MADISON, Wis. (BVM) — Beaux Thompson has always loved collecting and trading cards.
“In 1989, I was 7 years old and that’s when the hobby took off for me,” Thompson said. “89 Topps baseball was the set that lit that fire.”
Since then, he has continued to collect cards of all kinds: basketball, football, baseball, wrestling and even cards from “Star Trek” and “Star Wars”. By 2017, he had amassed a collection of one million cards and that’s when he decided to focus his collecting on one goal — collect one million Chicago Cubs cards.
“I have a million cards total,” Thompson said. “Let’s get a million Cubs; that’s a nice milestone. I’m turning in a million cards I don’t want into a million cards I do want.”
A longtime Cubs fan, Thompson traces his fandom to growing up in Illinois where his babysitter’s husband would read the Cubs rosters to him and watch games on WGN.
“Harry Caray and the 1980s Chicago Cubs were the soundtrack of my childhood,” Thompson said.
That love also affected his hobby. Although he has collected many different kinds of cards, Thompson always came back to baseball and specifically the Cubs. The goal of collecting a million Cubs cards just made sense.
The pursuit of collecting a million has led him to creating a website where people can offer him trades, get tips on how to start their own collection and read a blog documenting his journey. He also has a Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channel where he posts videos of
himself opening boxes of cards he has received.
It’s allowed him to share his journey and connect with people who also love card collecting. He has even inspired others to get back into the hobby and start their own collections. However, he is the only collector that is going after a million.
“A lot of collectors who tried it have dropped off just because of the scope,” Thompson said. “It’s pretty large. There are a couple bulk collectors, but nothing like this that I know of.”
Thompson explained that to even attempt what he is doing you have to have the inventory or the money to do it. Even if you’re like him and have the inventory of cards that is necessary to make trades for the desired cards, the shipping costs can also add up. To help offset the costs, he sells cards when he can.
“I think in the last 12 months I’ve sold $10,000 to $15,000 in cards,” Thompson said.
He has even taken advantage of his current living situation to help him attain cards. Living in Madison, Wis. he sometimes will meet other card collector friends and trade them a six pack of craft beer for Cubs cards.
Four years in and Thompson is still going strong. His collection has reached almost half a million and that includes some amazing cards. His favorite card is a Javier Baez high school All-American card, of which there are only around 200. His second-favorite card is his oldest and most valuable — an 1887 Duke Farrel card from when the Cubs were known as the White Stockings.
Nearly halfway done, Thompson thinks it will take him another five years to reach one million. In that time, he will likely add many more rare and valuable cards to his collection. But for him, this project has become so much more than collecting baseball cards.
“Developing relationships that are not just on social media where we actually meet in person and share our love for the hobby has been just amazing,” Thompson said. “Just all the relationships from this, you can’t put a price on that. The journey itself is the most fun; it’s not the end goal, so now it’s something that if I make it in another five years, great, if I don’t, great because I’m just enjoying the ride.”