Sports cards enthusiasts unite!

New club forms to celebrate collecting hobby

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ
Sunday afternoon at the Marshalltown Public Library, the first ever Sports Cards Collectors Club was held, uniting those interested in the hobby. While not a sale, the meeting presented the chance for attendees to view each other’s sports cards, reminisce and talk about great moments in sports history. Andrew Potter, left, organized the group. Here he speaks with fellow collector David Hicks, center.

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Sunday afternoon at the Marshalltown Public Library, the first ever Sports Cards Collectors Club was held, uniting those interested in the hobby. While not a sale, the meeting presented the chance for attendees to view each other’s sports cards, reminisce and talk about great moments in sports history. Andrew Potter, left, organized the group. Here he speaks with fellow collector David Hicks, center.

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series profiling the various personal collections of residents of Marshalltown and the surrounding area.

Collecting baseball, basketball, football and hockey sports cards evokes a level of nostalgia for many of its collectors. As a way of celebrating this pastime, local collector Andrew Potter has organized a new club for those interested in the hobby, called Sports Cards Collectors Club. The first club meeting was held Sunday afternoon at the Marshalltown Public Library.

“So many sports cards are ordered online these days, so the social aspect of collecting has been lost,” Potter said. “So this club is a way to get collectors together in person.”

A group of collectors assembled, bringing along boxes and scrapbooks filled with sports cards, dating from the 1960s to the present, plus a few autographed photos and baseballs.

“We had a club here [in Marshalltown] that started in the mid-80s, and ran until the mid-90s — back when everybody was printing cards and buying them to send their kids to college,” said attendee Frank Drey.

Drey said dwindling membership caused the sports card club, which did not have an official title, to stop holding meetings. He said he was pleased to see a local renewed interest in the hobby.

“When I was buying cards, I had a rule. You never bought them for the money, but because you enjoyed it,” Drey said.

While no cards were for sale, attendees got the chance to view each other’s collections, reminisce, and talk about their favorite moments in sports history. Cards were given away in a series of drawings, and there was a large bin of sports cards marked “free” in which attendees could peruse and pick out ones to take home.

“I don’t so much collect now; I collected when I was a kid,” said attendee Richard Heckner. “I didn’t get rid of the cards, not so much because of their [monetary] value, but because of the memories of going to buy cards. It was my version of playing video games as a kid.”

Heckner said he favors the cards in his collection that date to the 1970s, when he was growing up.

“My favorite teams are the Packers, ABA basketball and the Milwaukee Brewers,” he said.

Many of the collectors said the hobby is about more than searching for rare cards in which to sell and make money; it’s about the memories in which one cannot put a price tag.

“When I was growing up, as soon as you got a quarter, you rode your bike to the local shops and bought cards. It brings me back to the good memories of collecting cards with my brothers. For me, it’s not about the value of the card, but the nostalgia and the love of collecting, and just having fun with it,” Potter concluded.

The club will gather on a bimonthly basis, with the next meeting scheduled for Sunday, October 15, at 2 p.m., at the Marshalltown Public Library.

For more information about the club, contact Potter at: andpotter@hotmail.com.

If you collect something interesting or unusual, contact this writer at the information below.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com