Mother, should I build a wall?

When I was a kid my dad had his own small collection, not of cards but of Argus posters. These posters, at least the ones my dad decorated the house with, tended to feature beautiful nature scenes and inspirational quotes. They were essentially the memes of our analog home.

Much like today’s memes are intended to do, the messages on these posters tended to stick with me and become baked into my worldview.

There are no Argus posters in my memorabilia room, but one could argue that my entire memorabilia room is an Argus poster! No, not one of the many reminding us that happiness comes from relationships or experiences, not things, but a different one, which I’ll get to soon enough.

What I do have on my walls and loose on shelves are my very best cards, no matter the value. For example, here is my Roy Campanella collection, rookie card and all.

Just to its left is my Hank Aaron collection, again rookie card and all.

Wander around a bit and you’ll find more card displays to enjoy, including my own personal Cardboard Cooperstown.

Obviously there are risks to doing what I do. Theft? Maybe. Fading? Probably, though we tend to keep things pretty dark down there. Moisture? Flooding? Odor? Alien abduction? All possible!

But here’s what’s definite. When I walk past these cards they make me happy in a way that my cards in boxes or binders do not.

I know where some of you are. You would love a card wall, but you’re nervous about protecting your investment. Far be it from me to tell you how to collect, but I will plant at least two seeds in your mind. First off, the cards you display really don’t have to be your most valuable ones. For example, I’m sure I paid less than $30 total for all the cards in my Cobra frame.

Maybe add ten more dollars and the same holds true for my Steve Garvey collection.

So that’s the first seed I’ll plant. The cards on your wall don’t have to be expensive. They just have to be cards you like.

As for the second seed, I’ll take you back to my dad’s poster that made the greatest impression on me. It showed a boat taking a beating from the waves and rain, on the precipice of capsizing but somehow, barely, still afloat.

Here was the caption, which also serves as the unofficial motto of my card walls.

“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

John A. Shedd, “Salt from my Attic” (1928)

Enjoy your cards!

Author: jasoncards

I mainly enjoy writing about baseball and baseball cards, but I've also dabbled in the sparsely populated Isaac Newton trading card humor genre. As of January 2019 I'm excited to be part of the SABR Baseball Cards blogging team, and as of May 2019 Co-Chair of the SABR Baseball Cards Research Committee.

5 thoughts on “Mother, should I build a wall?”

  1. Jason, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve never been able to keep my “treasures” under lock and key. Beyond cards, I have an extensive beer glass collection. When I have people over I invite them to grab a glass, despite the risk. Haven’t lost one yet. Your mancave looks extraordinary. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I need to give some thought to doing something similar, once my man cave is less of a disaster zone. In a slightly similar vein I have a 9-pocket sheet on my cube wall at work, and I rotate cards in and out. They’re all Mets, but some are recent, some are overproduction era cards and some are vintage. Yeah, someone might steal or damage my 1967 Topps Johnny Lewis card, but it’s no huge tragedy if it were to happen. To me, it’s just a double.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the end of the day I think there are three reasons to collect: to resell, to have, or to enjoy. For some of us in the Enjoy category it’s easy to be influenced by collectors in the other categories and feel like we need to keep our cards safe at all costs. But really we just don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

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