Grand Cards: Apocalypse Now: The Collection

Monday, December 14, 2009

Apocalypse Now: The Collection

Somewhere over the course of 3 hours, 45 minutes and 16 seconds (!) of mental solitude, I made a decision about what is to become of my Curtis Granderson collection.

I adapted this quote back when the Tigers were in turmoil and needed to come together as a team. Now it is fans like me that aren't quite sure what to do, so allow me to re-quote a part of this again:
No man is more important than the team. No coach is more important than the team. The Team, The Team, The Team. And if we think that way, all of us, everything that you do, you take into consideration what effect does it have on my Team.

Allow me to harken back to this blogs very first post, "Grand Cards: A History"
My story could probably be repeated by millions of people across the country--I am a baseball nut who collected everything as a kid, but just grew out of it as I got older. I had new interests, the Tigers were mired in a decade of obsolescence, none of my friends collected etc. Then, after the 2006 season, I thought that it would be fun to buy a Tigers team set to commemorate the season. I was hooked. I needed to have the 2007 set too--it acknowledged some of last year's success! I should probably get 2005, because those young players really set the table. Plus, I already had the 1984 set from when I was younger--I needed to be prepared for another championship. Before I knew it I was back in the thick of things.

With the "Who's Your Tiger" campaign in full swing prior to the 2006 season, I became a Granderson devotee too and in the last year or so have decided to add a player collection to my overall Tigers sets. With that, the idea of Grand Cards (it sounds so much better than Grandy Cards doesn't it? And so much more flexibility!) was born and we are off and running.

More flexibility indeed. In my heart of hearts, I am a team collector. I collect the Detroit Tigers. In fact, I have selectively chosen to pursue team sets from releases that I like, happily accept Tigers cards from other sets and satiated my interest in collecting even more sets by just pursuing the Granderson cards from those releases. This blog has always shared space between highlighting my Tigers cards and commenting on the team in general, and chronicling my Granderson collection--something that, admittedly, has received less space on this blog over the last few months than it did at the start.

Allow me to provide you with one more illustrative example of what I'm trying to say. Thanks to a regrettable absence of web savvy, I can't figure out how to embed this video and have it start at a specific point. Lucky for you, it is a great episode, so enjoy. Or, you can skip to my point, which runs from -13.13 to -12.37.

Right now my Granderson collection is split in two: A binder for the regular cards and a box for the relics and autographs all in top loaders. They are, in essence, buried treasure. This Simpsons clip came to me, as they often do, sadly, when I'm looking to make sense of some real world event, and I realized that I knew the answer all along.

What if, instead of burying the treasure, I use it to buy things. You know, things I like.

Meaning, why don't I take this opportunity to focus my collection into cards that I want. I have been picking up any old Granderson card for my collection, and although I've become a bit more selective recently, there are hundreds and hundreds of cards that I want for my larger Tigers collections that have gone ignored.

It just so happens, also, that Granderson is now on the Yankees. I'm already quite familiar with what that does to the value of a player's items, something that Sooz first talked about back last January. The problem with Granderson going to the Yankees is that any attempt to continue collecting his cards will either be an effort in futility, or will be so expensive that I won't be able to pursue it to my satisfaction. I initially thought that I could pursue a Thorzul-collecting-CC type move, and go after Granderson's cards as a Tiger, but even that will probably be too expensive and seems like it will feel grossly unsatisfactory for some reason that I can't put my finger on.

Of course, this whole problem has a flip side--I may have just hit the jackpot, so to speak. Granderson's cards are likely to go up in value substantially, which will allow me to sell the cards that I've accumulated and use the money to buy cards that fit my overall collecting goals. I forgive you if you just gasped, or perhaps feel betrayed by someone who has been a Granderson devotee since the beginning. But sadly, this makes too much sense for me not to do. Part of me wishes that I have the resolve of The Hamiltonian, or Mario's Jose Canseco collection or the Jeremy Bonderman guy, which was actually my original inspiration for starting my Granderson collection, but I'm a company man and I have an opportunity to not only profit from the collection that I loved piecing together, but to use that money to enrich my life as a collector even more.

So what does this mean for this blog, and, by extension those of you who have spent your precious time reading what I have to say?

Very little.

The name of the blog will remain the same (I knew the flexibility would come in handy!). I will likely figure out a new logo, and already have an idea that I'm going to play with--not like the logo was an integral piece of the site, so no big deal there. It will be more Tiger-centric, obviously, but if you look back over the year's posts, there has always been more Tigers related stuff than Granderson-specific stuff anyway.

Most importantly, there will probably be MORE Granderson card related content than there has been up to this point.

That's right. I love Granderson as a player and for what he means to the game. I fleshed it all out when I started this blog a time when I actually lamented that all of my previous Tiger favorites were short lived Tigers as well.
Why Granderson? All of my previous favorites were based on some experience or some memory--all wonderful, valid reasons to love a player. But Granderson is different. Sure, I made him “my Tiger” at the start of 2006 during the “Who’s Your Tiger” campaign, but there is more than that. Unlike any other past favorite, he is the player that most kids think they can be. Fast, but not the fastest. Strong, but not the strongest. You hustle and practice and try hard. A leader on and off the field, a team player, a nice guy, articulate, well educated. He signs autographs at games, he writes things on his hat, he engages his teammates during rehab assignments. He has a foundation. Curtis Granderson is a genuinely good person, the type that would make a mother proud, and he is a tremendous baseball player. Add all of those things together and you get a future face of the franchise, someone who Michiganders can look up to for a generation.

I still have fond feelings for Lou, and Milt and Fryman and well, Granderson, and that is not going to change. While I won't be following the day to day news of Granderson's career, I would like to combine my newfound enjoyment of creating card galleries with the "Ultimate Checklist" posts that were the original centerpiece of this blog. I plan on digitally chronicling every Curtis Granderson card out there. From a reader point of view, this will appear as more Granderson content than ever before, the only difference is that I won't actually be collecting his cards any more. I think that this will end up as being the best of both worlds--I get the enjoyment of following Granderson's career via baseball cards, but with the freedom to pursue collecting the cards that I care about most.

And, it's not like I'll be selling all of my Granderson cards. I'll probably sell something like this:

But keeping something like this:



I'll have to go through on a case by case basis, but anything that I can incorporate into another collection, or would just prefer to hold onto, for that matter, will stay, as a remembrance of things past.

So that's it. That's the plan. It is sad that it had to come to this, but I'm happy with the direction that I've decided to take things. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess--and as this blog is concerned, I really enjoy blogging, collecting, talking about the Tigers and blogging about collecting the Tigers too much to stop.

Postscript I'm sorry that was so long. To preempt your question--it does not matter to me that Granderson was traded to the Yankees. It is possible that I would have continued my collection had he gone to a franchise that I was neutral towards, or even had positive feelings about (he sure would have looked nice as a Cub, no?), but I'm not sure that I would have. I'm a Tigers fan, first and foremost. I continued to root for and follow Travis Fryman for the remainer of his career as an Indian, and still pull for him today as he pursues his managing career. I will feel the same way about Granderson to do well. I want to see him succeed, play well and become a player of high repute nationally--something that he'll have ample opportunity to do in New York. And yes, if he has the chance to win a World Series and is facing a team that I have no affiliation with or feelings towards, I hope he wins. Even as a Yankee.