Friday, April 6, 2012

I think it might finally be the end of the road for me

For over 20 years I've collected and enjoyed collecting sports cards. It's been a blast, and I have so many great memories of awesome pack pulls, great steals, trades and all in between. A couple of things though have really changed for me and my overall involvement in this hobby. This is similar to my year end post of 2011, and as I said then, the biggest thing this past year was my evolving game used memorabilia collection. When I say game used memorabilia, i mean full size, not cards. I've really gotten into it, and it is pretty pricey, but it's also real cool to own actual whole game used memorabilia. Unfortunately for me it's changed my perception of cards. I just can't get excited about a tiny little swatch of game used "material" (who knows what it is nowadays, companies refuse to tell us) anymore. I really look back and think the oversaturation of game used cards really hurt this hobby. Sure it's awesome to be able to pick up MJ game used cards for $50 or under, but shouldn't these cards be more desirable than that. I almost feel guilty for owning game used cards of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig etc. I remember a time where even owning just a semistar jersey card was awesome but now, most regular jersey cards are basically worthless. When stars like Chris Paul have dual jersey cards go for .99 it's obvious that jersey cards have worn out there welcome. Even patch cards don't do anything for me, cause even the sickest logoman patch is just a small part of a game used jersey. For example I recently saw a Paul Pierce game used letterman card sell for around 350 bucks. Don't get me wrong, I know game used jerseys are expensive and not everyone can just buy them left and right, hell, i'm not saying I can at all, but I'd much rather save my money for a whole Paul Pierce jersey that I can obtain for around a grand, than spend 350 for a card that has one letter. I guess getting in to game used memorabilia was a double edged sword so to speak. Another reason I've been disconnected is my collection is mainly basketball driven. Baseball is prospect driven, and I don't have the time or energy to deal with that, Football is way to hit or miss, since hobby stars outside of QB's have such small windows of collectability (Larry Johnson, Clinton Portis, Marion Barber, running back list can go on and on). Basketball has always been my wheelhouse, but ever since Panini took over I just could never get into them and their cards. I tried, but I  truly just do not like Panini and their products. I miss Upper Deck, but I don't want college cards, I want guys in their NBA gear. The lockout made it even worse, cause there aren't even true rookie cards in this year's limited product. I look at box breaks and see single colored jersey cards pulled out of boxes that cost over $100, and with the hobby still mainly memorabilia card driven nothing really excites me anymore. I've decided to sell off most of my collection, mainly to get money to enhance my game used collection, but also because I'm just not into it anymore. Now don't get me wrong, it's not a full sellout, I'm keeping my PC of players I collect (Penny, Griffey, Shaq, Cowboys) and I'm keeping all autograph cards and rookie cards. It's mainly the memorabilia cards I'm getting rid of. I've added exactly one new card to my collection since last August and you know what, I haven't even missed it much. A year ago, I could barely go a month without buying something new, now I don't even look for cards on Ebay unless it's vintage or rookie cards. I'm not getting completely out of the hobby, I would still like to collect vintage cards and add some HOF rookies, and I'll still be keeping up with posts on this blog (I know all my recent posts have been all Starting Lineup related) but yep, I think it's safe to say that for the most part my hardcore card collecting days are pretty much over....something I never thought I would contemplate.


  1. I feel that we have a very similar collecting style. So I certainly understand where you are coming from. I have wanted to collect more vintage, but I just can't stomach the price tags. For me, there is just something about those 90's inserts.

    I think every collector goes through different phases. It's just natural. I certainly have not been posting as much as I used to. I don't buy like I used to either. The cool thing though, you already have a pretty sweet collection to enjoy. When the urge strikes again, i'm sure you'll add another nice piece to your collection.

  2. I love 90's inserts as well, that's the era I grew up in, I remember when game used were the holy grail. When I pulled my Vince Carter warm up card all those years ago, it was a BIG DEAL and that wasn't even a jersey card, it was a WARM UP!! It was at the height of Vinsanity and that card booked for around 400 bucks! I really wish companies would've stuck with inserts as a main priority with autographs and game used cards being the holy grail pulls. Would I have all the jersey cards I have now? Not even close, but if I had a jersey card it would actually be special, like it used to be.

  3. I certainly understand where you are coming from, but as a wallet conscious collector, I can't afford $400. I really don't care if a card is 1 of 5. Wait… if I had a 1 of 5 I guess I would care, but I would rather buy a card for $10 that is 1 of 99 than not be able to afford it all all. I think there def needs to be a happy medium.

  4. I completely understand. I've gone back and forth on collecting cardboard in general. I'm sure one day, I'll join you... but for now, I have just cut back a lot on my spending. Which means I only buy stuff I really, really want.

    But that could change in a heartbeat. Some months, I go on shopping sprees... other months I debate on quitting the hobby.

    Whatever you do... just don't stop posting your SLU articles. They're some of my favorite posts on the internet.

    BTW... sorry I was late to the party. I actually found this post on the CCW forum.

  5. Don't worry I won't be going anywhere with my SLU posts!