Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Collections 1.5 Archives - Sports Memorabilia

– Michael Jordan Memorabilia
– Chicago Bulls Memorabilia
– Georgetown Hoyas [Men’s Basketball] Memorabilia
– Various Sports Memorabilia
            *NCAA Men’s Basketball
            *Scottie Pippen
            *Allen Iverson
            *Minnesota Vikings
            *Ohio State Buckeyes Football
            *New York Mets
            *New York Yankees
            *NCAA Football
– Skateboard Memorabilia
            *Power Peralta
            *Tony Hawk
            *Fingerboards and Tech Deck

By the time I finally decided to part with my sports memorabilia, multiple collections I had amassed since childhood, we were talking around ten large moving boxes full of items. There were; posters, shirts, hats, magazines, news articles, product boxes and wrappers, promotional displays, glasses, toys, autographs, collectibles, keychains, home d├ęcor items, kitchen items, office items, stickers, other articles of clothing, books, plaques, pins, photos, VHS tapes, and just about anything else one can think of. I even had the ticket stubs and programs from every single live sporting event I ever attended… It was rough. Unlike many of my other past collections, these collections consisted of more than merely purchasing items from a store. These were collections cultivated from years of combing through newspapers and magazines, waiting in lines, multiple trips to fast food restaurants, attending sporting events, asking store managers if I could have displays after a promotion was complete, letting boxes depict what I picked up at the grocery store, entering raffles, writing and mailing letters to athletes and teams, trading with friends, and of course, actually just purchasing items from stores or dealers. My bedroom from elementary school through high school looked more like a shrine than a place a child slept. But I loved it.

These collections provided many years of enjoyment, but I knew it wasn’t realistic or practical to hold onto them for the rest of my life. Granted, I wish digital photography had been around at the time so that I could have documented it all as, because of the nature of these collections, I’ll never be able to re-create a digital archive. But I’ll always have my memories. I did however keep a small number of items.

Some remnants of my Michael Jordan collection:

When Michael Jordan’s father was murdered, I sent him a letter and sympathy card. This was what I received in response:

I saved my two most prized Chicago Bulls collectibles; a piece of the court from the old Chicago Stadium, and a brick from the old Chicago Stadium.

The Georgetown Hoyas gear Nike put out in the mid-1990’s was so dope! Here are just three of the pieces I saved:

From my skateboard memorabilia collection I saved this poster, and some of the old Powell Peralta VHS tapes.

Previous articles in this series:
The Collections 1.1 The Overview
The Collections 1.2 Archives – 90’s Style
The Collections 1.4 Archives – Skateboards

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Collections 1.4 Archives - Skateboards

Much like the three past collections I highlighted in The Collections 1.2 Archives – 90’s Style, my skateboard collection was also small, sports related, and functional. The first skateboard I ever owned was a 70’s style mini-board that I bought for $2.00 at a swap meet in the mid-80’s. I then endured two Toys R Us skateboards before graduating to “real” skateboards. My first board was Mike McGill’s first deck. Although Tony Hawk was my favorite skater back then, I was never a fan of his boards. Regarding trucks, I was always an Independent man, but had some Tracker trucks as well. Wheels would vary from board to board, but Powell Peralta and Vision were always high on the list.

I was not able to find exact color-matched images for some of the boards I used to own, but this is how the collection broke down:

Boards #1-14 were all used during my “skateboarding years” in the 80’s and early 90’s. They were then all sold, along with my stock pile of extra trucks, wheels, skate keys, etc., in the late 90’s. In my mid-twenties I had a nostalgic urge to skate again and purchased a new board (board #15 on the list above). By the 2000’s it was tricky to find a deck like I was used to, as the [at the time] current style was a much thinner board. However, one trip to the skate park quickly showed me that I was too old to do anything other than light, recreational skating. That board I still own. The only other deck I had which wasn’t on the list has an original Mike McGill deck that was converted into a functional, battery operated wall clock. I still own the deck clock, and it still works. I’ve been undecided for years now as to whether or not I should sell it. I feel like if a good offer came along, I probably would seeming it hasn’t been hung/used in decades. 

Previous articles in this series:
The Collections 1.1 The Overview
The Collections 1.2 Archives – 90’s Style

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Collections 1.3 Star Wars Collection Tiers

Today, the volume and variety of Star Wars merchandise on the market boarders on utter madness. So it forces collectors to examine what’s most important to their collection, and then re-focus their collecting efforts accordingly. Short of having Powerball money, the days of collecting “everything” are long gone for most folks. The more common and practical approach nowadays is to focus on specific characters, items, brands, etc. Obviously, there are always going to be those wildcard pieces that are just too great to pass up. But let’s be real, there’s no such thing as too many Star Wars items.

My Star Wars collection is currently structured in a three-tier system. Aside from being slightly, albeit purposely, open-ended on the third section/category of Tier 3, it’s fairly cut and dry. The tiers encompass the characters/items which are the most important to me and thus, what I hunt and add to my collection. My collection as a whole does includes many pieces (acquired throughout the years), that don’t fall into any of the tiers, although I have zero intention of ever parting with said pieces. 

As you can see, it’s not exactly a short list, but it’s as slim as I could get it… And of course, it fails to factor in obtaining at least three of certain items (to open one and keep two sealed), or, in the case of Stormtroopers, Clones, etc., getting multiples for army-building. Yet even sticking to this system for the remainder of my life, I’d still never amass many complete collections. Hence the “controlled insanity” of collecting I mentioned The Collections 1.1 The Overview. The only reason I have the complete collection of Expanded Universe novels is because Disney killed the EU, re-named it Legends (he says with venom in his voice), and stopped allowing new novels to be written. I’d love to believe that the rumors of allowing the now-non-canon chronology of the EU continue with new novels are true. If so, I’d gladly trade my one and only complete collection header for new adventures. And due to the baffling low number of Ahsoka items in existence, I’d like to think that one day that collection will be complete as well. Regardless, the hunt will continue.

Previous articles in this series:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Collections 1.2 Archives - 90's Style

Past Collection Archives
*1990’s Basketball Shoes
*1990’s Basketball Jerseys
*1990’s Fitted New York Yankees Hats

Three of my past collections that were easy to create a digital archive of all have five things in common; they were small collections, they were from the 1990’s, they were sports related, they were functional clothing items I wore, and they are three styles of clothing I don’t wear as an adult.

The basketball shoes underwent a routine of full service shoes until they were worn out enough that they were downgraded to lawn mowing shoes, before later being retired to the trash. It’s cool to see that many of the shoes I used to own are being re-released nowadays. They were definitely dope! But I don’t invest good money in sneakers anymore as I wear dress shoes and Timberlands on a daily basis, and really only wear sneakers when I’m playing sports, exercising, or doing lawn work. Fun fact: I actually had two pairs of the Nike Air Force (#13 on the chart below), as those were our team shoes my junior year of high school. The team shoes the other years I played high school basketball were ones I would never have chosen to purchase or wear. 

The vast majority of my basketball jerseys were sold once I hit adulthood as I didn’t see myself ever wearing jerseys again. I kept the home red Jordan’s (#23 and #45) and the home red Pippen jerseys however, as one day it would be cool to have those framed. And I still have the Hoyas’ Othella Harrington reversible practice jersey. I still hoop in that from time to time. 

The Yankees hats were all sold or given away well over a decade ago. In fact, I haven’t owned or worn a baseball-style hat since my freshman year in college. As is evident from my winter beanie hat collection, I love keeping my head and ears warm in style throughout Minnesota winters, but baseball-style hats just haven’t been my thing for a long time now. But in high school, the hat and shirt/hoodie color had to match.

Had my finances at the time allotted, each collection would likely have been larger. But I definitely covered by basis with each, and all served me well.  Lots of good memories!