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'It’s almost like modern-day art' | Card collecting surges in Connecticut - and its not all about baseball

A new card shop in Berlin possesses a rare trading card - and it has nothing to do with sports.

BERLIN, Conn. — Like a blast from the past…card collecting is in again.

When the COVID-19 pandemic brought live sports to a halt last year, sports fans used the internet to explore their own collections before restrictions were lifted for in-person events.

In Berlin, Clutch Cards and Collectibles is proof of this trend - it was only opened this year.

For owner Marco Giannone, this venture with a childhood friend is a dream come true.

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“We’ve been collecting cards since we were little kids," Giannone said. "Our idea was to kind of create just like, a museum where people could come in and things could be for sale.”

Rookie and prospect baseball cards are popular items for collectors who are just starting out. They have a low price point and if that player becomes a star, that card could be worth a lot of money.

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But the most expensive item in this store actually has nothing to do with sports. 

It's a first edition Charizard Pokémon card from 1999 - valued at $15,000! It has attracted visitors from all over the Tri-State area to see it and is only one of 10 ever made.

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Packs with multiple cards across any sport or hobby can cost hundreds. But why would anyone spend so much money on something that can fit in a pocket or purse? Giannone said that possession is everything.  

“A lot of our collectors enjoy actually the physical touch of having something and admiring it," he said. "It’s almost like modern-day art."

He added: “Whether you want to spend $1 or $10,000, we have a little bit of everything.”

Nkwa Asonye is a sports reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at nasonye@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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