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Damaged goods

You thought this had to do with receiving damaged cards in the mail? I'm not that literal, boys and girls.

One card collecting habit that I have always found interesting, although it's not something that I think I would ever do, is getting rid of the cards of a player once he's no longer with your team.

You see this a lot with high-profile players. As soon as they're traded from a certain collector's favorite team, all of that player's cards are suddenly on ebay.

I don't think I could collect like that. With the way that players jump from team to team now, I'd be exhausted trying to keep up. I suppose it's an excellent way to trim your collection. Want to get a few thousand cards out of the house? Figure out who has ditched your favorite team and that's a whole stack of cards you never have to worry about sorting anymore. It's also a good way to recoup some of the cash you blow on cards.

But I get too attached. Even though Manny Ramirez is now a member of the White Sox, I can't view his cards as damaged goods. Why, it was only two years ago that I was absolutely thrilled to obtain Ramirez's Topps Updates and Highlights card, the first card of him in a Dodger uniform. That was a special card for me, signifying L.A.'s 2008 charge to the postseason. I couldn't possibly scrap the card two years later.

It would also mean ditching hundreds of cards I've received in trades. Cynicalbuddha of Collectors Crack sent me this 2009 Topps Unique Ramirez a couple of weeks ago. Do I have to send it to Steve of White Sox Cards now?

Or how about these 2010 Ramirez cards. Do I have to send them to ... um, well, Steve is the only White Sox collector I know.

I also received this 2009 xrefractor from B.A. Benny from the Card Buffet. I can't possibly give it back. I mean people don't like it when you scrape food off your plate back into the salad bar. That's yucky.

Nope these cards are staying with me. I'll look at them and remember the good times.

The same goes for another former Dodger turned White Sox outfielder. These were also sent by B.A. Benny. Pierre may not be as exciting as Ramirez, but the cards are staying with me.

Not a lot of fond memories of J.D. Drew's days with the Dodgers. But somehow I can't let go of this Fleer Ultra gold medallion card sent by B.A. Benny.

Or this '06 A&G mini Dodger Drew sent by Peterson of Sign Here ... and Here.

Peterson also sent this Turkey Red card of former mojo Dodger prospect Joel Guzman. Count me among the horrified when the Dodgers traded him away for Julio Lugo. But now Guzman is struggling to even get on a major league roster. I will keep this card to remind me of those heady hopeful days in Dodger blue.

Here are two cards of former pitching sensation Kaz Ishii. That was a fun year or two. Thanks, B.A. Benny, for helping me remember those years. I know he was traded for Jason Phillips, of all people, and out of the league four years after he began, but the cards are not leaving my clutches.

Another one from B.A. Cesar sure could pick it -- do they say "pick it" anymore? -- but he's definitely not a Dodger. I don't even know if he's an Oriole anymore. But he is a member of my collection.

Andy LaRoche. Not only do I have to look up which team he plays for, but I have to look up whether it's Andy or Adam. For the record, he's Andy, and he's not a member of any team right now. The Pirates made him a free agent. I'll be happy to make this B.A. Benny offering a member of my collection, though.

Now, I should shred every Jason Schmidt card I have into tiny pieces. The same goes for Andruw Jones cards. But at one point Schmidt wore the Dodger uniform proudly ... well, he wore the uniform anyway. Peterson knows this. That's why he sent me the card.

I can say the same thing for these other guys:

Eric Gagne ended up a Brewer, and not a very good one, but I'm not letting anyone touch these cards from B.A. Benny.

Odalis Perez ended up a Royal, and then a National. Keepin' him.

Bobby Castillo became a Twin, but then returned to the Dodgers again. So what would I have done if I surrendered all of his cards after the trade? I'd feel foolish when he returned and I no longer had any Bobby Castillo cards. As it is, Peterson sent me this card and I now need only one '85 Fleer Traded card to knock off that set. I couldn't be more thrilled.

Only one of these gold foil parallels (a stupid innovation) is technically a member of the team -- that would be Kuroda. Martin is in limbo, Young is a free agent, and DeWitt is in even worse shape. He's a Cub. But I'll welcome them all with open arms and thank B.A. Benny for sending them.

Tommy John left the Dodgers for the Yankees. Will I hold that against B.A. Benny or this card? Nope.

Heck, I'll even keep this card. It says RIGHT THERE ON THE CARD that Maddux isn't a Dodger anymore. I don't care. He once was. Good enough for me.

I know what you're thinking. Didn't those guys send any cards of current Dodgers? Well, yes, Mr. and Mrs. What Have You Done for Me Lately, they did.


From Peterson:

From B.A. Benny:

From Cynicalbuddha:

Piedmont and Caramel backs

And the card that spurred the trade with C.B.:

The chrome version of Ely's Update card. (Not to be confused with the Ely card from the actual Chrome set, which is different. Ah, modern cards).

The last trade also marked the first trade I've made with someone residing in Alaska. That makes 38 states down on the old trade map:

Twelve more to go. Those college football states are tough to crack.

Turning your collection over every so often to keep it fresh with only current Dodgers is probably a good idea in many ways. It would make certain members of the household happier.

But a big reason I'm in this hobby is for the nostalgia. And with some exceptions (I'm looking at you Mr. Schmidt), thinking back to those former Dodgers' L.A. days is kind of fun.

For the good times, these cards stay with me.

(Yes, that was a Kris Kristofferson reference. Good god, I'm old).

NOTE: Due to the weather, the holidays, the monetary situation and the usual work madness, I've been very slow on getting trade packages out. I have several ready to go. Hopefully, I'll be back in the swing by early next week. But trades will be rather sporadic from now until January. As always, thanks for trading.


Funner Here said…
Great post. I collect Roy Halladay, and while I'm not a huge Blue Jays fan, I'd have a rather small collection if it weren't for the Jays cards I have of him. I collect the player, not necessarily the team.
Anonymous said…
I don't quite understand the mentality of dumping a player's cards just because he leaves your favorite team.

I don't really need cards to remember the current Mets, but it's nice to be able to look at old cards and remember the past.
Derek Hill said…
I am nostalgic about the Andruw Jones days of Atlanta, however, if I were you I probably would shred all of them, lol. I can't believe how bad he played for you guys.
I'm with you. It would violate the team collector code of conduct to dump a player once he's gone. I certainly don't want to collect certain players after they leave (AROD, Texeira), but I still need their Rangers cards to fill out my Rangers collection.
Scott Crawford said…
Have you been reading my diary again? I actually have a similar-but-different post percolatin' that may actually escape my brain this week. Stay tuned!
Scott Crawford said…

OK, you got me off my butt!

(Also, I've seen Kristofferson live. Good show, even if he wasn't in good voice on that particular night. He's still putting out good records, too.)
Eggrocket said…
In my version of the 1970s Midwestern residential neighborhood it was quite a feat to land the card of a player with his previous team. (A Chris Chambliss Indians card was one that everyone seemed to covet). But I guess being three and a half hours from the closest MLB city meant we weren't all tied to the same team.

I also forgot how AWESOME that '09 Juan Pierre was. The only one cooler was the one that Dinged Corners had in this post:

I also forgot how cool that Authentix set was.
Anonymous said…
I'm surprised that the Andruw Jones Dodgers cards aren't just a smoldering mass of charred card stock. Well, all of the doubles, triples and quadruples, at least...
Field of Cards said…
Nice topic. I agree. I love baseball and part of the thrill of collecting cards is each one is a snapshot in time. I couldn't imagine getting rid of Orioles players' cards just because they moved on. It would be like saying history is forgotten. If the past is dismissed, the present becomes kind of worthless too.

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