My parents are in the process of moving, and they are purging all of the stuff that they no longer want in their house. One of the things they found in the move and didn’t want to place in their new house was all of the baseball cards my brother and I collected when we were younger. We were very serious collectors from 1986-1990 (As serious as an 11 year old and a 9 year old can be in 1986). We have all of the complete Topps, Donruss, and Fleer sets during that period plus quite a few “other” rookie cards.
During those years we took our allowance to Jennings to buy packs of cards. Dad constantly told us we were wasting our money. We didn’t listen; we knew what we were doing. Once we got out first Jose Canseco Rated Rookie card, we marched into Dad’s office one night and said, “See this. I told you we were rich!”
He laughed and said, “And what is this nice little piece of cardboard worth”.
We proudly responded, “$85 – see it says it right here in my Beckett’s price guide.”
He smiled at us and said, “I don’t care what some book says about your card. It’s only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. Have you tried to sell it to anyone for $85?”
Well of course not. We had Beckett’s, and dad didn’t know what he was talking about. We just kept on collecting. After four years, the baseball card obsession ran its course. I never opened another pack, and I even realized that they were a pretty big waste of money.
The nugget of wisdom from my dad didn’t become obvious to me until recently, except instead of a Jose Canseco Rated Rookie card it’s a house. For some reason I never believed what I was being told by the mortgage companies over the past few years – “Your house is worth $X more than you bought it for. Don’t you want to take out a Home Equity Loan?” Many people have discovered that the value of their house, defined as price someone is willing to pay for it, is considerably less than what is owed on the mortgage. I’m glad I learned my lesson with baseball cards.
And if any of you are interested in the Topps, Donruss, and Fleer baseball card sets from 1986-1990 (15 total sets), I will sell them all to you for $750. Becketts currently has them listed for about $50 a pieces. I wonder if the bank will take that as collateral for a home equity loan?