NEW HAVEN, CT—With her son Jason safely away at college, Janet Pinsky fulfilled the traditional custom of any suburban mother by throwing away her son's baseball-card collection without asking his permission. "Lord knows I didn't want to just toss seven years and over 1,300 cards—including the '86 Topps Traded Barry Bonds rookie, the rare limited-edition Michael Jordan Upper Deck, and the '91 Donruss Signature Series Ripken with hologram border—into the trash, but I have certain obligations as a middle-class-mother archetype," said Pinsky, who years earlier was helpless to do anything but disapprove of Jason's first girlfriend even though she seemed like a perfectly sweet girl, and whose own mother had no choice but to give away her brother's 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie. "It's a shame I had to get rid of them—some of those cards would have been worth a lot of money someday." In keeping with the convention, Pinsky will remain silent on the issue until Alex Rodriguez hits his 800th home run 10 years from now, at which point she will inform her excited son that the cards were taking up too much room in the basement and that he hadn't played with them in years, anyway.