By Khendra Murdock aka DunkinDurant35

I have been collecting sports cards since the tender age of 7½ years old. I can still remember the first pack of sports cards my dad got for me back in 1992: 1991 Score football. I was excited to get a Guy McIntyre card out of the pack because I was a big San Francisco 49ers fan at the time (they were probably the most fun team to play on my favorite video game back then, Tecmo Super Bowl on the old original Nintendo!).

 

Basketball took over football as my number one favorite sport in 1993, but all through the years, I have maintained an interest in the card collecting hobby since that fateful day in the Spring of 1992. I have taken a few small breaks now and then, sure, but there have always been some cards around the house no matter if I was actively collecting or not.

 

I am happy to say that no one close to me has ever commented negatively on my sports card collecting hobby. My parents still think it is nice that I have such a harmless and fun thing to do in my spare time, and even though my fiancé can’t relate to the hobby at all (he watches and participates in mixed martial arts, but he is not into any other sports and has never collected anything), he likes how I have a lot of my own individualized interests.

 

As a female, I am certainly in the minority of what is probably a 90% or more male-centered hobby (there was a poll done on SCF awhile back that resulted in such a percentage), but I am also happy to report that the vast majority of guys I have traded with here on SCF and elsewhere have been very cool about me sharing their interest no matter how atypical it may be. I have experienced only a handful of irritating comments over the years, and most of those comments had to do with physical appearance. Unfortunately, among an immensely small minority of collectors, there are a few guys who think women who are into sports are usually buxom bombshell types whose men would support their interest solely because of that; some other guys, meanwhile, think we are all supposedly “ugly lesbians” (and I have gotten this comment before, at least the “ugly” part that I can recall; thankfully, the posters who said this are no longer active on the forums).

 

The reality is that most women who are into sports card collecting love and analyze sports just as much as the guys do, and most of us look like women you would see any day of the week no matter what some others might say. Some of the women may be beautiful by traditional standards, and yes, some may be lesbian, but there are all kinds of women who like sports, and we should all be treated with similar respect. Thankfully, most guys in the hobby do just that, and so it would not be fair to judge the entire demographic of male collectors by a handful of those who are overly centered on appearance and stereotype.

 

If anything, I would say most of the other responses I have gotten for being a card collector have been pretty indifferent. No one has ever told me I am into what they view as a “kids hobby,” for example, so I have been fortunate there. There are a few who have been amazed that I collect cards at all, but I can’t blame them for their surprise: they are not acting that way out of rudeness – women in the hobby are a minority, like it or not – and so I just smile and tell them how I have always been kind of different.

 

As I prepare to become a teacher in the coming months, I wonder if I will have an opportunity to share my card collecting hobby with new people, and what they might think of it. Teachers are encouraged to use rewards systems in certain situations, so I could use cards for that reason! I suppose that, in time, I may come across some incredulous students who are astounded that a female English teacher would collect sports cards. If so, that would be pretty funny! If history continues, I imagine most students will just think it is kind of neat, and the students who like sports will enjoy the perk of putting forth more effort into writing to obtain some new cards.