October 1, 2009
Collecting stuff, to some it's just a hobby, to others it can be all consuming. I fall somewhere in the middle. As a kid I collected comic books. I liked the feel of them, I enjoyed the artwork and I loved reading the silly ads in the back of them. You know the ones for the X-Ray glasses and the live Sea Monkeys. Some of the comics I collected were old then. I wish I was still in possession of them. I asked my mom years back if she knew where they were and she said she thought she had tossed them, damn. I do have a small collection of comic books now, but I've lost interest in them. In the early 90's I collected basketball cards and anything Michael Jordan. To this day I have those cards organized into team and year and tucked away for safe keeping. As far as value, they've actually performed better than my 401K because they didn't vaporize when the economy crashed.
When my two youngest children were born I started collecting Hot Wheels. The Hot Wheels bug bit me hard from 1998-2006. I've never spent more than a couple of bucks every other week to purchase them, but it's amazing how those little cars can add up. Now I have boxes and boxes of them and storage can be an issue.
The main reason I lost interest with Hot Wheels collecting is you have to keep them in their original packaging in order to maximize their value. I know it may sound a bit childish but part of the fun of collecting something is being able to hold it in your hand and admire it for whatever reason.
My point and there is a point here is collecting baseball memorabilia is rewarding in the fact that you can physically hold these items and if your good, you can acquire memorabilia yourself with a little skill and persistence.
I love attending MLB batting practice for the simple fact you get to play MLB outfielder for a short spell. Don't just take my word for it. Go buy yourself a ticket, show up a couple hours early and position yourself in the middle of your team's outfield during batting practice. Stand there and try to catch a ball that has been rocketed to your section by your favorite player. Feel the adrenaline pump through your veins as the ball solidly lands in your glove and your hand starts to hurt from the force of impact.
Take in the sounds as the people around you start to clap and cheer and you realize you've just done something extremely cool. Now because of your own skill you get to take home a piece of that game you'll cherish and remember forever.
For comparison when you get home bust out that old Lincoln penny or stamp collection and see how pumped up that gets you.
Many times now I've been able to catch a player's batting practice home run and forty-five minutes later had that player's autograph on that very ball. If you're a baseball memorabilia or autograph collector it doesn't get any fresher than that. I'm not knocking people who collect other things. I'm just telling you the rush is better in my hobby.
I'm D the Rockpile Ranter and you've just finished reading Edition 1 of "Ranter's Banter". See you out there, just don't stand right next to me...D
D The Ranter is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.