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Q&A with Matt Strahm: A Conversation with Phillies Pitcher and Host of The Card Life

PJ Kinsella

PJ Kinsella in Q&A With REA
Aug 09 — 4 mins read

In our first pro athlete Q&A with REA, we had the pleasure of chatting with Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher, hobby enthusiast and the host of The Card Life TV Matt Strahm. He takes us into some of the early days of his collecting, how becoming a Major Leaguer and television show host has impacted his love of the hobby, and some things we can look forward to from The Card Life TV in the near future.

What was the first card you ever added to your collection? What has been the most valuable card you've ever owned and the card that has the most sentimental value to you?

The first card that I remember adding to my collection as a kid was a 1991 Topps Traded #54 Rick Helling Team USA card and the reason I was excited to get that card was because he was from Fargo, North Dakota, which is the neighboring town of West Fargo, where I’m from. As far as the most valuable card that I’ve ever owned, I’m a bit of a pack rat so I open a lot of modern card packs and have a lot of current players. But the most valuable one that I have right now is probably a Bobby Witt 2022 Topps Chrome Sapphire Red Rookie Auto 1/5. The card that holds the most sentimental value, other than any of my own, is a 2020 Topps Baseball Finest Flashbacks Pete Alonso 1/1 Superfractor that I pulled in one of my first sessions on Stadium Pulls when I was in San Francisco.

Since you've become a Major Leaguer, do you have a favorite card of yourself? And is there one that you wish you could do over?

Out of all of the cards of myself, my favorite would have to be one of the Topps Sapphire one of fives. I have two of those. As far as ones that I’d prefer to do over, I’ve never been a big fan of the cards that photoshopped new jerseys on me, such as some of the 2018 Padres cards and some of this year’s Phillies cards.

The hobby has reached a very interesting point with online breaking, social media and streaming platforms playing a much larger role, yet the vintage sector remains strong. What are some of your predictions for the hobby in the next three years?

The hobby is in a pretty good spot right now. As far as the online breaking community goes, I still think that there’s a better way we can be approaching that instead of what we’re seeing now, particularly with the switching of certain big hits. But it’s still a great thing for the hobby and there are still a few wrinkles to iron out but overall the hobby is going strong and I think it’s only going to get stronger from here.

You're starting your own trading card collection from scratch and you get to choose any five cards from hobby history to start your collection (can be baseball or any other sport or even non-sport). What five cards are you choosing?

I would start with the T206 Honus Wagner, and then I’d include a 1952 Mickey Mantle, a 1979 Topps Wayne Gretzky rookie, as well as a LeBron James numbered rookie card and a Tom Brady rookie auto.

Tell us about how you got involved with The Card Life TV and what some of your favorite moments have been as the host of the program? How can people watch the show?

The concept of The Card Life TV started when Brandon Verzal, the producer of the show, reached out after seeing my Stadium Pulls episodes on YouTube. He asked me if I was interested in hosting the show and it was a no-brainer for me. I’ve had a lot of good memories shooting The Card Life so far. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some great people, hear some fantastic stories about their collections and their journeys and I’ve been able to learn a lot from all of these interactions. To be able to see what everyone collects and what they look for has been very interesting to me. The Dallas episode where we opened up a box of 1997 basketball cards and we ended up hitting a Kobe Bryant Minted second-year card was very cool. We also hit a Mike Trout auto one of twenty-five when the show was filming in Seattle.

If you’d like to watch the show, it airs more than 400 times every month on 27 regional sports networks across the U.S. It’s worth a watch!