It is no secret that the trading card hobby has been growing by leaps and bounds. An appreciation for all-things-trading-card has led to growth in all areas of the hobby, including the type of people who collect. If there ever was a stereotypical card collector, that preconceived notion no longer exists. A quick perusal of hobby social media sites reveals collectors young and old, of all nationalities and with every type of interest. In fact, once considered a generally all-male hobby, there is a fair number of female collectors who are actively trading cards and amassing impressive collections themselves. Our hobby has never been more more inclusive, and the diversity of the people collecting a wide variety of cards is a great sign of both strength and stability.
PSA is recognizing women in the hobby by occasionally profiling individuals and their wonderful collections. The first such hobbyist is our own Beth Dumas, a Research Specialist in PSA’s Customer Request Center. If you would like to nominate a female collector to be interviewed for a PSA Blog profile, please email Todd Tobias at [email protected]
PSA: How did you get started in the hobby?
Beth Dumas: “I followed my husband, Joel, into the hobby. We are both big baseball fans, but in 2015 Joel bought a hobby box of 2015 Topps Archives and gave me a couple of packs to open. I was quite taken with the thrill of the hunt ripping packs. That Christmas, Joel gave me a PSA GEM-MT 10 of Mookie Betts’ 2015 Topps card, and I fell in love with the hobby. Who else can say they have the ringtone of a pack being opened on their phone?”
PSA: What is the current scope of your collection and where do you rank on the PSA Set Registry listings?
BD: “My collection is the 1,300 Mookie Betts side of our 2,000 PSA-graded cards. Mookie was just breaking out with the Red Sox in 2015-16 and I requested the Mookie Betts Master Set. It was granted on 12/21/16 – yes I remember the date! I am currently #1 in the Master Set with 87% completion, #1 in the Master Topps set, and #2 in the Basic Set [missing just 1 card]. Most recently, I acquired the toughest card in the Mookie Rookie Set, the 2014 National Treasures Material Signatures, and went from #6 to #1 with all 10s!”
PSA: What do you enjoy most about the hobby?
BD: “I love the Set Registry, which is THE catalyst of my Mookie collection. If a card doesn’t count according to the Registry, I’m less likely to own it, with the exception of printing plates. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt for the tough inserts, serial numbered cards and other ‘shiny baubles.’
“The hobby is a community though. I have met so many good friends through collecting and consider some family. I love learning about other collectors’ interests and their PCs, and the stories our collections tell about each of us.”
PSA: What do you feel is the biggest challenge to women wanting to enter the hobby?
BD: “I think the biggest obstacle to women in the hobby is being intimidated. While the hobby is male dominated right now, knowledge and enthusiasm is universally respected. Like in any business or group, if you’re passionate and educated about your specialty, you’ll be accepted. Collecting is no different. When I was younger, girls didn’t collect cards but I liked looking through my brothers’ collections. It’s different these days for female collectors. More so now than ever, girls and women play sports and are beginning to collect their sports stars, or have grown up playing TCGs like Pokémon, for example. I think the future is even brighter for women in today’s hobby.”
PSA: What is the scope of your job with PSA?
BD: “I am a Research Specialist in our newly formed Customer Request Center. I research sets and cards PSA hasn’t graded previously, tracking down publishing resources. I assist customers with questions about their graded cards, and work with Customer Service, Research, the Set Registry and other departments to deliver a great customer experience.”
PSA: What do you see as the future of your hobby life? Starting new collections? Thinning out what you have? Simply trying to complete your current projects?
BD: “I am hoping to collect Mookie Betts until he gets elected to the Hall of Fame! I am collecting tickets of Mookie’s home runs and other milestones, and have close to 100 tickets in the PSA queue. I get as much joy out of finding a ticket from a hard-to-find game in Kansas City or Tampa Bay as I do in finding a PSA 10 of a Mookie card, and that’s new to me! Looking to the future, I’m keeping my focus on Mookie, while still enjoying oddball treasures.
“I also have a Vermont-related collection, a few Seinfeld related cards, and am working on completing a relatively unknown 1934 John Player’s soccer set.”
PSA: Any last words about your experience or advice to new people wanting to join the hobby?
BD: “I encourage new collectors to collect what they love. Learn from and respect other collectors, and above all else, enjoy the hobby! Having fun is the reason why we collect, whether it be cards, tickets, or memorabilia, so enjoy the journey because you never know where it will lead you. Mine led me to working for PSA, so dreams do come true!”
PSA: Where can people find you on social media?