You know, every now and again there are certain occurrences in the crazy world of Baseball card collecting that constantly surprise me.
That Prospect cards have taken over the venerable old Rookie card as THE player card of choice is one such oddity that I’ve always had trouble wrapping my head around! That people still go out and buy boxes of Topps Tier One is another! Come on guys, will someone please explain that one to me?
There are others that crop up from time to time, but the one thing that consistently blows me away is the friendliness and generosity of our fellow collectors!
On a personal level I’m always happy to give away cards – always have been! I’m well aware that there’s a thriving trading community out there, both online and at the grassroots level, and I dare say that there are few unscrupulous types who will only entertain a trade if it suits them, if they get the best end of the deal!!
However that isn’t the way Patricia Bates raised her only son, and I’ve always been of the opinion that I’d rather give cards away as long as I know they’re going to a good home. It’s just the way I’m wired! I’ve done it several times in the past and no doubt I’ll end up doing it again in the future!
One such giveaway happened a few weeks ago when I butted in on a Twitter conversation between two Cardinals fans. Don’t you just love that the existence of Twitter somehow allows you to bypass the standard social conventions and rudeness associated with interrupting a conversation in a real world environment? One of these Cardinals fans was my good friend James Ruffin, and the other was Shannon Smith from Sterling, Illinois!
I found out that Shannon had a Yadier Molina PC so I enquired as to whether he had the Gold Parallel #’d/199 from this year’s Topps Archives! He said he didn’t and – BLAM – the card was his. I got his address details and off it went. No fuss and no discussion of a trade. I had a card that another collector wanted and as far as I was concerned the card was his (it didn’t hurt that he was a Cardinals fan either :) )!
A couple of weeks later he found out that I have a fledgling Bob Gibson PC and he sent me a couple of pictures of Gibby singles via Twitter, but I had nothing else to trade so I let him know it was cool and didn’t bother pursuing it further.
Now there’s a popular adage across the sport that the St Louis Cardinals have the best fans in Baseball. On this occasion I’d like to extend this just a bit further and say that they’ve quite possibly got the best card collectors in Baseball as well, as around three weeks later a package turned up from Shannon containing the following -
Wow!! What can I say??
My Gibson collection suddenly jumped by 50% from 40 cards to 60 in one go, and he also threw in a few extra goodies as well including an X-Fractor of Adam Wainwright from 2013 Topps Chrome!
This is a shining example of the generosity of spirit of my fellow collectors! Without any selfish agenda Shannon was happy to part with 24 cards from his own collection, sending them overseas to help to help a fellow collector in a far-off land! It makes my contribution of a single Yadi insert look a bit lame, all things considered! But if you weigh up the fact that we’re looking at a 24 card to one trade, then I guess you’re missing the point to begin with!
James perfectly summed this up recently when he called it ‘collectors without borders’! You see, I love being part of an international community of collectors, and I love that we all watch out for each other – helping out wherever we can to build upon our collections! Sure, getting cards for your own collection is great, but what’s wrong with spreading the love (and the cards) every once in a while too, eh?
Collectors without borders, long may it continue!!