Remember that meme with that old dude in a speedo who was here for the rippin’ and the tearin’? Well, this is my feeble attempt to capitalize on that viral trend far past its expiration date. Or I just see my entire storage closet packed with baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, wrestling, golf, comic, boxing, and MMA cards taunting me. What about all these sets that you started ages ago and never finished?
I have a stack of incomplete checklists that serves as a constant reminder of my inability to finish what I start. Fuck, all my sports related endeavors fall under a similar purview. Continuous Cardboard Fire? Not so continuous. Bleeding Your Colors? I’ve retired and come back so much that Sugar Ray Leonard and Terry Funk simultaneously told me to knock it the fuck off. But with this, I feel it is finally a project that I can keep at with some modicum of regularity.
I still buy cards pretty often. Some times I fabricate things I need to buy at Target just so I can swing through the baseball card section and snag a pack of Topps Chrome or Panini Whatever New Set They Have This Week. My cat sure as hell won’t mind the three completely full bags of treats I buy to justify me leaving the house.
But in today’s age of collecting, too many people take the easy way out. If you need one last card for a set, you just go on eBay or Amazon and snag it. I’ve succumbed to that before and I felt as if I failed my 10-year-old self during the entire transaction. So that is where this project comes in. I plan to finish off my incomplete sets the old fashioned way. Finding and buying packs, going to card stores to buy singles locally, and trading with fine folks locally and maybe in other reaches of the country and world.
I want to bring the social aspect of the hobby back into my life. Growing up ripping open packs of Collector’s Choice with my friends led to convoluted six-way trades so that everybody got the players they wanted. When we stepped up to the more premium products, the trades got even more intense. As an adult now, if somebody has a 1993 Topps Vinny Castilla I need to complete a set, maybe I trade them a beer for it. Maybe they have a kid who likes the Red Sox and that old dusty Jeff Conine rookie can be flipped for a handful of Chris Sale and Mookie Betts cards.