It's hard to believe that I've been at this blogging thing for almost three months now.
I have to say, I've learned more about collecting in these three months than I have at any other point in my collecting life. I was a little hesitant to start a blog at first, but I've found that it's a lot of fun to just talk about anything you want in the world of baseball cards.
My initial trek into the blogosphere came last summer. I guess I was bored one day and decided to do a quick Google search for baseball blogs. One of the first ones I came across was some blog called "Night Owl Cards".
I've been hooked on blogs ever since.
In the past few months, I've discovered dozens upon dozens of new blogs, all of them with their own unique themes and styles. I've got about 80 blogs in my blogroll right now, and I'm sure that's barely even scratching the surface with all the great stuff that's out there, waiting to be discovered.
I can remember the first thing that made me realize how great blogging really was.
Night Owl brings him up a lot on his blog. He seems to be engulfed in Nomo cards. After a little searching, I discovered that Nomo even had an entire blog pretty much dedicated to his likeness.
I think I've read more about Nomo in the last few months than I have in my entire lifetime.
I knew that there had to be something special going on in the blogosphere for people to get that excited over Hideo Nomo.
I still love being a member of the trading forum I'm on, but I have to say that I've spent a lot more time on my blog than on the forums lately. I've realized that you tend to see a lot of repetition on the forums, as far as trading goes.
"I want Jeter, Pujols, and A-Rod!"
"Trade me your Jeter, Pujols, and A-Rod!"
I'd never seen anyone who wanted stuff of Hideo Nomo before entering the blogosphere.
It's good to know that guys like Hideo Nomo aren't being ignored in the hobby.
I've also found that it's fun hearing everyone's opinions of the newly released sets.
2012 Topps was really the first "big" set to be released since I started this blog in December of last year.
I personally liked the set, but it was really fun reading everyone else's take on it, both the positive and the negative. Before the blog, I tended to just give the cards a quick look over and then start with the trading.
I probably would have never noticed that Topps listed walks with a "W" or that a lot of cards accidentally listed triples as "2B" on the back of the 2012 cards had it not been for the astute observations of other bloggers.
Blogging has taught me to take a closer look at newer cards.
I also have a newfound appreciation for horrible airbrush jobs.
The "Airbrushed Fridays" posts from "Cards on Cards" are among my favorite to read of all the blog posts out there.
I'd noticed bad airbrush jobs like this Matty Alou card before, but I didn't really think much of them at the time.
Now, I see them as yet another reason to love vintage baseball cards.
Although I don't plan on doing it anytime soon, I've learned to appreciate the set builders out there.
My only taste of set building came with the 2009 Topps American Heritage and '09 Topps AH Heroes Edition sets. Those are the only two sets I've ever hand-collated.
It was fun to chase down all the cards I needed. The only downside to it was those last few cards you could never seem to find.
I remember it took me a couple weeks to finally find the last card I needed for the first American Heritage set.
None other than John Paul Getty himself.
It's probably the least-flattering card ever needed to complete a set.
Whether it's 1973 Topps or 1977 Topps, I've loved reading all the set-based blogs out there.
When building a set, I've learned that each card has a story behind it.
That's why I love them so much.
I've also learned that there's a lot more team collectors out there than I originally thought.
I mean a lot more.
It's been fun reading all the team-centered blogs and posts out there, whether it's Night Owl and his never-ending quest for Dodgers, or Ryan and his continuing search for Orioles cards.
From what I've seen, team collecting is no easy task, folks.
One of the most important things I've learned is that there's a whole other way to trade cardboard.
It's a thing called generosity.
I love trading on card forums, but trades are almost always book value for book value. Which is fine. But before I joined the blogosphere, I'd begun to lose sight of what trading was really about.
Helping the other person.
Perhaps the most eye-opening experience in this regard was when William over at "Foul Bunt" sent me a big stack of 2012 Topps inserts I needed. All he asked for was a few base and insert cards for his collection and a few Tim Lincecum cards for his son.
I couldn't believe it.
People have been extremely generous and accommodating to me ever since I started this blog, and I've been grateful. Hackenbush from "Can't Have Too Many Cards" also recently sent me a couple dozen cards that helped kick-start my brand new Ryan Dempster collection.
I've been taking after the actions of other bloggers I've dealt with in the last few months, adding in extra cards I think they might enjoy in trade packages.
After all, isn't that what it's all about?
I've loved reading everyone's card show reports in these past few months as well.
"Card show day" is indeed a special day in the life of a collector, and the spoils deserve to be shown off.
It's been great seeing different perspectives on what everyone looks for when they attend one of their local card shows.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I've learned that I'm not the only dime box nut out there.
Earlier this week, I started reading through some of the older card show posts from "Coot Veal and the Vealtones". It turns out that he loves dime boxes every bit as much as I do.
If there's one thing I hope I've brought to the blogosphere, I hope it's a little bit of inspiration to dig through a good ol' dime box at the next card show you attend. My whole blog has been dedicated to that fact.
In the meantime, I'll keep learning new things from all the great blogs out there. I'd just like to say one more thing to all my fellow bloggers.