Suffering from chronic arthritis for half of his life, Jefferson Burdick probably suffered more than most men. The Father of American Card Collecting didn’t let his everyday struggles keep him down for long. He was too busy.
Burdick, whose dogged pursuit of information about baseball cards from every era led him to amass a huge collection, which he donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early 1960s. It’s still there–missing a few that were stolen over the years.
Burdick catalogued his collection in albums that were full of the cards he pasted into them. No one cared back then about condition, really. Not enough to let it stand in the way of organization anyway.
Burdick managed to finish just months before his death in 1963.
It’s a fascinating tale and the New York Times offers more details on Burdick’s life, his collection and those he met along the way.