I have an unopened set of 1992 Topps Traded in my card cabinet. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. After all, many collectors jumped on those sets when they came out for one big reason.
The Team USA cards.
Everyone missed the boat when Topps released Olympic cards in 1985. We almost all had it figured out in 1988. By 1992, we knew what we were doing. So, I’m sure any number of you either had, or still have this set. The weird part is why I still have this set.
As I’ve mentioned many times, I keep cards for ten years. Well, I keep non-Red Sox, non-star cards for ten years. After a decade, they get cleared out to make room for the new releases. So, when the 2014 sets were released, out got the 2004. Some went to the Phillies Room, some went to other places. Some will find their way to the trash heap. (As few as humanly possible will end up there) So, why haven’t I opened up this set that’s more than 20 years old, taken the Red Sox and gotten rid of the rest?
Because of two cards I don’t know what to do with.
Two Team USA cards.
Of course, I’m talking about the cards for Jason Varitek and Nomar Garicaparra. Two Red Sox icons had their first cards in this set, as members of Team USA. I can’t decide whether or not to put them in my Red Sox binder, so I’m avoiding the issue. It was easier when Nomar was still on the Sox. As a Red Sox lifer, it was easy to include the Team USA in the binder for the only team he’d ever played for. But, that’s not true anymore. It’s not like the Red Sox could lay claim to every card he ever appeared on.The Varitek was even tougher, since he started with the Mariners organization. By rights anything before he was a pro should be a Mariner card, right? But it’s Tek! He’s the Captain. Does anyone think of him as anything but a Red Sox?
It’s not just those two who have questions in my collection. I have a Mo Vaughn card from his days in the Cape Cod League. Obvously, like Nomar, we was drafted by the Red Sox on his way to a stellar career in Boston. But, like Nomar, he then left. Played for a couple other teams. The Mo card used to be in my Red Sox collection. But now?
Obviously, if it’s a minor league card, it belongs to whatever organization the card is from. So, any Varitek minor league cards would not make my Red Sox collection. But, items from his college years are without official affiliations. So, it’s a judgement call. I just don’t know what that call is.
Would a college card make your team collection?