The Gary Cypres Q&A continues:
Q: If someone doesn’t have the financial means to start collecting things the way you have done it, do you have a suggestion on how they can get into it without bankrupting themselves?
A: I think you start with the idea that it’s the collecting that’s fun. If you have limited resources, even within the baseball world, there are all kinds of things to collect that doesn’t have to be high-end stuff. Think of all the bobbleheads, or other giveaways over the last 20 years for just the Dodgers. A funny story: A senior judge in the state of California came by here one day, very distinguished man, impeccable credentials, Ivy League educated – he collects football programs. You’d never know what people collect. Football programs don’t involve major dollars, but here’s someone, an intellectual, sure as can be, just this quiet collector. I’ve had some other very distinguished doctors visit, he’s a card collector. It doesn’t matter what profession. Collectors are collectors, in their blood from when they were little.
Q: So as collector, would you buy up a bunch of Yaseil Puig memorabilia right now and just put it away for safe keeping?
A: I would buy some of it, but I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on it. First of all, it’s much different today. Now, they could put on 1,800 uniforms because they’re smart. Way back when, the players only got two a season. When you’re buying something today, realize it doesn’t have the same value. There could be 10 rookie uniforms for someone like him. It’s not a money issue in making new uniforms.
Q: You’re not as much into current things, even if you’re stockpiling items as a hedge fund into its potential future earnings?
A: I want to let history begin to form the value. Scarcity creates value. I have to know how many are out there. If there are 15 versions of a someone’s rookie uniform out there, it’s not worth as much. If it’s one, that’s totally different.
Q: Does the joy become misplaced and lost when someone tries to do this just as a business, as you see stories of card companies who can’t survive these days because of the product out there?
A: If you run it as a business, you’ll never have joy, only heartache. Like every business, there’s competition for inventory. It can be tough. If you collect, don’t try to make on your collection. If it turns out that you do, great. You may even lose money. But how much fun and joy has that given you over the years. It’s like taking a vacation. You don’t try to quantify that the same way. If you had fun, it was worth it. If you didn’t, then it wasn’t. Same with collecting. There’s nothing else that can fill those moments when you find something that you’ve been searching for and it’s really nice.