Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The New Joy I Get From Baseball Cards

I’ve been collecting cards to some degree for over 20 years now, and through all the stages in my collecting history, I have found some level of joy and satisfaction in the hobby.   
When I was a slouched-over idiot teenager, one of my best friends and I collected together.  We made up games with the cards, traded and even created our own cards.   We were horribly, horribly repugnant dorks, but we had fun.  I still remember the excitement of buying something like a whole box of 1987 Topps,  the feel of the waxy wrappers, the smell of the powdery pink gum and the anticipation of pulling a Bo Jackson rookie, or a Darryl Strawberry card, who was my favorite player at the time.
During college and my 20s, I didn’t care that much for cards, mostly because I was broke but also because I thought that collecting cards in public might hurt my chances with the ladies.  I figured that was what kept me from getting anywhere with them in high school, and not my gangly body and utter lack of style or common sense.
I started timidly collecting again in my 30s, doing it stealthily through eTopps and buying some wax here and there.  Then, miraculously, I managed to snare the lovely wife.  Once I was convinced she was ok with me being a big dork and wouldn’t leave me, I jumped back into the hobby head first.  And I experienced fulfillment with it all over again.  I enjoy the chase of the cards still and the process of collecting, but mostly, I’ve become such a huge fan of baseball in general, the cards are a nice supplement to my enjoyment of the game, especially with what the Rangers have been doing over the past several years.  If the Rangers are ever bad again, which I don’t see happening in my lifetime, we’ll see how that changes. 
And of course starting up and running this blog has been immensely enjoyable and has been something I look forward to daily which is yet another part of the fulfillment I get from this hobby.
Lately I have developed a new sense of fulfillment from baseball cards, and it comes from seeing things like this around my house:

My two year old girl has latched onto sports cards.  I gave her a handful of miscellaneous cards, and now I find them in interesting places all around the house: in my shoes, in the bathroom, in the refrigerator, etc. But she seems to be able to ultimately keep up with them.

She has a little chair in the corner of our dining room, and sometimes I catch her sitting there mimicking how I sort through my cards.  She’ll look at a card, jabber something at it and then stack it on the floor.  Then she’ll take the next card and do the same.   When I'm scanning cards she'll come in the room and demand some for herself, so I have a stash of cards for her that is readily available

 I can give her some cards and penny sleeves and she will stay busy for hours.  She loves the process of sorting and storing, both her cards and her other toys.  I think she might really get into this hobby as she gets older.

My 5 year old boy has is a little more organized.  He has an album of football cards that he flips through now and again.  I say a "little" more organized because we can't find this album anywhere right now, which is too bad because I wanted to show the cover page he drew.  Oh well.  He’s pretty hit or miss on his interest in cards, and he prefers football cards over baseball cards for reasons known only to him.   He’s a brilliant, yet contrary little fart, so I don’t try to push anything on him.    Right now he’s really into Star Wars and it’s been a blast dragging out my old Star Wars toys and playing with him.  Anyway, he has his own album, and has sort of expressed interest in going to Cleve’s with me one of these nights.

I genuinely love my card collection, but I can tell you that the most pleasure I will ever get from it will be the day when I pass it on to one or both of my kids, whoever wants it.    Of course that will be the day the lovely wife will be the happiest with my collection too.


Fuji said...

Great post!

Truly a cardboard collector's fairy tale. You're a lucky man.

Dhoff said...

Love it, man. Your collector bio is a life I'm very familiar, and probably most of us are. But how awesome that your kids give you this new appreciation.

Hackenbush said...

Your daughter sounds so cute. :)

The Lost Collector said...

Good stuff!

This post obviously hits home with me given my recent life changing event. Hope I'm as lucky as you are in a few years and that my little booger enjoys a nice stack of cards.

By the way, that player in the Bowman card is definitely looking up Belle's dress.

Potch said...

Great stuff. My daughter is 4 1/2...gets a real kick out of teasing me about baseball cards (when we head to the store and I head to the card aisle and when I'm sorting at home.)

I hope to ultimately hand off my most meaningful (as well as valuable, of course) cards one day.

Ryan G said...

That's a great story. I hope I can find someone to share my hobby with like this someday. I think my friend's son my be my answer for now.