As I've referenced a few times in my blog postings, I've re-entered the world of collecting sports cards. It's a hobby that I took seriously until my senior year in high school and got away from for about 11 years. A few things have changed in that decade. Most notable: The death of the card shop.

With eBay and the internet came the inevitable closing of the card collector's sanctuary. For some collectors, you can think of the card shop as a clubhouse for swapping stories and sharing their latest pulls (cards opened in packs). Many cities much larger than Dubuque, IA don't have card shops anymore.

Many of the card shop owners have decided to exclusively deal their cards online. Not Dave Orr though. Dave owns Tri-State Baseball Cards and has kept his doors open. Sure, Dave uses resources online to sell cards, but I know Dave also appreciates the value of having a shop.  Why? Because this isn't JUST a business. It's a passion. For Dave, seeing a boy open a pack and pull his favorite player or having a 20-something guy come into his store with a smile from ear-to-ear while reminiscing about his latest addition to his collection is half the fun.

My hometown in Rochester, MN had two card shops when I was growing up. Today? None. I hope that Dave and his family keep the doors open at Tri-State Baseball Cards for many years so that I can take my kids in there and create memories for them. What does online have to offer for parent-kid bonding experiences? Showing them how to place a bid on eBay?! No thanks.

Card collecting has evolved so much over the years and I feel confident it will continue to change form in the future. Technology has definitely done some nice things for card collectors, but the loss of card shops is one thing that can't be replaced.

And, this goes without saying but I'll type it anyway, stop into Tri-State Baseball Cards at 3330 Asbury Rd if you're looking to start or expand your collection!