PDA

View Full Version : A collector's resurrection - CONTEST ENTRY



swib25
07-14-2009, 10:51 PM
My story starts in 1997 when I was 13 years old in my hometown of Marshall, MN. I was hanging out with some friends tearing wax at our usual haunt, a small shop called ABC Cards and Comics. We knew it simply as Bradís for the first name of the fellow who owned the shop. To this day I still donít know his last name.

We were opening packs of our favorite product at the time, Fleer Ultra. Ultra was cheap enough for a kid like me to afford, but it offered plenty of inserts.

As I tore through the shiny silver packaging, I came upon a shimmering relic that excited me at first, but then faded to disappointment. It was a platinum medallion parallel card. Very rare, but it was of some no-name Twins rookie I had never heard of.

Even though I lived in Minnesota, I wasnít the biggest fan of the Twins. My favorite player of that time was Greg Maddux. I too was a geeky looking pitcher with thick double bridge glasses. Maddux gave a nerdy kid like me hope that I too could be a baseball star, despite my poor vision and choice of eye wear.

I didnít pull any big names that day, just the no-name rookie. Why, oh why couldnít this rare parallel have been of some player who was worth something?

I set my grief aside and decided it was still worth hanging on to. After all, it was a rare insert. So, I placed it in a top loader and promptly deposited it into the clichť shoebox of treasures I kept under my bed where it wouldnít see the light of day for over a decade.

Years passed, and as I grew older, I drifted away from the hobby. I was an adolescent and the things that occupied my thoughts were girls, girls, and playing baseball. I traded in my glasses and got a pair of contact lenses that helped me become the starting ace of my high school baseball team. Maddux would have been proud.

I eventually graduated from high school and went on to college. I attended the local university and continued to be a baseball fan. I even came to love my home team, the Twins, as they suddenly started winning division titles.

I was now 22, it was July of 2006, and my small town in the southwest corner of Minnesota was buzzing about a celebrity visit that was about to grace our community.

Marshall is also the hometown of Schwanís Home Food Company. My father has worked there for many years.

During this particular July, Schwanís was holding a ceremony for one of its long time associates, a man who was the air boss for the Red Baron Squadron. His name was Wayne Boggs.

Yes, the brother of Wade Boggs who had recently been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Wade was in Marshall that day, and as an added treat, he held a private signing for the families of Schwanís employees. Even though I wasnít collecting, I couldnít pass up the chance to get some autographs from a Hall of Famer. I searched through my old collection and uncovered some gems for him to sign. One of them was a particularly beautiful upper deck hologram insert. He signed it perfectly with his signature reflecting majestically off the holographic image of the Boston skyline.

https://www.sportscardforum.com/images/imported/2009/07/1794.jpg

Even though I wasnít a Boggs fan, or even a Boston fan, I loved looking at this card. As I stared at it, a flame was rekindled in my soul, and I suddenly had the urge to go back and unearth the boxes of cards under my bed.

As I sat on the floor of my old bedroom, I felt 13 all over again. I could practically feel the weight of my old glasses sitting on the bridge of my nose.

I looked through sheets of my hallowed Maddux collection, all of which was still in pristine condition. And then as I began looking through the box of cards I had put into top loaders, I came across the 1997 platinum medallion Twins rookie.

I still didnít recognize the name on the card, but when I looked closer at the face of the player on it, I soon realized who it was.

The name on the card was David Arias. No wonder I didnít recognize the name, I only knew him as David Ortiz, or Big Papi.

When I realized who it was, that old feeling I hadnít felt in a long time, the feeling of opening a pack and pulling out a fantastic card, swept over me.

I immediately took the card and revisited Bradís to look it up. The card booked at $150. My jaw hit the floor.

But, this was the summer of 2006, when Ortiz hit his career high 54 home runs in one season. I tracked the card all summer long as it climbed to $200, then $250, then $300, and finally $350. As soon as it hit that last figure, I made the decision to put it up on EBay.

It took one day before I received an offer of $280 for the card. I would have taken that, but now I had been bitten by the collector bug once again. Since I had become a Twins fan, I negotiated a deal where I received $250 and a 2006 Topps Finest Francisco Liriano autograph.

From this one transaction, two life-altering experiences sprung.

First, I used the cash to open a savings account. One year later I emptied that account and used the money as a down payment on an engagement ring. To this day, whenever my wife complains about my baseball cards I reminder that they helped pay for the stone on her finger.

Secondly, the Liriano gave my obsession a new direction. It was the start of my new Twins collection which in three years has grown to over 100 autographs and game used cards.

https://www.sportscardforum.com/images/imported/2009/07/1795.jpg

wrafman
07-15-2009, 12:28 AM
Nice story - personal, interesting and well-written too.

sports collector
07-15-2009, 06:46 PM
Nice story

I enjoyed reading it

gmoney168
07-16-2009, 02:02 PM
A Collector's Resurrection

By Stephen Wiblemo aka swib25

My story starts in 1997 when I was 13 years old in my hometown of Marshall, MN. I was hanging out with some friends tearing wax at our usual haunt, a small shop called ABC Cards and Comics. We knew it simply as Brad’s for the first name of the fellow who owned the shop. To this day I still don’t know his last name.

We were opening packs of our favorite product at the time, Fleer Ultra. Ultra was cheap enough for a kid like me to afford, but it also offered plenty of inserts. As I tore through the shiny silver packaging I came upon a shimmering relic that excited me at first, but it then faded to disappointment. It was a platinum medallion parallel card. It was very rare but it was of some no-name Twins rookie I had never heard of.

Even though I lived in Minnesota I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Twins. My favorite player of that time was Greg Maddux. I too was a geeky looking pitcher with thick double bridge glasses. Maddux gave a nerdy kid like me hope that I too could be a baseball star despite my poor vision and choice of eyewear.

I didn’t pull any big names that day, only the no-name rookie. Why couldn’t this rare parallel have been of some player who was worth something? I set my grief aside and decided it was still worth hanging on to. After all, it was a rare insert. I placed it in a top loader and promptly deposited it into the cliché shoebox of treasures I kept under my bed where it wouldn’t see the light of day for over a decade.

Years passed, and as I grew older, I drifted away from the hobby. I was an adolescent and the things that occupied my thoughts were girls and playing baseball. I traded in my glasses and got a pair of contact lenses that helped me become the starting ace of my high school baseball team. Maddux would have been proud. I eventually graduated from high school and went on to college. I attended the local university and continued to be a baseball fan. I even came to love my home team, the Twins, as they suddenly started winning division titles.

I was now 22 in the July of 2006 and my small town in the southwest corner of Minnesota was buzzing about a celebrity visit that was about to grace our community.

During this particular July, Schwan’s Home Food Company, based in my hometown of Marshall, was holding a ceremony for one of its long time associates, a man who was the air boss for the Red Baron Squadron. His name was Wayne Boggs. Yes, the brother of Wade Boggs who had recently been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Wade was in Marshall that day and, as an added treat, he held a private signing for the families of Schwan’s employees. Even though I wasn’t collecting, I couldn’t pass up the chance to get some autographs from a Hall of Famer. I searched through my old collection and uncovered some gems for him to sign. One of them was a particularly beautiful upper deck hologram insert. He signed it perfectly with his signature reflecting majestically off the holographic image of the Boston skyline.

Even though I wasn’t a Boggs fan, or even a Boston fan, I loved looking at this card. As I stared at it a flame was rekindled in my soul and I suddenly had the urge to go back and unearth the boxes of cards under my bed. As I sat on the floor of my old bedroom I felt 13 all over again. I could practically feel the weight of my old glasses sitting on the bridge of my nose. I looked through sheets of my hallowed Maddux collection, all of which were still in pristine condition. Then I began looking through the box of cards I had put into top loaders, which is when I came across the 1997 platinum medallion Twins rookie. I still didn’t recognize the name on the card, but when I looked closer at the face of the player on it I soon realized who it was. The name on the card was David Arias. No wonder I didn’t recognize the name. I only knew him as David Ortiz, or Big Papi.

When I realized who it was that old feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time, the feeling of opening a pack and pulling out a fantastic card, swept over me. I immediately took the card and revisited Brad’s to look it up. The card booked at $150. My jaw hit the floor. But, this was the summer of 2006, when Ortiz hit his career high 54 home runs in one season. I tracked the card all summer long as it climbed to $200, then $250, then $300, and finally $350. As soon as it hit that last figure, I made the decision to put it up on eBay. It took one day before I received an offer of $280 for the card. I would have taken that, but now I had the collecting bug once again. Since I had become a Twins fan I negotiated a deal where I received $250 and a 2006 Topps Finest Francisco Liriano autograph.

From this one transaction, two life-altering experiences sprung. First I used the cash to open a savings account. One year later I emptied that account and used the money as a down payment on an engagement ring. To this day, whenever my wife complains about my baseball cards, I reminder that they helped pay for the stone on her finger. The other experience was the Liriano that gave my obsession a new direction. It was the start of my new Twins collection that, in three years, has grown to over 100 autographs and game used cards.

gmoney168
07-17-2009, 01:17 AM
Articles: http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/?p=706
Digg: http://digg.com/baseball/A_Collector_s_Resurrection_Sports_Card_Forum_Artic le
Prop: http://www.propeller.com/story/2009/07/17/a-collector8217s-resurrection-sports-card-forum-articles/
Buzz: http://buzz.yahoo.com/article/1:04336a8f0df176e64b208827a806c85d:4573cadabbc211b 46c32af705ce53701/A-Collectors-Resurrection?usc=1

swib25
07-17-2009, 12:35 PM
I'm glad you like my story enough to share it on other sites. Thanks.

FootballCardFreak
07-24-2009, 09:01 PM
Another Great Story. I have some stiff competition.

swib25
07-28-2009, 11:39 AM
Thanks football freak. By the way, if there was a contest for who had the best avatars, I think you and I would take first and second too. Yours makes me giggle.

FootballCardFreak
07-30-2009, 03:05 PM
Thanks football freak. By the way, if there was a contest for who had the best avatars, I think you and I would take first and second too. Yours makes me giggle.

Haha. Thanks.