Leave it up to me to manage to get sick right when the weather turns nice. I know the "put your coat on or you'll catch a cold" stuff isn't supposed to be true. But here we are, every single year. Nice day, leave coat at home, boom. Sick, laid up in bed the last couple days.
So forgive the delay in posting. Nothing beats feeling like garbage while rays of sunshine and chirping birds frolic just outside your window.
I've been reflecting a lot less on what I collect but how I collect. This isn't going to be one of those "completely changing my collecting focus" posts, so don't worry.
But one thing that I've found over the last few years is that I find it harder to appreciate cards. And when I say appreciate, I think I mean obsessively dissect. I can describe, in vivid detail, every line, curve, and blade of grass on Ken Griffey, Jr.'s 2000 Topps card, his first as a Red. Those little red league leader italics in the stat line are burned into my brain. And I can quote the back of cards like it's a holy text.
And I'm sure I'm not alone. I poured over my cards, taking in the fronts and backs time and time again. Now, I add cards to my collection that are probably twenty times cooler, look them over, enter them in a spreadsheet, add them to the appropriate binder, and flip by them ever so often.
There were 1,324 Pirate cards in 2000. Last year there were 7,304 released, and 1,148 under the Bowman banner alone.
But the center of the hobby universe continues to reside in taking the same autograph or patch, numbering it 600 different ways with 600 different tints of blue foil, and telling everyone their card is one of a kind.
And that is where the catch comes in. Or maybe just some fever induced madness. I'm not staking a claim one way or the other right now.
I don't know what the answer is, or if there's a good one. Because instead of opening a pack or two with 11 cards per pack, I pull packages from my mailbox a hundred cards deep. Times have changed, and a lot of that change is fantastic.
But to borrow a line from Ferris Bueller, this hobby moves pretty fast. If we don't stop and look around once in a while, we could miss it.