Closer Brad Lidge, who helped the Astros get to the World Series for the first time in franchise history last season, indulges his own passion for baseball history with a collection of trading cards that goes back nearly a century. He recently discussed his favorite hobby in a question-and-answer session.

Question: What are your favorite cards you collected as a kid?

Brad Lidge: They were my favorite players: Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Dave Winfield. Those were my three big guys. Another was Kirby Puckett.

Q: How did you get into collecting old cards?

Lidge: I went through a time when I wasn't collecting at all. But I got back into it after I got drafted by the Astros. The last 10 years, I've been getting tons of vintage stuff. I've got a few 1909 cards.

Q: Where do you obtain these antique cards?

Lidge: I have a man out in Aurora (Colo.) and he's got a house stocked full of stuff. He's at a lot of shows. People have heard about my interest and they'll have some great stuff for me to look at. And there are also auctions.

Q: What do you like about the old cards?

Lidge: I love the history of baseball. When you go back to look at how old and unique that stuff is, and the fact people weren't collecting that stuff for a profit then -- it was a hobby and it was fun for people -- that's what makes me excited about stuff from that far back. It's rare, it's history and it's part of the game.

Q: What's your most treasured card?

Lidge: I have a 1912 Walter Johnson and a 1909 Ty Cobb that are probably my toppers in terms of value. I also have a 1950 or 1951 Bowman with Ted Williams that's in really good shape. It's worth a lot. For me personally, one of my most valuable cards is a Sandy Koufax rookie (1955).

Q: How do you store the old cards?

Lidge: We live near Denver, and Denver's a very dry place. I store them in the basement there. You don't have to worry about things. They're in plastic bins, but nothing's on the floor in case of a flood. I make sure they're safe.

Q: What's the first card on which you appeared?

Lidge: Probably when I was drafted in baseball. A representative from Topps came out to take pictures. We have some cards in the 1999 Topps set. Also, the 1999 Kissimmee Cobras, our high-A affiliate, we have some cards from that team.

Q: Will you get more into collecting after your career is over?

Lidge: There's a lot of memorabilia I like. I try to get autographs of Hall of Fame guys on balls. I can see myself doing this for a long time.

George Castle is a writer for Red Line Editorial, Inc.