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Q&A with REA: The Sports Card Dad

PJ Kinsella

PJ Kinsella in Q&A With REA
Jun 07 — 4 mins read

Dustin Cooley launched The Sports Card Dad channel in 2020, and has become a trusted voice across the hobby ever since. He loves discussing the intricacies of card collecting and how the hobby is evolving. And while football cards are his bread and butter, he’s passionate about all areas of collecting. He spoke with REA President Brian Dwyer about our Spring Catalog in April and other major developments in the hobby. Now it’s our turn to pose the questions to The Sports Card Dad in this Q&A with REA.

How did you get into collecting and what were some of the first cards that you owned? 

My first stint into card collecting was in 1988 when I was 7 years old with 1988 Donruss baseball cards. I quickly graduated on to football cards, mainly 1989 Pro Set where I was chasing Barry Sanders, Troy Aikman, and Deion Sanders rookie cards. I continued until 1994-'95 before pursuing other interests as a teenager.

You have nearly 19,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel and have become a strong voice in the hobby. How did The Sports Card Dad brand get started and what are your aspirations for the channel moving forward? 

I got back into the collectibles hobby in 2018 and was really enjoying re-connecting with my youth. However, none of my friends locally were into cards or collectibles and so I was looking to collaborate with other like-minded people that loved this stuff too. I first started talking about a YouTube channel towards the end of 2019, but kept on putting it off until March 2020 when the pandemic hit, and I was out of excuses. As far as future aspirations for the channel, I would just like to see continued growth and positive impact. I have received many private messages from people over the years talking about how the channel has helped provide entertainment and a getaway from the daily trials of life. This makes me happy and keeps me motivated. 

What are some of the things you'd like to see done in the industry to help younger collectors and children more enthusiastic about the hobby? 

Specifically, when it comes to young people and the marketing towards kids, I would like to see more of a focus around collecting, as opposed to the big 'hit' in the break. In other words, I'm not a fan of promoting sports betting and gambling to kids. I would like to see more of an appreciation around less valuable cards as great 'starter' cards for young people. Most kids are into cards because they have a favorite team or player. Let's have the focus be around that, as opposed to speculating on future values. The speculating part is for adults.

You're a big football card collector. If you were able to create your own Football Card Ring of Honor, what would be the first five cards that you would include and why? 

This one is really tough because there are so many great cards. I'm going to keep this list to more 'post war and modern' cards. Players like Jim Thorpe are obvious legends. 

1) 1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Card - Maybe the most important post-war football card. Many consider Brown to be the best all-around player ever. 

2) 1957 Topps Bart Starr Rookie Card - Winner of the 1st Super Bowl with Vince Lomardi and the legendary Packers franchise.

3) 1989 Score Barry Sanders Rookie Card - I'm biased here as this was the number one football chase card when I was growing up. 

4) 1981 Topps Joe Montana Rookie Card - The GOAT before Tom Brady took the GOAT crown 

5) 2000 Playoff Contenders Champion Ticket Auto Tom Brady Rookie Card - Probably the most important modern football card (and one that will be in REA’s Summer Catalog Auction in a BGS MINT 9 with a GEM 10 signature)

For someone who wants to get into the hobby but isn't sure where to start, what are your suggestions on where and how to start their collecting journey? 

Be very patient with yourself starting out. It takes time to really learn the ins and outs of the hobby, and collecting tastes change over time. There has never been so much variety of sports card content on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and other social channels than there is now. I would advise listening to a large variety of people in the hobby, and drawing your own conclusions.

You can subscribe to The Sports Card Dad YouTube channel and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.