By Stephen Duell aka spuds1961

This is the counterpoint to my other article that had far too many negative connotations for me. I’ve been collecting for more time than I care to remember, through the time I went to summer camp only to realize Mom had thrown my collection away (thanks Mom- the only negative for this article I promise). I got my start innocently enough in my elementary school yard; I was a short awkward 8 years old that got picked on a lot. I realized that there were always a bunch of kids hanging out flipping cards and nobody ever bothered them, so I went into their little circle of friends to see what it was they were doing. One of the kids, his name was Frank, showed me the ropes of collecting and flipping. He was savvy too, he had the foresight to trade 15 commons for any Mantle cards he saw, and most of the kids bit, I wish I could find him to see how much he finally made off of all the Mantles he acquired.

I really didn’t get heavily into collecting until the mid 90s when I worked in Manhattan, there were actually street vendors who sold packs and boxes of cards. I became real good friends with this one older guy Max, he always gave me great prices and every time a company gave him free samples he always saved a couple for me. I made some friends at his stand and it caused my lunch hour to run long many a time just shooting the breeze with other collectors while opening a few packs, fun times for sure.

I met my wife through our respective jobs and she is from Mississippi. She moved to New York in 1993 and was always the rock behind my collecting habit, she would make sure I stayed within budget and would always seem to find great deals at the card shows we went to. In 2000 her parents were getting up in years so we moved to Mississippi, fortunately we left in February of 2001,right before 09/11 as my wife’s building was right next to the twin towers.

Now comes the rewarding part of my collecting saga. I had no hobby shops to go to and no more street vendors, what was I to do? On Valentine’s Day of 2004 I was at home looking at my cards thinking there has to be a way to get in touch with other collectors. I logged onto my computer and typed in sports cards, the first name that came up was sportscardforum.com. I started reading the breaks and articles and I knew I had to join.

I’ve now been a member for over 7 years, I believe my 3rd year in I was asked to become a moderator which I gladly accepted. I’ve made some great friends on this site and I hope along the way I’ve helped out a lot of fellow collectors. My first couple of trades were with Tutall and Andrewcstein, who I’m happy to say are still top notch and whom I consider true friends.

I’ve met so many cool people that it would be hard to mention all of them without leaving anyone out, guys and gals you know who you are and I appreciate the collecting camaraderie. I know many of us collectors have our hard edge to us but it only comes with the territory as we all don’t want to seem like pushovers, but with that being said when push comes to shove we will trade that high-end card from our no trade list to help out a fellow collector’s PC. In closing hope to see you guys and gals around the forums, and remember if you need anything I’m only a PM away! Have a great collecting day and take care.