I have been a football fanatic since I was very little. I can remember sitting next to my dad on Sundays when I was five or six years old and getting swept up in the emotion he showed, both the highs and the lows, as we watched our team, the Minnesota Vikings. I also remember looking through my older brother’s and my dad’s football cards, which they kept in old Velveeta cheese boxes.
Around age eight or nine, I started to collect my own sports cards, and soon after my brother decided to give his cards to me and my dad, including a 1979 Fran Tarkenton Topps. We were hooked, and often made pregame trips to our local card shop on Sundays to fill in our vintage card collections.
Early on, I didn’t have a complete grasp on the game’s past, and I didn’t have much money, so I turned to my dad to point me toward the affordable cards of yesterday’s stars. Wayne Walker’s 1969 Topps card and Rosey Grier’s 1956 Topps card were my first purchases. Neither are incredibly valuable, maybe a few dollars each, but every time I look at them, they remind me of all those Sunday morning trips to the card shop, and all those emotion-filled Sunday afternoons I had growing up. I wouldn’t sell them for anything.
Today, I have more than 50,000 cards in all four sports—football, baseball, hockey, and basketball—and more than 60 autographs, posters, photos, footballs, baseballs, pucks, pennants, and other sports collectibles.