Inside the Pack: Creating a Revolving Collection

Last week, I wrote that one of my collecting goals for 2020 was to create a more focused personal collection. With a little assistance from my past self and a whole lot of serendipity, I got a jump start on that goal quickly.

As I was going to sleep a few nights ago, I got a message on Facebook asking me if my 1948 Leaf Joe DiMaggio was still for sale. This was sort of bizarre, because after my blog post last week, I was looking over my collection and wondering what cards I should move in order to have funds to focus on what was really important to me. An obvious choice was one of my two Joe DiMaggio cards, the aforementioned 1948 Leaf or the 1939 Play Ball. I have no real ties to DiMaggio, but I liked both of these cards and got good deals on each. Still, I wondered, why should I have two cards of the Yankee Clipper and none of, say, Ty Cobb? Choosing between which to keep wouldn’t be easy: the Leaf is a beautiful iconic card with bright vivid colors, and is card #1 in the set, while the Play Ball is an earlier card and more neatly fits my collection of pre-war Hall of Famers. I made my mind up to make a decision later.

The Facebook message made the decision for me.

At first I was confused — ignoring the cosmic coincidence of it all, how does this person even know I have a Leaf DiMaggio? That’s where my past self comes in. A few months after I got my DiMaggio in fall of 2018, I had a crazy idea, something I referred to as a “revolving collection.” My idea was this: I would continue to have a personal collection with the cards I never intended to let go of, but I would ALSO have a collection of cards that I enjoy enough that I want to own them, but am not so attached to that I’d never part with them. For those cards, I would come up with a price that was a no doubt price for me to sell it, and price the card at that amount; if I ever got it, I’d sell the card, and reinvest the money in another card for my collection, and so on. In the meantime, I would get to enjoy historic cards in my collection for a bit.

My past self had the foresight to list the Joe DiMaggio on Facebook at that no-brainer price, and the listing had sat there since November 2018 until I got this message last week.

It was a little tough for me to part with the DiMaggio, but I made a decent amount on the card, which is going to enable me to get another card for my collection. That card may be something for one of my personal collections — a new Duke Snider or Jackie Robinson would do the trick — or it might be a fresh card for my revolving collection, which I would price and let sit like I did with the DiMaggio. But either way, it will help me meet my 2020 goal of a more focused personal collection.

If you use tactics like the “revolving collection” idea, please comment and let me know!

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