What happened to your sports card collection from your childhood?

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What happened to your sports card collection from your childhood?

Post  Admin on Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:58 am

Just wondering if you all still have your childhood card collection or if there are any interesting stories out there about what happened to your cards.

When I was young (mid 70's) my parents owned a small grocery store. Each year the new cards would come in and my siblings and I would start to collect some cards. After a year or two I really got into collecting with my younger brother and younger sister. So, my parents would make a box of cards part of each gift we would get (Christmas, Birthday or even Easter). It didn't take long until we had accumulated quite a large, large collection of cards. We were typical kids and didn't collect for money but just because we enjoyed it. We literally had 15-20 sets of both football and baseball Topps sets from 1976 to 1982. I'd venture to guess that we had close to 150,000 cards. I can remember having close to 20 Walter Peyton rookie cards.

Like most kids we played with the cards. We had a huge room in the back of our house and we would literally dump all the cards on the floor (baseball and football) and then spend the next several days re-sorting everything back into teams. We would rubber band all the team stacks together and we actually used the checklist to check off our teams. Unfortunately somewhere along the way our cats started to think that big boxes of cardboard seemed to be similar to cat litter. We found they had pee'd and pooh'd in multiple boxes. I can remember being so upset. But still we salvaged probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the cards.

We moved several times and eventually I went off to college. While I was away my parents moved again (and by now the collection had become mostly mine due to a lack of interest from anyone else in the family) and they stored the cards in the basement. I came home from college after the first year and found they stored them all in the basement. This basement was damp and musty. I knew I was going to have problems. I went through the cards again and found that nearly 80-90% had been ruined with moisture and mold. I literally threw huge black trashbags full of cards away. By the time I was done I think at best I had about 3000-5000 cards left from that time period. Most were the typical commons but I did find quite a few stars and was able to eventually sell many of those. I still have some of the baseball from that time. I took some football and left my brother and sister with the rest.

I can only imagine what they would be worth today had we only taken care of them. Despite losing so many I will always remember how much fun we had collecting and sorting and resorting the cards together as kids. Collecting was more about the enjoyment then, than the high end business that it seems to have turned into, which is why I think so many people have gone to collecting only their team or certain players.

So what's your story?
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Re: What happened to your sports card collection from your childhood?

Post  MisterT on Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:26 pm

I am lucky that I still have most of my childhood collection. I was pretty avid in the late 1970's up to about 1982. Unfortunately, I really, really liked my cards. Which meant I looked at them, played with them, stacked them, organized them, etc., etc. I vividly recall bringing stacks of my doubles/junk cards to school to play flip with the other boys. I practiced that game for hours! I think pretty much all of my paper route money when to cards back then. If only I had slipped some of them into top loaders!

One of the last things I did to them was organize them by team, regardless of year, and wrap each team in plastic wrap. Each team bundle then went into a box and was stored away for 30 years. When my parents moved out of the house I went up and found them - still the way I left them when I was 12 years old. It was great to see them again...I still remembered which players I had and what the cards looked like. The good news is that in the mix were 5 Cal Ripken rookie cards. The bad news was that as a Red Sox fan, I had not treated them very well. Crying or Very sad

My only real card mishap was when I brought my Turman Munson collection to school to "prove" to another boy that I had the cards. I think was in 5th grade. Someone stole the whole set from me that day. Since then, I been a lot more careful about how I treat my cards.

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The cardboard dreams of a teenager

Post  mortybiscuit on Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:42 pm

My interest in cards started in 1994, when I was 11. My uncle gave his factory set on 1987 Topps(the one with Bonds RC in it), and after putting them on my bike spokes(thanks Dad) and trading most of them away my mid-90's adventure begain. From '94-'97 that is all I wanted for X-mas and my B-day, Baseball/Basketball cards. I spent every penny I had on them, and now, they sit in my closet collecting dust. Not one of them worth more than the cardboard they're printed on. The cardboard dreams of a teenager w/ too much money to spend.
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Re: What happened to your sports card collection from your childhood?

Post  Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:17 am

mortybiscuit wrote:My interest in cards started in 1994, when I was 11. My uncle gave his factory set on 1987 Topps(the one with Bonds RC in it), and after putting them on my bike spokes(thanks Dad) and trading most of them away my mid-90's adventure begain. From '94-'97 that is all I wanted for X-mas and my B-day, Baseball/Basketball cards. I spent every penny I had on them, and now, they sit in my closet collecting dust. Not one of them worth more than the cardboard they're printed on. The cardboard dreams of a teenager w/ too much money to spend.

I had just gotten out of college in 1989 and was making good money through the early 90's. Let me tell you about spending a boat load of money on worthless cardboard. I have 20 5,000 count boxes in my basement with very, very few cards worth much of anything. There are a few, but the vast majority are worthless. I had nearly double this amount before I went through and pitched what was worthless 5 years ago. Looks like it is soon time to do some more cleaning out. Anybody interested in junk?
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Re: What happened to your sports card collection from your childhood?

Post  MisterT on Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:15 pm

Admin wrote:
mortybiscuit wrote:My interest in cards started in 1994, when I was 11. My uncle gave his factory set on 1987 Topps(the one with Bonds RC in it), and after putting them on my bike spokes(thanks Dad) and trading most of them away my mid-90's adventure begain. From '94-'97 that is all I wanted for X-mas and my B-day, Baseball/Basketball cards. I spent every penny I had on them, and now, they sit in my closet collecting dust. Not one of them worth more than the cardboard they're printed on. The cardboard dreams of a teenager w/ too much money to spend.

I had just gotten out of college in 1989 and was making good money through the early 90's. Let me tell you about spending a boat load of money on worthless cardboard. I have 20 5,000 count boxes in my basement with very, very few cards worth much of anything. There are a few, but the vast majority are worthless. I had nearly double this amount before I went through and pitched what was worthless 5 years ago. Looks like it is soon time to do some more cleaning out. Anybody interested in junk?

There is a thread about this on either Blowout or Freedom (don't remember which). Some people say toss them, others say to use Freecycle. Some of the guys said they would pay the shipping to get the cards off your hands (but not pay for the cards). I am not really sure which way to go. For now, I give them away to anyone who wants them. Freecycle or give them away for free but have the "buyer" pay the shipping seems the most sensible. That being said, when I find old junk that is not worth anything in my basement, I recycle it. I guess with cards I have a double standard.

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Re: What happened to your sports card collection from your childhood?

Post  Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:21 pm

Throwing them away or recycling is so hard for me. I remember how much money and time I poured into these cards. I guess at some point you cut your losses. I surely could use the space. I think only the time of going through them one more time to make sure I'm not missing much is all that is really holding me back right now.
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