Jeff Weaver has had an eclectic career on and off the field. The right-hander has been a World Series hero and appeared on the Jerry Springer Show. As a teenager, he was a serious baseball card collector. Now in his ninth Major League season, Weaver remembers the timeline of his love of cards.
MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you first start collecting?
Weaver: I was 13 or 14. I had gotten cards from Little League games, the Topps pack with gum. I didn't start paying attention until my teenage years. I started seriously in 1989, when it was Upper Deck and Ken Griffey Jr. My buddies would come over and we'd play poker for baseball cards. At times I won. I also paid, too.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How did your collection grow?
Weaver:I dabbled in buying other people's collections, like some of my uncle's buddies who had old sets of cards lying around. They weren't too expensive, because the guys wanted to unload them. They weren't much of collectors. They just happened to have the cards and I played baseball. They had 1960s cards. The condition is what you have to pay attention to. They were in decent shape -- some Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle cards.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Which are your most prized cards?
Weaver: Nolan Ryan rookie and Cal Ripken Jr. rookie.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What is the condition of your collection?
Weaver: They're stored away, all cased up. I'm sure when I'm done, there will be a few more that have value I didn't pick up on. I have a game room going up in the house, so I'm sure all those things will be displayed along the line. They'll be passed on as soon as we get a family going. They're keepsakes and a little piece of you. They were important to you and hopefully they'll be the same to your kids.
MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you first appear on a card?
Weaver: In the Arizona Fall League. I played for the Phoenix Desert Dogs. It was 10 years ago. I've changed quite a bit over the years.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What is your favorite card?
Weaver: Probably the St. Louis card that says "Game 5 winner and World Series hero." They got me with the clenched pump after the inning. It brings back good memories. I can put them both in the trophy case.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.