First and foremost, I am a lifelong Phillies fan, due in large part to my father (the star high-school athelete) and watching Sunday afternoon baseball games at my grandparent's house. I clearly remember my first trip to Veterans Stadium in South Philly in the mid-seventies. Seeing the sun light up that bright green astroturf is something I'll never forget.
I somehow acquired a handful of cards from a neighborhood kid and forgot about them until we moved and a new friend said he had baseball cards. A lifelong passion was born in 1980 when we started trading and building that set one pack at a time. The only place to get the cards was the local Genuardi's grocery store. We hit that place up everytime we had $1.06 (4 packs at 25 cents, plus tax). A trip to my aunt and uncle's house in Willingboro, NJ netted an elusive Warren Cromartie from a pack purchased at a convenience store. Steve Garvey was the last card that I needed to complete that set. Had to buy that one from a new card shop that had opened up a few towns down the road. Didn't get it until 1982.
Then we tried our hands at 1980 Topps football, but money was tight and by spring 1981 I couldn't afford to collect the '81 baseball set. Never even got a Joe Montana rookie.
Since 1982 I have collected every Topps base and update set; mostly factory sets after 1987. My father-in-law was cool enough to get me a complete 1981 set for Christmas a few years back after hearing that it was only set I was missing. I have complete sets of 1989-1992 Upper Deck, mixed in with a few Fleer, Donruss, Score, Stadium Club sets, but with the onslaught of so many cards being produced back then, it just got to be too much. I changed direction. Phillies team sets became my concentration.
The 1950-60s are a work in progress. The 1970-1990 team sets are mostly complete. There are still a few holes that need filling. One thing that brought me to this site was to prove that a 1994 Pinnacle Run Creator of John Kruk actually existed! The 2000's are sparse as I had other priorities; wife, children, house payments. Thanks to the 2008 World Champion Phillies it became time to get back into the hobby again.
If that weren't enough, I am also collecting World Series and All-Star Game MVPs from the year following their MVP performances.