Thursday, March 13, 2014

Q & A with Mark Hoyle

In just a few short months, Mark Hoyle has made a name for himself in the blog world, without running a blog. Very impressive! Each day, it seems, a blogger is showing off some vintage goodness Mark sent along. He's an active reader, commenter, and trader, and has built some great relationships along the way.

My first interaction with Mark was an unsolicited email he sent me, saying that he'd like to contribute to my 2-year-old son's HOF collection. Mark sent an incredibly generous package of cards for Joey, knocking off a bunch of HOFers that he didn't have yet. Since then, Mark has sent four or five other packages, most recently this amazing 1956 Topps Jerry Coleman. I've tried sending Mark a bunch of Red Sox cards he may have missed while he was away from collecting, but I can assure you the cards he has sent me far outweigh what I've passed along to him.

While Mark has yet to start up a blog, I wanted to give him a forum to give other bloggers and collectors a little more info about himself. We kicked around a guest post or two, but landed on a Q & A for now. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about Mark and his collection!

The Lost Collector: More and more, I see your name popping up on various collecting blogs. What’s your impression of this “card blogging world” we’ve got going on?
Mark Hoyle:  I found out about the blogging world by accident. I was looking for a few '75 Topps cards, I googled "75 Topps baseball" and a blog was one of the first things to pop up. I think I sat there and read the whole blog start to finish. I looked on the side bar and saw hundreds more. For the first 6 months I just read a bunch of them. Slowly I stated commenting. Eventually inquired about some trades. I think Marcus (all the way to the backstop) or Brad (sox fan in Nebraska ) were my first two trades.
Before reading the blogs I was strictly a set collector. Being a Red Sox fan I would always pick up a Sox card if I found one but I wasn't just a team collector. After seeing how a lot of guys collected just one team. I decided to finish off my sets that were close to completion and then concentrate on Sox cards from every other set I could.
I've had correspondence with many bloggers and it has been all positive. Guys go out of there way to help other collectors. I am blown away at the generosity of the guys out there. It's a very cool thing going on. There are a lot of great bloggers and I appreciate the time they all take to write and produce their blogs. It has opened my eyes to different ways to collect and many great new cards.

TLC: When did you start collecting?
MH: I started collecting in 1969. My mother worked at the only store in town that sold cards. I always got the first packs. In the early 70's they were 10 cents a pack. With my mother discount I could get 11 packs for a buck. One hundred and ten cards for a buck. I collected all four major sports.

TLC: Tell us a little about your collection? You once mentioned to me complete Red Sox teams sets from the 50’s-70s. Do you strictly chase team sets, or do you have any complete sets?
MH:  I have complete Topps sets from 74-95. Working on completing the 71,72 and 73 sets now. Have complete Sox Topps sets from 51-95. Except for the high number 52's. 
Bought factory sets of all he other major brands through the 80's and early 90's.
I think I need six 49 Bowmans and the 54 Williams and my Sox Bowman sets are complete.
Have completed Sox sets for 52-55 Redman, 61-63 Post, complete Kellogg's and Hostess Sox sets, complete sets of 1969 MLB photo stamps, 71 Dell stamps, 69 fleer hat Plaques. Probably 90% of all the Topps Redsox inserts and test sets from 60 thru the 80's.
Working on the Goudey, Diamond Stars and Playball sets now. About 80% complete. Have a bunch of Exhibit cards and some miscellaneous other sets, 48 swell sport thrills, 49 leaf, 43 mp and co.,47 bond bread. Many other oddballs.
TLC: As with many of us, you collected, left the hobby, and returned. What made your stop collecting, and eventually return?
MH: I think the same thing made me stop is the same reason most otter guys stopped. Went to college got out started working and raising a family. I had two boys who collected. I would always pick up something whenever I took them to get cards. I started back seriously collecting about 1 1/2 years ago when my grandson started to get into the hobby.
TLC: You were gone for quite a while. What have you thought of all the new cards that have popped up since your time away?
MH: I'm not sure what to think yet. I didn't have any modern cards until I started trading on line. I've accumulated about 5,000 cards between 95 and the present. Believe me I like every card I've recieved in trade but I still haven't bought any new packs. I probably haven't ripped a pack since 1983. Eventually I will sort these all out and make some want lists. I think I now have two autograph cards, one relic and a few parallels. Didn't even know what they were a yea ago.
TLC: Do you have a favorite “modern release”?
MH: Being kind of old school. I think I'm partial to the Topps issues. Still undecided on a favorite set. I think the archives sets are pretty cool.
TLC: What’s your most prized card or collectible?
MH: I bought a few new cards lately but I would have to say it's the items I've had since I was a kid. My Yaz rookie, 56 Topps Ted Williams, Fisk rookie Topps and O pee chee, 69 Topps Redsox team poster. I have two partial  72 Topps high number uncut sheets.
TLC: Anything else you’d like to talk about or add?
MH: I would just like to thank all the guys who have been kind enough to trade with me. The generosity is mind blowing. The writing is amazing and thoughtful. Very entertaining I've had many an email correspondence with guys getting useful information. It's a great community to be associated with.  Eventually I hope to get my own blog up and running. Thanks AJ for letting me contribute in some way.

No, Mark, thank you. I'm looking forward to the day when you fire up your own blog. For now, thanks for the many, many great cards you've sent my way, both for me and my son. Hopefully this Q & A puts you in touch with even more collectors. Thanks for participating!


  1. Very cool. Yeah, I hope he gets his own blog going soon! He's been a shot in the arm to the blogosphere with his great trades and comments.

  2. This was a terrific read. Mark is an awesome guy.

  3. Great idea AJ, great to hear from Mark, an all around great guy. Makes me wonder how I first stumbled across the blogosphere. I think 26 Cent Summer and Troll Might Rule were the first two that I found, but I can't remember WHY I came across them.

    And yeah, I think that Mark could run a pretty sweet blog.

  4. Great to hear from Mark. So great that all I did at my blog today was point to this post. Thanks for bringing us a little closer to the Vintage Virtuoso.

  5. So will outright begging secure an awesome trade with this man? How about dinner - I'll make dinner? Ok, maybe a little soft shoe?

  6. Awesome piece. Looks like Mark Hoyle is taking the same steps I took. From commenter to trader to blogger. Can't wait to see his blog.

  7. Great interview. I too hope he starts up his own blog. We've seen a lot of great blogs pop up these past few months. The only downside is I'm getting way backed up on my reading list. But seriously.... the more the merrier.

    As for the interview... this was a great way for us to get to know Mark better. I wish there were more interviews like this.

  8. The guy's completed sets I didn't even know existed. And I'm not that much younger than him.

    Great stuff. It's always enjoyable when someone new to our blogs describes his reaction when he discovered us. It's the same reaction I had before I started.

  9. That was a cool idea for a post. I've gotten some great cards from Mark as well, although when he first contacted me, I couldn't tell if his name was Mark or Harry.

  10. What a cool idea for a post, and it turned out so well! Very neat to 'pull back the curtain' on someone who has really become part of all this with his comments and contributions. Hat's off to both TLC and Mark!!

  11. AJ, thanks for putting this together. Hopefully we all keep this going..