Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A special breed

For the most part, my card collection is a fairly private thing.

Outside of my family, not a whole lot of people know about my cardboard obsession. Quite a few of my friends know about my love for baseball, but very few have bore witness to the dozens of card-filled binders in my room.

That's not saying I'm ashamed to be a part this hobby, though.

Far from it.

It's not like I run and lock the door to my room/man-cave every time I have a friend over. Anyone who has seen the inside of my room knows how overbearing those binder-filled bookshelves can be.

They're hard to miss.

No, the reason I keep my collection somewhat private is because it takes a special breed of people to understand why collecting is such a large and important aspect of my life.

Most people simply don't care.

I tried expressing the sheer joy of owning a real, actual 1933 Goudey "Pepper" Martin to a couple of my friends who were over once.

They looked at me with an indifferent stare and moved on.

There's nothing wrong with that, though.

I've come to accept it in recent years.

I'm not trying to sound condescending or anything. My friends probably wonder the same thing when I can't get excited over the new Call of Duty game or whatever else is on the shelves these days.

I just can't.

I'm not of the video game "breed".

Collecting is the path I've chosen.

I figure if I can't get anyone I know to revel in an authentic Goudey card, then it's best not to mention my 461 different Ichiro cards.

I tried that once. You could probably guess what the response was.

"Why would you want that many different cards of one guy?"

It's not easy to explain.

Things like that just seem odd to people not of the collecting "breed".

Tanyon Sturtze is a fairly foreign name to most people.

Heck, I'm sure a lot of baseball fans don't even know who he is. The few that have probably don't collect his baseball cards, though.

And, on top of that, I'm sure almost no one cares that both his first and last cards were of the "zero-year" variety.

I find it fascinating that Sturtze's cardboard career was bookended by "zero-year" cards. He's the only player I know of who can lay claim to something like that.

I'd love to find someone else who does actually care about Tanyon Sturtze. But, although I have some terrific friends, none of them give two you-know-whats about him or his "zero-year" cards.

So I just skip it.

No harm, no foul.

Hey, look!

A pitcher hitting!

Isn't that cool?

Even if some don't go out of their way to collect them, I'm sure most members of this hobby can appreciate a good "pitcher at the plate" shot. Not to mention the oddly fascinating shape of this particular card.

It's a part of our "special breed".

Other people just don't understand.

This is where being a part our "breed" really comes into play.

As much as we'd like to fight it, most of us notice the smallest things when it comes to our collections.

And if there's even a slight difference between one card and the next, we must have both copies of it.

At least, I have to have both copies of it. Please don't let me be the only one who is anal when it comes to this.

It's something that would be especially difficult to explain to an outsider. I don't plan on trying it anytime in the near future.

If I did, though, I'd imagine it would go something like this...

"Why do you have two copies of this Joe Morgan card?"

"They're different."

"No, they're not. It's the same card!"

"No. The one on the left is from a set called 'O-Pee-Chee'."


"O-Pee-Chee. It was made in Canada."

"So what?"


"The back is in French."

" don't speak French. Why would you want a French baseball card?"

"Because it's cool, man."

"If you say so."

Sometimes, our "breed" borders on the downright crazy.

If non-collectors think the whole Topps/O-Pee-Chee saga is confusing, I can't imagine what they'd have to say about these.

The dreaded "black back" parallels from 2008 Heritage.

True, the fronts are exactly the same.

Still, these occupy two different slots in the Jose Molina section of my Yankees binder.

Why, you non-hobbyists ask?

Well, because the little box in the upper-left corner is different, silly.

The one on top is black. The other is green.

Come on, how could you not see that? It's in plain sight.

No, it's not some sort of mistake. They're supposed to be different colors. And, yes, I specifically traded for both of these because I must have every single Jose Molina card, no matter how small the differences may be.

Hey, I never said being a part of this "breed" was rational.

Often times, it's not.

But I'm fine with that.

I guess that's why I started blogging in the first place. To share with others who are proud parts of this "breed", one with which I've come to associate over the years.

Even if we don't all collect the same things, we can at least appreciate our different "quests".

There probably aren't a whole lot of "zero-year" collectors out there, but I'm glad to see that a few people have enjoyed the theme nonetheless.

Hopefully, you'll be able to recognize the name Tanyon Sturtze from now on.

You can thank me later.

Although set building has never been my personal cup of tea, I can certainly appreciate the joy a fellow blogger gets from putting the finishing touches on a vintage quest or a mini set.


I think I might have missed an "N" there.

Anyways, that's part of why I've come to love blogging so much.

Whether it's knowing that I'm not the only one who enjoys Brooks Robinson's "cardogenic" status or a neat "sunset" find out of a dime box, it's been great to share my collection with fellow members of this "special breed".

I honestly can't imagine what I'd be doing without this blog.

The encouragement I've received so far has been nothing short of spectacular.

It sure beats the blank stares I used to get from other people.


hiflew said...

I think the phrase that best explains your obsession with collecting cards is "the Jose Molina section of my Yankees binder."

Jose Molina's parents wouldn't put him in the top 500 Yankees of all time and yet he has a section in your binder. I love that!

Michael Chase said...

I hear you loud and clear! On occasion I've shown friends some of my stuff and I get a pretty blank stare. Even from those that are baseball fans themselves.

My wife doesn't understand it really either, she thinks I did terrible when I open a pack and there is no autograph, but she is fully supportive anyways.

461 Ichiro's? Oh crap, I sent you a couple in with the package I sent. Theres a pretty good chance that you might have them already. Oh well, if you can't use them just save em for a future trade with another blogger : )

dkwilson said...

Great post! I know exactly how you feel!

Ana Lu said...

I noticed some of my 2012 Topps S1 cards had some kind of different shades of colours. Like the Yankee cards some have a more blue theme others seems more like touching the purple. Of course I keep both.

Try collecting and being older and in a country where most people don't know a thing of what is baseball..I just tell you that I don't mind if they think I'm off.

What I care is the joy collecting brings to my life. All steps and parts of it.

AdamE said...

I collect parallels but I don't pay attention to card back parallels. If there is something different on the front like that O-Pee-Chee I go after it but things like A&G minis vs Regular Back minis have no place in my collection. (someone did send me enough red back 07 Topps Red Sox that I put them on my want list, but only because I already had almost all of them) If there were card back parallels of Bill Virdon I would probably chase them.

There is another blogger that collects Tanyon Sturtze. I can't think of who it is at the moment though. Maybe SpastikMooss???