Sunday, July 3, 2011

From dime bags to dime boxes

I was obsessed with sports when I was a kid.  It's not that I'm not obsessed now, but it was a whole different level back then.  I could quote up to the day batting averages during the season.  I put in 10 hour days playing some combination of baseball, basketball, football and other lesser sports.  My uncles used to get a kick out of picking a random common out of my card collection and giving me the team name and players initials.  I'd get them right every time.

Another thing I was obsessed with for a few years at least, was the cards themselves.  I had no money for cards.  I mean none!  No allowance, no means for getting cash.  Saving up for a single pack of 1986 Topps for weeks was not getting me the massive collection I craved.  So I got creative.  I'd give a neighborhood kid some 'crack'.  Baseball card crack!  Give the kid a few hundred cards, show them a Beckett to show them how valuable these things were(I feel kinda bad about that, not the 'crack' part, the Beckett part) and let them build up a collection with their allowance(lucky bastards!).  After a while, the kid would lose interest and I would get all my cards back for free, along with whatever they had accumulated.  And if they stuck with it, at least I had a new trading partner.

Aint I a jerk?

Well, I'm no longer a sports card drug dealer.  Nowadays, I'm the loser that spends an hour at a dime box and comes away thinking he found cardboard gold.  I can't help it, its in my roots as a collector.  Find ways to get a lot for a little.  I'm not saying I like common junk any more than the next guy, but I do still have one thing in common with that 11 year old manipulative kid.  I love looking through cards as often as I can!

Did you have any ways to 'creatively collect'?  Share em!


  1. I'd watch my little sisters for a few minutes while my mom would run out. I'd ask for a pack of cards in return.

  2. There was a monthly card show at a local bingo hall by my house as a kid. I was 12-14 years old. My buddy and I used to get a table which was about $30. I would sell any extras I had and then used the money I got to purchase cards from other vendors. It was a non-profit business for me.