View Full Version : CONTEST ENTRY - Collecting - The One Constant In A Life Of Change

08-19-2010, 03:19 PM
Collecting - The One Constant in a Life of Change
by Michael Barton

When I initially read about this contest, I really didn't have any idea in regards to what I would write about. Sure, I have collected for most of the past 25 years, but what has made collecting cards different for me? Well, my life has not been an easy road at times, but one of the few things in my life that I has been with me from the age of 9 is my love of sports cards. Let me explain a little further.
I moved around a lot when I was a child. I went to seven different schools in seven years. I had an addiction problem for much of my life, which I can now proudly say is in the past. I have had everything, and I have had nothing. But my love for collecting cards has never wavered. At times it has been an escape from the difficulties of everyday life, it has been a place I could go and sit for hours (and hours) and just read the backs of cards and forget about things that may have been troubling me at the time. Collecting has given me a common ground with others, and I have made some lifelong friends because of this hobby.
Recently, I began collecting rookie cards again. It has always been my personal favorite thing to collect, from being a kid trying to get 9 Will Clark 1987 Topps cards to fill up a 9 pocket page (I always thought that looked so neat in a binder). And I try to keep my collecting habits very basic these days. I know the rage is in autographed rookies and speculation, but I am actually enjoying picking up the basic cards. I recently acquired a 1986 Topps Tiffany Ozzie Guillen RC, and that card makes me happier than any 5 color patch auto numbered to whatever! I also acquired a 1982 Fleer Cal Ripken RC, which was one of the holy grail's of my youth. When I got it, I had to laugh because it reminded me of spending a few weeks trying to get one of those from my friend when I was 13. It never wound up happening then, so it brought a smile to my face that I could finally get my hands on not just a card, but a fond memory. The fact that it is slightly miscut, with the typical fuzzy picture, made it all the more fun to hold.
This hobby has it's positive and it's negatives just like life does. Personally, there was a time when I was completely into buying cards to make a profit off of them. As I look back now, there was no enjoyment in that, and I even took a break at times in the past because I just got so turned off by the companies pushing these high dollar boxes and brand new cards fetching thousands of dollars. When I got back into it this time around, I decided this was going to be about the joys of collecting. So what if I cannot afford a box of exquisite? I like cards for the information. I don't need to see "congratuations you have received" on the backs of my cards anymore. It's nice, don't get me wrong, but I enjoy reading about person, seeing how they did in the minor leagues before they finally realized their dreams and made it to the show. I especially like the stats. I got into a heated discussion with someone not too long ago because they said there was no way Wade Boggs had ever hit 20 home runs in a season. I knew that little tidbit from the 1989 Topps Boggs, and it came in handly almost 20 years later!
Whatever you do in this hobby, do it because you enjoy it. Don't get lost in the money of it all, because it is very easy to do. I know, I've been there.

08-20-2010, 11:44 PM