I started collecting baseball cards when I was 6 years old (that’s 1977 for those who don’t want to do the math). I remember the colorful team names in big block letters … 35 years later I could tell you the colors with each name (the White Sox were in red, the Rangers for some reason were in yellow … I can even remember the special cards for the Mariners and Blue Jays …. this was their first season ever).
I collected until 1982 … for some reason I stopped before 1983 … just in time to miss the White Sox historic run to the playoffs. Ironically, I started up again in 1984, but by 1987, I was done again. I had kept the cards from 1984 and later … but those early treasures I had given way to a cousin.
Nary a year went by when I didn’t kick myself.
I don’t think turning 40 for me is mid-life … I suspect I am a ways past that. But my recent re-entry into memoribillia collecting got me started back on baseball cards. Needless to say, I don’t blow a lot of money on worthless things like drinking on Saturday nights or stuff like that … and I have a greater chance of getting struck by lightning than getting married (girlfriends and wives, I have heard are notroiously expensive to have around the house), and the prospect of kids is even lower (very expensive). Thus, I have saved a certain measure of disposable income.
So, I decided the time had come to reclaim that which was rightfully mine, and I started rebuilding my baseball card collection.
Over the pat few months, I started going back in time …. completing my 1984, 85, and 86 sets …. I was able to obtain 88, 89, 90, and 91 … then I was able to obtain a complete set from 1983, 82, 81, 80, 79, and 78 (really neat cursive writing for the team names).
Yesterday, the final piece of the puzzle arrived … the 1977 set arrived. I now have a complete set of baseball cards from 1977 through 91.
I don’t look at this as investment … that lesson is clear … part of my ability to do this is that prices on these cards are pretty cheap today compared to 20 years ago … the bottom fell out of the market and it is a buyers market. I am interested in this because it is a part of me. With some luck, my nephew Liam will become a baseball fan, and he will stand to inherit a wonderful collection. If not, I could eventually sell it and maybe make a small profit (though this is unexpected) … or perhaps I will find a young baseball fan with some passion for the game and leave them with an unexpected treasure.
For now … I am content.