Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why such a Snob?

I've been having difficulties in writing this particular post.  The difficulty is in answering my own question.

I'm not really sure why I am a Snob.  I think part of the reason is because I'm, ahem, frugal, (or insert the synonym of your choice.)  If I'm going to spend my hard earned cash on a baseball card, I want it to be as near to perfect as possible. No scratches, no "soft corners", not off-centered. For game used (this is a huge pet peeve of mine), the carpeting must match the curtains.  This is just one card that annoys me,

Where did that blue swatch come from? There isn't even any blue in the background of Ozzie's picture and the area surrounding the swatch is purple. Seriously Upper Deck, you couldn't find either a picture of Ozzie in a blue uniform, or a red swatch of uniform?  Picture this card with a swatch of red, one word for it, awesome.

Now, this my issue.  For those of you who are not condition sensitive, I tip my cap to you.  But I just can't add a card to my collection that I would not enjoy, and I hate it when I collate a set and find  cards with  dinged corners, that slipped by me.  This condition sensitivity is probably one of the reasons I am having a difficult time completing my 1973 Topps set.  If you know anything about this set, you know that the quality of  the cardboard stock used to produce it, was weak.  This set suffers from a severe case of soft corners, and a moderate case of off-centered printing.  I only need about 10 cards to complete it, and unfortunately, one of those cards is the Schmidt rookie.  Whenever I look for these last 10 cards, it is invariable that I find them with some sort of problem.  The set will be completed someday, I just don't know when.

"Why such a snob?", let's do some research.  My first thought was that as a Snob, I like things neat,orderly and close to perfect.  So I thought, what in my background made me such a neat-nik. Well I was a first born, and I thought that maybe my parents had difficulty with my toilet training, what experience did they have with it, I was their first.  Maybe I'm Anal Retentive?  I did some research, and it appears that the concept of AR is not well respected in the medical community.  Freud's findings on this subject are being questioned and found to be lacking, emphasis is being placed on the lack of plumbing during Freud's time.

Ok then, what about OCD.  There are a few blogs I follow Baseball Obsession-itisMy Sports Obsession that have the word Obsession right in the title.  It must be that.  "An obsession is defined as a thought, impulse, or image that either recurs or persists and causes severe anxiety."  I don't think my snobbery causes anxiety, but there is the recurring theme of avoiding "imperfect" cards, and trying to complete entire sets of cards, shortprints included.  I don't believe that my obsession causes compulsion.  "A compulsion is a ritual/behavior that the individual with OCD engages in repeatedly, either because of their obsessions or according to a rigid set of rules."  The only thing that I think borders on compulsion is my daily ebay searches.

I researched two other items.  One being birth order, what I found doesn't really apply to snobbery, but does in a certain regard to being a collector (future post).  The second, and you may laugh, is astrology.  I was born on September 3 (as was Charlie Sheen, winning!!) making us both Virgo's.  I won't dwell on all the traits I found for Virgo's, but these caught my eye. ... but Virgo's earthy qualities steady this trait and gives an excellent eye for detail. ...can appear to worry unduly about the need to make things as perfect as they can be, ...Virgoan preciseness, refinement, fastidious love of cleanliness, hygiene and good order, conventionality and aristocratic attitude of reserve. They are usually observant, shrewd, critically inclined, judicious, patient...

Well, there you go,  "excellent eye for detail", "make things as perfect as they can be",  "preciseness, and good order".  That's me, the Snob, all over.  

P.S. In addition to having problems answering my own question, I kept typing "Why suck a snob?", some kind of Freudian slip, I guess


  1. I'll be interested in what you found about first-borns and collectors.

    I'm a first-born, and although I don't appear to be as large a condition snob as you, I do have many of those characteristics in collecting.

  2. First-born here, too, and a bit of a condition snob. The fact that I tend to focus on OPC, though, has all but cured me of any obsession with centering. The natural state of OPC is to be off on at least one axis and more likely both, typically with at least one edge that looks more torn than cut. That's how these were meant to be.

    So I tend to look more for "original" than "perfect." "Perfect" in OPC is kind of artificial-looking.