolled on, I ammassed an arsenal of cards just to lay claim to the fact that I had more than the other kids on the block. Anyone else out there that collected back then knows that it was easy to accumulate piles of 1990 Donruss Baseball (man, those were awful looking cards), 1992 Topps Hockey, 1991 Fleer Football, etc. And so it went...
In 1993, I decided to downsize and only collect Hockey. Why you ask? It was my favorite sport, I played it as a kid, and I was just drawn to the majority of the sets that were out there. Plus, I've always considered hockey players to be some of the most gifted athletes in professional sports (we can talk about that later). Either way, I sold most of my collection at a yard sale and the rest, well, I don't really know what happened to the rest. I suspect that over the years, they were moved to the basement of my mothers house and were subsequently destroyed in one of the various flooding episodes they encountered. Fine by me though (man, those were awful looking cards).
I stopped collecting in 1994 and didn't really get too caught up, other than the occasional pack buy now and again. In 1999 I picked it up heavily, getting caught up in all the "shiny" stuff, stopping shortly thereafter. Again in 2004, I got tangled up in rookie chasing for football and I have been at it ever since. The last two years has become somewhat of an obsession and I think I might need to seek help. Oh well. What are you gonna do?
Currently, I collect a few key players including Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux in hockey; Pittsburgh Penguins cards; Pittsburgh Steelers cards; and any other interesting things that catch my eye (I grew up in Pittsburgh, so there is the connection). Lately, I've been looking to build some sets that I stalled on years ago and have found a few other players that piqued my interest. I even have purchased a few boxes of baseball recently just because I like busting wax.
At some point I will post trade lists and want lists so maybe we can do some trades.