If you had ten seconds to grab a few things and dash out of your house before the world around you collapsed, what would you grab? A cell phone? Your checkbook? A clean pair of underpants? Photos of your loved ones? Your medications?
Or would you go directly for your favorite cards?
I'm not writing this to make you feel bad about collecting sports cards and memorabilia when there are people suffering somewhere in the world, nor to make light of the situation. You don't need a sportscard blogger to tell you that the catastrophe in Haiti is a terrible thing and that you should help those affected in any way you can.
I would choose medications, but that's just me. If you said that you would make a bee-line for your cards, don't feel bad: I don't think it's wrong to feel real emotions towards your cards.
But let's be practical here. Choosing your sports memorabilia when what you really need is a toothbrush or your Social Security card may not work for more than a few minutes, unless the sports memorabilia has some sort of value in a collapsed world. And this could very well be the case. It would not surprise me in the least that something like a Babe Ruth–signed baseball could hold barter value in a collapsed world, because of the possibility of the world being rebuilt at some point with the same rules and values system that existed before.
Sports cards themselves are a different, much-less-convincing subject. So instead of spending valuable seconds determining if you really want to save that sports card — be it a 1957 Topps Frank Malzone or a 2008 Playoff Contenders Matt Ryan autographed rookie — keep it in your wallet. Sure, carrying it around with you in your back pocket will beat it to pieces, but that shouldn't matter if you two truly can't be separated.