Collection Detail

wrapper John Grossman Collection cowboy card

John Grossman grew up in a family of collectors, surrounded by all sorts of collectibles; stamps, coins, bubblegum cards, first day covers, dolls, wooden puzzles, board games, mechanical toys, seashells, rocks, fossils, minerals, you name it! In the early 1950s, his father decided that his son needed something “to keep him occupied” during those idyllic summers. This led to Grossman’s first job. While many of his buddies had newspaper routes, he had a lawnmowing route, mowing neighbor’s lawns for $1.25!

Taking that modest income, he joined his mother on her weekly grocery store trips, where he purchased boxes of 5¢ packs of bubblegum cards. Once home, he would open the packs, shove as much of the gum as he could into his mouth and begin sorting and storing these newfound treasures. Flipping cards with friends was a frequent diversion as was trading cards. At some point, Grossman acquired a card much smaller than his baseball cards, featuring a historic picture on one side and In History’s Spotlight title accompanied by a brief narrative captioned DeSoto discovers the Mississippi on the other side. Intrigued by this unusual card, he put it with the rest of the stash where it would remain for a quarter of a century.

Later, while preparing to move to a retirement village, his mother called to say she found his old baseball cards in the attic and asked if he would like them. This led to DeSoto and all the rest coming home to roost. Happy to be reunited with his old friends, Grossman was surprised to find that tucked alongside were Armour Pirate Treasure coins, Church and Dwight soda cards, Good Luck foil Airplanes, Buitoni Figurettes cards, and many other grocery items long forgotten. At this point, Grossman was in his words “hopelessly infected,” a situation that was made worse with his discovery of Jefferson Burdick and the American Card Catalog.

He began attending card shows and within a few years, began setting up at them and meeting new, wonderful people. As time went on, Grossman found himself carrying around other dealer’s wantlists, a perk they reciprocated for him. The thrill of finding “that last card” for a friend combined with the opportunity to learn from many of the giants of the non-sports hobby were a winning combination.

Collectible items in food and cereal were especially attractive to Grossman as they offered such an incredible diversity of content. As time went on, he decided to focus on Burdick F issues since it seemed so few people knew about them and there was always more to learn. Nearly thirty years ago one of his many mentors said, “knowledge that is not shared with those willing to learn has no value.” Grossman was honored to give his collectibles a good home and is excited and hopeful that they will provide their new owners with as much enjoyment as they provided him!

John is an acknowledged contributor to The Sport Americana Price Guides To Non-Sports Cards by Christopher Benjamin ( Published by Edgewater Book Company).

This is Part 3 of what will be a multi-auction offering from this extensive collection.


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