Monday, July 2, 2018

Conclusions

Recently a few developments in and out of my collecting circle have happened to really make me think about this hobby and my "place" in it.


The first of which is Bob Walk The Plank deciding to shut down his blog. I'm still working on a tribute post to his departure (I'm waiting for the deadline for Wes' contest to end so I won't be entered in it), so I'll leave a proper goodbye for another day. In the meantime what I'll say is that his decision to step away from blogging is pretty big and leaves a void of sorts. A void that seems to grow bigger as time goes on I might add.

BWTP is still active as a collector though and fortunately we can still communicate on Twitter where it's a lot easier for us (or me I should say since he still has to suffer my company). If you still haven't added him, he's @walktheplank82 by the way. Still though, his departure does make one think, "when is it my turn to shut down my blog?" For me, probably never. At least not officially. I'll just leave it dormant and then come back to it when I feel like it.


The second development happened outside of my circle. You all probably know that guy who super-collected Jose Canseco right? Well the dude decided to give up on his super collection. If you want you can read it his own words here.

Now collectors giving up on player collections isn't anything new or special in this hobby. People do it all the time. But it did speak to me on a certain level because he was basically one of those people who was practically defined by his player collection. That was part of their collecting identity (to other collectors at least). Imagine being known as that guy who collects a specific player?


Yeah imagine.

And then walking away from it.

For the record, I don't see myself ever completely selling off my collection (who'd even want it?!). Nor do I relate with everything the Canseco guy experienced since I don't really interact with people who'd spend so much money on cardboard that it'd jeopardize their marriage (I don't really want to interact with people like that either TBH). Also I'm not as religious as he is.

But the thought that someone who was so defined by their collection like that deciding to end it made me wonder if I'll ever decide to just give up too.


I mean, some of the time I feel like I want to accumulate every last LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS card that exists like the Tim Wallach Collector. Other times I just want to keep my collection reasonable (i.e. not something I spend too much time or money on). I'm fortunate to have been able to teeter back and forth between both for the most part (also my favorite player does not have the same volume of cards as Canseco or Wallach does, or at nearly the same level of demand). But every now and then the idea that I'm somewhat obligated to go after certain cards because I'm a supercollector does feel overwhelming. Especially given the two conflicting internal viewpoints I have which consist of "you've already come this far, keep going" and "do you really want to spend money on this?"
The worst part is that I know this is all incredibly dumb and are just stupid non-problems I've created for myself. There are real things going on in the world that are super bad and depressing, and yet here I am having dumb thoughts about whether or not to spend money on meaningless rectangles.


I've especially felt all three in recent times since Luis Torrens got more cards in Series 2. As enthusiastic as I was when I published my post about the new cards, that excitement died quickly. So quickly that we're already in July and I still don't have that card in hand. None of the parallels either.

I mean I do have some deals in place to get some of the rarer stuff eventually. But they've yet to actually go through (this new pre-ordering era of card collecting sucks) and for the most part I've chosen to just let a lot of cards go by the wayside because I just can't be bothered. Like I said, I'm not pulling the plug on my collection, but I'm more than okay with passing on almost everything right now until I'm in the mood to build it up again later.

If I had to guess this is probably just me being in the middle of my annual cardboard burnout. Coupled with me changing my collecting habits (again!) and choosing to focus more on my professional life this summer (to mixed results). The only cards that have come in are either TTMs or trades. Which I'm okay with (my wallet is happier that way too).


Eh, this blogpost became a lot more rambley that I intended it to. It's also a mess, I think just I'm suffering from heat frustration (I'm going to move to a perpetual winter country in the future) on top of general frustration. The point is that I've been taking a quasi-break for a while, and with the Staten Island Yankees team set coming out soon I'm slowly starting to come out of it. In the meantime I do have that third international trade post in the works, hopefully that'll keep this blog afloat while this phase of the collecting rut concludes.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

16 comments:

  1. Collecting rut. I think you just perfectly described what I'm feeling as well.
    I hadn't purchased any mainstream 2018 product until I entered into a Cubs Stadium Club break on Ebay last week. Actually, this was my first non-Volgebach purchase in 9 months. How ridiculous is that?
    Walking into my LCS and seeing Bowman packs at $10 a pack and Stadium club at $8 was just just awful. I get that it's all about supply and demand, but good gosh... it's priced me right out of the modern day hobby. I'll stick to the Vogelmonster (with certain limitations in place) and cherry picking Cubs cards.
    It's your hobby, do it your way, as long as you're happy.

    P.S. - I do not like summer in the midwest. I've been think about moving to Canada a lot lately. The weather is just one of a few reasons.

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    1. It's funny, right after this post went up I got addicted to hockey stickers. More on that in an upcoming post.

      Let's buy a house in (the colder parts of) Canada together.

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  2. I think one of the nice things about the way I collect at this point is that I don't consider myself a supercollector. Yeah, every single Buster Posey or Shawn Green card I don't have is on my wantlist. But I'll never track them all down. So I don't even worry about not jumping on the newest 1/1 to hit eBay or buying into case breaks to get the next big thing. But that's just me; maybe someday, if I had tracked down all of the base cards, and was left with just 1/1s to find, I would feel differently.

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    1. My situation is that I'm the only one who's ever bothered to collect Torrens so I have a sizeable amount of 1/1's. Enough to keep me going but not enough to let me be satisfied with where I am.

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  3. The weird thing is I wasn't even in a collecting rut. I was just running out of opportunities to keep things running on a normal pace....especially since I'm trying to keep myself away from computers more in the evenings. You and I are far from done swapping cards!

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    1. Oh for sure, we've still got trades to come I'm sure. But I merely lumped you into the post to make sure that A). you knew that I do acknowledge how I'll miss your blog and B). because the thought of ending the blog and my biggest collection have been on my mind.

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  4. A lot to think about here. The crazy thing is if I ever sold off my collection (I won't), I probably only have a handful of cards people would actually want.

    My 850ish Tinos? I don't think I have any that are so rare people would be intrigued enough to buy it.

    Like you, if I ever shut it down or take a step back, I'd just go dormant and then post whenever I feel like it.

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    1. Yeah, I think this hobby is one where it's easy to accumulate stuff, but super difficult (if not impossible) to sell it off. At least instantly or at the same value they were originally acquired.

      Hopefully you never disappear into the ether.

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  5. You pretty much summed up my thoughts about Mr. Canseco Collector. It's one thing to player collect, but quite another to have said collection potentially endanger a marriage (or any other human relationship, for that matter). When collecting starts to feel more like a responsibility than an enjoyment, I think it's time to get out.

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    1. For whatever it's worth I don't their particular marriage was in danger, but it looks like he was an "inspiration" of sorts to people who were, which I'd be horrified too if I were in that predicament.
      Godspeed to him for pulling out in time.

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  6. It has been a crazy week for collecting. It sounds like Tanner's new adventures are selling his collection and writing a book. I think we'll still see him around the collecting world.

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    1. He'll probably still be collecting in some capacity but he'll probably place extremely strict limits on himself. My question is, what happens when he gets the itch to collect again?

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  7. It's always a little sad to hear about people walking away from their collections or in Mathew's case... his blog. But I've been there before myself, so I understand.

    P.S. I wanna find one of those perpetual winter countries myself. Well... maybe not a country... but a perpetual winter city.

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    1. I am too, especially when they serve as cautionary tales.

      A perpetual winter city, an eternal snowglobe. With my luck by the time I find one global warming will have destroyed it I'm sure.

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  8. Love the gif haha! I am a Ryan Howard "super collector" but its literally impossible to get everything and I can't afford it all. What I do instead is narrow my focus to on-card autos (just got a sweet heritage one!) and the harder to find stuff that way I'm not spinning my wheels getting every relic card out there.

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    1. Girls in white bikini's will always make for great gifs one way or another.
      I'm amazing you have enough self control to really limit yourself to a narrow field in an already narrow field. I'd be tempted to go after everything in existence.

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