My mother used to throw out my cards.
Trite, right? Here’s the twist: I let her. Every year, or maybe more sporadically than that, my mother would ask if I wanted my cards. I told her no. It’s crazy looking back at it.
That all ended for me at the close of 1971. What remained was a small stack, part of that year’s baseball set, and all of my football, basketball and hockey cards. I kept everything from that moment on.
As the ‘70’s wore on, and my local reputation was built on, or ruined by, my penchant for cards, friends would give me their collections as they grew out of them and I remained stuck. My 1971 baseball cards piled up, but, as they were not my originals and cared for as such, condition was a hodgepodge.
Rich Morales, #276 in the set, #1 in my heart, always stuck out as a reminder of the grief I suffered by not keeping my own cards and the joy I incurred by getting everyone else’s.
What a wreck. If a card has anti-gloss, this is it. You can almost feel the texture by looking at it – rough, grainy, dirty, as if a card had driven over it multiple times. Creases, paper loss, a real PSA -7. The back is less gross, but not very nice.
When I discovered a few years back that I was pretty close to finishing a 1971 set, I decided to complete it in somewhat consistent condition, somewhere between VG and EX. I got it done and am pretty pleased with it. All of a sudden, this Morales card was less comfortable in its surroundings. With some mixed feeling, I upgraded.
In the past year I’ve completed my 1968-70 football sets. As I’ve done so, I’ve sold my crappy cards in bulk from those years. Weirdly, there’s a market for poor condition cards.
Those can go. In fact, so can my extra baseball cards of that era, and I’ve moved over 1,000 to a Facebook collector. Rich Morales is safe though. I’ll never get rid of him.