30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Island of Misfit Cards

Every Monday, Corky over at Pack War posts a new hobby related question to his readers.  Normally, I leave a comment and move on.  However this week's question addresses one of my collections.

Today I figured I'd show off some singles from that collection to help me answer Corky's question:

At what point is a card too damaged for you to consider adding it to your collection? 

A few years ago, I decided to start collecting the damaged cards I accumulated from eBay purchases, flea market finds, and card show hauls and display them in a binder.  I've even had a few bloggers send me unwanted damaged cards that are now loved and cared for.

Unfortunately, I don't have the space to house every damaged card I come across.  If I stumble across a 2013 Topps Grant Balfour, I'll probably toss it in the trash or add it to the stack of cards I bring to my classroom.

On the other hand, if I find a heavily creased rookie card of The Kid... it goes in the binder.

A Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. insert with a chunk taken out of it?

That goes into the collection as well.

How about a water damaged Maury Wills on card autograph that refuses to lay flat?

Yup.  I'll take it.

Faded signatures of hall of fame outfielders?

Sure.  Why not?

Minor league cards of hall of famers that look like they've been sitting at the bottom of a box in the sun at the local flea market?

Without a doubt.

Severely miscut vintage cards featuring Boog, Bench, and half of Clemente?


How about a card with a dinged corner and a signed label that's peeling off?

Well.  If it's of Steve Sax, the 1982 NL Rookie of the Year, then heck yeah.

What about a memorabilia card that is permanently embedded with a five dollar price tag?

This one kind of hurt, because I collect Altuve.  But at the end of the day, this card looks better in my Damaged Card PC than in the trash.

In his response, Corky mentions that he draws the line at "skinned" vintage cards.  How about a "skinned" relic card?

No-mah says... "no problem".  This was a fine addition to my Damaged Card PC binder.

Bottom line is I'll add any damaged autograph, insert, memorabilia card, parallel, or manufactured relic card to my collection with no questions asked.

When it comes to rookie cards and base cards, then I draw the line at semi-stars or better.

If you're wondering why I'd start this kind of collection.  It's because damaged cards are difficult to move and deserve to be loved.  In a sense... this collection is sort of the Island of Misfit Cards.

What about you?

At what point is a card too damaged for you to consider adding it to your collection?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!


  1. I too hang on to my damaged cards, if they otherwise fit into my collection (i.e., Cubs or former Cubs). Perhaps I'm a pack rat, but I can't just give up on them because they're broken - that sends a bad message... or something... probably getting too deep there. At any rate, as long as the card is semi intact, I'll still hang onto it.

  2. I pretty much draw the line at water damage. I have a few pretty wrinkled cards (and I was even more lax about that as a child), but stains and (shudder) mildew are out.

  3. I draw the line at cards with stains (unless it's like 70 years old) and cards so mangled you can barely see the image. Otherwise, if I care about the subject, I'll find a place for it.

    I've got to get that Piazza card.

  4. I do love a miscut card like your Boog/Bench/Clemente card, I think they're unique when they are like that. I am just wondering how the person who wrote the $5.00 on top of the Altuve card didn't realize they were pushing so hard that it imprinted on the card.

  5. Peeling, dings and creases from wear and tear over the years as well as factory defects such as a miscut / off-center card are a 'no-no' in my collection as far modern cards [anything from the last 25 years] go - there isn't an emotional attachment to keep most damaged cards in a collection of their own and they are scattered loose in my collections 'as is' somewhere.

  6. I don't like cards that are skinned and missing their backs. That is where I draw the line on my collection of older menko cards.

  7. Maybe I am poop head-but unless vintage and and very old vintage-any damage is too much damage. 'cause at the end of the day I want to sell them for something when I get too old to do much with them-I am condition sensitive

  8. I wasn't logged in Maybe I am poop head-but unless vintage and and very old vintage-any damage is too much damage. 'cause at the end of the day I want to sell them for something when I get too old to do much with them-I am condition sensitive

  9. Tony Burbs - I think you're right. The hoarder in me definitely plays a role in this collection. I also like being able to flip through and seeing some really jacked up cards. Whoever did that to my Griffey truly has some issues.

    Adam Kaningher - Lol. I have one card with mold on it. It's in a ziplock bag that I slid into the front of my binder. Maybe I'll show it off in a future post.

    night owl - I struggle with vintage cards with damage. Most of the time, I'll just throw it into my vintage binder. In fact the miscut 75 you see above is the only one featured in my Damaged Card binder. I'm pretty sure I have an extra Piazza (in better condition). If so, I'll send it your way.

    Corky - No idea. It's a shame, because I don't own a lot of Altuve relics.

    Laurens - When it comes to my actual player and team collections, I agree 100% with your requirements. Cards like that get thrown into this binder.

    SumoMenkoMan - I have a few skinned cards in my vintage binder. They're definitely hard to look at.

    Unknown/Brady - Totally understand... especially if there's a chance you'll resell. Who knows... maybe one day I'll take this binder to Serramonte and someone will offer to take it off my hands. There's actually one or two cards that are still pretty valuable... even though they're damaged.

  10. i don't do mold. Creased or stained pre-1970 - I'll keep unless the player's face is the victim. Modern cards are just to new and easily replaced if they suffer a scar. I love Altuve but would likely replace the card. Guess I'm a bit of a snob. Hate to admit it!!

    1. No mold? You're totally a snob. Every diehard collector enjoys a moldy piece of cardboard every now and then ;D