If I had to choose a card as the centerpiece of my collection, rookie cards, multi-swatch jersey cards, and autographs of my favorite ballplayers would be the easy choices.
The comparative rarity of these cards of course, tends to inflate their “book values,” so to speak. And of course, that these cards are of my favorite ballplayers would inflate their sentimental value to me.
And that’s just the thing. I haven’t yet had the chance to read the few other Blog Bat-Around entries already published, but an educated guess would say that many “centerpieces” are also high “book-value” cards. This isn’t to say an expensive card can’t or shouldn’t be a centerpiece. Nor is this to say that a highly sentimental card shouldn’t be one either.
My problem lies in choosing just one card to be the centerpiece. Truth is, I’m one of those guys who thinks ALL of the cards in my collection are awesome. From that nickel common from 1991 Topps to autographed memorabilia piece to the latest hot prospect, these cards wouldn’t be in my collection if there wasn’t any sort of ascribed value to them. Sure, some might have cost me more than others to acquire, but the value doesn’t lie in the expense. If the cards weren’t worth it to me, there wouldn’t be any point in acquiring them.
The whole idea of chasing after “hits” and being disappointed when you fail to do so is anathema to my collecting mindset. My enjoyment comes from collecting cards, not from acquiring the rarest of the rare. So with that said, it seems thoroughly unfair to put any one card ahead of the others. Yes, even the set of 1991 Topps won’t ever get broken in order to acquire something else. Every nickel common, every autograph, every game-used jersey, every autograph is there because I want it there.
The centerpiece of my collection? My collection is the centerpiece.