Every aficionado has their TV show favorites—food lovers have cooking shows, motorheads have shows about cars, while animal lovers can pick between a variety of options for content on their furry friends.
But what about sports card collectors? Every once in a while, a show like Pawn Stars or Storage Wars features an episode where a haul of rare cards are found in a storage locker or brought into the store–but an entire show devoted to cards? Collectors in the past have been left with searching YouTube for content or taping an episode that features cards, but have traditionally had nothing on nationally-broadcast TV to appease that focuses on the hobby they love.
The Card Life was set to debut Thursday night on Bally Sports and MASN and features San Diego Padres pitcher Matt Strahm, who travels around America to visit hobby shops. When he’s not working on developing nasty breaking pitches, Strahm scours the area for cards he can find to add to his extensive collection at local stores. With the amount of travel professional athletes endure, it’s the perfect side hustle for Strahm.
The 29-year-old lefty has spent 2021 rehabbing from off-season knee surgery and the show has given him something else to focus on as he prepares to return to pitching. The first show was shot in Arizona, not far from the Padres’ home base.
Each 30-minute episode will focus on a new store and the individuals who run them. Expect plenty of on-air breaks of high-end products as Strahm goes from state-to-state in search of his next big hit. Strahm even has a YouTube channel called “Strahm’s Stadium Pulls” that features the southpaw from North Dakota breaking packs and busting boxes.
“We wanted to make a show that’s accessible for non-collectors, so that all sports fans can really understand why the hobby is so special,” says Strahm. “Sports cards aren’t nearly as niche as they were 10 or 20 years ago, and I think The Card Life really showcases all the exciting ways they’ve evolved.”
The first episode will also be shown in Strahm’s home market (San Diego) on Friday after the Padres postgame show. The first episode traces Strahm’s roots in collecting and how his love for the hobby developed. It will also feature Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon who is also an avid collector. There is also a segment of the show that features Strahm’s hunt for the 1990 Topps Blackless error cards that have become a recent phenomenon.
Episodes will air approximately once per month, but could become more frequent if the demand dictates it.
The Card Life
presented by @LoupeTheApp
Hosted by @MattStrahm
— TheCardLifeTV (@TheCardLifeTV) June 18, 2021
The show will also be featured on the Loupe App, which offers live breaks, access to new products and other hobby-related content.
“As Loupe becomes a bigger part of card collecting, we’re committed to using that influence to cast a positive light on the hobby,” says Doty. “We want to show new audiences that sports cards are thriving and that they’re and important part of local communities. We think that Matt Strahm and his enthusiastic approach to the hobby will be the perfect fit for people to rediscover their love for sports cards.”
The show also will offer collecting advice and even tips for the newcomer to the hobby such as how to get into a break and how they work. It was pioneered by producer/director Brandon Verzal, who also is the co-founder of V2 Content. The show is geared towards both the lifetime collector and new enthusiast– but one thing is certain—Strahm is in it for the love of the hobby, not the profit from a flip.
“I’m not a flipper,” Strahm told Verzal, “I’ve never sold a card in my entire life. It’s all about collecting. It’s all about the hobby.”
There’s another TV show in the works focused on the sports memorabilia auction business.