In the age of the Internet and everything else, it doesn’t seem like a lot of people collect things anymore. When I was a kid, I collected a lot of different things. Of course, a lot of those things didn’t stick so I soon grew bored with the items.
But, as an adult, I have a few things I enjoy collecting.
That being said, it seems like a lot of people don’t collect much — well, at least people I know.
I once worked with someone who was still into collecting stamps (something I did when I was younger). I love stamps. It’s one reason I really like postcrossing as you get to see some wild stamps from around the world.
But the new U.S. stamps seem like they would be a bore to collect because they are the self-sticking kind.
Coins were neat. I did that before. But now, I only have one coin and I keep it in my wallet. When my dad died four years ago, one of my friends came to the calling hour and handed me a dime in a coin holder. The date of the coin was 1937 — the year my father was born. That is the one coin that really means something to me and I keep it with me as I walk through life.
But what do kids collect? Anything?
I still collect baseball cards. But it’s so much different than when I was a kid. When I was younger, we’d get an allowance and go to Maxwell’s Gas Station and buy a couple of packs for 25 cents each. We’d chew the gum, then see what cards we got. We’d play flip or trade or whatever. But the cards were so cheap and affordable.
Then it became a business.
Card shows. e-Bay. Online sellers. Many card companies. Individual rights. Exclusive contracts.
The card industry has taken off. Though packs can be found at an affordable $1.99 at places like Wal-Mart or Target, many packs go upwards of 5-10 bucks. There are boxes of cards that sell for hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
My collection is based on personal things — usually authentic autographs or game-used cards of players I’ve covered in my newspaper career or players from the Philadelphia Phillies.
I do still like to open packs sometimes, but it’s expensive. And if you don’t get a “hit” (game-used, autograph etc.), you’re almost disappointed.
The funny part is, I’m not sure I could even tell you my favorite card. It might be my Mike Schmidt autographed card. Or my Robin Roberts auto card. I have autos of most of the current Phillies, as well as many game-used cards. I love getting auto cards of the players I covered when they were in the minors. By the time they get the authentic cards, they are usually several years past Oneonta, so it’s always neat to get one when they’ve climbed the ladder.
I also have a Jenny Finch autographed card, which is really sweet!
The only other thing I really collect is geocaching signature items. I like to trade for mine when I find them in caches and I keep them stored in an ammo can. Eventually, I’m going to take photos of each one — as well as each of my personal geocoins and pathtags — and make them into a coffee table book for myself. I consider pathtags and geocoins that I collect part of this broad topic of “signature items.”
I do keep the postcards I receive from Postcrossing, but it’s not really collecting.
That’s it though.
How about you guys? Collect anything? How did you get into it? Any story behind it?
Or if you have kids, do they collect anything? Most kids I see don’t collect anymore. I know I’ve seen some at card shows with their parents, but are the kids really collecting or are their parents?
I know there are still things to collect, but is it something that is kind of slowly starting to disappear?
I’d like to hear what some of you have to say. I hope there are some cool collectors out there with some cool items. For those who do collect — what’s your favorite item?
Hopefully collecting isn’t a dying hobby. I look forward to seeing what you all might collect!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.