Approximately 57 years ago I walked into the small store, on the square in Lampasas Texas, next to the newspaper where my father worked and bought my first package of baseball cards for a nickel. Inside were several cards and a large massive square of chewing gum. I couldn’t wait to tear the package open and see which player’s cards I received with my purchase. This began an insane hoarding or collecting phase in my life and every red cent I accumulated through helping my father, mowing lawns or throwing paper routes was dedicated to increasing my collection of baseball cards. I was hooked!
All through elementary my collection grew and I kept them secure in a couple of shoe boxes. No one was allowed to touch the cards and I was a fan of the New York Yankees who had many Mantle, Ford, Berra, Maris and other players during the 1950’s. The Yankees were the team in Professional baseball for about a decade or so. I have six cousins and three are female from my aunt’s family and three are boys from one of my uncle’s family.
One day I come home after school and my boy cousins are in my bedroom with my baseball cards all over the floor. Not only did they pull them out, they had a pair of scissors and were happily cutting all my cards in half, that I had saved for about six years. They managed to destroy about half of my collection. I went absolutely crazy and asked my Mother why she allowed them to do this. My uncle’s wife and my Mom just stood there sheepishly knowing that they had not been paying enough attention and this had broken my heart.
Alas after the incident, which I am sure has left scars and caused severe anxiety until this day, I regained my composure and started collecting again, salvaging what was left of the cards. I tell my cousins they owe many thousands of dollars when I see them and remind them of this incident. I seriously don’t think they came away with any regret or remorse. To this day I harbor ill will about this insane experience.
I became interested in sports and girls and boxed my cards up and put them away. After Kim and I got married and had our three sons I started back up with the collecting and it became an major obsession again over time. I made sure to purchase complete sets for the specific year each son was born. I literally have boxes and boxes of baseball cards and do not know exactly what all cards I own. I asked our three sons recently if they wanted the collection, which at one time had considerable value.
The response was an overwhelming no and I was left to jettison the cards from my life, one way or another. So one day while surfing Twitter I ran across a fellow baseball card advocate and inquired if my collection would interest him. He replied in the affirmative and now four days from now he is coming to my home to evaluate whether he wants my collection of many thousands of cards, some over 100 years old. I am trying hard not to be emotional about this transaction, but it is impossible, given my eternal love for baseball and the memories all the cards bring.
My only hope is, that if we agree on compensation, is that he take care of this part of my life and protect them as I have done. He is young and that makes me feel good, as a large contingent of the younger generations have no appreciation for collectibles and I feel assured he will treat them with the respect they deserve. I know this sounds strange to a great portion of my followers and some have no understanding of how traumatic this can be. I will simply state it can be compared in my book, to having to put a long term pet down, when they become sick. May all my heroes forgive me!