Archive for addiction

Month of pack cleansing about to face test with 2019 Topps

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

A lot of people joke they are addicted to sports cards. It’s usually said in a light-hearted manner to really describe their insatiable thirst for cards – their desire to acquire; the urge to constantly move items around to see new things in their collection.

And then there are those who truly have an addiction. Those who can’t go a day without buying something – a pack, a blaster, a spot in a break.

I’m probably somewhere in the middle of the two types described above, although I recognize I do have an addictive personality. And that is why I like to use the month of January as a respite from packs.

It’s a bit easier for me than others as I pretty much collect only baseball.  And for the most part there haven’t been any baseball releases since mid-December. And truthfully, I am not the target audience of those late-year releases – I stopped prospecting years ago, and I really don’t purchase the higher end stuff until the single hit the secondary market.

But right about this time every year – in late January – the hobby discussion begins to turn toward the release of the new Topps flagship set. The 2019 Topps cards are scheduled to be released this upcoming week, but we have already started to see some leak out.

The anticipation for these cards has caused some – including me – to check their retailers to see if the cards had hit retail shelves in their area early. It has happened before.

What’s interesting is that we all know that these cards are not rare. Hell, if you look hard enough you can still find some Series 1 from 2018 sitting at some retailers.  But it’s this urge for the newest items that some – including me – can’t resist at times. We want to be the first to have it in hand. The first to say we found it. We want that attention, that satisfaction that in 2019 – or whatever year – you were the first or among the first folks – to own cards from that year.

More than ever I find myself fighting myself on this notion. As documented here, there have been many changes in my life over the last few years and this has no doubt had an impact on the way I collect for economic reasons – single-income households are tough to maintain. And because I have been in this game for three-plus decades, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks – or in other word, fight those urges to go out and buy a bunch of the new stuff, when really just a few packs – or no packs at all – will suffice. I mean, when it really comes down to it, I really only collect Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw. That’s not to say that other cards can’t have a place in my collection, but it should serve as a reminder that I do no need to clear out a retailer of a product simply because it’s new – and I’d guess I am not the only person in such a position.

The age of social media has made this tough as we are constantly exposed to the new stuff, and are usually hit with images of the good pulls because it is our nature in present times to share everything almost immediately.  And when we see those pulls, we think we could do the same by purchasing a pack, a box, a spot in a break, etc.

When 2019 Topps hits shelves this week and the images start flowing for real on my Twitter feed, I know exactly how I’m going to feel. I’m going to be excited. I’m going to be filled with the thrill of endless possibilities. But it’s important that I temper those urges to buy more than I “need.” What I should do is stay the hell away from retail shelves – those are my weakness — and just buy one hobby box to open it with my son so that we can build a set and experience the newness together.

 

 

 

As sad as the Josh Hamilton story is …

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

As sad as the Josh Hamilton story is … it’s kind of refreshing.

Listen, I’m no proponent of alcohol or substance abuse.  In fact, I downright loathe both.  But the one thing that I continuously take away from the stories about Josh Hamilton and his “demons” is that he is human; that ball players are human.

So often we like to look at these players like they are of another species.  Like they are athletic gods whose sole purpose in life is to entertain us, sign our items and live up to the contracts that some feel we the fans are paying.

But Josh’s relapse this week in a Dallas pub serves as a reminder that no matter how many home runs he hits in a Home Rub Derby, no matter how much he quotes the bible and praises Jesus Christ, that he is a human being.

We often forget that these players are fathers, husbands, brothers and friends.

Sure, they make money hand over fist and really should not have a financial care in the world. But still, they are human.  They are subjected to the same issues that we ordinary citizens are: temptation and addiction.  And at times — heck, most of the time — we forget that.

What we want to see in these self-professed “times of weakness,” is the ability for the offending person to own their mistake, seek corrective measures, and move forward.

Josh has already shown signs of the first two items on this list.  And maybe as time passes and the 2012 season inches closer, Josh could move forward.

I’m just hoping that there isn’t a plethora of displeased fans who feel it is their place to chastise Josh at the ball park for his mistakes.  None of us are perfect.

Fighting the pack busting urge

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

keep_it_simpleFor three weeks now I have been free from the wrath that was the unopened retail pack. Since busting this horrifically ordinary retail tin of 2008 Sweet Spot, I have managed to steer clear of the card aisle at “big box”  stores and have not spent a dime on a unopened pack anywhere.

My lone trip to the card shop two weeks ago was to purchase tobacco card-size top loaders for my on-going Allen & Ginter “Baseball Icons” insert set. I contemplated buying a single pack of 2008 UD Documentary, you know, just to try it out. But when I realized what a mess the product is, I tossed the pack back in the box. Thank God I made that decision. I saved myself $3, or a tank and a half of gas. In these economic times, I have to think about my card purchases that way. Continue reading