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Resurgence of card collecting bridges generational gap

At one point, card collecting became a hobby of the past, with the thrill of opening up a pack of cards seemingly lost on the younger generation.

CLIVE, Iowa — For some, the love for card collecting began outside of sports.

"I started collecting in 1977 as a young man," saie the Rookie Sports Cards shop owner Anders Olson. "I remember buying packs of non-sport cards back in the day, like Star Wars, got me really excited."

For others, it was certain players that put them on to the hobby.

"In the sixth grade, I started getting back into it," said Alex Wirth, who works at the Rookie. "That was right around the time of Patrick Mahomes."

The Rookie sells sports cards, memorabilia and more in Clive.

Olson and Wirth each represent a different generation of card collectors, but both have the same passion for the hobby.

"The thrill of the hunt or the chase, I really enjoy," Olson said.

"It's cool to see how there's many different perspectives to the hobby," added Wirth. "There's like people who focus more on vintage and people focused more on current stuff, so you get to learn more about players, too."

While the emergence of the digital age seemed to put the hobby on ice for a while, Olson said it's actually played a role in its resurgence as well.

"Social media has really had a huge influence on the hobby," Olson said. "People are able to kind of watch online people opening up boxes of cards and seeing what's coming out of the boxes. So, it brings new collectors to the hobby and then it's also getting people that collected in the past excited about it again."

Just like some of the pieces in this shop, card collecting has proven to be timeless.

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