Turn your clocks back to 2001.
Drew Bledsoe just got knocked out of the game after a nasty hit by Mo Lewis in a game against the New York Jets. Out jogs Tom Brady.
Sixth-round pick, no name, Tom Brady comes out to fill in for Drew Bledsoe.
He took over and never looked back while leading that Patriots team to the playoffs.
All I knew is that I had to have a Tom Brady card. I didn’t care what, I just needed to get one. (Although I wish I would’ve had a little more cash to spend looking back now.) He was the talk of the league and the player that gave me, and every young kid, hope of breaking into the NFL. He wasn’t much yet, but he could be.
So, as a 10-year old kid, I wandered on into my local card shop and found a Tom Brady card that I still hold onto today. My $1-2 purchase of a 2000 Aurora Tom Brady rookie card has more sentimental value than the 2000% return on investment I could pull in on any day of the week.
As I look back, it was that day that the hobby became more real to me. I had always enjoyed opening packs, sorting through my cards, and trading with my friends, but that purchase was different.
It was a risk. I was spending some of my lemonade stand money on an unknown player. Who knew how Brady would pan out?
It was an investment.Brady was someone I was inspired by, who hadn’t yet made it, but was on the cusp of greatness.
It was the birth of collector. As I look back over the last twenty years, there’s no moment in collecting that sticks out more in my mind. The hobby has changed in many ways, but the thrill of collecting carries on.
I invite you to join with me as I explore the hobby in a variety of ways – sharing stories of collecting, basics for beginners, advice for those looking to make a buck, and more!
Respond: What was the moment that transformed you from a collector to a lifelong collector?