Anyway, you readers should go and check out the comments other bloggers left on yesterday's post, that offer great insight into this collecting quandary. And, Nick over at Dime Boxes wrote a truly eloquent post picking up this topic. Read it here.
A few Dodgers collectors chimed in yesterday, and to you guys, I imagine how nice it must be to have such a rich history of admirable humans playing for your team. My favorite, a man I can admire for both his playing and off-field heroics, is Pee Wee Reese.
I don't collect him extensively, but if I find his cards at a decent bargain, I snag them up, because this guy was amazing. How he embraced Jackie from the start, that took a lot of courage, but I don't think he even looked at it that way, as being brave, it was just a thing that you do, treating a human as a human, respecting a great player for being a great player. So, how can we not all love snagging cards of a guy like that where there's no conflict between on-field and off-field behavior?
Here's my newest Pee Wee acquisition. I found it in my LCS' beat-up vintage box, which they keep in the back room and I make them drag out for me each time I'm there. They don't have any prices marked, so I pull the most destroyed cards I can find and we haggle. I usually hate doing this, but they're fair and funny about it. And with this card, the guy looked up the book value, $200, and shook his head. He said he would feel bad charging me 10% or even a ten-spot on this. I said, Yeah it's pretty trimmed. He said, Trimmed? This card is hacked! He asked me for a fiver, and I said, Hell yes.
When I got this home, I showed the wife, who usually rolls her eyes at my cards, although she says she can understand vintage, even likes Diamond Stars and tobacco cards. I thought she'd dig this, but she couldn't believe I paid 5 bucks for destroyed cardboard. Creases, brutal trimming, a hole punch. I say awesome deal, because it's Pee Wee, and no one can say he didn't play the game the way it was meant to be played or that he wasn't a hell of a human being.
I envy you Dodgers fans for having fellas like Pee Wee. At least we have Kaline, maybe. More on this later.
So, would you guys pay $5 for this card? And maybe you don't have issues separating assholes from astounding careers, but how about the reverse? Are you more inclined to collect players that were good people?