While growing up in South Florida as a Marlins fan, Matt Murton yearned to become a ballplayer and fed his dreams by collecting baseball cards. The Cubs' second-year outfielder recently took some time to talk about his card-collecting habits.
MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you start collecting cards?
Murton: I was probably about 6, 7, 8 years old. My parents would buy a pack of cards with the bubble gum in it, and I'd enjoy taking them apart. Around 11, 12, 13, I started getting more involved in going to the card shops and picking up cards I wanted. Ken Griffey Jr. was one of the guys I wanted. I have Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards. I lived in Florida when the Marlins started. I lived 25, 30 minutes from the (Dolphin) stadium (in Broward County). The first game I ever saw was down in that stadium. I collected the Marlins team sets. I have Jeff Conine's and Charlie Hough's cards. I'm keeping that set. The enjoyment of watching the game of baseball was best, and it was fun to go out to the park, see the players and try to get some autographs.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How big is your collection?
Murton: I probably have in the low thousands in number of cards. And I probably have 10, 15, 20 Ken Griffey cards. They're in albums. Those that are not in the albums are in card holders that have like 100 cards.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Do those cards mean more as a keepsake than their cash value?
Murton: To me, those are memories I have of being a kid, enjoying watching the game and collecting my favorite players. The trading you'd do with other guys. It was more of a memory than anything. They're a keepsake. They're up in the house ... up in the closet and I pull them out every once in awhile. Down the road, when I have kids, I'll probably pass them along to them.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Which was your first pro card?
Murton: My first card was in Lowell, Mass. I signed July 8, 2003. The first couple of weeks, they came out to the field and took some shots. They were posed, so they looked a little bit faked. Other than that, it was cool because it was my first card, and I was proud of it.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How do you like your big-league poses?
Murton: I've seen them, and I like the action shots, diving into a base or catching a fly ball, or taking a swing. No whiffing -- that's not allowed!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.