Baseball cards or food?

I am sure several of us have had lady troubles in the past because of our hobby. I have had girlfriends who didn’t even know what baseball cards were, others who hated that I would spend $200-$300 a month on paper with sweaty guys on it, and my current better half who is not always pleased with my spending. Let’s face reality, guys. Women are strange creatures. No matter how perfect, how beautiful, or how understanding your woman is she will never approve of you buying a pack of ’07 Triple Threads. She might put up with it but she won’t be happy with it.

All that being said, collecting baseball cards should never become an addiction worth losing your family over. This guy here is a perfect example of what not to do when making a choice of baseball cards or paying the bills. Not only did his first marriage end because of baseball cards, his second wife left him after he secretly spent $8,000-$10,000 a year on wax. Then he comes on the Beckett message boards to “warn” us not to be like him. Listen buddy, I don’t think that will be a problem.

I won’t be hypocritical here. I too have found myself spending large amounts of time on eBay looking for the next great Jose Canseco card, or lurked on the baseball message boards and/or been writing one too many blogs at times I could have been spending with my son but it has never gotten out of hand. I have found a way to include my wife into my collection, as you may have seen in Wax Heaven’s first ever video box break. We went to the store to buy Ultra Pro pages and she was the one pushing for me to buy wax, not the other way around.

I won’t lie and tell you the family gig doesn’t hurt the collection. I would love to have spent my money on twice as much cards as I have opened so far but I have to put food on my table, keep my water warm, and teach my son to play catch. The next great Joba Chamberlain 1/1 card is not going to cloud my judgement, well, at least not completely. Hey, that’s almost good enough, no?



  1. I am now finding myself buckling down on card buying. Well, excessive buying anyway. I now have a wedding to save up for and a fiancee to think about. I choose food and shelter over tiny pieces of cardboard more and more each day. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop collecting though.

  2. Looks like the guy was a pack gambler. I’ve seen too many people come into a shop and drop a couple grand on some high-priced tins looking for that huge hit or put a bunch of wax on the credit card and then try to sell back the hits to pay for it. It was actually kind of funny reading through the thread and seeing all the big hits being shown off in the poster’s sigs.

    I’ve gone through some lean times too, but I was still able to have fun collecting by opening cheap grab bags and buying commons I liked instead of busting boxes. I’m supposed to be the card junkie here, but the owner of the shop I go to once commended me for never spending above my means when I came into the shop. Figure out how much you can afford and try to use cash only and you’ll be fine. And pay the damn electric bill! Sheesh, how are you supposed to search eBay with no electricity??

  3. There are plenty of paper items that women spend too much on–as a scrapbooker, I know that only too well. I’m getting back into baseball cards and there have been enough times this year where I’ve had to decide between 12×12 cardstock with shiny pictures on it and small rectangles of cardstock with shiny pictures on it. At least I haven’t got around to cutting up the small rectangles.

    In any case, if your paper collection is worth more than your car, it’s time to stop.

  4. My wife was into scrapbooking for about a year. She has a short attention span.

    Anyways, I am sad to say that one time while really, really in love I walked into a Michael’s and bought all the materials and made her a scrapbook. I think I can say that it’s not as expensive as baseball cards. There are some packs of baseball that run $400 for 4 cards. It’s crazy!

    Thanks for the comment and good luck with your blog!

  5. When I was just out of college, I couldn’t get a job. I ran out of money and couldn’t pay the rent. So, I decided to sell my best baseball cards. It was something I had to do, but I took a beating on my Mickey Mantle rookie card.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement on my blog. I’m going to do a few pack opening roundups this weekend when I can spend some quality time with my scanner.

    I’m not about to spend $400 on 4 cards, especially if they’re fugly cards like those Sportskings ones that got posted here. However, the scrapbooking stuff can add up. $20 for clear stamps here, $6 for rub-ons there, $4 for clear overlays, $2 for one sheet of flocked paper, $1 for glittery cardstock, multiply by 10, you’ve got Extreme Non-Digital Scrapping going on there. (Then add gadgets like the Cricut…) The blaster box of Bowman Heritage I just bought takes up a lot less space than the Glitter Stack paper I almost bought instead, and was about as much.

  7. this is the addiction: selling off your video games and old clothes on ebay to buy wax boxes, or if you have the money spending $2000 a week at the card store looking for that joba or lincecum autograph! This has to stop before i max out another credit card or run through a whole semesters student loans! I feel your pain but i just love it too much! Great blog!

  8. Thanks, David.

    Yeah, I have my problems too but I stopped at two boxes to get that damn Joba auto from Bowman Chrome! I know people who got it in just a couple of packs! I hate them. 😦

  9. Jesh Mario, you sound like me. But my wife saw me buy a card for 5 bucks grade it and sell it for $57 on ebay, buy a Barkley rookie and grade it, then sell it for 5X what it cost on ebay, she is kind of into it right now.

    As long as I’m selling about as much as I’m buying it’s ok, now that I have bought about 4K worth of cards in the past year, the game of trying to buy low and sell high has begun.

    And of course I still have my 150 Larry Walker rookies, MInt condition, just waiting for the HOF to call him.

    Here’s the way I see it, I buy a 1986 Fleer basketball set and get a good price at $750. True story here, sell Jordan for $575, Barkley $99, Wilkins $119, Thomas $69, Checklist $70. Minus 50 bucks for grading, the rest of the cards are free and I am clear $185. Not all sets work out this well, some work out even better, but that’s how you can keep buying, just keep selling.

    And don’t lose that focus, if I want that Andrew Miller Sweet Spot 1/1 siganture, I need to sell something of equal value. Or buy low and sell high and don’t go over your preset limit, don’t get into an ebay bidding war and own a $300 Thomas Mint when you can wait it out and get one for $60.

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