Many of us are collectors of something at some time in our lives. The hobby of antiquing, the act of shopping and bargaining for antiques, has been around for decades. Often the collecting bug can be traced to a parent or grandparent buying us a gift, or taking us on a journey to buy something. This first experience of buying something, or even looking for an undiscovered gem, can be the start of something very special.
This is exactly what happened with a grandfather and grandson in central Michigan. I recently was able to meet with Peter, the grandson, who shared with me his memories of his now-deceased grandfather, and the story of how they started collecting cards.
Peter’s grandfather was a collector of vintage clocks and watches and wanted to share his passion of collecting with Peter. Peter wasn’t interested in vintage clocks and watches—but he was interested in vintage sport cards. On many weekends in the summer, Peter and his grandfather would venture out into the unknown parts of Michigan looking for old baseball cards.
During one of these outings, Peter and his grandfather were driving back home for dinner and saw an elderly man neatly putting everything away that didn't sell in the garage sale. The bright sun was quickly giving way to ominous clouds. The wind began to strengthen and a storm was near. Peter rolled down his window and yelled, “Do you have any old baseball cards?” The man nodded his head in affirmation and Peter was quickly looking at the cards inside the garage.
These cards were no ordinary cards. They were from the 1933 Goudey Baseball Card Set—a set that’s revered for its masterful colors, and its inclusion of numerous Hall of Famers. The full set contains four Babe Ruth cards, and this elderly man had two of them.
Peter started to breathe heavily as the elderly man said, “Make me an offer on all of the cards. I have dinner waiting.” Peter remained in a frozen state, while his grandfather removed from his pocket three $100 bills. The owner of the cards accepted the offer simultaneously as the first bolt of lightning rolled in.
Several months later, Peter’s grandfather passed away, but Peter’s collecting bug was there to stay.