One person’s junk can always be another person’s treasure. That statement rings true in a lot of ways. But nowhere is it truer than in the world of collectibles. Even a quick glance of the Library’s new Collectibles neighborhood, will render a crop of books on any subject imaginable. I collect sports collectibles. Since I’m a baseball nut my passion began with collecting baseball cards.
I took up the fun in the 60’s, buying the Topps wax packs. Ten to a pack with stale gum I’d carefully inventory them and I suppose dreamt that one day my face would be on one of them. Most of those cards were misplaced. I returned to collecting in the 1980’s. I was lured by the thrill of a quick buck when sports collectibles went from a childish pursuit to a multi- billion dollar industry. Well it was multi-billion for someone not me. When I tried to cash in on my investment I discovered that the bubble had burst. No one, not a card shop, or Craigslist or eBay had any interest in my heroes. Not even a smiling Ryne Sandberg, Kirby Puckett, or a skinny pre-steroid Barry Bonds drew a bit of interest.
Well most of that stuff went to my nephews. All I was left with was a crate full of memories. None of the stuff is worth much money and I don’t care. I started collecting because it fueled a youngster’s dream, now it gives an old guy some memories When I want to drive down memory lane I can read the Sports Illustrated edition featuring the Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs. I can read this while drinking coffee out of my 1976 KC Royals coffee mug. And if I get real bored I can read all the newspaper articles from both St. Louis and KC about the 1985 World Series. And nobody better ever try and play catch with either my Buck O’Neil or my 1980 autographed baseball of the Royals. Or don’t even think of throwing darts at my life sized posters of Larry Bird, Frank White, or George Brett.
These treasures remind me of some happy times. I still feel attached to the 17 utterly worthless Franklin Stubbs rookie cards I have gathering mold in the basement. Instead of becoming a hallmark of my childhood they became a way to return to it. With that in mind I opened the last of my unopened wax pack baseball cards recently. As I rifled through the cards hoping to score an All Star I felt a particular twinge of excitement that I had not felt in 40 years.
It’s that time of the year again. Summer is coming to an end, school is almost back in session, and football is right around the corner! And for those of you who are planning on playing fantasy football this season, we have a program coming up at the library that will be right up your alley. Join WIBW’s Terry Blount and Bruce Steinbrock on Saturday afternoon, August 13 from 2:00-4:00 in Marvin Auditorium 101A, as they present a fantasy football strategies program geared to help you dominate your league. Whether you’re experienced, or a rookie, Terry and Bruce will help give you the knowledge you need to navigate your way through your league’s season, including your draft.
We would also like to invite you to join the library’s first fantasy football league. Our draft will be Thursday evening, September 1, from 6:00-8:30 in the Hughes Room. There is no fee to join, and no experience is required. All experience levels are welcome, and the winner will take home a prize at the end of the season. Registration is required and can be done at the Red Carpet Desk, by phone at 580-4545, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you there!