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Reflecting on Collecting – From the World of “Why?”: My “7s” Collection

February 16, 2011

Way back in November, with only the third post on this blog, I introduced readers to my goal of building a financially self-sufficient hobby.  In that first, introductory article, I outlined the eight important things that I have done and/or am now doing to help reach that goal.

The very first step in the process was defined in that introductory article as follows:

“I took a very close look at what I collect and why I collect it. Any items that I couldn’t think of a solid reason to keep I placed in one set of boxes, items and projects that were of some importance to me were placed in another. ”

As I then mentioned a couple of weeks later in an article dedicated solely to the above noted step in my process, my collecting habits up until forcing myself to go through this exercise basically revolved around accumulating as much as possible.  There was often little thought as to why it was needed outside of the fact that it was a sports card or piece of memorabilia.

When going through the process of examining what I collect, there was one part of my collection that featured its own theme that left the question of “why?” ringing in my head.  That themed portion of my overall collection was my inexplicable “7s Collection”.

At some point along the way, I had decided that I was going to try to collect every single card #7 from every single hockey card set ever produced. 

Why would I want to do this?  For a time when I was younger, the number seven was my favourite number, so my guess is that I must have thought that since I liked hockey cards, and I liked the number seven, then the two could be merged into something of a unique collecting project.  

As time went on I realized that there was no rationale to the continuing project, but I couldn’t bring myself to stop adding to the collection until I had committed myself to the financial self-sufficiency goal.  This meant that I was actually still adding cards to the project through the release of the 2009-2010 release of O-Pee-Chee.

The vast majority of the cards that ended up making up this project were either gleaned from duplicates of cards I already had within my collection or were obtained via trade back when I was more actively involved in a variety of internet message boards.  Typically, they were toss-ins to allow for a deal to be finalized.

All told, I ended up with 235 cards as a part of this project.  The significant majority of the cards were inserts/parallels and base set cards, with a handful of autographs, game-used memorabilia cards, rookie cards and promos in there as well.  When looking through the collection, there are definitely some interesting acquisitions amongst the lot of them, but the number of those are equalled by a quantity of pretty major duds as well. 

Here’s a few of my favourite that ended up as a part of the collection:


In the long-run the project served absolutely no useful purpose to my overall collecting experience.  It featured an extremely broad range of players, which may not seem like a bad thing on the surface, but many of those players are guys that I have either never heard of or never cared for.  Now every time I look at the box that I have that collection stored in, the question of “why?” is all that comes to mind. 

Even though I knew that was the case even while I was continuing to add cards to the project, it was only by forcing myself to go through a detailed examination of my collection that I was able to come to a final decision to abandon the project and take the next steps toward making my hobby entirely self-sufficient from a financial perspective. 

Since the project is no longer in my plans, the cards contained in the box will soon be making their way into my eBay store inventory, with a few of the cards heading for the auction block on eBay as well. 

I will be very happy to finally get that box emptied and avoid having to ask myself “why?” even one more time about this aspect of my collection.

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!



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