At Saturday’s Southern California Sports Collectors Show a number of families were in attendance, but one young man found himself diving into the world of pre-war issues. Unlike most kids his age who are buying the latest Apple products and video games, Asher A., 13 of Southern California, has been collecting baseball cards for six years. Collecting on a budget, he has found a way to fund his hobby – purchasing packs of modern cards and selling the ‘hits’.
You would expect a teenager to do most of their transactions on the internet, but Asher frequents Southern California shops and shows. “I like to see the cards,” he said, sounding more like a seasoned collector several times his age. In fact, he has already assembled a collection of several hundred pre-war vintage cards including numerous examples from T206, as well as 1935 Goudey 4-in-1, T213 Coupon, and even 19th century examples from N172 Old Judge.
A fan of the Anaheim Angels, he would much rather own a card of the legendary Roberto Clemente than any of the stars he has seen perform in person. Clemente, along with Jackie Robinson, is among the players favored by his father, who maintains a small collection of his own comprised of players be views as role models for his children.
In his spare time – if such a thing exists for today’s teenagers – Asher is an accomplished baseball player. A four time all-star, he recently participated in a tournament in Cooperstown, New York, which is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Seemingly always one step ahead with his collection and his athleticism, he has even begun practicing with the local high school team, despite the fact he only just recently turned 13!
The T206 back craze has not escaped him either. He counts the Cycle back as his favorite. A true purist, he based this preference on aesthetics rather than rarity.
A collector of Hall of Famers as well as commons, the famed Yankee manager Miller Huggins, then pictured as a National Leaguer, is currently the favorite T206 in his collection.
“They look cooler. There’s more history to them,” Asher said, explaining his preference for the century old tobacco cards, compared to the modern issues.
Ever the optimist when asked which T206 he would someday like to own he could give but one answer: