Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ken Gerhart, 1988 Topps #271

Ah, the eternal question: what to do with all this junk wax?

I've been more or less settled at my house for two months now, but one room in particular is half-finished. I'm using the spare bedroom as something of a hobby room, where my books and sports memorabilia will all be stored and displayed. Because it doesn't get as much traffic and doesn't serve an essential day-to-day purpose, I've dragged my feet on hanging and framing the photos and posters and organizing the baseball cards in a more efficient manner. I'm slowly getting around to it, and I do have the luxury of having an entire modest two-story home to myself, so space is not at an absolute premium. But it just kind of bugs me that I have boxes upon boxes of leftover duplicate (and triplicate and occasionally quadruplicate) cards, oh so many of them spanning the years 1986-1993. By now, anybody who would actually want to trade for them has already done so. I could give them to Goodwill, as I intended to originally, but that seems like a cop-out.

I want to do something creative. Junk wax has gotten a bad name from collectors. Even when we come across cards from that era of overproduction that we don't already own, many of us dismiss it out of hand. It's bland, primitive, derivative. But there must be some greater purpose for all of this 20-year-old cardboard moldering away in shoeboxes, under beds and on shelves and locked away in storage facilities. I want to find that purpose. What could it be? I just don't know. I have vague notions of modern art - mosaics or sculptures or Randy Ready knows what - but nothing concrete.

I'm going to open this up to all of my readers - all seven of you. What should I do with all of my duplicate junk wax? Leave a suggestion, or multiple suggestions, in the comments. Whoever comes up with the best idea, in terms of creativity and feasibility, will get to choose one of the following relic cards: Edgar Martinez, Trevor Hoffman, and Chase Utley (or Yadier Molina, if anyone actually wants him). Solid, star-type guys. Tell your friends, link to this post on your blogs, I want to see what the Card Blogging Universe Hive Mind can concoct. Have a little fun.


William said...

Excellent question, KB. A few years ago (when I had an ungodly amount of time on my hands), I made placemats from 1999 Upper Deck MVP baseball and 1991 Upper Deck football cards. (The latter is my favorite sports cards set of all-time). I cut some placemat-sized pieces of cardboard and gluegunned the cards down. I haven't gotten around to laminating them, partially because I'm afraid to see how much the guy at Staples will laugh when I do.

Another idea I've had was to glue cards down under a poster-sized frame. Turn those Art Howes into art!

The possibilities are endless.

jacobmrley said...

I worked in a baseball card store for a couple years (and have frequented a few to the point where people just assumed i worked there) and i always suggest the same thing to people (the ones who have that crushed look after i tell them the 1989 Topps cards they have won't be putting the kids though college): donate them to a local children's hospital or to an organization that can put them into the hands of similar disadvantaged or terminal kids. Trust me, there is no such thing as junk wax to kids in such situations. Plus, you get to have a little sparkle knowing you did something good with something thought of so terribly.

Jim said...

I like the mosaic idea . . . Using the Orioles cards from those years (the doubles, triples and quadruples), some craft glue and an 11 x 17 piece of sturdy poster board, you could arrange the cards haphazardly across the board and (gasp) glue them down. You could even go with multiple 11 x 17s, or one large 22 x 28. The art (masterpiece?) would look splendid in a tasteful black frame, and it would instantly strike up pithy conversation at your many future adult cocktail parties.

Sample conversation snippets: “That 1987 Topps Nate Snell card in the middle just haunts me.”
“I love how the muted blues of the 1990 Topps Randy Milligan play off the patriotic splendor of the 1988 Fleer Don Aase.”
“My God, that Sid Fernandez card is MAGNIFICENT.” “Which one?” “All of them. All. Of. Them.”

(Just read the other two suggestions – I’d go with the donation idea, but keep the 1987 Topps Nate Snell.)

FreeTheBirds said...

It's probably not as many as you, but I have cards from this era taking up space. I also used to collect movie cards, I have a bunch of Indiana Jones cards in particular.

I give them away, one by one to friends and family. I stick them in Christmas or birthday cards, I'll sign the greeting card from that player or maybe I'll autograph the baseball card myself. People get a laugh out of it, it's a fun way to dispense of them.

At Memorial Stadium in 1990 or 1991 my friend and I were trying to get autographs and we pleaded with Matt Nokes to come over and sign but he just ignored us*. So, I stuck a Nokes card in with my friend's Christmas card with a note saying something like "sorry for snubbing you guys, was a bad time and in the middle of a slump - here is your autograph after all these years."

With the movie cards, I made a game to play with friends that came over to watch the Oscars. I'm a movie buff in addition to an Orioles fan. I created a trivia game for us to play prior to the Oscars. For points I gave out movie cards, whoever had the most movie cards at the end won the game. Again, people really got a kick out of seeing these old somewhat familiar relics from the past. And they got to take them home, so my overabundance of cards became funny little memories and trinkets for people.

Or maybe they just threw them right in the trash. Either way.

*Johnny Oates signed for us though!

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...


I really like the hospital donation idea - I did that with some of my cards a while back.

Another idea that I didn't think of until after I left the Baltimore area was putting them into "team" packs of 10-15 cards and handing them out at Halloween. Especially if you make sure to include an Orioles star (Mussina/Ripken/etc) in each pack that are just as abundant as everything else in those years.

Kyle said...

Hmmmm...create a timeline of one player, starting with his rookie cards and ending with one of those 'career' cards it seemed like every set had back then. It might be cool to see the changes in their appearance through the years....