Honus Wagner baseball card circa 1910. See als...

Alas ... not in my collection.

Normally I write about sports, but this week I am going to go into the world of sports cards

I have received a number of auction catalogs as the spring months are prime for sports cards and memorabilia auctions. Even Kosmo has touted our favorite REA auction on the site here more than once over the years.

Seeing all of these cards, and knowing I am building a new home has me thinking as wel … maybe it is the time to sell my collection.

My Collecting Story

I have been a card collector since I was a young kid. I remember packing those 77 and 78 Topps cards into the Stride-Rite Shoebox surrounded with rubber bands.

I got a bit older, I started mowing yards, my money to spend on cards increased. I bought sets, I bought $9 complete unopened boxes of 83 Topps and 84 Donruss. I even picked off some old cards from the 50’s and 60’s and got a collection from an older relative. I had every Carl Yastrzemski card in existence.

I went off to college … my collecting days stopped. I bought a few shiny refractors once and awhile, but mainly the cards were locked away in my parents basement.

I got older, started a career. Met a girl … decided after dating a couple of years to marry that girl … sold all of my cards and bought her engagement ring and paid for my first brand new car (a 1994 Toyota Camry) and made a down payment on our first house.

Then after a short while the appeal of collecting came back. I always loved the sport of golf. I started to collect vintage golf cards. I soaked up all of the knowledge I possibly could. I asked a LOT of questions. I researched on the internet, I bought from overseas auction houses. I talked to other dealers, collectors, read anything I could on the topic.

And after some years – I became very well versed in this area of the hobby, albeit a small area of the hobby.

Not the first time I have considered selling

I moved with my job a couple of times, had a son … decided the time was right to part with my collection.

At that time I had an agreement in place for a person to make a number of payments over a couple of years for the entire shootin’ match. Every single card I owned except one Bobby Jones card I wanted to hang onto for my son.

That deal never quite worked out … I got a partial payment and gave up the centerpiece set in my collection in return for the money that had been exchanged at that time.

The money from the deal went into the son’s college education fund.

Then … my life really changed …

I was diagnosed with Cancer, got rid of it, it came back again, got rid of it again…..and through it all collecting became more important to me again, it kept my mind off of other things, it was fun, it is what I enjoyed the best and I could be on the computer anywhere, in the hospital, at home, while going through a stem cell transplant…anywhere. It made me escape my problems and added normalcy to my life.

I continued to try and share my knowledge and I met many many many more people in person, and via email and phone than I ever would have from all over the globe.

I have enjoyed trying to educate anyone who will listen about golf cards, tried to make the hobby a better hobby and get more people involved.

And now I am considering selling it all again … what do I do?

Now I am building a new home. This is the house my wife and I plan on being in for a long time. It is our dream house.

The thoughts of selling the collection again enter my mind … I could do a LOT more with the house if I sold my entire collection. I could totally finish that walkout basement right out of the gate. I could add that gas fire pit in the backyard that I would want to have eventually anyway….and I am sure I could sock away some more money into the kids college fund.

I could always sell some stuff. Heck I have quite a few things to sell anyway. I could sell my extra’s or just some of my collection. OR … I could sell all of it and I am quite sure I would be able to find new happy homes for my cards.

Would I miss the cards that much? I could eventually replace them all again at some point in time except maybe a couple that are exceedingly rare cards, and of course I have a few cards in my collection that if I did sell them It is very likely would never get to have in my collection in that type of condition ever again … but at the end of the day … does it really matter?

I guess this is a struggle that many collectors come to grips with at some point during their collecting life-cycle. At what point is it a hobby and at what point is it a bunch of money that is sitting in an album or a drawer or a safe or on a shelf.

For now, it is a decision that I am wrestling with as well.

Until Next Time, stay classy Dalhart, Texas

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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