An emerging hitter in the Colorado Rockies lineup, Brad Hawpe enjoyed collecting Rangers baseball cards while growing up in Texas. He recently discussed his hobby during a question-and-answer session for MLB.com/cards.

MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you start collecting cards?

Hawpe: I collected when I was about 9, 10, 11 years old. I tried to get the players I really liked watching. I tried to get sets.

MLBPLAYERS.com: What were the best cards to get?

Hawpe: Ken Griffey Jr. was a real good one. I liked Nolan Ryan a lot, so I tried to get a lot of his cards. He was with Texas when I followed him. I tried to collect his older cards as well. It was awesome that he was from Texas and stayed in Texas. He was a legend. I got to watch a couple of his games when I was young.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you have any other favorite players you liked to collect?

Hawpe: I liked Rafael Palmeiro. He was a Rangers guy and really loved collecting his cards. I had his rookie card when he was with the Cubs. I liked Julio Franco. He was good and still is. Ruben Sierra, Juan Gonzalez.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you trade cards with friends?

Hawpe: A little bit. I tried to pick them up regularly at grocery stores.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Where did you first appear on a card?

Hawpe: I think I had a Little League card and after that, it was in college.

MLBPLAYERS.com: What was your first pro card?

Hawpe: It was in Class A ball, a Spring Training pose or something. Fans send cards to me now.