Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Why I love this hobby

I've been in a funk lately.

For whatever reason, my cards just haven't seemed all that appealing to me these past couple weeks. The pull of blogging hasn't really been there, either. Had I not had card show/Just Commons posts to write, I'm not sure I would've blogged at all.

I was a little freaked out, to tell you the truth. I'm sure we all go through these funks every now and then, but the extended nature of this one scared me. My periods of disinterest usually last a couple days, not a couple weeks.

What the heck was my problem? I mean, Spring Training is here, the collecting season is starting to bloom, the weather's finally warming up. Why now? For the life of me, I couldn't figure it out.

I was desperate to try something, anything. Out of sheer chance, I pulled one of my Mariners binders off the shelf last afternoon (yes, there's more than one), since they just so happened to be on TV at the time. Randy Johnson is the first player in my M's binder, and his cards occupy exactly four double-bagged pages within it.

Those four pages alone reminded me of why I love this hobby so much.

In those four pages, I found cards that scared the ever-loving bejesus out of me.

I found cards that made me want to put in some headphones and listen to some hard-hitting tunes.

I found fancy cards.

Well, fancy for the '90s, anyways.

I found cards that made me feel incredibly small.

I found cards from brands that I forgot even existed in the first place.

I found disarming cards of perhaps the most intimidating pitcher in baseball history.

Some very disarming cards.

I found cards whose beauty had somehow escaped me for years.

Seriously, this is one of my new favorites from '91 Topps, and I'm embarrassed I didn't recognize it sooner.

I found cards that are as "nineties" as it can possibly get.

I found cards that are worthy of the funnies section of the local paper.

I found new cards.

That is, if people still consider 2014 to be "new" anymore.

Most of all, I found cards that made me smile.

It might sound sappy (and it probably is), but it's true. What good are baseball cards if they can't make us smile?

The endless amount of busy work we collectors do (sorting, organizing, etc.) can sometimes make us feel like we're just going through the motions. And, most of the time, we probably are. That's fine. That's what makes us collectors, after all.

Still, every once in a while, you have to sit down and relax with some of your favorite pieces of cardboard. Smell the roses. Flip through the pages. Or, if you're not a binder type of person, sift through your boxes. Whatever works for you. Connect with your collection.

I think I forgot that these past couple weeks. It seems silly to say, but all it took was the first four pages in one of my many binders to remind me why I love collecting in the first place.

Thanks, Big Unit.


Kevin Papoy said...

It's amazing how many cards exist of Big Unit at the plate. The one where he's imitating a ballerina is hilarious

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

If you find yourself still in a funk, bust open that mlb showdown, and play a game.

Mark said...

I feel like the last year or so has been one extended cardboard funk so me. But I think your advice hit the nail on the head. Find that thing or things in your collection that makes you smile every time you see it.

Great post, Nick.

shoeboxlegends said...

I've definitely experienced the funk before, and I agree with your prescription!

Unknown said...

I sure can relate, Dimebox Nick.

Like you, Mark, and Shoebox have all agreed, the funk has been applied to The Underdog at various times, but I do keep coming back to my collection, to *collecting,* and to the pretty awesome crew that are the bloggers and collectors we all swim around in.

In fact, just this past weekend I began wondering, "WTH do I do with all these un-categorized cards...?!"

Bit by bit I've been filling binder pages, sending out packages, and through it all rediscovering both my varied collection and the passion of engaging our cool hobby.

Yet again, another great post full of inspiration, even if it was at the cost of a few dull weeks for you.

Go, Dimebox, go!

jacobmrley said...

I am breaking out of the funk right now myself. It's been a long ugly winter. I am even posting a trade we made last year. Look for it later this week.

And Randy Johnson, for all his personality shortcomings, has some of the most amusing cards ever.

BobWalkthePlank said...

I started my blog because I was in a funk. It was the jolt of energy I needed to start liking my cards again. Glad you are coming out of it!

Daniel Wilson said...

Awesome cards of a great player!

Fuji said...

Love the Lovero! I think it's time I finally tackled that set.

Bruce Baskin said...

Nick, you are so right about the need to sometimes just break out some cards and go through them to get the juices flowing. I've been collecting since 1969 as a 10-year-old Pilots fan (don't get me started) but got so burned out by the dealers, speculators and endless issues in the mid-80's that I stopped. I still have thousands of the cards I collected as a kid (including, I think, the Dave Parker card you're looking for).

Anyway, the past few days I've been going through them to determine which ones to sell so I can get down to 12-13,000 and it's been fun. Sometimes we just have to remember why we started collecting in the first place.

Ana Lu said...

Yeah..feeling the same..