The Story of One Female Card Collector in a Male Dominated Hobby
Posted On 06 Jun 2014 / 3 Comments
My journey with Upper Deck trading cards began when I was a little girl. While everybody else my age was trading Pokémon cards, you could find me out in my cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids trading and collecting baseball and basketball cards. I always loved the challenge of starting new collections when I was younger. When all of my male friends would get together after school and enjoy their Capri-Suns and Nilla Wafers, while showing off their card collections, I would sit and watch from afar, longing to be included in the camaraderie.
I played sports my whole life, and was always a big sports fan, so my male counterparts always respected me as an athlete, sports fan, and card collector. I loved collecting with my family and creating memories with them.
Growing up, we would spread our baseball and basketball cards out on tables and have monthly “trading” parties, where we would try and convince one another to trade certain cards that were missing or would add value to our collections. Those poor boys didn’t know who they were dealing with! They were ill prepared to say no to my puppy dog eyes.
Obviously the “collecting space” is overwhelmingly dominated by males. I only know of one other female card and memorabilia collector, who happens to me a neighbor of mine. She was able to use trading cards to bond with her father, who was an avid collector and sports fan. She now has three sons who are also passionate about sports and trading cards. She and I make up the 7% of Upper Deck card collectors who happen to be female. She still has boxes full of the carefully protected cards she grew up collecting and we have sat down together and reminisced about our comparable stories of wanting to fit in with the boys.
She still treasures her cards to this day. I do not have such luck. When I was in high school, my parents decided to have a garage sale… Can you see where this is going? Yes, you guessed it! My mother sold my shoebox full of trading cards and memories for a whopping $5. Did I mention she was not a sports fan? I was crushed! After that point, I basically gave up on collecting for some time.
A few years ago I began dating a guy who had collected hundreds of Upper Deck trading cards. On our second date, I mentioned the tragic garage sale incident. I guess I made such a great first impression on our date, because he showed up at my apartment with a handful of trading cards a week later. He gave them to me, and encouraged me to start over and continue collecting cards. Seeing all of them lined up put an enormous smile on my face, which brought back such fond memories of my childhood. It was like my collecting journey had gone full circle.
Every girl wants to fit in with the boys. So one final note for my fellow female fanatics; collecting trading cards is a fantastic way to celebrate memorable moments in sports, support your favorite athletes and teams while you create a bond with important people in your life!
And by the way, if anyone reading this bought some sweet Upper Deck cards at a garage sale for $5 about ten years ago, hit me up, I want them back!!!