View Full Version : It's about the memories, not the money

03-30-2011, 09:05 PM

I have noticed over the past 10 years or so that all card collectors talk about are the "great pulls" and how much money they got for such and such card. Card collecting has always been a form of gambling, but I'm afraid the young adults with children are missing the most important aspect of collecting, the memories. I am 63 years old and raised three sons. Every time I look through our collection I have a memory. Every time I look at my old cards from when I was a kid I return to my childhood in my bedroom and the hours I spent looking through those cards. I could never sale or trade these cards. They are my childhood. Every time I look at my scuffed up Willie Mays card I remember exactly when my dad picked the card up in a parking lot after a kid had thrown it on the ground saying "Dů. Nů." I remember my dad putting the card in my back pocket saying "Save that card boy. He might be the best player to ever play the game." I remember the weekend we were visiting my parents' home where I grew up and I took the shoe box down from the top of my old closet and gave the box to my son and told him that I had some cards to add to the collection. He spent the entire weekend looking up the cards in his Beckett and telling me how much each card was worth. All the cards were in terrible condition from being handled so much and I kept telling him they weren't worth that much, but until he got older he didn't believe me. "It doesn't matter" I told all my kids, "It's about the memories, not the money." Every time I look at the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey, Jr. Rookie card I see my 12 year old son sitting in the front seat of my car holding up the card with a great big grin on his face yelling "I got it. I got it." I don't care if the price of that card reached $1,000 I would never sale that card. There are hundreds of memories stored away in my cabinet of baseball and football rookie cards. Each time I look at these cards another memory pops into my mind. My wife doesn't understand why I can spend hours looking at these cards.
The memories don't just end with great pulls. Ever since I was a kid the first thing I would do and still do during baseball season every morning is grab the sports section of the newspaper and turn to the box scores. My sons have picked up this routine and do the same thing. It is not unusual for me to get a call at 6:00-6:30AM from one of my sons asking if I had been following a certain ball player and did we have his rookie card. I will go check and tell him which cards we have or that we don't have his card. Usually they talk me into getting on ebay and buying some of his rookie cards or sometimes they will buy the cards and bring them the next time they come and add them to the collection. When I look at these cards, I still remember that telephone call and our discussion. Sometimes they have been right and the kid continues his performance. Sometimes they are wrong and a great career falls flat. Sometimes the cards have gone way up in value. Sometimes they become worthless, but like I tell my sons" it doesn't matter. It's not about the money, it's about the memories."
My sons have all grown up, moved away, married and now have children of their own. They all give me hobby boxes of baseball and football cards for my Christmas presents. Every Christmas I sit in my recliner and watch my three grown sons sitting on the floor opening packs of cards like they were kids again. When one of them has a great rookie card pull we all get excited and talk for hours about that player. I hope when I'm dead and gone and my boys are looking at one of these cards that it brings back the memory of their old man sitting in the recliner smiling down on them. I hope they remember that it's not about the money. It's about the memories.

03-31-2011, 07:14 PM
Very good stuff, here is the published version: http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2011/03/its-about-the-memories-not-the-money/

And btw, your sons are very lucky to have you and the article reminded me of my relationship with my own dad :)

04-02-2011, 12:09 PM
Awesome article! Loved it!