Friday, July 16, 2010

Ruminations on Hobby Life

There are a lot of websites out there that focus on things that they randomly think about randoms stuff. Basically, they just write about observations that they make about daily life, which usually turn out to be pretty funny. There is even a site dedicated to posting these statements, most of which definitely make you think and/or laugh pretty hard. I have been gathering my own observations, catered to the readers of this site. I may start doing this as a regular piece, but Im not sure how hard it will be to continue to collect enough of them to do so.

Anyways, here are my Ruminations on Hobby Life:

- Do you ever not like a player because of the helmet he wears? I mean, I find myself not liking any players that wear those revolution helmets, they just look so weird. Its only perfect that Tim Tebow wears one of the even weirder new ones.

- I wonder if I could get away with fake patches. I know all the ways that they make it obvious, so with that information, could I make undetectable fakes? Not that I would ever do it, but its interesting to know that I am sitting on a knowledge base that could make me tons of money in a bad way.

- How did we ever think that it wasn’t gross to include hair pieces in cards? I get that it’s a big thing among certain memorabilia and americana collectors, but that doesn’t mean it isnt any less disgusting.

- Who came up with having the players sign stickers instead of the cards? Its odd to think that label autos were the solution to getting cards out on time. I would think of many other things before going that direction.

- Why do people still buy products like Topps Rookie Progression or Topps performance? I really want to meet the people who are looking on blowout and say to themselves, "this looks EXACTLY like the product I want." I get that they are cheap, but its now 2010 and the price is no longer a positive aspect of the purchase.

- Why is it that the people who buy all the sets I despise are pretty much the same type of people in terms of personality? Its like there is a criteria sheet that goes along with buying a box of Triple Threads.

- How come we havent had a set that is all 1/1s? You would think that it’s the natural progression of the high end part of the hobby. We had the Oval Office thing, but I am talking about a licensed set of Football or Baseball cards. I would think people would go nuts.

- Does anyone actually look for rookie card logos on the player cards? Does it really avoid confusion?

- Speaking of confusion, has anyone actually met any single person that is confused by the amount of different cards out there? I hate that argument.

- Upper Deck started from a local card shop in California, and I think that based on today's cost and licensing, that would be impossible today.

- If eBay had a task force to cut down on fake autos and fake patches, Im pretty sure it would do a lot to improve their image among collectors. Really it would just take three or four people who's job it is to accept the fraud emails that currently get ignored, and look through new items to impose punishment on people who break the rules. $150,000 investment that would do wonders for them.

- I am debating starting a message board for collectors. However, I wouldn’t stand for any of the crap that goes down on blowout or SCF. That, and if you even put the letters "M", "O", and "J" in that special order, you get a lifetime ban. I think it would be cool to have a "hobby illuminati" message board. It would need an application process, no doubt.

- I am curious as to the end goal of set collectors these days. Back in 1960, it was a little different because there were no high end cards. Now, if a card doesn’t have an auto, it is rarely worth anything. So, building a set of the most common cards, doesn’t have the same effect it used to. A sense of accomplishment is a valid discussion on this point, but the cost to get to that end, doesn’t seem worth the time to me.

- I think that contest Upper Deck had in basketball, where you could build your own box of Exquisite was a great idea. Seconded only by the Upper Deck redemption of creating your own 8 signature card in baseball. This needs to be done again, but the boxes should not be able to be sold the way they were. That was crap.

- How cool would it be to be able to create your own card. Not of you, of a player. Pick the patch, pick the photo, help with the design, and place the auto. I think I could create one of the most ridiculous cards if I had that opportunity.

- I think it would be awesome if they did a box topper in a high end product with auto patches that contained the NFL shield, the chest logo, a shoulder number and a jersey letter. Get all those super premium patches onto one card. Triple Turds tried to execute with those terrible tri-fold cards, but Im talking about 8x10 sized cards with all that.

- I wonder how Field of Dreams makes any money. I never see anyone buy anything in their stores, and their prices are so high that I would laugh if someone did. Did they even survive the recession?

- I think more players should do exactly what Brett Favre and Cal Ripken do with their autographs. Sell them through your own site with triple authentication the way Favre does. It would save me a lot of time sorting through fakes on eBay.

- What does a price analyst do at Beckett all day? Considering how off their prices are, I have this vision of them playing solitaire on their computers for 8 hours a day. On a similar note, what makes a "senior" price analyst different from their regular people?

- Does anyone ever wish they had omnipotent knowledge of the things done by the companies? I think if I knew ALL of the bad stuff that happens, I wouldn’t collect anymore. I have a really bad feeling about all the stuff we don’t know, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to have the supreme knowledge.

- Another awesome idea for a card: redemption for an oversized card that features the starting lineup for the super bowl champions. Have a picture of them on the field and have all of them sign it.

- Yet another awesome idea for a card: redemptions for a personalized auto card. I think redemptions for cool things like that are incredibly underused, and wouldn’t be that hard or that expensive to produce. Put in the code on the site, and type in what you want the player to sign.

- Does anyone wonder if the Topps Employee cards from Ginter were the result of some bet at Topps HQ? I don’t know if there is any other explanation for why they were included. I think that would be a great Christmas bonus for them though. "Here is your check, and oh by the way, your autograph will be in Ginter this year."

- I wonder what players think when they get a box of 10,000 cards to sign. That mailman who brings the box must get some pretty odd looks shot his way.

- I think more card companies should run things by consultants. I think a lot of problems could be fixed if they procured a team of knowledgable people to give input. Hell, I know at least 40 qualified people who would do it for free.

- There is a website that turns your blog into a book. I don’t think mine would transfer very well. I would write a book, but the time and money it would take is not worth it. That, and no one would buy it.

- I sometimes wonder where this site will be in five years. Its eventually going to get to a point where I wont have fun doing it any more. Then what?

- Last but not least, if I could bring back one set from the last 10 years, I have to say it would be 2005 Artifacts Baseball. The only difference would be that the boxes wouldn’t be stuffed with ten million crap autos around the awesomeness from other parts of the set. Its odd how a product with as many good looking cards as it has could have such a terrible set up in boxes. Buying a box of 2005 artifacts was like burning a 100 dollar bill. It was awful with a capital A. Yet, when you hit a good card, you REALLY hit a good card. The Mauer auto patch I have from that is still my favorite Mauer card I own.

Any ruminations from the peanut gallery? Im eager to hear yours.


  1. The only set I try to put together is the Ginter base stuff. I usually get 3 hobby boxes and that gets me within 30-40 cards of finishing off the base set. I enjoy putting the rest of it together with trades...I get to interact with other collectors and have made some friends along the way. So, it's honestly not even about putting the cards together, it just allows me to have some cool interaction with other people.

  2. I am confused on all the different card sets out there. Which one is Lebron James rookie card. He has 472 rookie cards. Michael Jordan has one (or 2 Star v. Fleer) - This is also why I stay away from patch cards there are so many out there there is no authority to verify if any is real.
    I do like the rookie card logo that is put on Baseball Cards - I wish the other sports would come up with one. It makes the card more collectible.
    I think you may be on to something with the redemptions (no autos) but redemptions for oversized cards would be worth it.

  3. I actually DO get confused with all of the Bowman baseball sets. Up until three years ago, it was my favorite set to collect. It was relatively affordable and it had good checklists. Now, there's Bowman, Bowman Prospects, Bowman Chrome, Bowman Chrome Draft, etc. And I think pieces of each come in the 'base' Bowman boxes. I think.

    I don't totally understand what I'm getting in those boxes, so I don't buy it any more. Problem solved.

    And people who don't spend all their times on blogs and message boards - think our parents' generation, do get confused with what's what these days.

    I think a set of 1/1s would be hilarious. They could slightly change pictures and borders, and presto! 24 packs per box, eight 1-of-1 cards per pack. Why the hell not?

  4. I think the message board would be a great idea,the application proccess would be a hassle, but it would keep out the guys that are always hitting "SICK MOJO!!!" and have "NASTY PATCHEZZ!!!"

    I don't know of many bloggers that are a part of message boards, so if you could pull it off and get all of those people to join...that would be one helluva knowledgeable message board.

  5. I'd be interested, and I used to read a couple different boards, but I've pretty much settled on FCB. It's geared mostly to prospecting and high dollar stuff, it seems, but I've found it to be quite helpful. Not sure if there's room for another, but that sort of thing is determined by the quality of the content. I'd be interested in 'chatting' with other bloggers, though.

  6. On my last trip to Vegas, I stopped in Field of Dreams. I always enjoy looking at their stuff, because it is displayed/presented so well. That is what you are paying for when you buy from Field of Dreams.

    I paid approximately $500.00 to get a valuable autographed item professionally framed (not talking about "Michael's Hobby Crafts, etc"). Considering the quality of "Field of Dreams" framing/presentation, their prices are not TOO HIGH.

    I had a nice talk with the Field of Dreams store manager. Like all retail businesses, they have been hit by the recession. However, they mainly cater to people with so much money, the price is not the issue. When rich people come in, these customers are not looking for a certain autograph but looking for something that will look good in their game room. They are also looking for something unique, something to impress their rich friends.

    Another reason for buying from Field of Dreams is knowing you are getting the real thing. Rich people don't buy autographed items on eBay from "It Fell of The Truck So I Can Give You a Really Good Deal Collectibles."

    The rent on the Vegas Strip is ungodly. "Field of Dreams" is paying the rent, so I would say, they are making through this recession.

  7. That actually makes sense, in really ridiculous sort of way. But, when you consider that their stores are in places all over the country, those types of whales dont really fit the mold everywhere. FOD is not just one store in Vegas, though I do see what you mean about paying for presentation. That is a definite yes.

  8. But are they in 'low end' malls anywhere? There's one out here in San Diego, in the Fashion Valley Mall. If there's one hoity-toity mall befitting of a high-end, overpriced memorabilia store, it's that one.

  9. Please do consider pursuing the creation of a message board. I would love to to talk amongst other bloggers and blog readers in a less formal format than blogging itself, yet I have little desire to put myself out there with an established place that is probably crawling with people who likely don't share a reasonable sense of collecting values.

  10. A senior analyst is either over 60 years old or of Mexican descent.

    For me as a set collector, it is the satisfaction of completing the set. I know they probably won't be worth what I paid to put them together, but that's ok. I enjoy the process.