Sunday, September 22, 2013

As Suddenly As It Started

For about three years, I returned to collecting cards, primarily focused on finishing my T-206 set, which I managed to do back in January.  I used to really enjoy the hunt, searching out every card I needed, winning auctions on eBay or being the first to Net54 to find a card I needed.  Every day or couple of days, new packages would arrive, usually brimming with vintage cardboard, but sometimes with something more modern, like wrestling cards or the newest Topps cards or even a group break when things turned out right.  And then, it just stopped.

I think three things stopped my purchasing. 

One, I actually completed what I set out to accomplish, which is a rare thing for me to do. I excel at starting projects and am even really good at the middle ground in a lot of cases, but show me the end and I just seize up and move away. 

Two, the primary source of cards I collect are baseball cards.  To be honest, I can't tell you the last time I've watched a baseball game.  It might be 2011, but it might be even earlier. I still watch sports and always find time for Premier League Football and now watch American football for its fantasy league implications, but never sit down and watch baseball, even as background noise.  Given the dearth of Premier League cards released in the US (soon to be rectified by Topps.), it was hard for me to get excited by the newest card releases.  I remember buying a box 2012 Topps Update last year.  It was very exciting to drive over the state of New Jersey and find a box, but after opening the whole thing, I was struck by how horrible my hit was (Carlos Ruiz relic) and how few of the players in the set I had known or in some cases, even heard of. 

Three, I started traveling.  Going away every week for work is a real impediment for purchasing cards.  You don't get a chance to spend time with your cards and end up leaving them in a box.  This made it harder to buy cards and to write about what I did purchase, since everything would arrive for me to open on Thursday nights and then I would need to scan a whole bunch of cards in advance to take pictures for me to write about next week.  It was no longer fresh and felt like I was bending time to make things more topical. 

So, it stopped.  Actually, a few weeks ago, I learned about ITG Decades 90s, which led me to make my first real purchase of cards in seven months (save a Mike Scott autograph).  Looking around, I even thought I might get back on the horse and finish up a set of Diamond Stars, with their crazy Art Deco look and lack of overpriced Yankees to drive up the total price of the set.  Who knows.