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The Lookout | October 19, 2021

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For What It’s Worth: A lifelong passion

For What It’s Worth: A lifelong passion
  • On August 27, 2020

By Larry Hook
The Lookout Adviser

I just completed my 2020 Topps baseball card set yesterday. I spent much of the pandemic buying packs of cards to build the set.

I purchased the final 11 cards from the 700-card set on eBay. They arrived in the mail yesterday, putting a smile on my face.

With this set completed, I now have every Topps baseball set from each of the past 51 years: 1970 to 2020. I also have every Topps Detroit Tiger card from 1960 (the year before I was born) to present.

Collecting baseball cards has been my passion since I was 10 years old. I remember buying my first packs at a dime store in Portland, Mich., where my dad worked as a TV repairman.

I remember lying on the floor in my living room and putting the players at their respective positions, trying to build the best team I could with the cards I had.

Fast forward 50 years and I now have about 400,000 baseball cards. I have a room in the basement where I keep my cards, and I sort through some of them most every night.

When I tell people about my massive collection, they usually ask me what my most valuable card is. Well, I don’t have any Babe Ruth or Honus Wagner cards that are worth thousands of dollars, but I do have many that are in the $500 to $1,000 range. These include rookie cards of Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Carl Yastrzemski, Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew and Ernie Banks, among others.

My favorite baseball card is a 1971 Detroit Tiger card of Aurelio Rodriguez, who is my favorite player of all time. I also love Justin Verlander’s 2005 Topps rookie card. I have about a dozen of those.

As I get older, and arthritis make sorting my cards a challenge on some nights, I think about selling my collection. But then I think, “What would I do with the money?”

I’d want to buy more baseball cards, of course.