Curtis Granderson has been a catalyst in the Detroit Tigers' rise to the top of the American League Central this season. A card collector while growing up near Chicago in south suburban Lynwood, Granderson is now providing grist for his own baseball cards and becoming one of the future stars hobbyists often like to collect. The center fielder talked about why he started collecting in a recent interview for MLB.com/Cards.

Question: What were your five favorite cards?

Curtis Granderson: Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Oil Can Boyd -- I always had a bunch of his.

Q: What was your most valuable card?

Granderson: Either a Roger Clemens rookie or Ken Griffey Jr.'s second. I didn't have Griffey's rookie one -- I always tried to get it.

Q: Why did you collect cards?

Granderson: It was to get that one limited edition special insert pack. I never really traded too much, because I didn't want to get rid of my good ones. I tried to get different types of Griffey cards so my friends and I could compete.

Q: At what age did you start collecting?

Granderson: I was about 8 or 10. I just slowly got out of it.

Q: What is your most interesting anecdote about collecting?

Granderson: I would go to garage sales. They were not as big as they are now. I would go with my mom to get other stuff. She'd circle three or four garage sales and I'm going there as well, because I know someone's going to be selling some baseball cards.

Q: What was the first card you were on?

Granderson: It was Northwoods League, sophomore year of college. It was the Mankato Mashers of the collegiate summer league. They had team sets. I was swinging in the batting cage.