Picking up Nickels

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sports Cards: My first buy and hold investment

I read an article in the Sunday Boston Globe this morning that took me for a trip down memory lane (Card-carrying collectors).

I have collected baseball, basketball, and football cards since about the age of four. Although I haven't bought any for myself in many years, I have amassed a pretty large collection in my lifetime. Pack by pack, I accumulated many star and rookie cards from the 1970's and 1980's as well as a several baseball card complete sets.

After reading this article today, I looked through some of my cards for the first time in many years. I had forgotten about the stack of 1982 Cal Ripken rookie cards, chuckled at a young Greg Maddux with a pencil-thin moustache, and cringed at the 1974 Dave Winfield rookie card with my initials scrawled on the back (I was afraid that my older brother would swindle it away from me).

I ended up finishing that 1974 Topps baseball card set about 15 years ago, when I broke down and bought an unmarked Dave Winfield card to replace my original one. Although that 1974 set spends its time sitting in a closet, it is one of my most treasured possessions.

I didn't know it at the time, but those cards I bought in 1974 were my first buy and hold investment. And even though they have some intrinsic financial value, I would never sell them at any price. I fully intend to periodically bore my children, grandchildren, and (hopefully) great-grandchildren with them until the day that my sons inherit them. I don't know what they'll do with my cards, but I don't care because for now they are a time machine that take me back to my childhood. Besides, they are still mine -- for now.

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