I've had a good amount of time to navel-gaze and consider my burgeoning collection this year. At some points early in the year, a lot of card bloggers were doing this thing on their blogs, something along the lines of "Ten Things You Like But I Don't" and/or "Ten Things I Like But You Don't". For a relative newbie like myself, it was card collectin' catnip.
Now I'm going to tell you just what I've observed about the hobby this past year. I've certainly been able to shape and mold my personal tastes during this time, and I've learned from the best card bloggers and collectors on the planet how it all works. I'll start this time with some things I don't like - many of which are either unique to me or just my personal peeves. Next time I'll post ten things I do tend to like.
This is my personal foible, but one I know I share with a bunch of you out there. I truly dislike minis, but I really dislike cards that are larger than the standard 2.5" x 3.5": "box loaders", postcards, circular cards and what have you. When I was trying to figure all of this out, I'd order bunches of some player I collected - like Johnny Antonelli or Rennie Stennett - and get these strangely-shaped large things in the mail that I wasn't expecting. Where the hell am I supposed to put this thing? Not in a binder. Not in a standard card box. How about on eBay, right now?
Baseball Cards, 1982-1999
It's actually very refreshing for me to just totally ignore the "junk wax era". This was the time when I was least interested in cards, in my late teens and 20s. I don't tend to like many of the designs - want list stuff excepted! - and I dislike the utter ubiquity of so many of these cards. Cheap, flimsy garbage from Score and Leaf and Donruss and...ugh. No thanks. Skip. (by the way, folks, I'm pretending to be an uncompromising curmudgeon here; I don't mean to actually disparage stuff you really like.....I'm just havin' a laff).
Breaks Run By Bros
Actually, not pretending here. There's this real aggro bro culture on Twitter that's constantly pimping new "breaks" and contests and bids and whatnot, making the hobby seem like one big casino game. It's about as far away from what I came here to do as it gets. On Twitter I get the sense there are hundreds of lonely "Rocko from Jersey" types looking for ways to rip you and me off. I know it's not just on Twitter, either, but there's something about social media in general that brings out the worst in all of us. Trying to stay away from this side of the hobby as best I can.
Topps Flagship Cards, 2016-Present
Other than the guys I collect, I've decided I have no need for any Topps baseball flagship from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Heritage, sure. I love Heritage (we'll talk about that next time). Topps flagship from the last five years are as ugly as modern cards get, and then you insult me with Opening Day versions? And Christmas versions? And an increasing number of other versions, all in the same gross style as the base cards? Who's in charge over there, Topps? Get me the manager on the phone right now.
Scotch Tape on Toploaders
You're going to make me cut this tape and possibly my finger, aren't you? I just want to get the friggin' card out of this thing so I can put it into the binder! I can't even get the tape off of the toploader. Now I have to throw it away. Honestly, do these things really even need any tape at all, even that blue masking tape everyone seems to have laying around?
Toploaders in General
I have way too many of these that I'll never use and don't need. Anyone wants to Paypal me $3 for shipping for a big fat envelope full of these - clean ones, without scotch tape on them - let me know, and they're yours.
Single-Card eBay Shipping Prices
So many times I'll find a card I'm excited about, and the seller wants $4 or $4.50 to ship the card. One lonely card. Folks - you do know how much it costs to ship a single baseball card, right? In a toploader. with a piece of paper wrapped around it, we're talking about 75 cents. How about we all start charging a dollar for shipping from now on?
Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey
As you may know, I'm a San Francisco Giants fan. As such, these two players, particularly the latter, have been very important to me as a fan during a decade in which my team won three World Series. For whatever reason, I don't like their baseball cards. I have a ton of them. I don't want (most of) them, unless they're part of team sets I'm collecting. I don't really know why. These gentlemen have done nothing to me except win my team many baseball games and keep me highly entertained over the years. Yet I get one of their cards in a trade, I'm like....ok. I get a Pablo Sandoval, a Hunter Pence or a Tim Lincecum and I'm psyched beyond belief. Go figure. Plus Crawford is a wet guy.
No offense at all, but the only 1/1s I really want are those made by card companies, not someone with an exacto knife and a printer. There's a lot of creativity and energy going on with these, but I just don't think this strange corner of the hobby connects with me all that much. Or at all.
Finally, I can certainly do without all the hoo-hah that comes from graded cards. That's for a different level of collector, someone who cares about the difference between an 8 and a 7.5, and who's maybe just kind of sorta looking at cards as an investment vehicle rather than the exciting time-waster and community-builder they actually are. Listen, if I ever have a card truly worth grading, because I need to sell it for some fast cash or something, I'll absolutely get it graded. But this whole world of card grading exists on a different plane than the one I happen to be collecting on.
So what do you think, folks? Did I sacrifice some of your sacred cows? Apologies! The next post will be a lot more friendly, promise!