By Michael Reuben aka mreuben

So when I first met my wife, I had a bedroom specifically devoted to baseball cards. Stacks littered the floor as I sorted and organized, really diving into not just collecting, but trading at that point. When she first came over, I was nervous that she would see this… let’s call it youthful past time and be a little discouraged by the whole thing.

 

Well, instead of her rolling her eyes over the hobby, she became more and more supportive of my interactions. Right away, she started buying me loose packs and blaster boxes when she went to the local big-box stores. She would even venture into the local card shop with me and would marvel at the treasures that resided in the cases. Luckily, one of my card shops has a couch in it so when I’m digging around for singles to fill sets, she can rest comfortably.

 

Since these humble beginnings, my wife has been a great hobby partner in three distinct ways. First, I have this distant dream of opening my own hobby shop at some point. Who knows if there will be brick-and-mortar hobby stores when I’ve saved up the capital to actually do this, but my wife has been incredibly supportive of the idea. Whenever we go to a new shop, on the drive home afterwards, we discuss what elements of that store would work best in the store I would eventually open. The couch in the corner. The spacing of the cases. What’s showing on the televisions. Also, I’ve started selling at some local card shows. It seems like once a month there’s another show, and for me it’s a great way to spend a Saturday. Again, my wife is supportive of this adventure that lesser women might find a ‘waste of time’. Instead of complaining, she’ll stay at home when I leave to set up, and she’ll be willing to bring me whatever cards I realize I forgot once I get my table ready. She’s also sat at the table while I’ve snagged some autographs from the players signing at the shows. She’s never sold anything while I’ve been gone though.

 

Furthermore, preparing for these shows, she’s been there for me. We’ve spent many nights sitting in the room in our house dubbed ‘the baseball card room’, Mary will be grading papers or watching a movie while I continue to organize my piles into trade, sell, and personal collection. When I need the help, she’s always willing to take sets that I’ve built and help me get them ready to put into order for pages – despite her mathematical difficulties, she can put cards in order as good as anyone else. We’ll sit in that room for hours, sipping coffee and working in our respective corners, but the company is really appreciated.

 

Finally, I know my wife supports my hobby deeply based on how she reacted when my collection was destroyed. Just about two months after we got married, our house was broken into. They must have had a lot of time to sift around through the house, because they managed to find most of my good cards and collectibles:

 

Stan Musial autographed baseball. Gone.

’53 Topps Satchell Paige. Gone.

Yaz Rookie. Gone.

 

The whole room was ransacked with 3200 count boxes tipped over each other. It was like a knife in the gut when I opened the door to that room. In the days that followed, I was prepared to give up the hobby for good. I felt violated, and not only had they taken those cards, but they took away the time it took me to build a collection I was really proud of. My wife encouraged me to get back into the hobby (I have to admit though it turned out I didn’t need that much persuasion). When the insurance company gave us almost nothing for the cards that were taken, she commiserated with me. She helped me keep an eye out for all those cards that I really wanted to replace. Even when we tell people about the robbery, she says the worst part wasn’t the purses they took of hers, or her computer, but she says the worst is that they took my collection.