My name is Jon and I'm addicted to the FF. This card has gotten me back into card collecting twice. Like many kids, I collected cards at the age of 7. 1980 Topps Baseball and Football. I successfully quit (the first time) when I turned 10. Lawn mowing money was better spent at the arcade and on cassette tapes.
January 1989 brought out my inner 7 year-old. Saw the news about a baseball card with a bad word printed on it. Thought about how cool it would've been to find something like that in 1980. Had to have it! Bought about a dozen '89 wax packs. Nothing. Went to a nearby card show the following weekend and saw it, in person, for the first time. Walked out with the card in hand and $20 lighter in the wallet. I was back to collecting. Luck led me to a job at a local card shop. It was the most amazing job ever for a 16-18 year-old. I worked a few hours after school and on weekends. Got paid to sort, price, and handle cards. I talked sports for hours while playing with cards! 1989-91, the height of the craze. Collected FF versions, Griffeys and began finishing off a '59 Topps set (courtesy of my uncle). College provided that much needed 2nd break from collecting. I had no money and the card industry was changing. Overproduced and overpriced.
A few years after graduating, this wonderful thing called eBay (along with the internet) was invented. WOW. Now it was easy to see pictures of cards - many I had never seen before. I was trading '59s with a guy 2000 miles away on a monthly basis. It didn't take long to finish that set. eBay brought me back to the FF card also. One seller in particular was buying and selling versions within versions of the '89 Fleer Ripken. Versions that I knew existed, but were never recognized by the price guides or grading companies as being unique. This guy (Hello Donovan) brought that passion back to collecting. I dug up my old FF cards. Missing a few pieces that I once had. We shared stories, swapped theories, traded cards and decided to make a website together. This card needed its own website and in 2006 it happened.
Crazy as it sounds, not a year has gone by that 'something new' hasn't been found. Ultra rare versions, versions never confirmed, versions showing on packs, sheets, proofs, props, autographs, misprints etc. The worldwide web has brought FF collectors from around the world together. I've made many friends. The FF will always be the center of my collection. I try other cards to collect from time to time, but always end up back at the FF. Too often, finding a $5 card of a rare version (that 99.999% of collectors would deem a $5 card or less) brings more joy than acquiring a vintage Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth. The true FF collectors toast moments like these!
Special thanks to everyone that has done research and provided valuable information in the past - to today's blogs and message boards. I still get the occasional email from someone with valuable information - from former employees to random collectors.
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org