Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ruminations on Hobby Life: Part III

A few weeks ago, I posted my first two volumes of Ruminations on Hobby Life, an exercise in observation that was pretty fun for me. It took me a while to get some other ideas of what to do, so this has been a long time in the works. For those of you unfamiliar, I took this idea from a funny site ( where people post their observations on daily life. Although mine are far from that quality, it’s a good time putting this together each time I do it. Enjoy.

- Cool card idea: Anyone ever see the signed photos that Mounted Memories has with the black and white picture and color player? Most of the time, those photos look great. For something so simple, it would make a pretty sweet on card auto subset. No stupid busy design, just a white bordered black and white photo with a color player pic and a hard signed signature. It would be amazing. I would collect the set.

- Why are so many people's perception of a product's "cool factor" related to whether or not they got a good card out of the boxes they broke? Some guy emailed me saying that he thought Classics was the best ever Panini set because he pulled a Tebow /25, and that I was stupid for calling it crap. Umm, no.

- Speaking of haters, I don’t comprehend when people bring up the concept that any criticism is a direct result of jealousy. I saw it on a message board for another hobby of mine. Can someone explain that to me? I really do not understand why someone could think that envy has anything to do with any of the things I bash on this site. Desiring a certain aspect of improvement seems to be a completely different emotion than being jealous.

- Why was Mark Sanchez the crown jewel of the 2009 rookie class? True the Jets were in the AFC Championship game, but Sanchez was not the reason they were there. Can someone find me a QB that threw 20 INTs on their way to playoff success at any point in history? That is crazy.

- In a similar vein, Sam Bradford may challenge that stat line this year from the looks of things.

- Another cool card idea: Muddy and Bloody Memorabilia autographs. I think that in most cases jersey pieces that are dirty rarely make it into sets. How about a set dedicated to dirty game used swatches. I think that would be pretty cool. Even better if there was an inscription from the player.

- I really hate when I see a player pictured in one uniform, and the jersey is from another team. It deflates the joy of the card. Upper Deck was infamous for doing this, and sometimes its unavoidable, but its annoying. I just saw a 1/1 Brett Favre auto pulled on Blowout with Nike swooshes. Reebok has made the NFL jerseys for years.

- I wonder if Topps ever considered doing a set with just cards from previous iconic sets. No reprints, all buybacks. Get some rookie autos in there to appease the leagues, and make everything else valuable cards that people recognize. It would have to be expensive, but I think it would be interesting to see if it turned out.

- Is there a reason to name subsets anymore? When you call a subset something completely lame like "Freshman Orientation" or "Material Monikers" it takes away from the overall appeal of the card to me. I don’t think people would be that angry if they pulled a Donruss Elite Auto Jersey instead of a "Down and Distance" auto jersey.

- I think a good way to keep things fresh would be forcing the card companies to redo their product calendar every year. Give them three slots for their marquee sets, and the rest have to be completely new concepts.

- Cards that need to go: Panini signed manupatches, Topps booklets, signed manuletters, and single jersey cards. None of these bring something positive to the table.

- Topps said they use the stickers they do because they have a backlog, and yet we new stickers used every year. The leagues should force the companies to depleat their stock and start introducing hard signed cards. If a company like Upper Deck can put out a calendar with 8+ products that feature on card signatures, the other companies can do it too. Its not a bad thing to use half stickers and half on card autos until the stickers are gone.

- Speaking of stickers, I don’t get why the companies don’t pay us back a little for using them. It would be cool to get more inscriptions on the stickers, or at least something to make it worth more.

- Does anyone start to wonder what would happen if we actually got an all access look into the manufacturers? I think I would probably stop collecting due to disgust.

- Who chooses the pictures used on the cards? I have to believe it’s the design team. I don’t get why every card doesn’t have the best possible pictures. That new Strasburg chrome auto has the most ridiculous picture ever, and that will no doubt detract from the value. Topps had to know that.

- Is anyone else as happy as I am that the amount of products featuring celebrities in sports cards has dropped? I remember when every set had some celebrity element back in 2008. Upper Deck was a prime offender, and maybe the card gods got pissed at them.

- I don’t think redemptions are always the fault of the companies, but the replacements fall 100% on their shoulders. What if we were able to choose from a list of replacements instead of being surprised? That way you actually get something you want. Each card is assigned a tier, and those tiers are updated with market trends. The higher the tier, the higher the replacement. Lower tier cards can be added together to replace a higher tier one. That would be a cool system.

- If 10-15% of a product run is always held back for QC problem replacements, what happens to the left overs? There arent THAT many redemptions that go unfufilled.

- Topps should make a coffee table book of their historic sets. Kramer would appreciate it.

- Lastly, someone should create a hot or not website for cards. Each time a product is released, the gallery should be posted an people should be able to vote on whether or not the cards look good. I think that it would be interesting to see how it turns out. Guaranteed, Triple Threads would get the opposite reaction I want it to.

That’s it for now, let me know if you guys have any items brewing in your brains that you want me to post. It takes a while for me to compile my thoughts into one of these posts, so hopefully I will have more to share at a future date.


  1. "Topps should make a coffee table book of their historic sets. Kramer would appreciate it."

    Topps made a book like that in the 80s. I have the 1952-1986 book that pictures every card from those years. The book is quite heavy and very coffee table worthy.

  2. I've never understood replacements. If you get a pack of dinged cards, the store should refund you and that should be the end of it.

  3. Yes, there is a coffee table book. If 1952-1986 is too much/heavy for you, I also have the versions for the 1950s and one for the 1960s. I bought 1952-1986 just to get the 70's and mid 80's added to my coffee table.

  4. "Another cool card idea: Muddy and Bloody Memorabilia autographs."

    I was thinking about that when Eli Manning was busted open. I was "Imagine Eli Manning game-used card of the bloody towel used to clean Eli up"