(Originally published August 2, 2011.)
What better topic for my first hobby blog than a little background information about me and my collecting life?
The first baseball cards I ever bought were at a flea market in June of 1989. I've been a Blue Jays fan since the mid-1980's, so when I saw a 1989 O-Pee-Chee team set for $2.00 I picked it up. I was hooked. For the rest of that summer I bought packs of 1989 O-Pee-Chee for 35 cents apiece, and the occasional pack of 1989 Donruss trying to find the hottest rookie in the set (according to my friend)... Tom "Flash" Gordon.
In 1990 I collected 1990 Donruss and that's when I pulled my first John Olerud card. I promptly traded it for the Jerome Walton because after all, Walton was the 1989 Rookie of the Year and his cards were HOT, and Olerud was some Blue Jay I had never heard of. As the 1990 season went on and I learned more about John Olerud, I grew more interested in him. I identified with his quiet demeanor and reputation as the "strong silent type". Plus, he never played in the minors so I wouldn't have to search out any minor league cards. I started collecting John Olerud and my friend (Flash Gordon Guy) decided to collect Travis Fryman.
I've been collecting Olerud ever since. Through my high school years, university, and entering the workforce, my card collecting fluctuated as other interests took over my time and money. Now, with a house mortgage, two children (and #3 on the way), and other "grown up" things, my card budget has become pretty modest but still I collect what I can.
Once I no longer have daycare expenses, car payments, and other pesky adult things I hope to get back into set collecting and expand my Olerud budget. Eventually, when we finish the basement of our house there will be my own "Man Cave" where I'll display my collection.
I welcome your comments, especially any collecting stories and memories you'd like to share.
(Originally published October 28, 2011.)
I miss the days of trading face-to-face with another collector for a card of your favorite player.
Nowadays I buy 100% of my Oleruds online, mostly from eBay.ca, checkoutmycards.com, or Beckett Marketplace. My local card shop doesn't carry a lot of baseball, let alone any selection of Oleruds. I can't remember the last time I interacted with an in-the-flesh person and exchanged cardboard, but some of my first trades involving John Olerud are still fresh in my memory, even now more than 20 years later.
In the spring of 1990 I actually pulled an Olerud rookie card from a pack of 1990 Donruss. It could have been the first in my collection, but instead I traded it to a guy for the 1990 Donruss Jerome Walton. I needed Walton for the set, and figured I pulled one Olerud, so I could pull another, right?
Later in 1990 I traded a 1987 Topps Will Clark for a 1990 Upper Deck John Olerud. Both were selling for around $5 at the time, so I thought it was a pretty even trade. Neither is worth anywhere near $5 anymore, but I'd still do the same trade in a heartbeat.
When 1992 Bowman came out, it was pretty hot stuff. To land the John Olerud from that set, remember trading a card shop owner a 1990 Upper Deck Olerud (by this time I had 3 or 4) plus $5 for the 1992 Bowman Olerud. Wonder if I went back if the guy would give me my change? Actually, I wonder if the guy even is still in business. Probably not.
My first "low" serial numbered numbered card was 1996 Circa Rave (out of 150!). I remember doing a trade/purchase in 1996 or 1997 that included $15 cash plus a stack of other cards, probably another $20 to $30 worth. Looking back now, this might not have been a such bad deal because the cards I traded away are likely now considered commons, and numbered 1990's inserts, even /150, are actually selling well right now.
And little more recently, in 2002, the "Big Trade" that I remember landed me my only 1-of-1 Olerud card, though this trade was by mail. I sent a 2002 Upper Deck Vintage Aces Nolan Ryan patch card (then listed at around $120) plus another $25 worth of Rick Ankiel & Cardinals inserts. I received a 2000 Upper Deck Exclusives Gold 1/1. This card is pictured in my Gallery.
These trading memories have prompted me to start a traders list link on this website. I hope that by listing some stuff I have available it may start some cardboard swapping. Check it out!
As always, I welcome any comments and feedback.
I've had a hobby website of some sort since around 2002, starting with a Geocities site that I would use to publish wantlists while I was a member of the Old Card Traders group. A few years ago Geocities shut down and I was forced to find new website hosting. My search led me to webs.com, which worked well for me for years.
Recently I read a discussion over at freedomcardboard.com about personal collection websites, which led me to check out weebly.com. With it's nice webpage design tools and virtually unlimited bandwidth, I decided to revamp my website and move it to Weebly. My goal was to create a more generic hobby site rather than have a player collection-focused site. This would leave me with room to grow as I hope to expand my collecting in the future.
I chose Weebly for a number of reasons. It was very well spoken of by users in the previously-mentioned hobby forum, and upon trying it out I found it to be a easier to use, with fewer restrictions than other free hosting sites. Most notable is the virtually unlimited bandwidth, which ought eliminate the need for a separate picture-hosting site. Also the mobile app, while not allowing actual site editing, does allow users to monitor site statistics and create/edit a blog. It's the latter feature that I hope to use a lot. I had a blog on my previous website but didn't make much use of it. With the ability to blog via my smartphone, I hope to share more hobby discussion and maybe share some pack breaks and maildays.
Currently my hobby site covers my player collections for John Olerud and J.P. Arencibia. I hope to eventually get fully back into two other aspects of collecting that had to be put on the back burner due other financial and time commitments. They are Toronto Blue Jays team sets and Topps baseball base sets. Some day I might even decide to pay for a domain name so I can have my very own .com or .ca website with all the features that might go along with it.
I'm planning for an April 1, 2014 "official go date" for Cardboard Corner to fully replace my old website, though the website has been online since Summer 2013. I still have some of my Olerud checklist to update, a ton of Gallery pictures to upload (this will be an going project), plus some formatting to do.
I hope you enjoy this fresh start for my hobby website! Your comments are welcome so please post here or use the "Contact Me" link.