Ryan Braun rookie cards will be a hot item this year after the .324-hitting Milwaukee Brewers third baseman earned National League Rookie of the Year honors. Braun, 23, is experienced with rookie cards, having collected them himself. The Granada Hills, Calif., product relates his experience collecting, which started at a very early age.

MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you start collecting?

Braun: I first started when I was five, the same age I started playing baseball. My father, Joe, had collected a lot of cards when he was a kid. Willie Mays, a lot of Hank Aaron, the better players. I enjoyed playing the game and following the game.

I liked Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez cards. I'd buy packs of cards and hope those cards were in there.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you trade cards?

Braun: Whenever I could take advantage of a friend who didn't know as much about the game as I did, I'd try to make a deal. Out-hustle them. I'm sure I got some good deals.

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

Braun: It was at the University of Miami, an action shot of me running around the bases. There were two of us on one card -- freshmen didn't get their own cards. I was younger, a little smaller, but not much.

MLBPLAYERS.com: What do you think of your first Major League cards?

Braun: I see new ones every couple of weeks. I'd like to have a new collection. It would be great to have mementos.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Will you bring your old cards to get them signed by veterans you meet?

Braun: Maybe. It might be something I'd consider down the road.

Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.