Earlier this year I came across this post at Baseball Card Breakdown. The site’s owner, Gavin, has an annual tradition of keeping a baseball card in his wallet for an entire year and letting it get almost beat beyond recognition. When the calendar rolls over he replaces his well worn cardboard with a fresh sacrifice. What’s left of prior year cards find their way into a binder where they presumably swap stories about years gone by while waiting for the next addition.
Two thoughts came to mind when looking at Gavin’s mangled 1990 Topps Tony Gwynn. First, I found it amazing that such a common card could become so interesting. Although featuring one the era’s better players, there is almost no circumstance where I can imagine giving this card more than a fleeting glance. There were millions of it produced, many of which were promptly stored away in nearly flawless condition. This particular card, however, seems like an art installation. I stared at it, trying to figure out how each bit of damage accrued over the course of a year.
After pondering this a second thought immediately appeared: I wanted to do this! The new year had already begun and I didn’t want to shortchange any of the damage I was planning to dish out to my own wallet card. To ensure a full year of effort was given to this project I elected to use my birthday as the time at which cards would begin their one year journey.
I can get easily distracted in collecting pursuits, so perhaps this project is just an excuse to add cards that otherwise don’t have a home in my “focused” collection. With that in mind, I made a rule that any card I add outside of the sets I collect must become a wallet card. In order to love a card I would have to destroy it.
This year I am going with a theme and stuffing my wallet with three different rookie cards of my favorite ’80s player.