Now there are many reasons why I love collecting and hopefully in a series or posts or articles or whatever you want to call them, I will highlight a few of my reasons that I love this hobby and always have even during my hiatus.
Nothing makes me happier than taking an old box of cards that I have long neglected and shuffling through them. To feel the tension of the glossy cards sticking together as you gently try to pry them apart with your fingers, to get the residue of 80's cardboard dust on your hands that was still on the card from the cutter, there's no better feeling. Except for one: looking through a box and finding a card that turned from "who?" into "Wow!" You know those cards, the Topps prospects you've never heard of or the random player on a Bowman card. Most of the time, there are maybe around 5 prospects that the average collector knows about. Of course you have those that are prospect fiends, but for the average joe collector, the prospect list for collecting is around 5 players or so. Like this year, most collectors would have known Joba and Phil Hughes. The rest kind of get jumbled past there. Most team collectors know about these prospects and the prospects on the team they collect. There are, however, very few collectors that can know every single prospect and what his chances of success will be. This is a reason why I love this hobby. You can have hidden treasures right in front of you and not know it until 5, 10 even 15 years down the road. This is what happened to me. Over Christmas, I was going through some of my cards that are my parents' house and among other things I found this:
For those who can't tell, it's a 1994 Sportflix Rookie-Traded A-Rod rookie card. Now it's no 1994 Score Rookie-Traded A-Rod, but I was still really happy. Back in 1994, I probably had no idea who Alex Rodriguez really was. I had probably heard the name, but had no idea how good of a prospect he was or the player he was going to turn into. In the same week, I also found in my cards 4 Kevin Garnett rookies, a Marvin Harrison rookie, a Kobe Bryant rookie, an Allen Iverson rookie and lots of other things. So why do I love this hobby? Delayed gratification.