Every spring when the second week of May rolls around, you realize three things:

  1. Your baseball team is not going to be as good as you thought this year.
  2. You won’t be able to collect every baseball card this year.
  3. Holy crap … Mother’s Day is just a few days away!

If you find yourself at this stage, there’s no need to panic.

That’s because you can combine your triple loves of Mom, baseball, and cardboard to come up with some killer gifts.

And if you don’t believe me, read on to find 10 (of the many) reasons that baseball cards make perfect Mother’s Day gifts.

Mother’s Day Is a Spring Holiday … Spring==Baseball

1952 Bowman Luke Easter Bunny

You can’t extract Baseball (proper) from Spring (proper), and you can’t extract Spring from Baseball.

They’re fresh and new, and you love them both forever and ever, unconditionally.

Mom may not be fresh and new anymore, but you love her forever and ever, unconditionally, too.

It’s all intertwined in a big ol’ ball of lovely, fresh, unconditional love and, when you think about it in those terms, the only true way to celebrate Mother’s Day is with copious quantities of baseball cards.

It’s simple logic.

Irrefutable scientific fact.

The only thing that would make it better is a little chocolate, and, heck, who says you can’t throw in a couple of leftover Easter Bunnies with your wax packs?

Some Baseball Cards Show Good Boys … Moms Like Good Boys

1983 Topps Dale Murphy

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If your mom has a son, you know she wanted him to be a good boy when he was growing up.

And she wants him to be a good boy as an adult.

Probably, he (you?) never quite lived up to those hopes.

But you know who did?

Dale Murphy

… and Gil Hodges

… and Tony Gwynn

… and Hank Aaron

… and Roberto Clemente

… and Stan Musial

… and …

Well, you get the idea. By all accounts, these guys were good guys, certainly beloved. And you can get Mom a card of any or all of them to help celebrate her big day. Now, wouldn’t that make you a good boy?

Some Baseball Cards Show Bad Boys … (Some) Moms Like Bad Boys

1965 topps gibson wins finale

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Sometimes, though, moms are human and want a glimpse of something a bit, um, wilder than the standard good boy.

That’s where the bad boys come into play.

And, boy, does baseball have it’s share of bad boys to offer.

I mean, you have Mickey Mantle and his carousing.

You have Chuck Finley and his rock star-ness.

You have Jose Canseco and his … everything.

You have Barry Bonds and his attitude.

You have Ty Cobb and Albert Belle and Jeff Kent and the bad, bad men who weren’t really bad but were nasty and mean and indomitable on the diamond … men like Bob Gibson.

Think Mom would sneeze at cardboard of those guys?


Mom Just Wants You to Be Happy

1960 Topps Gus Bell

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When it comes to their babies, all moms really want out of life is for said babies to be healthy and happy.

And baseball cards help with both of those, right?

You hold a baseball card, it makes you happy, your blood pressure drops, and you’re healthier! Voila!

It doesn’t necessarily have to be your card, either.

Hold a card, buy a card for your mom, watch her open the card … the euphoria of all that card-plus-mom goodness in a compacted time frame will make it easy to overlook her faint expression of disappointment.

Besides …

She Might Re-Gift Them to You

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Let’s be honest here — this is the best-case scenario, right?

Mom opens your lovingly-curated selection of baseball cards and blushes at your kindness and thoughtfulness.

She loves them … loves you more than ever … is overcome with emotion.

Her altruistic tendencies kick in, and she insists — insists — that you take the new cards home with you. She has her flowers and memories and belly full of Mother’s Day lunch (and, yes, maybe some latent resentment).

You put up a good fight, but somehow end up heading home with your … um, Mom’s … baseball cards in tow.

Dad Will Be Jealous

1981 Topps Jim Rice

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If, by some fluke, Mom both loves your (her) baseball cards and decides to keep them, you both win.

The reason?

Simple …

Dad will be in the corner eating his heart out.

He can’t say anything, because it’s Mother’s Day, after all. But you know what he’s thinking …

Hey, I like baseball cards, too!

Hey, I thought baseball cards were our thing!

Hope you weren’t expecting me to help you with your move next week.

Father’s Day better be really good.

Dads are great, but it’s fun to stick it to them once in awhile … you know, for Mom’s sake.

They Aren’t Vacuum Cleaners

1985 Topps Olympic Team USA John Hoover

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At first blush, baseball cards may not seem like the ideal gifts for your mom, but consider all the crap you’ve bought for her over the years. Or that your dad has bought for her …

Vacuum cleaners …

Slippers …

Flowers that made her sneeze …

Wilted flowers …

Power tools …

Did she ever get anything she actually wanted?

Baseball cards may not fit that bill, either, but at least they won’t make her work. And they won’t stink up the house. (Disclaimer: Unless they are Sportflics)

They Are Versatile MacGyver Fodder

1989 Fleer Billy Ripken

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Mom’s are resourceful.

Sure, that’s a blanket statement, but one that’s hard to deny.

How many times did your own mother put you back together after a bike wreck or broken heart using nothing other than some spit, a cookie, a bobby pin, a hug, and disapproving but loving look?

More than you can count would be my guess.

Why, most moms are veritable MacGyver’s of our childhoods!

And baseball cards fit right into that. Just think of all the things your mom might do with some good old Junk Wax cards. She could …

… panel your breezeway with 1987 Topps baseball cards.

… deflect a Martian death ray with Upper Deck holograms.

… use a 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken to tell a few people off.

… actually make big bucks with a 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe.

… confuse a home intruder by flashing a few Sportflics cards in his eyes.

… make an origami rose bouquet from a pack of 1990 Donruss cards.

Your dad couldn’t do any of that, but your mom sure could.

They Make Great Compost and Mulch

1962 Post Milt Pappas

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Since Mother’s Day falls in the Spring (see above), plenty of moms will have flowers and gardens and birds and bees and compost and mulch on their minds while they’re having MD lunch with you.

Compost!?!? Mulch?!?!

I can feel your outrage at soiling our list with such rot (literally), but hear me out …

See, you can’t really grow stuff to its full potential without a little decomposition down at the roots. Makes the soil rich and all that.

And mulch keeps things moist and looks pretty pretty, even if it does sorta smell.

Now, you have a few traditional options here.

You could buy bags or truckloads of either or both compost and/or mulch, but you never know what you’re getting. Ever have mulch delivered only to find it smokes for several hours … or days? What the?

You could also brew your own by chipping and chopping wood (for mulch) and by collecting and stacking garbage and, um, droppings, but man! What a pain! What a mess! What a stink!

Why would you want your mom involved with any of that when you can just drop her a few cases of 1988 Topps baseball cards and run them through the lawnmower  a couple of times? That’s instant, perfect mulch right there.

And then, at the end of the season, scrape off your old cardboard mulch and put it in a rain barrel somewhere. Next Spring, you’ll have perfect Al-Leiter-Rookie-Card (error-and/or-corrected) compost, and you can start the mulch cycle all over again.

Note that this approach works best with brown card stock, so it’s also a great way to reduce the overall population of 1981-1991 Topps baseball cards. Future generations will thank you (and so will your mom, of course!).

They Are the Gift That Keeps Giving

1984 Donruss Diamond Kings Duke Snider Puzzle

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If Mom is lucky, your gift will be just the beginning.

She’ll get bit by the cardboard bug, and she won’t be able to shake it.

She’ll start spending her weekends at card shows, flea markets, and garage sales looking for her next “find.”

She’ll squirrel away boxes and cases and sleeves and packs like some cardboard-eating prepper.

She’ll be Tweeting cards, ‘gramming cards, blogging cards.

She’ll be eating 40-year-old orange-flavored O-Pee-Chee gum.

Dad will have to sleep on the floor because Mom is building a Duke Snider Diamond Kings puzzle on Dad’s side of the bed.

It will be pandemonium.

It will be awesome.