A couple of things that showed up on my Twitter feed this week has me thinking about exit strategies. Both were related to the hobby and so of course they were of interest to me. I bet you saw that Ichiro card and are thinking I’m going to ask what do the Mariners do with him once Ben Gamel comes off the DL. Well, I might work that in here, but we shall see.
The first discussion I came upon stemmed from a cryptic tweet from the Night Owl.
“Seems like a shame to publish anything more,” the wise one had tweeted.
Now, I say cryptic because my settings on Twitter are set so I don’t see any photos unless I click on the tweet. Come to find out it wasn’t cryptic at all, but a photo from his blogger account, showing he had hit post number 4000 (btw:congrats, Greg). Anyway, a brief conversation ensued about whether or not bloggers should have a known end for their blog. I’ve experienced this first hand, having ended a blog (one which had also undergone both a name change and a focal point) without deliberately setting out to do so; I wanted a different platform (which turned out to be Word Press) and decided to start fresh rather than try to export all the old posts. As far as this blog… I have no idea how long it will last. I could lose interest tomorrow and never write another post.
It was the second discussion, however, that got me thinking about an eventual exit from the hobby. To clarify, I don’t plan on ever stop collecting (although I have twice before: once I hit the teen-age years and then again from 2001-2009 when life just wouldn’t allow it) but there will be a time when I exit this life and then what? Neither my kids nor my wife have any interest in my card collection and once I’m gone I don’t want them to be burdened with having to sell a lot of my crap. Perhaps grandchildren who enjoy the game and the hobby will be in my future- or maybe not. I’ll probably let it be known that there are a few cards that hold the most meaning to me, so perhaps each of the kids and the wife will pick something to remember me by.
So I’m asking myself, what do I do with this stuff?
Thankfully, I have a lot less to worry about getting rid of than many of those in the card community. I’ve already sold some on Sportlots and have thought about selling on COMC as well. I’ve been involved in trading through Twitter, the blogs, and TCDB. But the sad truth is that much of my collection consists of most of the Topps sets from 1977-2017 – and those looking to complete those sets have already done so. A few months ago, I decided to end the Topps set run, as we are limited in both space and funds- and I’d rather allocate both to my Mariners collection. I also have a lot of vintage Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves from my days as a *Braves Topps team set collecor that I would like to move while there is still an interest in vintage stuff. It’s my belief that in the next 15-20 years there will be a precipitous drop in vintage prices. Who’s going to be buying them? The demographic for collectors is an aging one and I really have my doubts that the interest in any of it, let alone vintage, will be there in a couple of decades. Sure, I could leave the vintage stuff to my wife and kids to try to sell but who are they going to sell them to? Why not just sell them now and be done with it. Let someone else enjoy them.
And as far as Ichiro goes… there are a number of possibilities of what happens now that Ben Gamel is good to go: The team could DFA him; place him on the DL and then send him on a rehab assignment (good for about a month, total); keep him on roster and send Guillermo Heredia down; or, they could carry 5 outfielders on the active roster. Surely they had an exit strategy in place when they signed him.
Or, perhaps Ichiro will know it’s time.
**My Mariners fandom started in ’78 and then I also became a Braves fan once we got cable in ’81. My love of the Braves overshadowed that for Seattle from about ’85 until the new regime traded away Andrelton- among other boneheaded moves- and became a complete dumpster fire.