Remember when you were a kid and you would go through a stack of your friends’ baseball cards:
(Okay, so it’s not baseball cards; work with me here, people.)
Fans aren’t the only ones who collect memorabilia. This excellent and somewhat sad story by Richard Sandomir from the Sunday NY Times is a bit different, however. It’s not about former players obtaining bits and pieces from the national pastime such as baseball cards or artifacts from previous generations (such as David Wells buying — and subsequently selling— a cap worn by Babe Ruth). This is their own stuff, accumulated over their playing careers. Some have more items (awards, balls, etc.), some have fewer; some were received for major accomplishments, others marking some relatively minor but very personal achievement, such as a first Major League hit
Say what you will about how lousy a Major League player might be, he’ll always have something over the rest of us.
But as the players grow older, the decision about what to do with all this stuff because a major consideration, as Sandomir reports. More and more you hear about older players divesting their collections, whether to provide funds for their kids and grandkids, or simply, it seems to get rid of the stuff. I’m thinking of Don Larsen and Warren Spahn. That strikes me as kind of sad, but as they say, you can’t take it with you.
I was up in the attic over the weekend, trying to clean up a bit. It was paralyzing as I went through a box of old magazines. This are just the tip of the iceberg:
I don’t know why I have such trouble getting rid of this stuff. Very few items have any sentimental value. I guess part of it is the regret of having spent/wasted time and money collecting them in the first place (although one seldom considers that at the time of acquisition).
Although I wouldn’t be so bold as to compare my situation with that of award-winning professional athletes, the situation is similar from at least a storage perspective and that of leaving the onus on my family to dispose of it all.
Any takers out there?