Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How Does One Thin Their Collection?

What to do. What does a collector do when the proverbial cup has runneth over? Having been retired from collecting since 2002, I now find myself overrun with baseball cards. To some this does not sound like a problem, but rather a blessing. To me, it has become a problem.

Last Friday evening, my wife and I were discussing downsizing our lives. Shedding material possessions and their inherent responsibilities, and focusing on what truly matters. Having two young children, I have come to the realization that I cannot take my possessions with me when I die, and I do not want to laden my children with all of my hobbies, etc.

That being said, I have already started selling old toys, movies and my library collection, but what to do with the baseball cards? During our conversation, my wife said (reiterated again) that I should focus on what I want and not collect for numbers. She said if you want to collect each Topps set from 1952 until now, do it, but don’t keep 5 copies of one card, or brands you don’t even like (She didn’t specifically say this, but used an analogy based on colors and numbers).

Of course, I became defensive and agitated because I’m a man and these are my cards, blah, blah, blah. Yet, she’s right. When I was younger, and up until recently, it was about how many cards I had and not what I had. So, I guess this leads me to a crossroads. I have personally decided that I cannot keep 200,000+ cards, for I do not want to move them, organize them or will them.

Now this bears the problem of what to do with all of these? Do I pull the HOFers and trash the rest? Do I get out the kerosene? Do I sell them (not likely a buyer)? Or do I try and trade them as lots for say a handful of cards in return?

I must admit that the last option does intrigue me. Somewhere, someone out there must want what I have and would be willing to pony up a few cards for what I offer. Trouble is, I have complete Topps sets from 1971 to 2004, and I was hoping to complete 2005 until whenever with my kids when (if) they decide to collect.

So, I need pre 1971 Topps and I do like Tony Gwynn, so maybe that’s a starting place. Yet, it just doesn’t seem plausible that someone would trade me a couple of pre 71 Topps in whatever condition or a few Gwynn cards for 200 Studio cards.

Maybe I should just try it and see.

What do you think?

8 comments:

Sharpe said...

Give it a go, because I don't think you are the only one with these thoughts, and I'd love to see what comes of it.

I've been bringing back my cards in those 3000+ count cardboard boxes from my parents basement, realizing I don't really have a need for the 600 dups from the 89 Topps set. I also have no idea what to do with this stuff. I'm close to recycling them though.

Sharpe said...

However I should also add, that your comment about pulling the HoFs and burning the rest entered my mind the other day.

If everyone started doing that, would there be a need for all those common cards someday? Doubtful based on the sheer number out there, but it did cross my mind.

night owl said...

Why burn the poor common players? I like the common players. They have stories, too.

I'm forever surprised by what people will trade in exchange for what you have. I just received a mind-bending package the other day along those lines. Give it a try.

BrerSkwerl said...

I'll buy you a pre-1971 Topps card for all of your Fred Manriques... ;) My point being, there are plenty more fools out there like me that would love to make trades like you suggested...

I say, when you get a man-room, or even an outdoor shed, you buy some glue, or some plexiglass, and wallpaper one wall (or more) of this man-room-shed with your duplicates! I have a collection of UVA schedule posters going from 1981 - present, that when I have a house of my own (which goes to your point about downsizing... ;) I've never up-sized, and it's because I could see that one day I'd wanna/hafta/needa downsize...), I'm going to wallpaper the room with those posters of UVA players-gone-by...

Seriously, though... If I can find one pre-1971 Topps, I am looking for ALL of your Manriques! ;)

gcrl said...

i have a bunch of 1970 topps doubles after completing my set. i'll send you some in exchange for some dodgers or some 1976 topps i need for my set.

wickedortega said...

before you toss them give them away to a children hospital.... i can just picture the looks on the kids faces... Let me quote something i read......
If I learned anything from the demise of the baseball card industry, it is that a baseball card is only monetarily worth what someone else will pay for it, yet its personal worth is priceless.

You know those kids worth for those baseball cards are going to be priceless

Doc said...

I could never trash or burn cards. It seems unholy to destroy childhood memories. That is why I want to get these cards to others.

I also love Wicked Ortega's idea of getting cards to kids through Children's Hospitals and Orphanages. I love it so much, I plan on having a sister blog up soon. Sort of a pledge drive.

I'll also still offer cards in lots for Pre 71 and Tony Gwynn cards. Plus, I'll offer the option of not taking all of the lot if the trader only wants specific cards on the condition that the trader pledges those cards to kids...

wickedortega said...

I'm glad you liked the idea! If you have any 1980 Topps cards that you want to get rid of i'll take them off your hands! i just put up a want list,thanks!

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