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:
NEVER HAVE I EVER: PUT BASEBALL CARDS IN MY BICYCLE SPOKES
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.
NEVER HAVE I EVER: SENT IN A CARD FOR GRADING
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.
NEVER HAVE I EVER: OPENED A PACK OF 1989 UPPER DECK
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.
NEVER HAVE I EVER: SPENT MORE THAN $150 FOR A SINGLE CARD
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.
NEVER HAVE I EVER: BOUGHT A BOX OF CARDS AT A CARD SHOW
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.
NEVER HAVE I EVER: SHOPPED ON THE BECKETT MARKETPLACE OR CARDBARREL
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.
NEVER HAVE I EVER: KEPT A STASH OF UNOPENED PACKS FOR A RAINY DAY
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.
NEVER HAVE I EVER: ASKED FOR AN AUTOGRAPH IN PERSON
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.
NEVER HAVE I EVER: DRIVEN TO A CARD SHOW MORE THAN 90 MINUTES AWAY
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.