For What It’s Worth: A lifelong passion
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.