WJR16

Message



Member Since:   5/27/2020
Last Login:   9/26/2022
Points:   5
From:   Chattanooga, TN United States
     
Collection:   66,531 cards
     

Collects:

 

I started collecting baseball cards as a kid in the mid to late-80s and collected them through the early 90s. I started out collecting them with my old man, and I look back on those days wistfully. We'd sit up at night and put together sets and lists of our missing cards and that was a great thing to share with him. At some point, though, I outgrew wanting to share that experience with him, choosing instead to share the hobby with my friends. Then I started to notice girls and found other things to spend money on. I boxed up all the cards and traded the innocence of collecting baseball cards for other, less wholesome pursuits.

At some point over the course of the next 2 and a half decades, I somehow outgrew the nomadic life, became an adult, got married, found a permanent place to live, and jumped on the wildest ride of my life: fatherhood. In a fit of cleaning out my old room to make space for her new grandkids (my sister's kids at the time), my mother transported all of the cards from my childhood bedroom and brought them to live with me. To the attic they went, and in the attic they stayed for the better part of the last decade, hidden away and silent.

While working from home during quarantine, I repurposed the attic into a makeshift office to hide from my two kids, who were also at home, and who, despite my and my wife's best efforts, have no conception of privacy or quiet, and care very little for anyone else's productivity--especially when it comes at the expense of their most immediate desire. Stuck in the attic, armed with a laptop, and facing long days of working in solitude, there sat my baseball cards staring back at me, summoning me from a place and time long since gone. In a moment of sports deprived weakness, I answered their call and opened up a couple of boxes to look at my old collection. Glorious!

Within days of our local economy's soft reopening, I found a local card shop, escaped my attic, drove to it, donned a mask, and walked in to buy some new cards. I quickly learned that the days of the $0.50 pack had passed me by--quite a while ago it seems. Undeterred by the effects of what seemed to be hyper-inflation in an economy I had ignored for some 27 years, I left with not one, but two BOXES of baseball cards. Upon opening up the many packs of new cards, I discovered the advent of the insert card's prevalence, and that, unlike unicorns, autographed cards actually DO exist in packs (helllooo Pete Alonso!). Fascinated, and in need of boxes in which to store the cards and toploaders in which to protect them, it was back to the card shop for me. A couple of carboard boxes, a few bags of penny sleeves and some toploaders just couldn't be the extent of my second excursion. So, much like an addict in search of a fix, it was another box of cards for me. 

But, this new lifestyle of big spending on cards I knew nothing about would prove to be unsustainable as my wife and I are also tasked with feeding, clothing, and sheltering (in place) these two children we created. Alas, it was back to the attic for me, and back to shuffling through all of my old cards, sorting out the commons from the hall of famers, sorting out the steroid users from the clean players. Thus, a new collection was born. Hall of Famers. Those are the cards I want to collect.

But, I needed a mechanism for organizing what I had, and what I wanted to get. When I bought my last pack of cards as something other than a novelty back in 1993, the internet was not yet a thing, at least not one to which I had access. I thought: Surely there is some mechanism online to help me organize these cards, and give me reason to continue sorting through this mess. And, after minimal searching on the worldwide web, I discovered TCDB. What a brave new world this is.

I look forward to getting back into the hobby. But, for now, I am going to stick to trying to collect Hall of Famers, mostly vintage (which, I have learned, is now a word in this industry that describes me). I'm less concerned with a card's grading, centering, corners, or condition than I am with the name and face on it. I'm not in this as an investment; I'm in it for an escape. Hopefully when this little 2 year-old ages a few more years, he'll begin to enjoy collecting baseball cards as much as his old man did once upon a time. If so, I hope to bequeath to him a worthwhile collection and to share the experience with him for as long as he'll have me.


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