What Cardboard has Taught Me or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog
I started collecting baseball cards again recently. Things have changed since the mid-90's. Here's a few things I've learned in the past few months of collecting:
In reality, we taste like chicken.
Apparently there are days when you can just go down to the ballpark and get a bunch of autographs. New Orleans has never been a baseball town. I'm amazed we still have the Zephyrs (our AAA team). Anyway, that sounds amazing. If Ken Griffey (Jr or Sr) make it to one of those, please, think of your old pal, T.J.!
Those orange-toothed beasts on the left are Boudreaux and Clotille. They are nutria, and the mascots of the Miami Marlins AAA affiliate New Orleans Zephyrs. You may recognize their names if you've ever heard a good coonass joke. That picture was taken at Zephyr Field which is about a mile from my house and right next door to the Saints Training Camp, the Budweiser Distribution Center, and the only Dairy Queen in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area.
Hey, kids! Do you like being gouged?
Toys R' Us may sell baseball cards, but you definitely don't want to go there to buy them. I went hoping to get a blaster with some sweet purple parallels for 2013 Topps. The blaster was priced at $27.99, $8 more than anywhere else I've seen them for sale. The shelf was a mess with no organization or logic to it. And very few price tags. At that markup, I expect a better shopping experience.
I decided to bite the bullet and get the box anyway (I also had an unpriced repack box in my hands that rang up for $24.99. 13 packs for $25. Yeah, no......). I got the blaster to the car and started ripping. No purples. Not one. Never again!
This is the card that keeps me ripping.
Buying 2013 Topps in general is a stupid move on my part. I collect retired players pretty exclusively. I should be buying repack boxes. And yet, I'm 14 cards away from completing Series 1, so how can I stop now? (FYI, I have reams of duplicate base cards.)
Plus there's the slim possibility of pulling a Griffey autograph. So far I've pulled two Griffey die-cuts and two random autographs of players who aren't named Griffey. And yet, The Chase has me. I remain stubbornly optimistic.
So yes, I'll keep buying them a little longer, but then it's packs from the past and nothing else. Or at least it should be.............Nah, it wont. Bring on the 2013 product!
Wives hate baseball card blogs. I've had to get really creative in balancing time to put these posts together and spending quality time with loved ones.
All your favorite players are retired! Stop buying packs!
For example, we've been plowing through Doctor Who on Netflix for the past few weeks, so one thing I like to do is scan in all the cards at once onto an SD card, then bring the SD card over to the laptop in the living room for editing and posting. She doesn't seem to mind me plucking away at the computer while we watch, and the way I figure, if we are both in the same room, we are spending time together. Love of my life successfully fooled! Score one for baseball cards!
Not really. Real human interaction trumps cardboard every time. And for the record, she's very patient and understanding about the blog. However, when we have a kid it's gonna be game over for the Junior Junkie. Better do as much posting as I can now.
I'm worth a lot more than what I cost.
The concept of value in this hobby is relative almost to the point of meaninglessness. Now, as much as I make fun of Beckett, it is a good resource for market price which is essentially the opportunity cost of keeping the card for yourself. Still, I find that even somewhat valuable cards are worth more to me in a PWE to a fellow blogger than in an eBay auction that'll net me five bucks. Above that, well, we'll see. I haven't been that lucky.
What I'm saying is that the Tim Wallach guy is doing it right. If you love a player that very few others love, you will probably end up with an amazing collection of that player and an overall more rewarding experience. A patch card may be worth 20 bucks to you, but if you're the only one who wants it, you'll probably get it for less than 5. I recently got an awesome Chuck Finley relic card for $2.55. Why? No one collects him but me.
My problem is that I also collect Ken Griffey, Jr., one of the most popular players in baseball's modern history. It is pretty frustrating, I assure you. That's why this next point is so important:
The results of my card organization therapy.
There's nothing more relaxing than organizing your cards. I love putting fresh stacks of 2013 Topps where they belong in a set, or dividing up stacks of repack box fodder by team and picking out the ones I think my fellow bloggers might want. A guaranteed daily influx of cards would be ideal. Any cards, even ones I don't plan on keeping. The incessant organizing: that's my addiction.
I also know that I'm a little behind in my quota for posting Griffey cards. Time management has never been one of my strengths. This is something I will be working to remedy.