What to Do With All of Those Baseball Cards?


I love baseball cards. I still buy baseball cards. I still get excited when I rip open a pack of baseball cards and find my favorite player nestled inside. And sure, that now means Jeff Karstens and Jose Altuve instead of Ken Griffey Jr, but fine, whatever. 

The only problem is, what to do with all of those cards? For some, that’s not really a problem. You take the expensive cards and either sell them or put them into fancy  plastic cases. Others may just throw the cards they don’t want away. Given my love of utility infielders and guys with mustaches, this makes it a little more difficult for me to rid myself of the ‘commons.’ 

For years, I would file the cards away in binders, separated by team and league, but I’ve come to realize that until I win the lottery and have endless space, at some point I’ll have to stop. 

At the same time, I want to interact with my cards more than when they’ve been stuffed into some binder, only to be cracked open every few years to be gazed at again. 

Because, to me, I don’t get excited by the foil inserts or the uniform cards. I love baseball cards because they remind me of a time and a place. A 1993 Ken Griffey Jr Upper Deck card reminds me of watching Opening Day baseball with my mother after my sister cruelly hid my Ziplock baggie of Ken Griffey cards. 

A Dennis Eckersley reminds me of trading away a Roger Clemens for it with my first best friend when I was seven years old, just months before moving away. 

A John Kruk card reminds me of how much I love ham.You know, the important things in life.

When my cards are filed away, I don’t interact with them, they’re just more stuff that gets moved with me from town to town, gathering weight and mass. 

And since I don’t care for the value of them and have no plans on selling them, I want to make them something I interact with more often, like when you’d take cards and flip them into your spokes. 

I’ve already started scanning and posting my favorites, finding interesting stories I never would have thought to look for along the way. Like Al Hrabosky owning a bar in St. Louis or Christie Brinkley taking the weirdest, most arousing baseball cards of all-time, or the offseason jobs that ballplayers took to keep busy

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I use my baseball cards as bookmarks too, starting a sister blog devoted to just that. It’s always fun to flip open a book you haven’t read in a little while and, before you start, remember that Boog Powell hit 27 home runs in 1975. 

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But what are some other ways to use the cards? How do you use your cards.

Browsing the internet, I saw a few ideas:

You could become like Baseball Card Vandals, and create your own hilarious art. But, if you have the drawing skills that I have, you’ll probably get fewer brilliant pieces and more cards just covered in sharpie. 

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I found people making Baseball Card Wallpaper, which, for a small wall or near my desk, would be a lot of fun. Though the idea of them peeling off and falling during the summer fills me with dread.

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(Photo by @RandyShideler

I thought of Drinking Games, perhaps finding another similarly loaded down baseball-obsessed friend, using our cards to aid in getting toasted, nicely toasted

For instance, take two stacks of old cards and, like a game of war (or, you know, WAR), flip them over, deciding that whichever player lays down a player with the higher career ERA, or more strikeouts, or more hits in 1993, has to take drink. 

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(Baseball Card Coasters originally from Code-Cards.com, though currently unavailable)

This one seems fun because the rules are stupid and nearly limitless, the two most important things drinking games need to have. 

You could use them as tiny plates for appetizers at dinner parties, but given where they’ve probably been over the years, that doesn’t seem like the safest option. Same with using them as drink garnishes. 

So what do you do with your cards? Toss ‘em? Give them away? Stuff them in the back of your closet?

Let me know and if we get enough interesting responses, we’ll revisit the topic and help the world find intriguing, useful, Pinterest-pleasing ways of dealing with the backlog of 1991 Fleers.

If only they could be used as fuel, we’d never have to worry about peak oil again. 

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