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My Rapid Growth in The Hobby

Updated: 4 days ago

I’m not a new collector, but quite the opposite. Collecting is in my DNA. I grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and my father Jerry was a huge collector of baseball cards during the infamous junk wax era. My earliest memories are of me lying on my belly next to my father on the living room floor, with either a “Brew Crew” or “Cubbies” game on the television. We had a pile of cards in front of us, and my father was thumbing through the latest issue of Beckett magazine looking up the current value of each card. My father entrusted me to carefully stick the cards into plastic sleeves in his binders, and add the glorious fluorescent colored garage sale stickers to the outside of each sleeve with the card's value on them. Those father/daughter memories are the ones I cherish the most. Like most people in the hobby; I grew up and my focus changed. I became a rebellious teenage girl, and then a young mother. Life took me in a different direction, and my childhood love for the hobby came to an end. That was until COVID stopped the world in its tracks.

My husband Sascha has collected sports cards off and on for his entire life. I knew of his collection, but never had the opportunity to experience it, because it was always stored away neatly in a closet. I didn’t realize how extensive and diverse his collection was until he brought it out when he was looking for things to occupy him while we were home together during lockdown. His collection consumed him. His focus started to shift from me, to him researching cards daily and watching videos that related to the hobby. I became jealous, because I wasn’t getting the attention I felt I deserved. I tried to avoid it, but curiosity started to creep in. The memories of my childhood, and my desire to win back my husband's attention easily convinced me to participate in what he was doing. I came up with the perfect plan. I knew that if I could get my husband to start talking to me about the hobby by asking him questions, his attention would be diverted. So, I started secretly watching the same YouTube videos, and started asking him questions about different card parallels, different brands, about players in his PC, and about his childhood memories of the hobby. This created the conversation I desired. My plan was working, the focus was now on me, and we were becoming a team! 

Months had passed and COVID was reaching its end. We were once again able to experience the world outside of our home. My husband and I took a long, two hour backroad drive to Fredericksburg, Texas to get some good German food. During this drive we started talking about the hobby, and my desire to have my own PC. He was quizzing me about different parallels and inserts, different grading companies, and asked me about what players I thought I wanted for my PC. He was so impressed with how far I had come, and how much knowledge I had acquired in such a short period of time. It was at that moment that he decided his childhood collection would become ours. I explained to him that it would be awesome to share our collection with the world. He agreed, and I came up with the concept of starting an Instagram to feature it. That's how Jenny Marie Sports Cards began. Like everything I do in life, I went into it guns blazing. I posted pictures everyday, and even though it went slow at first, and the content and creativity wasn’t that great, I started to gain some traction. Yet as I grew in confidence and learned more and more about the hobby, my follower count grew. I quickly surpassed my first goal of 500 followers. This gave me even more motivation to push myself further. I started heading up to the Dallas Card Show by myself, and started buying my own cards. I started collecting Jordan Love, Klay Thompson, Bo Jackson, and Josh Jung. I started sending in my own cards to get graded, and enjoyed revealing the grades on my page when I got them back. All these things gave me a purpose and a new focus. I was hooked.

     When I started this journey a few years ago, I could have never imagined being where I am today. I have always been introverted, shy and have always struggled with self confidence issues. I remember how nervous I felt the first time I was asked to be a guest on someone's podcast, and now I’m the co-host of The Every Other Week Cardboard Show. I’ve become stronger with every guest appearance, and my confidence is rising every single day. I’m living my mantra of always trying things even if they seem scary. I never look away from opportunities, and I’m not afraid to try new things. I know when I’m 90 years old, sitting in my rocking chair on my front porch reflecting on life, I won’t have any regrets. Who would have imagined that my desire to divert my husband's attention towards me, has changed me into who I am today. I am thankful for this wonderful hobby, and all that it has done for me.     


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