August 09, 2015

The Magic Number

Ten thousand is a big number. And 10,000 of something is quite a lot. Unless, of course, we're talking about sports cards. Then it doesn't seem like so many.

It's here that I find myself these days, butting up against the 10,000-card ceiling, the amount my non-collector wife and I have decided should be the maximum number of cards in our apartment. For a while it was easy—10,000 cards is a lot of sports cards, after all. I had a few sets, a few small player collections of Ichiro, Kirby Puckett, Eddie Murray, Fred McGriff, Dwight Evans. But then I decided I wanted to collect a vintage set, so 1969 Topps became a focus. And as 2014 became 2015, I found I wanted to complete an Allen & Ginter set. And what about my vintage basketball card collection? Or those multiplayer combo cards I had a ton of?
Don't worry, Eddie. With hair like that,
you'll always be a keeper.

I've always been a little jealous of those guys who take selfies with their patchwork quilts of top-loaded memorabilia cards, and those who are surrounded by binders of every set ever made. I was once like them. I once had hundreds of thousands of cards, an entire closet's worth of boxes, bags, and binders. Then I met my future wife and my priorities shifted. And now, after a few moves, I find myself with less cabinet space than in previous apartments and hard choices ahead. What do I save? What do I trade away? What do I try to sell? Why 10,000?

When we agreed on the number, 10,000 meant I could keep all the sets I already had, plus the Red Sox collection I was working on and my small player collections. But like all things, this number has taken on new meanings as time progresses.

Now 10,000 means no doubles. Ten thousand means if you bring in something new, something old is shown the door. Which is fine, in theory. But now "something old" is my 2003 Topps Heritage master set. And I'm not so sure I want to part with that just yet.

I have very little wiggle room these days, and sometimes I kick myself for setting the ceiling so low. So while I find that baseball cards consume my idle thoughts these days, it's complicated. It's not just about what to add to my collection next, but what I'll have to remove.


Rob said...

That Eddie card is my all-time favorite.

Scott Crawford said...

Do you still have a list up on the site of what's what in the 10,000 right now? If so, point it out to us. Maybe you can use a reader poll (with veto rights, of course) to sort this out!

Or you can just drive to the other end of the Mass Pike and drop everything off at my place.

RAZ said...

Is there any way to reevaluate the 10,000 number? Another couple of 5000-count boxes wouldn't really take up that much additional space.