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Never have I ever

I saw on Twitter the other day a couple of accounts playing a version of "never have I ever" as it relates to the hobby.

I didn't pay attention for long enough to see if a lot of people joined in, but I thought it was a good idea for a post. You see this stuff a lot on Facebook -- which is usually a sign not to repeat it here -- but I think changing it so it relates to cards makes it a bit more fun.

"Never Have I Ever" is probably most famous as a drinking game (and for finding out who has the loosest morals). So, if you're up for drinking on a Tuesday night, feel free to play along in that fashion. But don't blame me for encouraging your habit. That's my disclaimer. I encourage card-collecting habits around here, that's it.

OK, for every "Never Have I Ever" that I mention that you've done, you take a swig -- of whatever. Here we go.

I'll start with a couple that I saw on the Twitter:


I may be an old-timer when it comes to collecting, but I'm not THAT old. Putting cards in your bicycle spokes seems like "Leave It To Beaver" behavior. I never did it and I didn't have any friends who did it.

Even though cards weren't considered "valuable" or an "investment" when I was collecting in the '70s, there was something about consciously ruining cards that you just didn't do, or I didn't do. I would have had to collect a bunch of 1975 Bruce Ellingsens to be willing to put any cards in my bike spokes.

Also, while researching this, I noticed that people put playing cards, spades, hearts, diamonds, etc., in spokes instead of trading cards. Now that makes sense.


This was another one that I saw on Twitter. This is something that I can't ever see myself doing.

First, I would only do it for very valuable cards. And the thought of sending valuable cards from my collection through the mail makes me a bit squeamish.

The only way I would submit a card for grading is if it was something valuable that I had decided to sell. Think a Mike Trout rookie, something like that. Otherwise I'm happy with all my cards being "raw" -- and, oh, do I hate that term.


One thing I've noticed about the online hobby is how many collectors there are online who grew up during the late 1980s. I wish there were as many online who grew up in the late 1970s, like I did, but it's obvious there is not. I could post a 1977 card of Mark Fidrych and it might get a smattering of likes on Twitter. Meanwhile, somebody posts the Bo Jackson card from 1990 Score and Twitter erupts like it's a '52 Mantle.

It follows that packs from the late '80s are the most treasured in terms of nostalgia for collectors these days. All you have to do is see how many times Topps has trotted out the 1987 Topps design. One of those favorite packs -- and sets -- is 1989 Upper Deck, UD's first set.

I never opened a pack of that set, even though I was collecting in 1989. I never saw Upper Deck. And in the years since, the set's appeal is lost on me, so I've never sought out to join the millions who have opened '89 UD.


Several years ago, I could have said: Never have I ever spent more than $100 on a single card.

In the years that followed, I have traveled north of $100 for a handful of cards. But only a handful (the 1956 Williams is one of them). And none of those cards approached even $150. I think the most was in the high 120s.


I've bought a box of cards online before. And I've considered buying a cheap, old box of cards at a show many times.

Often, while traveling the card show aisles, I'll take a quick scan of table that are selling boxes of cards. But I've never come close to picking up one. I simply have too many single-card interests to even come close to taking the chance on a box of random cards. The only way I'd do that is:

1. I decide to chase the set.
2. The box is SO cheap, I'd have to be an idiot not to buy it.
3. It's not 1990-92 Donruss.


I've only recently expanded my online shopping to include more than COMC and ebay by adding Sportlots.

I don't see myself venturing into any other online card shopping site (and I know there are others besides these two) unless I've exhausted the inventory of my main haunts, and that doesn't seem likely.

But there could come a time when I run into a road block with a certain particular card interest and that's when I'd look around at what others have.


I've said this many times: it is impossible for me to leave packs unopened.

The bizarre thing that Wrigley Wax does? I could never do that. Ever.

I can't even leave the unopened packs that I found in repack boxes sealed. Most of packs found in those boxes deserve to be unopened, but I still must open them. That's what they're for!!!!!

Recently, I bought a Walgreen's repack and this 1992 Stadium Club pack came out. I opened it immediately.

I pulled this Wally Joyner card that I have never seen before.

If I knew this card was in a pack that I kept sealed for four years, I don't know if I could forgive myself.


I'm not much for interacting with people I don't know.

Asking for an autograph in person, whether at a ballgame or at a card show signing, forces you to interact with someone you don't know. Add jostling with other fans or, worse, standing in a long-ass line, ensures that I do not ever do this. It's just not me.

Would it be cool to watch Clayton Kershaw sign a card that I gave him? Not really.

I just don't have that part of the collecting gene, I guess.


Destination driving of more than two hours is for family only.

I don't enjoy long drives. You'll never see me after retirement buying an RV and traveling the country. When I was a kid, my dad liked to go on long, meandering drives through the country -- those famed "detours" -- that drove me nuts with boredom. I'm not one of those people who has to speed to get to my destination, but I'm not going to waste time either.

So, even though I love card shows, I will only do so much driving to get there. There are card shows three, five, six hours away from me. You won't see me there. Unless there's a separate enticement or mission, I'll stay home.

That's a reason why you've never seen me at The National. I would have to drive for hours and hours, spend lots and lots of money on gas, spend money on a hotel room, and, oh yeah, still have money left to buy cards?

That doesn't mean I won't ever go to a National. I still would like to go when it returns to Cleveland. Even I can handle that drive.

All right, there are several other card things that never have I done. I've never pulled a 1 of 1. I've never pulled a rip card or a patch card or a booklet card. But I think I'll stop there.

This post is already long and you're drunk.


Not too drunk, lol. There were many that I haven't done. (More that I have though).
Old Cards said…
I am an old-timer from the "Leave it to Beaver" generation, but never have I ever put baseball cards in my bicycle spokes. I did know guys who did. One guy had a 1962 Roger Maris in his spokes. We thought he was crazy. My friend gave him another card for it and then took the bent card home and put it in his collection.
Mark Hoyle said…
I only qualify for one . Spending more than 150 on a card. May go to National this yr so that will be #2
GOGOSOX60 said…
I've opened a few 1989 UD packs but never cared to chase the Griffey Rookie card, or have I ever owned a 89 UD Griffey Rookie card even through today.....
Billy Kingsley said…
I don't think anyone actually put cards in spokes. I think that's a myth.
Grading is the biggest scam on the hobby ever. Yes, even bigger than the trimming. (They wouldn't have been trimmed if they were not trying to get a higher grade)
I've never opened 1989 Upper Deck, but I don't really do baseball.
I've spent more than $100 on a card twice, my Dale Earnhardt Autograph and an Elton Brand 1/1.
I have bought a box at a card show, as recently as last February, if you count blasters.
I have bought from the Beckett Marketplace, but not since about 2003 or 2004.
I have a pack stash. Some of them were bought in either 2012 or 2013. I also have some from sets I've completed that I will likely never open- having completed the set and the one and only insert, there's no real point. Occasionally I include these in giveaways.
I have asked for an autograph in person. It's rare, and it was not on a card. Race car drivers are happy to sign autographs (with a few exceptions) and I got my first circa 1988.
I have not attended a National. It's one of two things on my Bucket List, besides owning an old car. It may happen in 2020. It was going to, but not sure I'll be able to afford it. I love being in the entire family took a week long trip to Ohio last October that ended up with us in Michigan and even Illinois, just for the fun of exploring it.
I've pulled 7 1 of 1s. The first was in 1999. I didn't even know what a 1/1 was yet when I pulled it.
I've never pulled a rip card and consider them a terrible idea. I did buy one pre-ripped from a local dealer.
I've pulled patches more than a few times. Always fun. I don't even remember how many I've pulled anymore. I have a list showing them on the Database where I list whether I pulled it or bought it, if I remember.
I have not pulled a booklet card. I know Panini guarantees it in one of the NBA boxes, but I can't justify spending $250+ on 4 cards. I bought two on COMC just to have them in my collection.

To me buying single cards is not all that much fun. It's kind of an empty feeling for me. Except once you've done a box or two and then are filling in the missing cards you didn't get. That I think is fun.

Luckily for me I don't do alcohol!
Brett Alan said…
I've done three of these.

Buying boxes at shows. I actually bought a box of 1982 Fleer at a show in 1982. Since then, I often buy discount blasters at shows, and I've bought at least one box of junk wax as well.

Keeping a stash of packs--and blasters full of packs. I'm a slow burn kind of person. I like to parcel out my enjoyment. I'm away from my collection, as I often am, and when I get back I've got a lot of stuff to rip, some of it dating back to National Baseball Card Day.

Asking for autographs. Quite a bit--used to do it at games a lot, especially when I was in college and went to Wrigley Field from time to time. I got Stan Musial's autograph at the indoor soccer all-star game (he owned a team) and got the autographs of the 1979 West Palm Beach Expos at a game--one of them was Tim Raines. I used to get my vinyl autographed at Beatle conventions and some club shows, too. That's not considering signings at card shows or other events.

But that's it. I don't think I've spent more than about $20 on a card, and not much more that on a box...and what's Cardbarrel? Like Billy, though, I don't do alcohol, so I owe you three of something, I guess?
defgav said…
- I think I put a card in my spokes maybe once as a kid. I'd like to think it was at least just a contest/ad card that came in each pack.
- Never sent in a card for grading. I've been a little tempted here and there, mainly just because I was curious what the grade would be.
- I opened one pack of 89UD back circa 1990 when I was in "sample a little of everything on the shelf" mode. Didn't pull anything notable.
- I have spent more than $150 on a card a few times, boy howdy.
- Don't recall ever buying more than a blaster at a card show, as far as unopened product. Maybe a box of Hometown Heroes?
- I've shopped on the Beckett Marketplace and Cardbarrel before, but it's been a while. I think it was still called Just Commons last time I did.
- I do have a tiny stash of unopened products, but we're talking 1990 Donruss type stuff.
- I have asked for a few in-person autographs, but mostly musicians after concerts.
- I don't think I've driven more than a half hour for a card show, but I suppose that's mostly thanks to living near them. I've driven 2+ hours for concerts a few times.
BaseSetCalling said…
I think the origin of "shiny" in The Hobby can be partially traced to those 1989 packs of Upper Deck. They cost an even one dollar - whoa - but that wrapper, ooooooooohhh, so shiny....I gotta get some more of those. And I was of legal age when they came along, go figure.
JediJeff said…
Damn, I'm wasted. Have put a card in the pokes, have bought a box at a show, have sent a card in for grading, have opened a few '89 UD, have shopped at cardbarrel, have gotten plenty of in person autos, have driven more than 90 min for a card show.

YOLO, right?

Is YOLO still a thing?
Nick Vossbrink said…
Wow. 5. That's way more than I expected.

Definitely opened some 1989 Upper Deck when I was a kid. Jr High. I had a decent allowance and literally nothing else to spend it on.

Did actually buy a box of cards at a show. $5 for 91 Studio, a set I always wanted to build so why not do it the fun way.

Have purchased from Cardbarrel. Definitely recommended if you have a bunch of weird commons (especially from modern sets) that you want. Is like using Sportlots except you don't have to try and optimize for shipping.

I do keep unopened boxes around. Not as a rainy day stash just that an unopened box is something I kind of want to rip completely and sort and catalog all at once and that's a bit of a time commitment. One-off packs though are ripped immediately.

Have asked for many autographs in person. One of my faborite things.
Adam Kaningher said…
Three for me.

I've bought boxes at card shows. I've sought autographs in person, but not since I was a kid. And I occasionally let packs sit until I know I have the time to properly appreciate them.

I once stashed a pack of 1992 Stadium Club, of all things, but that was when I was young and I thought it was an investment.
RunForeKelloggs said…
Going to shows is one of my favorite things to do when out of town. Driving to the National is totally worth it.
sg488 said…
I did drive about 100 miles to the National in 1987 in San Francisco at the Cow Palace,total of which ones I did was 6 out of 9.
Robert said…
A) The bike spokes--I've done that. Long time ago
B) Sent in a card for grading. Once. Never again
C) Opened a pack of '89 UD? Nope
D) $150 on a single card? Haven't spent half that yet. Even for my '64 Mantle. The '73 Schmidt RC I still need might be my first card to hit $100.
E) Bought a box at a card show. Yes, a couple of times at the hockey national in Canada.
F) Beckett Marketplace or Cardbarrel shopping. nope, probably won't either.
G) Stash of packs for a rainy day? You betcha. Small plastic container, probably 60 packs in there.
H) Asked for an autograph in person? Paid for Al MacInnis' autograph back in the early 90's. Wasn't overwhelmed by the experience, so I haven't done it since.
I) Driven to a card show more than 90 minutes away. 2012 National in Baltimore. 4 hours away. My first NSCC. Loved it!!
I'll have to think of whether I have any of my own "Never Have I Evers"... and I was right there with you on most of these but the "more than 90 minutes" made me say "WHA-A-A-A-A-A-AT???"

I'm slanted in my views, though... for most of the past 10-15 years, if I didn't drive 2 hours, I wasn't going to any shows; plus I drove 2.5 hours to go to the 2012 National in Baltimore.
Nick said…
I've done three of these, but only one with any regularity (Cardbarrel orders). I'm also flabbergasted that people can keep stashes of unopened packs just lying around. I don't have anything near that kind of willpower.
gcrl said…
I've done most of those things. The two I haven't done are the cards in spokes and saving packs for a rainy day. I lack patience that way.
Fuji said…
bicycle spokes - yup
sent a card to be graded - nope (but i have had autographs slabbed and certified)
opened a pack of 89ud - probably
spent more than $150 - yup (two, maybe three times)
bought a box at a card show - yup
shopped on beckett marketplace - yup
kept a stash of unopened packs for a rainy day - yup
asked for an autograph in person - yup
driven to a card show 90+ minutes away - yup
Matt said…
I've bought a box at a card show and asked for autographs. I guess technically I saved an unopened pack of cards too, but that wasn't so much for a rainy day. It was a cello pack of 1989 Topps with Randy Johnson's rookie card showing. I thought I'd flip it for some quick cash when he got elected to the Hall, but I never did - I still have it.
Bo said…
I opened plenty of '89 UD packs back in '89 (I was 12). Also when I was a teenager I bought a box of Star Wars Galaxy at a little card show in a VFW hall. Other than that I haven't done the others, though I have some unopened product from sets I've already completed (I have a full wax box of 1989 Score packs, an extra 2007 Mets Topps box set, maybe some loose packs of early 90s Donruss).
CaptKirk42 said…
The only one I might have done is open a pack of '89 UD. I've only been to a few card shows and that was over 20 years ago and I didn't buy an boxes at those. Plus they were local shows in my area not national nor a long distance. As for spending $150+ on a single card. I would only do that on a very few vintage cards I absolutely HAD to have.
Bubba said…
I'm oh-for! The only one you could accuse me of is stashing packs for a rainy day, but they're really there as more of an investment and less of a rainy day fund.
gregory said…
Only three for me (opened a 1989 Upper Deck pack, bought a box of cards at a card show, kept a stash of packs).

These comments show how varied we are as card collectors, huh?
acrackedbat said…
Im 'never' for 'never' on this list but for one: in-person autos. I have a few signed baseballs, mostly from minor-league games. Carlos Pena, Ian Kinsler and Kevin Mench from their Roughrider days come to mind. Darren Daulton signed a ball for me at a Rangers game. From shows: Willie Horton, Denny McClain, Al Kaline. Love this post! Great idea!
NPB Card Guy said…
Only thing I know for sure that I've done on this list is ask someone for an autograph. I may have opened a pack of 1989 Upper Deck back in 1989 (when I collected MLB cards) but I don't remember for sure.
Jeff said…
I've bought from CardBarrel. But that's the only one. I don't think I've ever spent over $40 for a single card.
bryan was here said…
I.m going to work backwards up this list, but here goes...
I've been to the National when it's been in Cleveland twice, plus I've driven over two hours to card shows, especially in the early 90s.
I've got autographs at Indians and Pirates games, but by the time I was 17, it lost the appeal. I was never a big autograph guy to begin with. The one big local card show in my town back in the 80s up til about 1992 had a guest, usually with a local connection.
I bought exactly one card on Beckett-a 1979 Hostess Mike Hargrove showing him with the Padres. I usually raid eBay, COMC and Sportlots as well. I may have to try Cardbarrel for giggles.
The one time I bought a box of cards at a card show was at this little show at a dying mall where 75% of the stores were closed/closing, and the anchor store was a Walmart. This vendor didn't want to take stuff home with him, so he offered up a couple of monster boxes, 5-6 800ct boxes and a wax box of I think 1989 Topps, all for the princely sum of ......$10!!!
In one of those 800ct boxes was...a near complete 1989 UD set. Just missing the Griffey, which I picked up on the Bay for $15 later that night.
The most I ever spent on a single card was $45 for a 1980-81 Mark Messier rookie back in 1991, right after he was traded to the NY Rangers.
I did buy a couple packs of '89 UD just to see what the hype was about.
Never sent any cards to be graded, nor do I ever plan on it. When you find graded cards for less than ungraded versions, you know that has jumped the shark.
I put some early 90s junk in my son's bike spokes when he was first learning to ride a two wheeler.
Esskooze me...I seem to be a little woozy. Let me sleep this off a little...
GCA said…
Well, we just used up the Bat Around in this comments section. Think I'll save mine for a post anyway, since I'm short on ideas lately.
Trevor P said…
I have:
-Shopped on Cardbarrel.
-Submitted exactly one card for grading.
-Gotten quite a few in-person autographs.
-*Tried* to keep a pack stash for a rainy day. Although, the packs never last until the rainy day. No impulse control, I guess.
Trevor P said…
Oh, and I've pulled two 1/1s.
Sean said…
I also grew up in the late 70's and can say "ditto" to all of these.
bicycle spokes - Not a chance
sent a card to be graded - Nope
opened a pack of 89ud - Yes
spent more than $150 - Yes
bought a box at a card show - Yes
shopped on beckett marketplace - No
kept a stash of unopened packs for a rainy day - No
asked for an autograph in person - Yes
driven to a card show 90+ minutes away - No

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