I know it's dark to think about, but I often wonder what would happen to my baseball card collection if I had to leave it all behind.
I've seen videos and read articles about this person finding a long-lost collection in the attic of a random house, or that person inheriting a basement full of binders and boxes from the uncle of a friend's friend. I don't think I'd want anything like that to happen with my cards. I've been collecting for most of my life now, and without meaning to brag, I like to think I've amassed a pretty darn good pile of baseball cards in that time. My collection wouldn't make national headlines -- I'm not sitting on a treasure trove of 1933 Goudey or anything -- but I still wonder where everything would go if I wasn't around to oversee it.
Sure, I own real vintage Sandy Koufaxes and Mickey Mantles, but I hope someone sees the stories behind in my 75 Hideki Okajima cards, too -- specifically, the passion it took to put such a strange and disjointed collection together.
As painful as it is to think about not being surrounded by my collection, it hurts just as much to picture it just sitting there, completely removed from human contact.
This, I think, is what worries me most. My cards are in binders and meant to be enjoyed, not shuffled off to a garage with rakes and shovels. I don't have nearly as much time to devote to my cards now as I did when I was 15, but I still try to sit down with my binders at least a couple times a week, and let my cards remind me why I've devoted so many waking hours to them (not that I ever really need reminding).
And when I shove the darkness aside, I realize I've still got a whole lot of those waking hours to devote to my cards -- many of which were recently spent sorting through an excellent string of trade packages I received from Shoebox Shane recently.
Shane's mentioned he's partaking in a mini-purge of his unwanted/lesser-needed cards -- which is good for me, since my binders are an eternal home for castoff and misfit cardboard.
Ben Zobrist has shot up my player-collection ranks in recent years, so I was happy Shane thought of me with these two.
If you stop and think about it, parallels have absolutely no reason to exist -- there's no reason I need eight different versions of the same card.
That's true, but do I love having red and blue and orange and whatever-other-color parallels all housed together in a binder page? You bet I do!
Here's a selection of early-aughts - particularly shocking because I'm still convinced all the cards from this era fell off the face of the earth at some point.
Fun fact about yours truly: I own a Tony Womack Diamondbacks t-shirt, and I have no idea how or why that happened.
Shane's mailers didn't have a whole lot of rhyme or reason, which, of course, meant they were incredibly fun to sift through.
Case in point: here's a random batch of players and sets you don't see turn up in a whole lot of trade packages (really dig the Sonny Gray Pro Debut card).
I don't specifically chase Stadium Club parallels, but I'm happy to have them because they allow me to enjoy such masterful greatness all over again.
Am I the only one who forgets Stadium Club has inserts?
A rag-tag bunch of parallels here -- '90s Dufex technology, x-fractor blindness, and a pair nifty orange borders from 2020 Big League.
Kinda forgot how much I enjoy these Score stadium shots until Shane decided to remind me.
If anything happens to me, please do me a favor and try to find someone out there who'll appreciate a collection that features Rondell White and Lou Boudreau in equal prominence.
Two things I'll collect forever and ever: defunct-team vintage, and team card vintage.
I scanned these cards a while ago, and for the life of me I can't remember why I grouped these four together.
That's the fun of random trade packages, after all.
Not to demean the other three cards in this scan, but my god that Reggie Jackson SI cover is marvelous.
A veritable buffet of minis!
(Alas, I mourn the days when A&G included people like P.T. Barnum...)
At some point, I imagine anyone who collects anything wonders what might happen to their collection if the worst should happen.
But I figure that thought is more pronounced with baseball cards because it's such a personal and often arbitrary hobby, packed with years and decades and centuries of history. I (usually) know why I collect the things I do, but I'd have a hard time explaining that to anyone else. I can only imagine how lost someone would be looking through my cards without me around, or without any frame of reference. The painful part is that, given such confusion, I can see how a collection like mine could be abandoned in a room, or thrown in an attic. It's a possible end to a chain of events I don't want to think about.
But with any luck, I've still got years and years of time to spend with my beloved baseball cards, and I won't have to worry about anything I've just talked about for a good long while.
[knocks on wood]