The Great Purge of 2010

It’s been a pretty quiet week here at Cardboard Icons. I’ve shared all of two posts with my readers recently, and combined there were probably more pictures than sentences. Hey, what can I say, I’m a busy, busy man.

But if you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’d know that I am anything but slacking in the card department. Actually, I am undertaking what I am calling “The Great Purge of 2010.”

Two things are going on in my life right now, and combined they are leading to the “Great Purge.” First off, I am moving within the next two months, so it is important for me to decrease the amount of stuff I actually have to transport. And secondly, my wife and I are having our second child. He or she will be due right around the first week of the baseball playoffs. Naturally with a second kid I will have less time to fumble around with the massive amounts of cardboard I have stockpiled as if it were food and we were about to experience some sort of shortage.

Over the last 23 years I have accumulated probably close to a half a million baseball cards. I’ve had to lug them from house to house a few times, and it’s gotten pretty tiresome. I actually had an initial purge back in 2001. I unloaded more than 20 5,000 boxes to a local thrift store. I think they wound up selling each box for $10 a piece. Hey, that was my contribution. I never used them as a tax write-off. It was a straight donation.

But this Purge will be a bit different. Back in 2001 I pretty much pulled out all of the star cards, rookies and inserts and donated the hundreds upon hundreds of 1991 Fleer, 1987 Topps and 1990 Topps, etc.,  commons. This time, I am breaking almost everything down into sizeable lots that will be going on eBay.

The process has been a long one. I’ve spent probably 10 hours this week in my garage sorting cards by league, and then by team. I’ve now got six 5,000 boxes sorted and I am seeing the end of the tunnel. Sometime in the next week I should be posting massive lots for each team and in some cases players. I initially though I only had a few hundred cards for each team, but I could be looking at as many as 2,000 for one particular squad. Hell, I think I am past that for New York Yankee cards. And yes, this includes stars like Derek Jeter.

But what this boils down to for me is really refining what it is that makes me tick in this hobby. In this process I’ve used the motto: “If it doesn’t matter to me, it doesn’t belong.” And as fellow blogger Voice Of The Collector pointed out in a tweet, the term “matter” is pretty open-ended. He’s right. Because I might have certain things I collect — such as rookie cards, Boston Red Sox and Roger Clemens cards — but I also have things that I still can’t part with, like a 1992 Donruss Elite Series Frank Thomas and a 1987 Topps Sammy Khalifa. (Story to come later)

My latest dilemma has been whether or not to give up on my Ken Caminiti and Albert Belle collections. Truth be told, my reasons for even collecting these cards is kind of weak. I really liked Albert Belle in the early 1990s, but does that mean I HAVE to get all of his cards now? And I once interviewed and wrote a story about Ken Caminiti, but does this also mean I have to collect his cards? No.

Collecting is about liking what you have and not feeling like you’re enslaved to the items. And at times I felt that way with these two players. No one should ever feel that way.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of “The Great Purge of 2010.”

3 Responses to “The Great Purge of 2010”

  1. […] case you missed the first installment of “The Great Purge 2010,” you can have a read here. In a nutshell, I’ve got to greatly decrease the amount of cards I have in order to move into […]

  2. […] Parts One and Two. Stay Tunes for Part Four of “The Great Purge of 2010.” […]

  3. […] Parts One, Two, Three. Stay Tuned for Part Five of “The Great Purge of […]

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