It’s been a while since a tweet encouraged me to write a blog post but this is one of those prompts that got my mind working. While I can’t deny that there’s a bit of a midlife crisis thing going on, the real reason I slipped back into collecting cards is because it represents a near perfect intersection of my already-existing interests.
I’ve worked in print and design. One of my long-standing hobbies is photography. I love baseball. Why wouldn’t I like cards? In many ways they were a formative part of my design and photography education. They exposed me to design and made me think about how different designs work. They exposed me to all kinds of photography. Their historical nature work as a easy primer on the history of both media and when you get older than the age of offset lithography you can learn a lot about different printing processes too.
I love looking at printed ephemera and seeing how things were designed and manufactured. I love looking at photography over the years. Focusing these interests on subject matter that interests me is a good thing.
Without focusing on baseball I’d likely be picking up god knows what kinds of printed material. Baseball allows me to ignore a lot of things.
But it’s not just the cards as objects that interest me. I particularly enjoy their historical aspect as well. Collecting teaches me the history of the game and provides a tangible connection to players and teams of the past. That I’m able to enjoy this activity with my kids is the icing on the cake.
They also enjoy the history but they, so far, especially enjoy learning about the players I grew up watching. They’re excited to find cards of my guys and will ask me about players from the late 80s and early 90s. It’s fun. I exchange I get to let them guide me with their knowledge of current players. I’m unable/unwilling to stay on top of everything the way I used to so it’s fun to let them be the experts on some parts.
We’re able to collect together and that’s far better than any mid-life crisis.