Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Purge

I recently received a couple packages from Shane of "Shoebox Legends" fame, a man who I admire.

I admire him because he runs a great blog and puts together awesome trade packages, among other things. But lately I have to say I admire Shane because he's taken it upon himself to start a small purge of his collection, as he made clear in the notes he included with his recent mailers. The cards I received were items that didn't survive The Purge.

Even though this Albert Belle doesn't really fit snugly into anything I collect, I'll still take it because it's simply a zany piece of cardboard (even though the jagged corners and such make it an adventure to stick into a nine-pocket page).

Still, I've often thought about what a purge of my own collection would look like, and what would have to happen for me to undertake one.

These days, I'm more than happy to keep anything that simply catches my interest, like the Belle. But I admit, sometimes I wonder where all this is headed. What would I keep if, for whatever reason, I was really forced to trim down my collection? I think every collector has had this thought (nightmare?) at some point. (And that brings up the question of whether or not collections necessarily need an end goal, which could be a post all on its own.)

Parallels are cool and all, but do I really need different-bordered versions of cards I already own?

My answer right now is: I collect those guys, so OF COURSE I do! 

And for right now I'm satisfied with that response. Despite what it might look like around here sometimes, I've gotten a bit better at reigning things in. There used to be times where I'd come home from a card show and wonder Why in the heck did I buy THAT? with a few of my purchases. That really doesn't happen anymore, and it's a step (no matter how small) in the right direction.

In the meantime, I'm happy that Shane's purge (hopefully) helped ease him of some physical/mental clutter -- these '72 minis castoffs hit a couple longtime insert needs of mine.

More excellent inserts from The Purge.

A handful of randoms my collection absorbed from Shane's.

I collect anything and everything of Tim Wakefield, but for some reason his Pirates cards are especially pleasing to track down.

As I said earlier, Shane actually sent me two different packages with items from The Purge -- what I just showed came from the second of those batches, while this Strasburg and everything you'll see in the remainder of this post came from the first.

I probably own less than a dozen of these Toys 'R' Us parallels, and I don't see many more coming my way since the company sadly fell victim to a completely different kind of purge recently.


Yet another quartet of insert needs from Shane.

I received this package prior to Robinson Cano's PED suspension. I've since stopped collecting him. And while I've found it rather easy to not chase new cards of his, I can't bring myself to get rid of the Canos already in my possession.

If I can't purge a proven cheater from my collection, then what hope is there?

A couple cool Stadium Club needs (the Gray throwback is a black parallel).

I admit, I'm not a huge Pearl Jam fan, but I'll always have a place for music cards in my collection.

Apparently, these were sold in correlation with Pearl Jam's Boston concerts a few years back. And while their music isn't my thing, they did a bang-up job here. (Eddie Vedder's a noted baseball fan, and I can't help but wonder if he collects cards on the side.)

Long live 1991 Topps!

I have absolutely no idea who either of these guys are, but ain't no way I'm turning down Japanese cards.

A couple hard hitters here from Shane, including an autograph of the late Oscar Taveras and a super-spiffy Satch.

Topps Tribute is a rare treat, but wow do they pack a punch when I'm lucky enough to stumble into one.

Lastly, here's something most non-collectors would deem worthy of a purge: a card I already own with a large gold stamp on the front.

But come on: purge a '67 Rusty Staub buyback? NO WAY! No matter how much the rational part of my brain tries to tell me this isn't anything to get excited about, the collector in me will always know that this is an absolutely fantastic item, a treasured new add to my Rusty collection which doesn't see many new items come along these days. (Shane, a noted buyback fanatic, told me this was a double from his own collection.)

Perhaps I might have to undertake a Purge of my own one day. I honestly wouldn't doubt it, and maybe it wouldn't be the worst idea in the world, no matter how difficult and painful it might end up being. Still, I shudder at the thought, which makes me respect people like Shane all the more.

But for now I'm lucky enough to have The Purge remain a future worry for future Nick -- bring on the parallels and buybacks!


The Shlabotnik Report said...

If nothing else, your tastes may change over time. I was recently going through a binder and ran across an insert set I chased down to completion 10 years ago. Now I look at it and think "That was fun at the time, but I'd be happy with just those inserts which fit into my team/player collections."

Nice cards from Shane! I always enjoy getting cards from him.

Fuji said...

Those Pearl Jam cards are sweet!

Mike said...


If something brings you joy,no need to purge!

shoeboxlegends said...

Glad you liked the cards, Nick! I'm still working through purging so hope to have another bubble mailer off your way soon!

Julie Owens said...

It's a bit sad to see the Taveras, a card once red hot and nearly unobtainable. The 'what ifs' will remain attached to his name for years to come. A lot of excellent cardboard here! Staub is a beaut!