Hobby Musings: Catching Up With Graham Elliot – Chef Graham Elliot is known for his impressive skills in the culinary world. He’s also become known to the collecting community for his affinity for trading cards. Showing some pictures on his social media accounts, Mr. Elliot has amassed quite an impressive collection. He was kind enough to take some time to talk about his love of the hobby. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: Mr. Elliot, how did you get started with collecting cards in the first place?
GE: As long as I can remember, I’ve been in love with baseball and cards especially. I’d say my collection kicked into high gear when I moved back to the states from the Philippines in 1989. I used to go through tons of notebooks designing my own cards as I dreamed of working for Topps one day.
KS: Overall, why would you say you continue to be involved with trading cards?
GE: Honestly, I’m in a better spot financially to acquire the cards I’ve always longed for. To be able to hold a piece of art that’s over a century old that someone held onto and passed down through the years is highly romantic and beautiful.
KS: As of today, what do you primarily like to collect?
GE: Vintage, pre-war, 1880s through late 1960s. There are also a few cards such as the 1989 Upper Deck Griffey, 1990 Leaf Thomas, 1992 Donruss Elite Ripken (signed) that I’ve always loved that I now buy in bulk and hoard.
KS: I know it may be hard to pick, but do you have a favorite item in your collection?
GE: Here’s my list of cards I covet the most:
- 1888 N-162 Goodwin Champions Cap Anson
- 1909 E-101 Christy Mathewson
- 1911 T-206 Ty Cobb
- 1914 Cracker Jack Mordecai Brown
- 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig
- 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #149
- 1941 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio
- 1947 Bond Bread Jackie Robinson
- 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
- 1954 Johnson’s Cookies Hank Aaron
- 1959 Hoshi Gangu Sadaharu Oh
- 1992 Team Pinnacle Frank Thomas
- 1960 Hemmets Muhammad Ali
KS: Is there a specific piece you’re hoping to eventually add to it?
GE: 1934 Zeenut PCL Joe DiMaggio and 1922 American Caramel Babe Ruth
KS: Being someone who is well known, do you feel that has helped or hindered your collecting efforts?
GE: Interesting question: I would say my brand is obviously associated with the kitchen, cooking shows etc., so I tend to have to focus on that aspect of my life, which is why I started a different Instagram account (grahamslamcards) so as not to flood my social media with card photos!
KS: You were featured on one of Topps First Pitch cards a few years ago. How did you react when you found out you were getting your own card?
GE: I almost cried with joy and excitement, no lie. I probably purchased a couple hundred on eBay as I planned to use them as business cards. Side note: I was just contacted the other day and will have my own card coming out this year, but can’t say what.
KS: I would assume something that comes with your own card is being asked to sign it. Overall though, what is the strangest thing you have ever been asked to autograph?
GE: I had a guy ask me to sign his chest, like a rockstar type of thing. Pretty damn weird, but hey, at least he was a fan.
KS: If a fan was hoping to get your autograph on your card or another item, what would be the best way of doing so?
GE: It’s easiest to reach out to me through my website, www.grahamelliot.com. Same as when you write to a player, just send the card and a SASE and we’re good.
For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.
Hobby Musings: Catching Up With Graham Elliot
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