Jason Marquis has played in two disciplined systems -- the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. But much earlier, the right-hander learned the disciplines of card collecting. He was a second-generation collector and he took his craft seriously. Fortunately, he still has his collection, which is earmarked to be passed down through the generations.Question: What were your five favorite cards? Jason Marquis: I grew up in New York, so I was a big Yankees fan. I liked Don Mattingly's rookie card from 1985 Donruss. Then it was a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. Also a 1983 Dave Winfield Yankees card. Roger Clemens 1986-87. And probably Jose Canseco, 1987-88. Q: What was your most valuable card? Marquis: I treasure the Mattingly card, but I'd have to say the '89 Griffey Upper Deck is the most valuable I had in terms of monetary value. Q: At what age did you start collecting? Marquis: My dad was a collector growing up. He started me pretty early. Probably around 7 years old. It was my dad's hobby. I loved the game of baseball itself. It was a way to follow baseball players. It was a way to be around the game I liked. I stopped collecting when I was around 15 or 16, when I started doing more baseball traveling myself. There used to be five, six sets. Now there's 50 or 60 different sets. That's too much to keep up with. Q: What was the first card on which you appeared? Marquis: When I got drafted in 1996, the next year there was a Topps set that had draft-pick cards. It was a 1997 Topps. I had an Atlanta Braves hat, top draft picks. Q: Which is more prevalent -- your Braves or Cardinals cards? Marquis: I have a little more Braves cards than Cardinals cards. When you're young, it's a little more new to you and exciting. Wow, your name's on a baseball card. I had to search to get a little more Cardinals cards, talk to my agent or Topps. Q: What was your most unusual experience while collecting? Marquis: I actually lost a 1987 Don Mattingly card, which had decent value to it. We took it out of a set. We wanted to replace it. We had to search for it. One thing about cards, we'd take the valuable ones out and my friends and I used to play all kinds of games with cards. We used to play flips. We had another game where we had a huge stack of cards and we'd take turns putting one in the middle pile at random.
George Castle is a writer for Red Line Editorial, Inc.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.