The Backstory

Welcome to BallOut Cards

I started this blog on July 18, 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis and at the peak of the Covid card craze. It so happens, that on the same day I started my blog, a Lebron James rookie would set the record sale for a basketball card, with a price of $1.845M. What timing.

This basketball card blog started mostly out of boredom and I think I was driving my wife insane without any outlets for my ‘creative energy’. However, I also wanted to feature and write about all types of basketball cards, not just the ones that sold in the six-figure range.

But after I wrote a blog post or two, I started thinking about how I became interested in collecting basketball cards in the first place.

It started initially because my dad loved basketball and introduced me to the sport as a baby. No joke, there are pictures of me as an infant with a basketball in my crib and there is a great shot of fat baby me on Kevin McHale’s shoulders after my dad went to see the Celtics practice. So my focus on basketball came from my father.

However, it was really my two grandfathers that led me down the path of basketball card collecting, and for two totally different reasons. One was a WWII vet who used to have a million dollar collection, and the other was a Harvard Business School grad who knew how to spot business opportunities when others overlooked them.

Lefty’s Card Collection

I know my initial interest in card card collecting developed after I heard my one grandfather (“Lefty”) tell me a story about how he used to collect baseball cards prior to WWII. According to him, he had a collection that would have been worth well over one million dollars today. We’re talking Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, maybe even the Honus Wagner card… but who knows.

Anyway, after Lefty went off to war, he heard some of his buddies talk about how some of the cards he knew he owned might be worth a decent chunk of change, even back then. When he got back from Germany, he asked his mom where she had moved his shoebox full of cards. Unfortunately, she told Lefty she thought it was just junk and threw it out.

Jack’s Business Sense

My other grandfather, Jack, ran his own business in upstate New York and was great at investing in the stock market. I remember him sitting in his office from time to time with a nature show on TV and a Wall Street Journal on his desk, and he’d be reading about how businesses he liked were performing. He was my own personal Warren Buffet growing up.

He never really talked business with me much as a kid, but sometimes I’d ask him some question about one business or another and he’d have a Buffet-esque response ready for me. He seemed to always be thinking of value and how things would do in the long term. So as a kid, and now as an adult, I’ve tried to do the same.

Love for the hobby started early

So if you take a kid who has one grandfather who had an epic baseball card collection, and another grandfather who had an eye for value, you create a young collector with a healthy appetite to create his own epic collection.

As a kid, almost every dollar earned from chores, caddying, shoveling snow, and whatever other odd job I could find went to the card and comic store in the town next door so that I could invest in basketball cards. I loved everything about buying cards, from the smell of opening a new pack, the rush of pulling a card of one of my favorite players, and tracking my cards like stocks in monthly Becketts, with the hope that my favorite basketball cards would someday be worth millions.

I still have a long way to go.

So while I plan to cover a very wide range of basketball cards, I also plan to write about cards from two different perspectives: the collector and the investor. The collector, being more in line with Lefty’s motives of buying cards for the fun of it, and the investor, being more focused on card price performance, like Jack. And there you have it, a basketball card blog is born.

But a blog is only as good as the people who read it, so if you’re an avid collector or just someone who has an interest in basketball cards, I’d love to hear from you. If you have a topic of interest, please send me a note and either I’ll cover it myself or I’ll give you the honor of posting your own card review on Ballout.

Thanks for reading and for your support!