View Full Version : The Bench turns 10!

09-30-2012, 08:55 AM
10 years ago today is when the lights turned on and The Bench opened it's virtual doors.

For the Hobby a lot has happened in 10 years, both in real life and the hobby we love.
The hobby has had it's ups and downs during this time. We have card companies like
Fleer no longer in the picture and a hobby giant Upper Deck falling from grace. Panini
emerging as a big player and some small start ups In The Game trying to make a name
for themselves. In the end the collector will make his own decisions on where to take
his hobby be it set collector or player collector etc.. And that's what is great about
the hobby 100 members can have 100 different types of collections.

My set collection wouldn't be where it is without the help of you guys and gals. Not many
shops carry singles to complete sets anymore and shows are a dying breed. The online
communities is what's keeping the set collectors going. Without them we would be spending
a lot more money opening packs to finish our sets. 700+ trades and too many ebay transactions
later, I have no regrets.

For me I have gone from a single (in a relationship) guy, to a married man and now
I have a kid of my own. WHAT WAS I THINKING! Who am I kidding having a family is
great and watching my little one grow up and mold her into a mini me :) is a joy.

Not everyone has been here since the beginning and that's ok. But share your story
from where you were on day one of joining the site and where you are today.

Stop in the Chat Room say hello. I'll be logged into it all day, but might not be in front of
the monitor the whole time.

09-30-2012, 10:44 AM
A little over 9 years ago, I was a small shop owner who also worked a full time job, officiated and coached High School sports and was raising my last daughter . My older two kids were on their own pretty much and I had a young grandaughter who was the light of our lives.
Randy Martin (Fatboycards) and I had become acquainted while doing some Ebay transactions and he called me at my shop one afternoon and told me about this great new site he had joined with some great guys who were all about the hobby.
I didnt think I would have time to do anything more than I was doing at the time but I took a look, and after a couple of false starts I was hooked. Randy has of course since passed on but I owe him big for getting me involved with this great site.
I have made many friends while here and of course some fantastic trades. I have slowed way down on trading since I sold my shop a few years ago but I check in here many times during the day and night.
I have now got 5 grandkids who are all awesome. I am moving closer to the day I can retire from my real job but I cant imagine not having the Bench to come to every day.
Thanks to Peter of course but to all the others who have made this such a great place to hang my hat. Mark Wing had a huge hand in making the technology work in the earlier days. And all the Mods who have worked so hard to make this a safe and enjoyable trading place will never receive enough thanks for all the time they have put in.
Look forward to many more years "sitting on the Bench". Thanks again Peter, Pat

09-30-2012, 10:55 AM
In Late 2001, after not having collected cards sine late 1994, I picked up my collection from my parents house, Was living with my (at the time) girlfriend (now my wife) Bought a few things here and there from 02- early 05 and that's when the collecting bug hit me again. with no focus in mind I realized I had not checked the interwebz to see if there were trading communities out there. The first site I came across was Sports card fun, joined up, made some deals for set cards and Cubs cards and was generally enjoying it even though I didn't much care for the format of their site. A member there...pretty sure it was GaryG told me to check this site, The Bench. I joined in October 2005. Decided I needed a direction and chose to player collect my childhood favorite player Greg Maddux. In less than 59 days I had made 100+ trades and over a 1000 posts. I believe less than a year after that I was invited to join the Mod team. All in all I have loved every second of time I have spent on The BEnch whether I was just trading, chatting, modding, or whatever. It is a great place to stay involved with the pieces of cardboard I love so much.

It all wouldn't be possible without Pete, so a huge thank you there, and Thanks to everyone who has traded with me over the years. I have formed some amazing friendships with people I have never met face to face, and I wouldn't have even half of the Maddux cards I own without this great community.

I always find myself checking out my top trders list around the Bench Anniversary

Loyalty32: 25 - Craig has been one of the most consistant Bench members I have dealt with over the years, and when he decided to move his Dawson collection I was extremely happy to see him continue to b einvolved in the hobby and the site.

premium1981: 24 - Steffan, what a great guy, not around much anymore, but he stops by to check in from time to time, when I first started collecting Maddux, Steffan sold me a massive lot of over 400 Maddux cards I needed for an amazing price, and between him and Legacy(Lloyd) I accumulated nearly 1000 Maddux cards.

rooster1: 20 - Doug is one of the best out there, when I was actively buying new product Doug and I would have stacks of Griffeys and Maddux built up every few weeks to trade to each other. I cant think of another trader who actively searched out Maddux cards for me

dlackey: 19 - WHat can you really say about Dennis other than he is simply Amazing, Easily one of The Benches most prolific contributers

Meliah: 18 - Colin....(cough) I mean Matt, This guy is just a jerk, everyone should avoid him like the Plague :p

PitofSteel: 17 - Chris, See my above statement about MEliah, it also pertains to Chris!

7timecy: 17 - Dewayne isnt around much anymore, But I had a very similar trading set up with him, as I did with Rooster1 above, we always built up stacks of cards for each others needs and the 17 trades Ihave with him, could have easily been around 50 trades if we had broken them down

theguru14: 14 - Back when Steven was collecting BErnie Williams and Dan MArino, it was always a joy to make deals with him

zlw1: 13 - I have picked up some amazing cards from Zak over the years, and he has been one of the best traders on the site for years

dragonslayer913: 12 - David, again, is a class act, like all of those above and many more not mentioned...

All in all, people come and go, but The BEnch Remains The best trading card forum on the internet hands down.

09-30-2012, 11:02 AM
Happy Birthday to the Bench! I remember when I first joined when the bench was 5-6 months old. My collection has grown extensively because of this site. Over the years a lot has changed and I am not quite as active with trading, but I check The Bench every day. Thanks for making such a great site Pete.

09-30-2012, 12:02 PM
At the time before i joined the Bench i was on the verge of unloading my collection on Ebay and was contacted by JamesNevans and he asked if i traded that he was interested in the lot of '93-94 Stadium Club First Day Issue Basketball i had listed..i had some un completed set one was a 1972 Topps Football set and James had some of my wants so we agreed on a trade..I joined the Bench on 12/24/2004 and have made 3030 trades 3rd all time..Thanks to Pete for an awesome site and to all the Mods for making it a very safe site to trade on..maybe one day i can get off the bench and get into the starting line up :D

09-30-2012, 01:13 PM
A few weeks after The Bench initially launched 10 years ago I joined and immediately found my card trading "home". James Nevans and I quickly hooked up for what I still believe to be my largest trade involving quality vintage baseball cards.

Within a few months I hit the trading Hall of Fame and shortly thereafter was welcomed onto the MOD team. There, I spent the next 6 years or so assisting Peter and the gang with various MOD duties.

Although I no longer actively collect sports cards, I find myself regularly lurking around the site, as well as staying in touch via Facebook with many BENCH friends that I've traded with over the years.

Congratulations to Peter Azevedo and the entire BENCH online community!


David K.
10-01-2012, 10:03 PM
10 years ago...I was on the Beckett Message Board. I did very little trading, buying or selling their as it was not safe and there was no trading manager! Moved here when the Beckett Message Board changed their system on Feb 5, 2007 and have called this place Home for the last 5 years!! Loved working on the YSL set and special Saturday contests for the last 4 years!! Made many friends here and I'm looking forward to many more years on The Bench! Best regards, David

10-02-2012, 03:10 PM
Congratulations on 10 years, and thank you for all of the work so many people have put in to this site. Please stay open another 25 years so I can trade to complete my Topps Heritage set in the design of 1988 Topps. :D


10-02-2012, 09:17 PM
watching my little one grow up and mold her into a mini me :)

Lets hope not. As for my story, I have told it before but here goes the short version.

I had been trading on another site - have no idea now which one it was. Made a trade there with Jim Halpin (BOSOX48). He had been on here and told me then he thought it was a better place so I gave it a shot. A little over a year later I hit the HOF level but I was really hooked with the success of my first couple of trades. Tried a few others over the years - even helped as a mod on a start up one - but always came back here. Always was and will be the best to me.

Peter - you have done great work here. Thanks for all you have done for the hobby.



10-02-2012, 09:34 PM
Congrats on the 10 years!!
Prior to being in the Military I was collecting on a minor scale. The minute I enlisted everything was put on the back burner mostly due to always being underway on missions.. When I got out I found myself needing a hobby and collecting cards was like an old friend. I quickly picked up my cards from the parents and begin operation upgrade my lowly collection into a respectable one. I literally had 90's junk base of certain players I collected, nothing special heck prior to finding the bench I knew nothing of game used cards! Thanks to the Bench I have quite the collection and I continue my quest to join the Super Collector ranks! I appreciate everything the Bench stands for in regard to the hobby and I have met some really nice folks here! Here's to another 10 years congrats!!

Pine Tar
10-02-2012, 10:23 PM
cool beans and for that I give you this virtual gift


Motown G
10-02-2012, 10:58 PM
Congratulations!! "You're all growns up!!!!"

10-11-2012, 07:41 AM
Happy Birthday to the Bench a little late. Although my numbers don't seem to indicate it, I have been a member since May 2003. My problem was, and still is, I don't any new stuff anymore. I have enjoyed the trades i have made and have enhanced my two grandson's (8 and 9) albums for them to have when I pass on. I guess I remember my grandest trade of 1000 inserts to, I believe, Dragonslayer. It only counted as one trade but it was one heck of a trade.

M's in 2006
11-12-2012, 03:27 AM
I'm a bit behind but congrats to the bench! What a great group of collectors, and always will be one of my favorite places to sit on the weekends :) Personally, I was a heavy trader on Beckett back in 2006, when I noticed in someone's signature "I am a heavy trader on the bench". Haven't traded on Beckett since :) This is the place to be!!


11-13-2012, 10:45 AM
I couldn't agree more with the comments that have come before me! Thank you so much for all the countless hrs of work you put in to making this a great site with wonderful people. This site renewed my interest in collecting again after a long layoff. As my collecting interests have changed over the past several yrs The Bench has always been my only stop for trading.

Thank You!!!!!!!!

11-13-2012, 03:43 PM
Great story Pete, same for everyone else. I really enjoy reading how we all got started here.

My story actually starts when The Bench first opened up. I heard and saw the site, but didn't join as I was mostly selling through Yahoo.com auctions site, sometimes trading via e-mail. Yes I said Yahoo.com auctions. Shut down for I believe at least 8 or 9 years now. Also at the time, I met someone who was a vendor at my church's flea market. Him and I actually became good friends over the years, and he told me about this familiar site known as The Bench. Kept trying to pry me away from Yahoo.com. Well, I had no other choice but to join and let me tell you something, I don't regret it one bit. Ever since my day 1, I have exchanged PMs with so many great people here, personally met some, and improved my collection in ways I never thought possible.

Thank you Pete and Mark Wing for this awesome site. I look forward to being here for the next 10 years!

11-13-2012, 04:47 PM
Happy Birthday


so i'm back to tell my story :)

i hadn't realize i joined The Bench within a year of its inception, until just a year or so ago!!! when i first became member, i barely had 50 michael jordan cards and my walter payton rookie (i'm now at almost 2000 MJ's and 150 Sweetness). a few odds n ends of pippen, but not much else really besides the standard overproduced base cards from the three sports.

jason (lprimus) was my very first trade.

craig (loyalty32) is my most traded to bench member, i think we are at 30? and i've gotten nothing but awesome deals from craig, thank you kind sir :)

pete and the staff, you all deserve kudos, pats on the backs, raises :)
you've done a fantastic job running the site, i'm so glad i found you.

many thanx to all the members i've traded with, to help me along with my PC's, add some trade bait, or just to get a trade on the books, it was, and is, all worth the effort. it's a great bunch of guys and gals here on The Bench, and i'm glad to have been a part of your experiences in the last 9 years!

with the exception of one very extended break, and a few other breaks thru some hardships, i've been a steady trading member. and if it weren't for some Bench members stepping up and suprising me with some great pick-me-up gifts, i'd have gone insane, lol.
thank you to everyone that's helped out when i was down, it is greatly appreciated.

keep up the good work pete, and here's to many more years of awesomeness!!!



11-13-2012, 05:01 PM
I loved reading all of these posts. My oh my where would I be without the bench... Pretty much helpless.
For a four year stretch I made about 1000 trades between 2006-2010. I absolutely made this place my 2nd and 3rd home when it came after school work and work...work.
I've made so many friends here, and so many people have helped make collecting easier and much more prolific for me. Sometimes, it's scary to see my postage bills when I'd go off and do 25 trades a week... Especially when I was 15.
I have made so many friends and made many close friends on here over the nine years coming up in January that I've been on here.
Thank you to all that have helped me build my ridiculous sets from fleer autographics in the beginning, to diamond kings starting in 2003, and fleer hot prospects, to unloading a card shop I worked at from late 2005 until mid 2008.

Happy 10 years.. cheers to 10 more!
Hope to make another 1000 trades in the future, although college life is taking that away, ;)