Photo by Trevor Macculley
If you are ready to forgive Lurker Lou for ruining skateboarding, he’s been working on a pretty cool project entitled Card Boards. Rather than allowing childhood baseball cards to collect dust and tossing old boards by the curb, Lou combined the two into a collection for the entire Major League. He has a show this Saturday featuring all the boards, so we spoke to him about how Card Boards came to fruition.
Everyone has a story about how they first got into collecting things as a kid. How did you get into baseball cards?
My dad was into baseball throughout his life. He was born in 1947 and collected during the forties and fifties. When he went to college, his mom threw out his collection.
Baseball card collecting got hot again in the eighties. I had a brother who was five years older than me, and when he was eight or nine, my dad started buying him all these cards. By the time I started at six or seven, he was already over them. I got all my brother’s cards and went from there. The eighties were sort of the peak of collecting cards.
Why was it the peak?
All the baby boomers, like my dad, were in their forties. They didn’t want you to just throw them away like they did. That’s why they became rare, because no one thought to hold onto them when they first got big in the forties and fifties.
My dad had a liquor store and he would carry baseball cards there. He’d buy boxes for me at wholesale, like as a treat when I got As on my report card. We’d take the good ones, put them aside and make team sets. At 11 years old, I started skating, and completely left anything having to do with baseball or cards behind. Card collecting was on its way out anyway. The market got over saturated.
How’d you decide to start making boards with cards twenty years down the line?
I was bored, going through old stuff in maybe winter 2012. An old roommate had left a bunch of cards behind. He had Shawn Kemp rookie cards, Gretzkys and other shit. I wanted to get rid of the cards to make back some of the money this dude owed me. I went onto Beckett.com, which was the website of this monthly magazine that would tell you card prices back in the day. The cards are worth nothing. A mint condition 1987 Gretzky is maybe $8-16. I wasn’t going to go through the trouble of selling some cards for $10.