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Have You Ever Lost Collecting Focus?

Have you ever been devoted to a collection, but then something captures your eye and you want to change focus?

Over the years, I have switched my focus multiple times. Early on, I built sets from packs, such as 1989 Topps, 1990 Topps, and 1990 Fleer, among others. About this time I also focused on team collecting the Chicago Cubs.

Not worried about condition as an 8-year old, I would tote my huge (in my little eyes) Cubs collection around in a plastic McDonalds Happy Meal lunch box. That huge collection numbered 127 cards. How I remember that obscure stat, I have no idea.

The focus from then on changed many times and many sports, to football, basketball, and even professional wrestling. Since 1998 when I returned to collecting baseball it’s been focused on the sport since, though off and on.

For two weeks, my wife and I are taking a slightly delayed honeymoon (we married in July 2017) in Italy. I write this on a train between Naples and Rome. We spent the first four nights in Sorrento.

During any down time I continue to tweet and keep my eye on the hobby from afar. Before I left, I noticed Topps is running an 80th anniversary promotion offering reprints of vintage non-sports (and sports) package fronts.

As I scrolled through what was offered I became reminiscent. Wouldn’t it be cool to collect these old non-sports sets? Or just an unopened pack of each?

Then I read a thread on the Blowout Cards Forums where the poster is collecting the run of Allen & Ginter sets.

Allen & Ginter was the product that hooked me when I returned to the hobby the most recent time in 2013. It was hard not to fall for this set after buying one hobby box and pulling a Willie Mays rip card.

It’s a set that has also meant a lot for me personally, as I detailed in a blog recently.

So, then I wanted to to relive that nostalgia of Allen & Ginter and build the run of base sets and inserts.

Oh wait….there’s more! It was announced late last week that the Chicago Cubs official magazine, Vine Line, is going to cease in December.

Now I wanted to collect a run of Vine Line magazines! Focus, man, focus!

I did pick up a lot of Vine Line magazines from 1986 and 1987 from eBay, but contained myself. If I see them at a good rate I’ll buy, but need not divert from the cause: One Million Cubs baseball cards.

One of the magazines that was included in the lot I just purchased is from 1986. This takes me back to a family vacation in the mid-1990’s.

Our family vacations are “fondly” remembered for how bad they were. This one in particular wasn’t too bad, though we missed a Kansas City Royals game at Kaufman Stadium because my parents are used to driving on one-lane roads sandwiched by cornfields. The interstates of Kansas City were just too much.

It’s funny, though, that we did make it to our ultimate destination in Kansas City: Chevy Duty (now named Classic Parts of America).

That’s right. My dad was restoring a 1969 Chevrolet truck, and wanted to order parts and pick them up in person at Chevy Duty’s store…on our vacation.

We initially stopped in Macomb, Illinois to attend the St. Louis Rams training camp. This was a fun time as I secured around fifty Rams autographs in two days. Our next stop was Hannibal, Missouri, and toured a Mark Twain cave. I also found a card shop in Hannibal and bought a few things, none of which I remember.

After our disastrous stay in Kansas City, we traveled up through Iowa and stopped at an antique shop somewhere between Des Moines and Iowa City. The antique shop had some Vine Line magazines, and the June 1986 issue caught my eye with the cover, and for $3 it was mine. It stayed in my collection for several years, but I think I sold it off in the early 2000’s when beer money was needed during my college years.

So far, I’ve made a hobby memory in Italy finding a Giannis Antenokumpo Bobblehead in a side alley shop. Of course, I’m on the lookout for trading cards but they’ll likely be soccer cards.

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