I've believe I mentioned in an earlier post, that trying to explain my obsession with collecting baseball cards to a "non-collector" is often difficult. If the topic comes up in a conversation, almost every time the "non-collector" tries to convince me they have a Mickey Mantle Rookie Card. Usually they don't know, if this rare piece of cardboard they have had since they were a child, is made by Topps or even what year the card is. I usually act somewhat impressed and then change the subject.
I've never traded cards, always just like collecting them. My cards, for the most part, are alphabetized from Roberto and Sandy Alomar, to Robin Yount. Most of my collection range from the year 1980 to the present. With an exception of a few from the later 1970's.
I've learned that even though "the book" says a card is worth $100.00, that's not necessarily what you will get for it.
By reading Beckett and Tuff Stuff, I've taught myself what to look for on cards, how to find the date on a card, what an insert is and that in the late 80's and into the 90's there seemed to be mass production on every card made.
I'm no expert but when I told the guy at the Sports Memorabilia Store in the mall I had a
2001 Upper Deck Albert Pujols RC
three 1987 Topps Barry Bonds RC's
1983 Fleer Cal Ripken Jr
1994 Sporflics Ryne Sandberg Movers and Shakers
and a 1998 Donruss Preferred Randy Johnson Title Waves
he just looked at me and changed the subject.