I am still basking in the afterglow of winning this 1953 Satchel Paige card from Cleve’s auction last week. The lovely wife wanted to know why I didn’t just stick to making less frequent, but nicer purchases such as this Paige card, rather than frequent, yet small purchases of new cards and bulk junk wax. After all, cards like this, and the T206s I occasionally get are the ones I am most proud of and like to show off to others. If I would cut out the modern stuff and goodie boxes, I could get more of the nice vintage, was her point to me. It’s a good point, but I think I can explain why I want to maintain my scattered purchase patterns in a way that makes sense: Baseball cards are like meals.
From my standpoint, here is how I see types of cards and their food equivalents:
Vintage Cards= Great steak at a great restaurant- This is my ultimate favorite meal. I have to be prepared for it, and plan ahead, and the anticipation of it is part of the fun. I’m not talking about a steak at Applebees or Colton’s either. I’m talking about Ruth’s Chris, or Herman’s in Fayetteville (I know 99% of you don’t know what that is). When I get a nice vintage card, even if I have to spend some for it, I get immense satisfaction that doesn't dissipate quickly. I feel like I own a piece of history.
But even if money were no object, I don’t think I would want steak every day. In some ways it would diminish the satisfaction of the special times when I do have it. Same with vintage cards. It’s special when I land a big one because it doesn’t happen often.
Hi End Cards and Relics/Autos = Lobster - This is what I eat the least of, but when I do get it, I love it. It can be pricey, but it’s appropriate for special occasions. Relic Cards, Autos and sets like Topps Sterling fall into this category for me. They’re pretty much on the same level as a good steak/vintage card. It just depends on what mood I’m in. More often than not, I’ll choose the steak.
Etopps/ Heritage/ A&G/ Bowman Platinum = Five Guys/Qdoba- These are the types of restaurants we go to most of the time if we are eating out. They are not expensive, but to me they are a step above mass fast food chains. The food is always wonderful. Etopps, Bowman Platinum and A&G fall into this category for me.
Topps Base/Bowman Base/Lineage= McDonalds/Taco Bell. I am not a McDonald’s snob. Every now and then a plain old Quarter Pounder, Fries and a Coke hits the spot. It’s inexpensive and quick. It’s available everywhere. So are Topps base cards. These cards are the backbone of my, and likely most other collections.
Junk Wax/ Goodie Boxes = Candy There is absolutely no value to candy other than it's fun, tastes good and there are varieties for everyone. It's cheap and all over the place. The junk wax binders and boxes I often buy at Cleve’s auctions fall into this category for me. I absolutely do not need them, but they taste good and sometimes they are sitting there for pennies, begging me to buy them.
In my mind this all makes total sense.
Note: For the record, I would choose whatever the lovely wife cooks over any of these options 100% of the time. I am using the examples above strictly for illustration purposes only.