The trouble with Twitter is it's so damn topical. We always have to discuss the hobby issues of the day and fire our opinions out there for anyone to view and -- well, I can be opinionated sometimes and also sometimes those thoughts don't line up with other people's opinions.
This isn't some firestorm issue. Nobody blocked me (I don't think) or took away my account. It's just a hobby topic and one that's come up periodically.
It was the final question on another CardChat by former blogger Sooz. The topic for the chat was "base cards" and the final question, asked somewhat jokingly, was "do you throw base cards in the garbage?"
My answer to that was, "yes," but only in some very few instances.
But plenty of people said no. And plenty of people were horrified by the question. "Blasphemy!" they said. "People who do this should be fined!" "Fucking monsters!" Their words, not mine.
I rolled my eyes.
Refusing to throw out cards is one of those sacred cows among those of us who collect for the love of every card, those who open packs the traditional way, collect the traditional way, aren't in the hobby to flip or only for autographs, who aren't dismissive of base cards.
But people gotta face reality. Not every card is a treasure. There are sets I out-and-out hate. Do I throw out those cards? Well, no, mostly they stay in a box that's rarely opened unless I can trade the fools.
I also stash thousands and thousands of Dodgers dupes in a couple of large boxes. I have other dupes sitting in a closet. Some of those dupes are old and moldy, scuffed, dented, folded, ripped and pulverized. I keep them.
So, my record is pretty clean. Whenever people think of throwing out base cards I think they picture high rollers walking into a hobby shop, buying several boxes, opening them there at the counter, pulling only the cards that interest them, then leaving the "undesirables" for the trash, or whatever serf wants to scoop up the scraps.
I've never done that and would never do that. But there are practical reasons for throwing out cards. I've tossed flimsy unnumbered checklists from the '90s that come without a picture and from sets I'll never complete. I've thrown out cards that look like food was spilled on them 40 years ago. When Commons For Kids announced they were no longer able to accept sports trading cards, I looked through the box that was scheduled to be shipped to them, and pulled out maybe 11 Jeff Hamilton cards from 1991 Upper Deck. That's aside from the other 6 or 7 Hamiltons from that same set sitting in my dupes box, plus the '91 UD Hamilton in my Dodgers binder and the '91 UD Hamilton sitting with an incomplete 1991 Upper deck set.
I tossed a few of them. Nobody wants them and if they do, I don't know where those poor people are. I've used up my resources for stuff like that. Also, take that Hamilton instance and repeat it for just about all of his teammates from that time period. That's a lot of extras.
I try to run giveaways as often as I can partly in an effort to get rid of unwanted cards. But I don't feel comfortable sending some cards -- even for free -- to fellow collectors (see 1992 Donruss). So what to do with those cards? Some of them have been sitting in my closet for 20 years.
Then there's the very real matter of space. It's limited. Nobody is coming by to build an addition onto my house for free. Lack of space sometimes causes me to make tough decisions and those decisions will only get tougher as the cards That I Want grow and grow.
Also, I don't want to be a collector paralyzed by the idea of never throwing away a card. I know many collectors who can't throw away a card and wear it like a badge. But I think you've got to be a little more flexible. That sounds like a nice idea until people are gawking at you from their living room as Hoarders airs a segment on you.
Also, some folks aren't thinking about sets like this:
How there are still cards from 2012 Triple Play in my collection, I don't know (I still do have a little bit of resistance to throwing out cards). These things are terrible and have been terrible since they were first issued.
I have tossed a few Triple Play cards but they were those stupid puzzle pieces in which a drawing of a player is duplicated on nine different cards. Yes, I know, you still need those to complete the set, but if you're trying to complete 2012 Triple Play, you have more pressing problems.
I am aware this seems to run counter to my pinned tweet:
But people are thinking in absolutes and either-ors. There is a lot of gray in the hobby. I adore base cards, more than a lot of people. But not all base cards are created equal and thanks to card companies not being able to put a lid on how many cards they produced, protecting every card like it's a newborn baby is maybe a tad unrealistic.
So, I try not to throw out cards, but there are situations when it happens and I don't feel bad or feel like I need to apologize. Cards are not sacrosanct. Yes, every base card is important for the completion of a set. But when you have shoeboxes and shoeboxes of 1991 Donruss extras in the basement and nobody is coming to get them and you put out feelers 10 times without a peep and people who live in the same house as you are threatening you over them and you trip over them every time you go downstairs, then, yeah, maybe toss a few. It's not a puppy, it's a piece of cardboard ... or fake cardboard.
And if you still have an issue with this, send me your address. I'll send you every unwanted card in my home and then, congratulations, it's now YOUR PROBLEM.
All right, I gotta to show some cards I received so this whole thing isn't a rant.
I got some more free cards from Johnny's Trading Spot during his daily giveaways. Lots of good stuff here. I really like those Brooklyn Dodgers phone cards, that's something that not even Trading Card Database has on file.
Then I won again and received these cards, along with an accompanying note apologizing for the dupes as he was running low on Dodgers for the giveaway inventory. And it's true, all of these are dupes.
I could easily throw out these cards. I don't have a desire to pick up any new Yasiel Puig cards anymore let alone ones I have already. But I won't toss them. They will go with my other many, many, many, many Dodgers dupes with the hope someone will want them some day or someone will start another organization for accepting unwanted cards.
I have plenty of extras for that.
So I won't feel bad tossing a card here or there every 6 months or so. And maybe people can relax a little on the NEVER throw out cards thing before someone has to dig them out of their house with a loader bucket. I subscribe to a lot of old-school collecting ideals but holding on for dear life to a card like this ...