Posted by: Chris | September 11, 2010

A Welcomed Addition To The Blog

I week or so ago, I mentioned I was searching for a part time writer to help me out with this blog. Well I got an email from Mike, a reader who I have made a couple trades with before, and he was interested in helping me out. So without further adu, I am pleased to present Mike’s first ever post at On Card Autos, enjoy!

20 years later, I’m close to closure

Everyone can remember the first time an athlete made an impression on you. Whether it be on TV, with dad live at your first game, or in a convention center waiting in line for three hours to get 30 seconds of go-time at an autograph table. We all have those memories somewhere in the back of our minds, or maybe at the front of our minds.

My favorite athlete of all-time is Walter Payton. Hands down. Most know his story, very few people can negatively say much about him as a player. He is one of the icons of the sport of football and still one of the more popular players among Chicago fans. I grew up watching him play, and saw him for the only time at an exhibition game in 1986 against the Vince Ferragamo-led Buffalo Bills at Notre Dame Stadium. Payton scored a rushing touchdown that game, but I have no idea what the score was. Didn’t care, I got to see Payton score and the Bears won.

As I got back into the collecting game after about 15 years away (high school and college years were spent doing “other things”) and part of my directives were to create a Payton collection of cards I could pass down to my kids in the future as part of a “treasure box” which we may actually use an old wooden luggage box as the container for the goodies. But not just any old collection, I want at least one of every one of his mainstream cards aside from the variation parallels.

Without a card shop within 50 miles of where I live, no direct friends that still collect, and not a lot of knowledge of the current state of the hobby – I moved to the internet. And that is when things got rolling.

eBay was a longtime friend of mine in college. I’d buy textbooks on there, the occasional CD box set, and even bought two boxes of cards on there just because I could. But I never imagined 10 years later I would be sitting up at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday trying to snipe a 2004 Donruss insert card, just because it was on a list I found online. That was and is what I have become as a collector. Trying to finish off lists.

My Walter Payton collection has grown impressively over the past year. I have over 200 different Payton cards, from his Topps rookie in 1976 and the Crane potato chip card, to the 2009 Donruss and the fun double/triple/quad versions Payton makes better in those insert sets. I decided that over the course of the last two years of research I have done, that the nauseating amount of parallels that setmakers have made to make chasing “better” have just made collecting “harder”. For me personally, I am happy with just one version of a card. I don’t need the red, sepia, green, emerald, topaz and platinum versions of a base card.

I’m still on the hunt for about 20 more Paytons on my personally formulated checklist, and have found a couple websites and eBay stores that have been big helps to me. One of the reasons why I have continually read Chris’ blog was to get his take on the Cubs and the hobby, and what makes his personal quests to find those Nomar, Samardzija and Cubs cards so much fun. I enjoy that with Payton, and like the interaction with others who are in the same chasing boat as me. My shameless plug, if you have an abundance of Payton cards or neat items, let me know. I’ve got over 100 Payton doubles I would offer, or as Chris’ has found out, I might have some odds and ends to close a deal.

 I never thought that after 15 years, trading sports cards would bring back so many memories.   






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