Can you imagine tearing into a pristine wax pack of 1972 Topps baseball cards and pulling a vintage card of Hammerin’ Hank Aaron? Talk about a hobb1972 Topps Hank Aarony dream come true.

But for Doug, a long-time collector from Grand Rapids, MI, it’s no dream — it actually happened!

That’s just one of the many awesome memories Doug has built during nearly four decades of collecting, and he was gracious enough to share his collector’s story with us.

Enjoy the golden memories …

How long have you been collecting?
37 years. Since I was 7.

How did you get started collecting?
My brother introduced me to them. I loved baseball and when he first showed them to me I was in awe.

What is the first card you can remember owning or buying?
My first pack was 1977. I remember opening it and hoping for a Mark Fidrych as we were diehard Tiger fans. I didn’t g1977-topps-rusty-staubet that one, but I did get a Rusty Staub. The All-Star ribbon made it seem like I hit the lottery. Loved that card.

Which sports do you collect?
Baseball and football.

What other memorabilia, besides cards, do you collect?
Not much other than some jerseys and balls.

What is the focus of your collection?
Most of what I have I have sold over the years. I keep a small portion that I have on display. 1971 is my favorite year with 1959 a close second.

Who are your favorite players?
Lou Whitaker was my favorite player growing up. I loved George Brett. Mickey Mantle and Pete Rose as well.

Which is your favorite team?
Detroit Tigers1972 topps wax pack

Do you have a favorite card or set?
Top three in no particular order: 1969 Mantle, 1971 Nolan Ryan, 1977 Rose.

Do you have a collecting project or goals you’re working on now?
Nope. Been pretty quiet. I still find myself on eBay staring at cards I either had or never got the chance to own. 1959 Mantle for sure. Can’t justify buying it at my age.


Where do you buy most of your cards?
Local Meijer store and the occasional eBay purchase

Which card or set have you always wanted to own but has always eluded you?
The cards I mentioned earlier, and the set is 1977 Topps. I never was able to complete it, and it was so special to me being the first year I collected1962 topps lou brock

What’s your favorite hobby memory?
Card shows. The excitement of seeing the older cards has been unmatched. I would buy Al Kalines and Mantles and Aarons and then stare at them for hours.

Do you have any other memorable hobby moments to share?
Buying an unopened pack of 1972 Topps in 1985 — opened it up to a Hank Aaron. So it was worth the $5!

Anything else you want other collectors to know about you or the hobby?
I got in it for the love of the sport and the player. Never about the money. Looking at an old card brings back so many memories. Just picturing a 1962 Lou Brock instantly reminds me of the place I bought it (card show in Grand1980 Topps Lou Whitakerville), the price I paid ($9!), and how it made me feel. Not many other things can do that.

Amen, Doug!

Who doesn’t still get chills when a favorite old card passes our way, either in real life or on the computer screen?


While Doug doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to baseball cards these days, he does keep up with the hobby through Twitter and various websites he finds there.

It’s a pull veteran collectors know well.

After all, when you’re in it for the love of game, you can’t stay away from the cardboard gods for long.


In late June 2019, I caught up with Doug again, on Twitter, and he had some interesting things to share about his hobby activity over the last couple of years.

Here’s how that conversation played out …

What have you been up to, hobbywise, since we spoke in 2017? Any projects or focus areas come into play?

Well, we can blame Wax Ecstatic for my jump back into the hobby. I always bought a pack or two of the latest Topps each year, but that’s it. Listening to his podcast, especially going over the old years I loved so much, got me to eBay. I started buying up a 1970 Topps Pete Rose (#580)bunch of the old cards I either had and sold or never got and wished I did. I bought every Rose from 64-79 and put on some shadow box displays to look at. Picked up several Mantles and Kalines. Just basically got acquainted again with old friends.
I’m not the kind to go back and start rebuilding sets but I have started buying old complete sets of the Tigers. Got the ’59 then ’74-’78. No real stars other than Kaline, so affordable except for some of the sets with a lot of high numbers.
Nice. So is eBay still your go-to, or are you using any other sites, too? Any online trading, going to card shows, etc.?
EBay only as it’s simply the cheapest route. Haven’t done any trading yet and have stayed away from the shows. Too dangerous. (WPG note: No Kidding!)
I keep track of release dates. Hit the Targets and Walmarts and Meijer out here for Topps, Heritage or Bowman. The thrill of opening a pack never leaves you.

Any favorites among recent issues? Favorite current players?

I loved this year’s Topps (2019). Last years Heritage was nice as there was just something about the 1969 set I liked despite all pictures being boring. The All-Star cards that year were awesome.

Love Cabrera and Verlander for sure. Judge is a great player. Kershaw. Not a huge Trout fan but that’s due to the media always thinking he deserved MVP votes over Miggy so often.

Are you doing much with football these days?

Not much new. I’ll grab a few Paninis for the new season but that’s it. Collected about ten old Lions sets off eBay. Those cards really don’t hold the memories like baseball ones do for some reason. I can see a card from the 60s or 70s and can remember the first time I saw it and if I owned it, who I bought it from. Or at least what show or LCS.

Any parting shots?

One thing I would like to add about cards….I loved looking at them for hours growing up. One of the main reasons was that was a rare glimpse into that player, that team, etc. You didn’t always see pics of say Pete Rose except on a magazine or All-Star Game. Because of the internet, pictures are countless. Video, etc. It’s not the same. You can’t go back unfortunately.1962 Topps All-Star Al Kaline

Thanks, Doug. Always fun “talking” to fellow collectors online, which does help me go back to simpler times, at least for a few minutes.

And speaking of going back, Doug indulged me by answering a couple of time-warp type questions with more personal interest to me …

First, Doug — who goes to 2-3 Tigers games a year — took on the subject of whether he preferred Comerica Park or Tiger Stadium …

That’s tough, as you are comparing memories. Tiger Stadium was my first game at 8 years old. It was being a part of “the wave” in 1984 with the stadium literally feeling like it was liquid. Comerica has hosted 2 World Series. It is beautiful, but I guess if I had to choose, I would choose the old one.

And then, at the prodding of my wife, Doug shared a few logistics about how he houses his collection — specifically, how much room it swallows in his house …
Funny question. I took from my house when we got married a large amount that I kept in a storage shed at our first place. It now resides in a full closet but, I now have 5 framed shadow box holders for my favorites. I have a room upstairs with some of my Tigers sets and even New England Patriots cards from the last Super Bowl. I try to not have them all over.
For the record, I do try to have them all over, but that generally doesn’t fly. Doug’s approach seems much more considerate and mature than mine, I suppose.
Thanks again for the updates, Doug. Fun to catch up!
(Read all of our collector stories here. Want to share your own story? Let me know!)


Lot 248 diff. 1977 Topps BASEBALL cards

End Date: Wednesday 08/14/2024 22:40:44 EDT
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