This blog is going to be kind of long so go grab a bag of chips and a Dr. Pepper or something. I can assure you that this is the longest post I’ll ever type for TNB so don’t worry that you’ll have to read a novel every time you show up.
First of all, you’re probably wondering what “Treasure Never Buried” has to do with baseball? Why not call it Blister Pack, Manny-Mania, Lofton’s Loft or “If Heaven Ain’t a Lot Like Jacob’s Field, I Don’t Wanna Go”? Future card blogger, please, feel free to use them. Just make sure to reference me. I’m a rookie and I need all the exposure I can get.
Anyway, I came up with this phrase about 8 years ago when my first and only ATTEMPT at writing a novel ended in failure.
“I feel that I am searching for treasure never buried, roses never planted.”
I quit collecting back in ‘94. Packs were getting more expensive and what in the world was a refractor anyways? Why are my cards serial numbered? Did they join the Army or something? None of it made sense to me anymore and so the cards ended up buried in the back of my closet.
Six years later in ‘00, I found myself in Wal-mart at 3 am for no reason other than boredom. I bought a pack of UD Choice on a whim. (note: 8 years later and I still have trouble deciphering which “You Crash The Game” cards I have…go figure)
Over the course of 3 or 4 months I would drive to Wal-Mart and spend all of my money on retail packs. One day the whim went as quickly as it came and all of the new cards went in the box with the old ones. Once again, I walked away.
In 2004, I returned from my first tour in Afghanistan and I started my first management job. New job, new wife, newborn, everything was coming at me at once. One day out off frustration, I drove off in my car to think for awhile. I stopped at a shopping center to find a restroom and there in the corner was a sight that I had long forgotten. I got out of the car and with every step I began to move faster, searching my pockets for spare change and wadded $1’s.
I stepped inside and I was 12 years old again. I stood there looking past the clerk counting and recounting my money. He could have had a store full of 1986 Sportflics and I would have spent every penny I had. Umm…but shouldn’t I be getting a little more than 5 packs out of $23? When did inflation hit the sports card market so hard? Had I been gone that long? Poor, poor Topps and Upper Deck…I felt bad that they were so strapped for cash that they had to charge so much for trading cards. Times must have been tough for them.
I’ll never forget how stupid I must have looked when I pulled a Clemens/Posada Yankee’s Dynasty Dual Game Used Jersey.I thought I had pulled a $100,000,000 card. What in the world was embedded in this thing??? The clerk told me that a customer had pulled an Elvis Presley card that had a piece of his Military uniform embedded in it. Huh? I must have misunderstood him. That just sounds dumb.
My job soon slowed down and the pressure subsided. One day, I took the cards up into the attic and opened the shoe box from my 7th grade football cleat’s full of old cards. I delicately placed the new cards inside. I never looked back as I came down from the attic.
In March of ‘07, we moved into our first home. While putting up the last of our stuff I came across all of those old shoe boxes. I decided to sell them and start working on the down payment for a new truck. After all, isn’t that what collector’s are supposed to do? Collect, store, reminisce, sell? I was just following the tradition.
Before I finished I noticed one tattered old Topps card in a penny sleeve. I took it out and sat in the floor staring as if I were holding a ‘52 Mantle. Of all the Jeter rookies, Manny inserts, A-Rod variations, only ONE card was in a protective case. I sat in the floor for hours sorting back through worthless cards in horrible condition.
If these cards meant so much to me, why did I always end up walking away again? Did I continuously “outgrow” them? Did other things take precedence? Yes, but more than anything it was with the cards themselves. I was reminded how frustrated I use to get trying to figure out if I had the 50 cent base card or the $50 “Gold Super Flapped Printed Slant Purple Mint Exofractor”?
Every time that I came back to the hobby that I loved I felt that I was struggling to understand a hobby that wasn’t the way that I left it… I felt as if I were trying to find something that was never really there…
Hence the title, Treasure never buried…
There is more to me than this blog entails but I feel it paints a picture of how I’ve always approached my collection. I know it kind of ends on a dead note but it will lead into my next post.
I didn’t actively attempt to begin a blog. One year ago I got back into the hobby “one last time”. I told myself that this is it. This is the last shot at Baseball Cards. If I didn’t doesn’t work out for me…well, that’s also another future post. If the frustrations of being a collector can’t outweigh the frustrations I occasionally need to escape from elsewhere then it’s a losing battle, right?
I feel like I stand alongside many of you who feel the same way. That’s why I’m here. I have heard and read so many gripes over the last few months about the state of card collecting. Yet we’re still here. There are legitimate concerns from collectors. It’s not all just incessant whining. There are problems with the hobby and I believe that if the voice becomes loud enough from us that we can help to change these things.
Thanks for reading and, once again, I promise this is the last all-nighter I’ll pull anytime soon.