Hey there fellow collector enthusiast! My name is Stan Olson and I live in Champaign, IL. As the website name implies, I am a Chicago Cubs fan! My grandmother was also a Cubs fan and when I’d visit her she always had WGN on watching them. That was back in the days with Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, Dunston, and Maddux. (don’t forget Harry Caray!)
When I was around 8 or 9, I used to go to flea markets with my parents. They sold various odds and ends while I had my own card table full of baseball and football cards. I remember selling singles and wax packs. My mom worked at a local distributor that she could get cards at cost so that saved us a lot of money. I had several 5,000 count boxes full of singles sorted by teams. I used the Beckett magazines as a guide to price my cards. It was fun selling cards and learning about business hands-on. I would say I collected and sold cards between 1986-1991 or so. As I got older, I drifted away from cards as my interests changed. I eventually sold my inventory for $250 which paid for a portion of desktop computer that I was building. Sadly I wanted the computer to track my cards. Oops!
Flash forward to 2017 when one day at work I discovered someone leaving baseball cards on the free table. I took one batch home and the next day there was another batch! They were mainly sets from the junk-wax era, but I was intrigued. I eventually found out who was bringing in the cards and told them I would take whatever else they had. There were some decent 1970’s football cards and a few second and third year Michael Jordan cards which were pretty cool. That rekindled my excitement in collecting again. It also helped that my Cubs just won the World Series after a 108-year drought in 2016.
So what do I collect now? The Cubs are my favorite baseball team so they are who I focus on. My largest player collection at the moment is Sammy Sosa at over 600 unique cards. It seems that I’m probably the only one who still collects Sosa but he was such an electric player especially during the 1998 home run race with Mark McGwire. I remember writing a speech about him in college because he was inspiring to me. I know he’ll never make the Hall of Fame, but I would love to see the Cubs welcome him back to Wrigley Field.
Other Cubs I collect include Baez, Bryant, Dawson, Grace, Rizzo, Sandberg, Santo. I’d like to collect vintage players like Banks, Jenkins, and Williams when I have more money to spend.
I don’t collect much basketball at the moment. While Michael Jordan is my favorite all-time player, his cards are so expensive I really don’t even try to collect them. I’m more interested in getting former University of Illinois players like Kendall Gill, Dee Brown, Deron Williams and Nick Anderson. Those are the ones I grew up following since they played right here in Champaign.
As for football, I’m interested in Devin Hester and Brian Urlacher. For the newer players, I like Mitchell Trubisky and Jimmy Garoppolo. Why Garoppolo? He went to the same college (Eastern Illinois University) as I did. That’s also the same college that Tony Romo went to. I’m not actively collecting Romo but will pick up a card here and there.
Sadly we do not have any local card shops in town. Our closest one is in Normal, IL about an hour away. I’ve been to the Indy Card Exchange in Indianapolis a few times and really enjoy their shop. I get most of my cards from retail packs, eBay and Sportlots.
Thanks again for stopping by my website!