I go for a walk about five times a week. It's a requirement if I'm going to take ownership of my health again.
I used to think a walk was the dullest human activity that was ever devised. But I've come around on that, and do enjoy a semi-strenuous amble, provided that I'm not walking during peak outdoor times (i.e: when everyone within a 3-mile radius walks their dog).
My regular route takes me behind the local high school. As with any high school, because teenagers are the messiest people alive, you can expect to see your share of discarded items on the side of the road. Half-eat bags of Cheetos, dented energy drink cans, McDonald's wrappers. The usual.
But because it's a high school, the litter can be a lot more exotic than junk food remnants. I've seen parts of bicycles, clothing, lipstick containers, you name it. Today, I saw a giant, furry hood to a winter coat, and it's not even winter yet.
I look forward to seeing what I'll come across next, because there is always a part of me that hopes to find a discarded baseball card on the side of the road. It doesn't even have to be anything I need, it could be any old 1989 Topps Todd Benzinger card, and I'd feel triumphant. I'd then relive the other few times in my life when I have found a card on the street during one of my travels.
Card discards -- or just plain "discards" -- are a regular diet for us collectors. Every trade we make, every purchase on ebay, we are, in a sense, picking up somebody's discards. Our mailbox is the side of the road. Sure, people may be discarding the item in exchange for money or cards they like better, but boiled down to its basic essential, the item is a discard -- something the previous owner didn't care enough about to keep themselves.
With that, I present you with some "discards" from Nick at Dime Boxes.
It's hard to think of cards that Nick sent as "discards," just because he has such a random collection and seems to treasure each card, no matter how mundane it may seem to certain collectors. And looking at the cards he sent me, I'm surprised he "discarded" these. But I'm glad he did.
Another card of the Duke, this one a mid-1980s oddball, at the height of The Glossy Craze.
A shiny mid-90s Chan Ho, at the height of The Metallic Era.
An early '90s Pedro with a generic cap. Very cool.
Of course, I am assuming that Nick obtained most of these cards from dime boxes, which is really a euphemism for "discard bin." But you can always find cool inserts/parallels like these in the discard bin.
Numbered items. You can find numbered cards from a decade ago discarded in hopes someone will think they are valuable still.
Oddballs!!! Too many collectors consider oddballs as likely discard candidates. But I don't. I covet them.
Would I know that this was the glossy parallel if Nick hadn't written this on the penny sleeve?
Goodness. More Dee Gordon parallels. I'm happy with these, but I'm only pursuing one Dee Gordon parallel set.
The chances of ever landing this non-Dodger Dodger card would have been non-existent if Nick hadn't sent it to me.
Somebody's been look at the want list!
This is quite possibly the most impressive "discard" in the package. I love these Select Certified items.
If only this card looked like this without tilting it. I'm begging someone to make a set that looks like 1972 Topps. I promise you I will buy it and lavish praises on your product right here on this blog.
It took me a long time to go through these cards from Nick, mostly because a lot of them were from the 1990s, which gave birth to a quagmire of sets. It takes me forever to figure out what I have and what I don't from that decade.
But I'm proud to say that all of these cards that I featured are new to me. Therefore, they aren't discards anymore. They are "kept" cards. Secure in my collection for as long as I like.
You will never see these items on the side of the road as you're walking, or running, or biking, or just out hoodlumming.
Now, a Giants card?
You might want to check the recyclables when they go out to the curb on Friday.