Freeman Cebu Sports

Special feature: The art of collecting(First of two parts)

Bobby Motus - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - At some point in our lives, we had accumulated something that suits our fancy.  By accumulating, I mean collecting.  Depending on capacity, interest, peer influence, fad, storage space or just plain passion, we satisfy our desires.  From the ridiculous to the absurd, collectors are an interesting bunch.

The filthy rich collect houses, boats, cars, motorbikes, even planes.  We have antique collectors who travel to far-off and remote places just to get hold of that century-old piece.  There are gun collectors whose arsenal can support a mini coup d’etat.  The promiscuous collect girlfriends and can secure a reservation to the emergency room, as in “tara sa condo, bring food.”

The more laid-back types collect toys, stamps, books (like my daughter Ana), pottery, Beatles memorabilia (like TF sports ed Manny V), Coca-Cola items (I have some), magazines, refrigerator magnets, umbrellas, caps, hair clips and other knick-knacks.  Toy collectors, on the other hand, can be classified into sub-groups.

Let’s go to sports collectibles.  Practically everything used or even remotely connected to a particular sport can be hoarded and considered as sports memorabilia.  I’m not so sure about socks and jockstraps but game-worn shoes, shirts, shorts, head/arm bands and towels are the most common throw-away souvenirs.  Most coveted are signed equipments photographs and other game-related stuffs.  In one of  the FIFA World Cups, but a patch of grass from one of the stadiums was auctioned and sold for five figures (in US dollars) to a collector.

Non-collectors would ask why go thru such an extent for something when majority doesn’t even care about.  As I said, these people are an interesting and intriguing lot.  No matter what group of collectors they belong, they are passionate about their hobby.  They have those things not because of the value but because of the story, the memory behind the item, the difficulty in acquiring and the resulting elation when finally they get hold of it. 

Sports collecting is a good way to know more about a particular player or team and likewise collect memories of the game.  Collecting is also having the responsibility of keeping and preserving them in pristine condition, regardless of value.  There is satisfaction, a kind of fulfilling moment.

Since we live in an unfair and cruel world, risks are also involved.  Things could be lost, damaged or purposely switched in transit.  You could misplace and expose it to the elements and seriously damage the item.  A deal can be made with someone who just simply took advantage of your trust, took your money and never see the item.  It happens once in a while.  You win some, you lose some.  This is the art of collecting.

As a matter of  personal interest, I’m into sports collecting, mainly NBA cards, basketball action figures and anything LA Lakers.  Occasionally and depending on availability of  resources, I stray to 1:18 scale die-cast cars.  Yes, this could be expensive, could be irrelevant to most but it satisfies our interest.  They say collecting is like gambling, throwing away hard earned money.  Could be.  Do gamblers always win?  Like them, collectors lose money on the hobby but the big difference is – that item is within your reach and could double or triple in value as time passes and you can sell them if you think the price offered is fair.

(To be continued on Sunday issue.) (FREEMAN)











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