I've mentioned several times that the only thing I really collect is baseball cards. I don't collect jerseys or periodicals or caps.
I have collected other things in the past, and I've mentioned that, too. Matchbox cars, stamps, stuffed animals, coins, etc., etc. After puberty hit, I cut down on my peripheral collecting habits to zero in on cards. But still the collecting addiction extended its reach into other things. And when I wrote that post that was when I realized that even when I "wasn't collecting" I was always collecting. I just didn't think of it as collecting.
I call that "subconscious collecting" or "subliminal collecting."
There was a period, between 1995-2004, in which I bought maybe 10 packs of cards total. I just wasn't interested in collecting cards then. But that doesn't mean I didn't collect, even if I didn't think I collected.
The most obvious non-collection collection were my compact discs. From the point I received my first CD player in 1988, I accumulated so many CDs that when we moved into our house, I basically papered three walls of the living room with CDs. A lot of them sit there still, waiting to be used again.
I subscribed and re-subscribed and RE-subscribed to what were then called "record clubs." And then there were magazines. During that same time when I "wasn't collecting," I subscribed and re-subscribed and RE-subscribed to Sports Illustrated.
I stacked each issue of Sports Illustrated proudly in my apartment. Remember the hologram Michael Jordan Sportsman of the Year issue? I remember being so fascinated with that magazine as it sat on top of all of my SI's on my black plastic table in the corner of the kitchen. Little did I know that they were putting holograms on baseball cards. I had no idea.
The fact is, I simply cannot not collect. I am certain that if I gave up my entire baseball card collection, sold everything, and swore off ever entering a card aisle again that next week I would take up another collecting habit. Who knows what it would be, but I'm sure it would be something that I "wasn't collecting."
Because I'd be collecting it subconsciously.
In fact, I do "subconscious collecting" within my baseball card habit, too. I subliminally collect certain cards without even knowing it.
As you know, I collect Dodgers, certain sets and certain players. But there are other cards that I collect that you will never see on any want list because, technically, I don't consider it a collecting interest. A conscious collecting interest.
One of those non-collections is Fred Lynn cards.
When we were kids, my brother's favorite player was Fred Lynn. He was fresh off a fantastic rookie season in 1975 and his 1976 Topps card was absolutely fascinating to us all. Ever since that point I have been interested in Fred Lynn Red Sox cards (don't give me those Angels or Orioles or Tigers Lynn cards. I don't even subconsciously collect those).
When I receive a Red Sox Fred Lynn card, like this American Pie one that I got a few months ago, I look at it -- consciously -- and say, "Hmmm, Freddie, I don't really collect Freddie." But then I squirrel it away and it never comes out when I'm looking for Red Sox cards to swap in a trade. Freddie is not for sale, says subconscious Night Owl.
My guess is I do this as a barely noticeable tribute to both my youth and my brother. It doesn't take a psychiatrist to uncover that. But I never really thought of it in that way until I was looking through cards the other day and the '76 Lynn showed up again.
And now that I know it, I guess I'll keep collecting Red Sox Freddies.
(Anybody else do any subconscious collecting?)