This morning through my job, a group of us volunteered to sort through donated books which were to be sent to various African schools and libraries through the charity Books for Africa. When libraries determine that a book has reached the end of its useful life, or when colleges and secondary schools change editions of their books, the old books get donated to organizations such as Books for Africa. BfA then sorts through what still has use to people in Africa -- whether children's storybooks or multiple copies of the books making up the snooze-worthy chick-flick series of "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" -- and recycles the rest.
Two of the reasons a book would get recycled are either that the book is too old -- really nothing before 1999 unless it's a classic, a novel, or a children's book -- or is too "American" in nature. I came across two books that otherwise would have been recycled that are entirely appropriate for us as baseball card collectors. I'll talk about one today.
The first is called "Sports Cards: Collecting, Trading, and Playing" by Margo McLoone and Alice Siegel (Holt, Rinehart & Winston (NY) 1979):
This book was written for a target audience of third through sixth graders, roughly. This book is packed with interestingly dated information which I will try to remember to share every so often. But the section that really made me laugh was the final section:
For nearly as long as I have been collecting, people have talked about keeping cards in good condition. I personally never heard of the idea of putting a baseball card inside your hat when it loses its shape, but it's a new and exciting way to fold, spindle, or mutilate cards.
Of course, the projects that the authors encourage kids to try all completely destroy the cards being used. The one that made me really want to go back in time and save the cards from these projects, though, is the Sports Picture Collage. Since Pete Rose "wrote"/allowed his facsimile autograph to be affixed under the foreword, he was the featured superstar in the collage:
If that were just laying loosely, I wouldn't cringe. Here's the instructions with my highlighting for effect:
Perhaps this is what we should all start doing with our favorite junk wax cards -- for those plays at the plate, bunters, pitchers hitting, or what have you! Actually, that sounds like a fun afternoon...