Tanner Jones: Cardboard Confessions

Some call it Cardboard Crack.

If you don’t collect cards, you may not fully appreciate the hit that our cardboard heroes can provide.  For those of you that do collect, you know exactly what I mean.

It’s that sense of excitement you feel when you open a new pack of cards, anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the contents inside.   Or maybe it’s the rush of pride that comes from finishing off that vintage set or scooping up the last piece of the rainbow you’ve been chasing.  No matter what it is for you, there is something about collecting sports cards that many of us find addicting.

In Confessions Of A Baseball Card Addict, Tanner Jones tells how he bought, sold, and traded his way into the largest Jose Canseco collection in the world.  We get a chance to go along for the ride as he shares the lessons he learned about collecting, and more importantly what he learned about himself throughout the journey.

I was first exposed to Mouschi several years ago through the Blowout Forums.  I’m not sure if it was his writing style, the impressiveness of his Canseco collection, or his sweet, sweet stache that drew me in.  Over time, I found myself having a tremendous amount of respect for him as a collector.  In the summer of 2018, he earned my respect for being the man he is.  

But wait, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.....

Tanner opens the book by telling the tale of the first pack of cards he ever opened.  He goes on to recount several of the childhood collecting experiences that shaped him along the way.  His stories surfaced my own childhood memories.  For instance, I owe my start in collecting to My Grandma and Thad Bosley.  The stories reminded me of the joy I felt sitting around trading cards with my friends, or how I could l come home after a rough day in jr. high and lose myself in a monster box of 1990 Topps.  I couldn’t help but see myself in the pages as I read along.

The 1987 Topps Canseco was found in the first pack of cards Tanner opened.

The 1987 Topps Canseco was found in the first pack of cards Tanner opened.

One of my favorite parts of the book details how Tanner began buying and selling collections which ultimately allowed him to build his collection for free.  When I read that section, I felt like the stars had aligned.  While my copy of the book was still on its way to me, I wrote this post where I shared the satisfaction I feel when I flip my way into a “free” collection.  I mean, it was like Tanner and I were twinsies or something!  But seriously, there are some great strategies that can be found in those pages that many collectors would benefit from.  

He goes on to describe how he had a chance to spend a day at Jose’s house, how he built relationships with other collectors, how he built a reputation and a brand, and ultimately how he built the biggest Canseco collection on the planet.  Those experiences were impressive to say the least.  But it was in the final several chapters, as he described the thought process that went into a major collecting decision (spoiler alert: he sold it, but hey, we kind of already knew that, right?) where I gained a new level of respect for him.

He shares how integrity was important to him as he built the collection, and how his faith shapes his priorities.  As a fellow follower of Jesus, this quote resonated with me. “Many have told me God doesn’t care about baseball cards.  Let me assure you of something.  If it takes your eyes off Him, he absolutely does care about baseball cards.”

You may or may not believe in God, but either way there are lessons to be learned here.  1) Collecting Cards Is Fun 2) Having Character Matters 3) Keep Your Priorities In Check.  

We don’t have a lot to choose from when it comes to books about collecting.  However, In Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict, Tanner delivers a real “home run”.  Ok, that was bad, but I couldn’t resist.      He not only entertains us, but he educates us on this hobby we love.  If you take a step back to reflect, you may even find you learned something about yourself along the way.

If you want be like me and also fund your reading through your card sales, you can get a copy of the book on Ebay here and use your PayPal to pay for it!  

Follow Tanner on Twitter @tanmanbbfan and follow me @TheMikeSommer.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what you have to say in the comments below