2005 Absolute Memorabilia "Tools of the Trade" #TT-127 Hoyt Wilhelm TRIP-JSY /75
Six years ago, I was merely a shell of my present collecting self.
I certainly knew of the existence of dime boxes back then. I'd take some time out of every card show to partake in a brief "dig".
Still, about eighty percent of the time and money I'd spend at shows went towards memorabilia-themed cardboard.
They were the bane of my existence as a collector.
I couldn't think of anything better than coming home with a stack of jersey and autograph cards after a long day of "hunting".
Sometimes, I'd even save up and make a big "splash" for my collection off Ebay or wherever.
A combination of a little extra cash and some tremendous generosity from my dad helped me snag this prime piece for my then-budding Hoyt Wilhelm collection.
At the time, I couldn't have been happier.
But things change.
My present attitude towards the memorabilia genre as a whole would probably shock my thirteen or fourteen year-old self.
These days, I'm pretty much indifferent towards the entire thing.
Don't get me wrong. I deeply appreciate the big binder of game-used and autos that currently sits on my bookshelf. I wouldn't give them up for anything.
Yet, as far as acquiring new pieces goes, it's pretty low on my priority list.
They just don't give me enough bang for my buck.
I'd much rather have twenty base and inserts for my Marlon Byrd collection than some bland two-dollar piece of fabric.
And I'd certainly much rather buy a nice vintage piece of Mr. Wilhelm than another jersey card.
Plus, that whole "jersey fraud" scandal that recently broke pretty much placated my present feelings towards the memorabilia market.
If someone happens to send me a new autograph of a guy I like, I'll gladly take it. If I happen to come across a bargain-basement jersey card at a show, I might still buy it.
But, for the most part, I breeze right by all of the memorabilia hype in today's hobby.
As a "low-end" collector, it's not in line with how I like to do things around here.
I'm much more satisfied with the thousands of precious base and insert cards I've accumulated over the years.
Again, I absolutely cherish this neat triple-jersey card that sits in my game-used binder. It's one of the more integral parts of my Hoyt collection.
But I'm not as eager to drop large lumps of cash at a time to get a new "big shot" jersey or autograph card these days.
The "low-end" genre simply fits my personality a whole lot better. The satisfaction I get out of landing a new stack of dime cards for my collection is something that I never, ever experienced during my days collecting jersey cards.
That in itself has taught me something.
For as long as I'm in this hobby, I'll always be a "low-end" type of collector. I've found it to be a whole lot more rewarding.
I'll never go back to the whole memorabilia thing.
It's just not me anymore.