I realize I'm relatively new to the online collecting community and even newer to the bloggingsphere, so I figured I would fill in a bit about myself and my collection here.
I'm 22 years old, a college senior at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri, where I play baseball. I was born and raised in the small town of Three Oaks, Michigan, in the very southwest corner. After high school, I attended Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, for three years before the school shut down and I was forced to transfer to HLGU. Luckily, they took most of my credits, honored my academic scholarship, and I was able to continue playing baseball. I will graduate this December with degrees in Accounting and Business Administration: concentration Finance.
I've been collecting since I was 7 years old. I was on a Little League team called the Dodgers, and a school friend gave me a 2002 Topps Post Cereal card of Shawn Green, albeit in rough condition. The card in question allowed my dad to share his life-long hobby of collecting with me, giving me many of his duplicates and junk wax cards. I didn't mind; I loved spending hours sorting and putting away the many pieces of cardboard.
Eventually I reached the age where I was fascinated with autographs and began sending out TTM requests in earnest. I still thoroughly enjoy it, although it is amazing how much book after book of stamps can add up to! Starting in December 2016-January 2017, I made a conscious decision to focus my collection on certain players, minor league team sets, and autographs. The players that I collect, along with the reason(s) why, are down below. Feel free to peruse them; I kind of like telling the stories!
Shawn Green - As mentioned above, the first baseball card I ever put into my collection was a 2002 Topps Post Cereal Shawn Green. Coupled with being on the Dodgers in my local little league at the time, I immediately fixated on him. I still have the original card, albeit in rough condition; I'm looking to upgrade for my PC, but will still forever keep the original! In one of the biggest surprises in my life, my girlfriend ordered me a Shawn Green replica Dodgers road jersey for Christmas, something I've wanted for years. My collection had come to a halt for many years until discovering the trade options on the TCDB; because of that I've already added several new ones to my collection.
Buster Posey - I grew up playing catcher, and when Posey entered the league in 2010, I loved watching him play. Between him playing like an absolute child (which is what it's all about) and putting up monster numbers, he immediately became my favorite current player. The number of Posey cards continue to grow year by year, but I'm always looking to add as many as possible to my binder.
Mickey Mantle - Okay, so everyone knows The Mick. But the reason for me collecting him is kind of amusing. A close friend of mine and I were debating one night about how everyone should have one "legendary Hall of Famer" that they should collect. I don't remember who he chose; maybe Mays? Mine was Mickey Mantle. He always had somewhat of a mystique to him as a player who was one of the greatest ever but could have been even better if it weren't for that drainage cover in Yankee Stadium. I don't currently have any Mantle cards from his playing days; just reprints.
Joey Votto - One of my favorite players in the league right now. It helps that he plays for my Reds, and that he consistently produces. My Votto collection is very small at the time, but just like Posey, his card numbers are constantly growing, representing a true player collection struggle.
Derek Jeter - The Captain is a Michigan native and was without a doubt my favorite player to watch growing up. The man could play, no matter which way you slice it. Unfortunately, his player collection numbers nearly 15,000 cards according to TCDB, so I will never own them all. But hey, it could be a really fun ride to try!
Matt Mantei - The Iceman is a River Valley High School graduate and Three Oaks native who is one of two major league players from my hometown. He is somewhat of a local legend and it's a nice surprise whenever I can pick up one of his cards.
Jeff Peterek - Peterek also is from Three Oaks and attended RVHS; he appeared in 7 games for the 1989 Milaukee Brewers. Of his 16 cards produced, I have 8; the most difficult one to obtain will be his Venezuelan Winter League sticker from 1987.
Tom Brady - I was quarterback growing up, all the way through high school, and I always tried to model my game after Brady. Everyone is aware of his success on the field (albeit amid controversy). I've slowed way down in my Brady collection in the last few years, focusing mainly on baseball, but I'll never turn down a Brady off of my wantlist.
Ralf Mojsiejenko - Ralf is from the town north of my hometown. I grew up playing against his son in all sports, and he is a family friend. Ralf has 24 cards out there, and I currently possess three of them, although I know I have more.
Joique Bell - Joique is from southwest Michigan as well, and although I don't know him he is sort of a local legend. He won the Division II "Heisman Trophy" award at Wayne State in college and has bounced around the NFL since then.
Dan LeFevour - LeFevour attended Central Michigan University, where I saw him in action for most of his college career (my older sister is a CMU grad). I loved watching him play and tear up defenses; he lead CMU to upsets in back-to-back seasons against the vaunted Michigan State Spartans. Unfortunately, he never caught on in the NFL. Last I knew, he was bouncing around practice squads in the CFL.