I've been collecting sports cards since the mid '80s after I got a box of 1986 Donruss to keep me busy on a drive to Disney World. My dad and I organized card shows all over Eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri during the 80s and early 90s before teenage pursuits pulled me away. My favorite memory of those days is spending an entire day visiting with Buck O'Neil at a Tulsa show while he signed autographs. I've met lots of athletes through the years at auto signings but Buck was different. I kept collecting sporadically until about 2002, which thankfully was long enough to stock up on the RCs of some Cardinal (now ex-Cardinal) named Albert Pujols. We even had a little shop in Tahlequah for a few years during the early 90s.
My son just turned 6 and he's gotten really interested in baseball and Pokemon cards so I thought it was time to get my feet back into collecting as well. Wow have things changed.
I was a voracious Ozzie Smith collector. Most of my collection is still in storage but at the time of his retirement I had 99% of the Ozzie cards listed in Beckett. I know I'm only probably 30% of the way to that now. It seems like he's had more cards produced since he retired then he did while active. I also have every regional issued card I've ever come across of him. It's been years since I counted but at one time I had about 2,200 individual cards. I also have several signed balls, photos, bats, and a glove. Throw in Starting Lineups, McFarlanes, and bobbleheads and I'm surprised my wife lets me live at our house.
When the industry went nuts over inserts in the early 90s Dad and I focused on nothing but RCs and vintage so I managed to amass quite a collection of vintage Cardinals cards. There's a 15,000 count box in storage that is about 80% Cardinals. It wasn't ever really a focus of my collection but I've never been able to pass up vintage Cardinals cards.
Had been a collector when I was really young and Kirby Puckett was still playing. Got out of trading but came back recently when Carson Wentz was drafted. Have a nice collection started and looking to expand my Wentz collection.