I find myself in a situation where I am spending too much on cards. I have a good deal of credit in my PayPal account, and I all-to-easily succumb to the siren song of the Heritage boxes on eBay. I am weak.
I get a lot of pleasure opening boxes and packs, and I love the Heritage cards. I want to collect them all, back to ’01, but not for $300+ per box.
So what am I to do?
The perfect panacea is to trade cards with fellow bloggers and readers. For some reason, I get even greater pleasure sending dozens of cards to people I have never met and probably will never meet. However, there is great satisfaction in helping people. Not just in finishing sets of baseball cards, but in accomplishing tasks and improving themselves. I am that way with my children, with the young man I mentor, and with everyone in general.
When I get a shout-out from someone for helping them finish a set, it is the satisfaction of seeing someone else achieve their goals. This is why I got such a kick out of helping Connor, the son of Jason from Treasure Never Buried (one of the better blogs out there) finish his set. I was not expecting anything in return, although Jason was kind enough to send an autographed Indians card to me.
When I find a Tim Lincecum card that Bailey (The Nennth Inning) doesn’t have, which is a difficult task in itself, then I am glad to help. I have even started looking through the $3 autograph and relic box for his cards and those of teams that I know my “friends” collect, such as Dodgers for Night Owl and GCRL, Braves for Cardboard Junkie, Phillies for Stale Gum, Rangers for (who else) Rangers Cards, Reds for Nachos Grande, Padres for Padrographs, etc. It is a small price to pay for some gratification.
Having said that, I love seeing my name in someone’s blog, and seeing appreciation for any cards I send to them, no matter how awful they may be. (I try to send cards that aren’t awful, but sometimes they fall short of the impact that I hope for, especially in comparison to the cards that some bloggers send to others. I just don’t have the autos or relics that they do.) And I enjoy getting cards in return. The day Chris Harris sent me the Chipper Blue Refractor was a highlight, and the auto from Jason was one, too. Like I said, I don’t expect things like this, but it is also nice to receive cards.
The greatest joy I get, though, is one I will classify The Thrill of the Chase. It is getting a note from a reader who has a trade list with many cards from a mid-70’s Topps set or a late-80’s Fleer set or any 90’s Donruss set. I can then sort through my cards and pick out 100 or 200 or 300 cards from that set to send to the reader. I have sent out several of those types of packages in the past six months since I started blogging, and that is the best I’ve felt while doing this. Yes, sending ten here or twenty there or even a single card out is great, especially when it helps to complete a set. But sending a box of cards is, as the old song says, “a kick in the pants!”
So, in that vein, if you have a set of cards you have been dieing to build and need a starter set, or if you need those last few Topps or Upper Decks, let me know. I will look for whatever you need and send it off if I have it. And if you feel generous and would like to return the favor, you can always send me something from my Wantlist, or an Omar Vizquel parallel, insert or autogamer, but it is certainly not a requirement or necessary. In the end, I truly believe, you reap what you sow. It all comes back to you in the end.
Happy Holidays to everyone, and please be generous to those less fortunate than you this Holiday season, and continue to do so throughout the year. You can make a difference.