It all started in 1987 in an Atlanta area grocery store. I was 10 years old and my family was on a road-trip to see the Braves play the Cardinals. As most impulse buys go, there was no reason for me to want, much less need, a rack-pack of 1987 Donruss. But on that day, at that moment, and because my Dad wouldn't buy me the Blueberry Hubba-Bubba, I decided that my life depended on that pack. Dad relented, and thus began my love affair with the hobby. For those that care, I pulled a Bo Jackson and a Dale Murphy Diamond King.
Over the next 8 years, I built a rather large collection of what would later turn out to be the equivalent of a peanut butter jar full of nickels. That soured me severly on the hobby. That and the fact that I could spend allowance after allowance buying boxes of 88 Donruss and still never pull that freakin' Gregg Jefferies and yet would own 25 Mackey Sassers and 30 Gary Thurmans. High prices and inserts that only the people pictured in Beckett ever pulled compounded the frustration. I subsequently quit the hobby before I left for college in 1995, certain that it was the hobby that had left me behind, and not the opposite.
Then in April of 2005, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won the National Men's Basketball Championship. I was (and am) in love with the play and players of that team. A couple of months later, the Charlotte Bobcats selected both Raymond Felton and Sean May in the draft. As I innocently strode the aisles of Target a month later, I was again struck with an impulse buy. . . . a pack of 05-06 Press Pass Basketball with Williams pictured on the pack. I didn't pull my tail out of that pack, but it didn't matter. I had been bitten by the bug again.
And here I stand again, full circle. Hoping that I can finally pull that Jefferies.