2 Semesters College Tuition

Oct 5, 1999

Well, first things first... I think I had a hangover when I drew this:

I like Heineken with my cereal in the morning...

Anyway, back in the day, oh, say summer of 1982, I was running short of funds for the next (my third) year of college. I did, however, have one valuable asset that I had accumulated in my, then, 20 years on the planet... my baseball card collection. So, Brian and I packed up my boxes of cards and went to a baseball card show in Indianapolis.

First, let me give you some context. Growing up in the 70's, I think pretty much everybody collected baseball cards. There really weren't any "professional" collectors or card shops back then. Topps, really the only company making baseball cards back then, doled out their product in 10-15 card packs that came with a stick of gum (that was usually gross or hard as a brick). We begged and pleaded with our parents (or anyone else who would listen) for the quarter required to add a pack of baseball cards to our collection.

All the kids in the neighborhood in beautiful Woodridge, Illinois would gather and talk about cards, show off cards, and most importantly trade cards. Trading was an incredibly intense experience, with the older kids browbeating the younger kids into bad trade after bad trade. Yes, I was one of the older kids, and my brother was one of the more exploited of all the young kids in the neighborhood. Hey, sue me. I mean it was survival of the fittest, and it's not like I literally fed him to the lions or something... just figuratively fed him to the lions.

Well, even though I retained my fond memories of my collection, it was 1982; it was 1982; and I needed some cash. I think I had around 10,000 cards and Brian and I traipsed to the card show. My memory is a little hazy (I'll have to talk to Brian about this) (of course, Brian's head isn't exactly in mint condition either), but we finally found a guy who was interested in seeing my cards. "Bring em in," he said. So we went back out to the car and brought my collection in.

Now, I'm a pretty organized guy, and I think I had sorted the cards by year at least, but I didn't really have any complete sets of all the cards for any year. Also, these cards hadn't spent their life sealed in a vault somewhere. These cards had been around the block in Woodridge more than once. I really had no idea of the value of any cards let alone mine.

Well, I think this dude looked at my collection for no more than 10 seconds when he looked up at me and said "I'll give you 700 bucks".

I felt like a bank robber. You know the adrenelin rush; I was getting away with something. Excellent. "I'll take it," I said.

Well, looking back, I don't know if I got swindled or not. Like I said, these weren't great cards, but I'll bet the guy who bought my collection had the same adrenelin rush that I had. For me, however, that $700 bought two semesters of tuition at the University of Illinois. I used money from my summer job to pay rent and living expenses. So, I guess the adrenelin that I felt and that Mr. Card Dealer felt was justified in both our cases.

Anway, fast forward to 1999, and I am rebuilding my card collection. Why? Well, three reasons, I guess. First, I want to. Second, I have the time and money to do it. And, finally, there's this internet dealie called Ebay (www.ebay.com) where people auction off everything from trinkets to cars. Ebay is one of the best internet applications or sites that I have seen. There are literally millions of items and millions of people from around the globe bidding on these items. The Ebay page boasts over 1 billion hits per month.

So, I am using Ebay to reconstruct my baseball card collection. Well, sort of... I think I have already bought more cards in better shape than I ever had during my youth. Baseball card prices have collapsed and are quite depressed. My largest purchase on Ebay to this point is 16 years of complete Topps basbeball card sets from 1976 to 1991 that are all in near mint to mint condition. So, this is around 12,000 cards all in pretty much perfect shape. It cost me $1000 or less than a dime a card. I haven't received the cards yet, but they should be in any time. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Here's my first list of the day... courtesy Ebay:

The Eleven things that

Ebay doesn't allow people to auction at their site

11. Skulls
10. Human remains
9. Live animals
8. Illegal animal parts and items
7. Bulk email lists
6. Counterfeit items
5. Illegal drugs and drug paraphenalia
4. Soiled underwear
3. False ID documents
2. Cable TV and satellite dish descamblers
1. Embargoed items, e.g. Cuban cigars

And finally, some more lists... from the Beckett 21 Baseball Card Price Guide (1999) the current estimated value of various baseball card sets.

Baseball cards prices

Quote of the Day

"You want to antagonize me?

Anagonize me mother fucker.

Get in the ring mother fucker,

And I'll beat your bitchy little ass...


- Axl Rose

Don't forget the love Axl.

Another Quote of the Day

Since she's out of town...

"I've been drooling all night...

I don't know where that wetness came from"

- Denise Raimondo

Now, that's more like it.

yow, bill