Monday, June 18, 2012
Add this card to your collection, don't add this card to your collection, I don't care
I wasn't going to do this, but another post idea fell through. So I'm following the crowd ... ick.
The Chronicles of Fuji asks: "What's a cheap (under $5), cool card you feel every collector should add to their collection?"
Well, this is a question that gets my indignities all in a knot. A card every collector SHOULD add? Something a collector SHOULD do? I collect because nobody is telling me I SHOULD do anything!
And someone is saying, "calm down, it's just a question. We're having a little fun here."
Yeah, OK, it's just that I've had a collector or two actually tell me that I should have a certain card or I wasn't a "real collector," and that really ticked me off.
But I'm letting it go ... here I am, letting things go ... deep breaths ... pleasant thoughts ... hey, look at that palm tree! ...
So, anyway, a card that I really like that others would enjoy?
My answer to that on Fuji's comments was the 1977 Topps Mark Fidrych card, but I'd like to modify that to something that would fit better into everyone's collecting interests.
Think of a card from your childhood. The very early stages of collecting. The first year of collecting, if possible. Think of the card that you thought was the coolest. Maybe it's a couple of cards. Try to get yourself to think in your little kid brain way and pick out which one was THE coolest.
For me, it would be this 1975 Topps Ralph Garr card. It's been insanely cool since the moment I can remember collecting cards. And, as you can see, it's under 5 bucks. That sticker is there because I had a compulsion back in the "how much are these things worth" days to put a price on every card. I'm slowly, ever so slowly, trying to remove all the price tags, but it's going to take a LONG time.
But I like the "under 5 dollars" part of this exercise, because it sticks it to all those people who think only high dollar cards are worth having. Even in the '75 set, I had to bypass a whole bunch of star cards because they're over 5 bucks. And forget about rookies. You can't even touch those.
So, not going along with the "star and rookie" crowd? I love that.
This Garr card, if you ask me, is way underpriced. Cards should be priced by coolness factor. Meaning this card is actually worth about 70 billion dollars.
I know the photo is just a repeat of Garr's 1974 Topps card.
But you can't convince my 9-year-old self of that fact. Not when he's standing in the basement of the Baseball Hall of Fame, looking at all the 1975 Topps cards featured on a display in all their glory, and suddenly spotting the Ralph Garr card and thinking (or maybe saying, I can't remember), "That is so COOL." It's an original in his eyes.
That is what I think is most important. Finding a card that prompted that kind of response when you were a kid, which is the purest form of the collecting spirit that I can think of -- devoid of cost or slabbing or patch mojo or rookie hunting or corner measuring or whatever we do to make collecting "cool" to our cynical adult eyes.
That is the best kind of card -- 9-year-olds don't care about any of that other stuff.
So find one of those cards in your collection.
If you can't think back to when you were a kid, then maybe you need to work on that.
But that's as far as I'm going on what you SHOULD do.
And if you tell me what card I SHOULD have, I'm going to TAKE MY CARDS UP TO MY ROOM AND STOMP UP THE STAIRS AND SHUT THE DOOR REALLY HARD AND NEVER COME OUT AGAIN BECAUSE IT'S MY COLLECTION AND YOU CAN'T DEFINE IT FOR ME!!!!!
So, uh, get this card, don't get this card.