Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mark that date

Let me start this post by stating the obvious.

Collecting baseball cards is awesome.

It's something I've done since I was about eight years old, and I've still never gotten sick of it.

When you get down to it, it's pretty much an everyday hobby, especially for us bloggers. You can take some time off if you want. But once you're in, you're in. Nary a day goes by where I don't do something involving my baseball cards.

On an average week, I'd say I get new cards in the mail about three times a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

Almost every day holds something new in the life of a collector.

But then there are those certain days that really stick out. Those days that you spend the entire year looking forward to.

The card collector's "holiday", if you will.

What makes the hobby great is the variance of tastes among each of us. We all have our own "holidays" in the card season, which is the basis for this post.

I'd love to hear what some of your favorite card-related days of the year are. In this post, I'll list my top three.

Number three, as evidenced by the above card, is the day Topps Update is cast upon the collecting universe.

While it doesn't always fall on the same day, Topps usually releases their Update set in late September or early October.

As many of you might already know, a lot of my collection revolves around collecting certain players on certain teams. In many cases, Topps Update gives the collector the first look at players who were dealt at the trading deadline. July 31st has always been one of my favorite days of the baseball season. The excitement of seeing who will be dealt as the deadline nears has always been a part of my love for baseball.

Topps Update also recognizes players that most other sets traditionally ignore. Jason Isringhausen only had one card issued in 2011, courtesy of Topps Update. The same is true for many other players as well.

While many other sets tend to glaze over the top-tier of baseball veterans (ahem...Bowman), Topps Update goes deeper. Because of this, I've purchased a box of Topps Update every single year since 2007.

It assures that players like Mike MacDougal, Sean Burroughs, and Micah Owings get their moment of cardboard glory, year-in and year-out.

This was originally going to be my favorite day of the year, but I changed my mind as I was writing this post.

Even so, my second favorite day of the card season is the day I see the first releases of the new year on the shelves. As with Topps Update, the exact date usually varies from year to year. (It came on January 31st this year.)

I cannot fully put into words the joy I felt seeing 2012 Topps on the shelf for the first time this year. I almost ran home after I purchased my two blasters and rack pack. I just couldn't wait to see what the new year held.

As I came to my senses a few days after my first looks at 2012 Topps, I realized that it wasn't the greatest set, at least design-wise. Plus, the inserts are pretty weak, I have to admit. But it doesn't matter so much to me what the first release of the season looks like.

It's what it represents. The new season is here! Not just in cards, but in baseball as a whole.

That's why it never ceases to excite me.

My absolute favorite day of the card season is one I'm sure a lot of us share...

...card show day! (It's actually two days for me, as I'll explain.)

There's some smaller shows spread out around where I live that hold monthly or bi-monthly shows. I'll take the trip down to one or two of those a couple times a year.

But the "big show" only comes around twice a year. Once in March, and once in November.

If you read any of my four posts on the March edition of this year's show, you can probably see why I love it so much. (Especially this one.)

No matter what, the intense excitement of stepping into that convention hall every March/November will never leave me. The mystery of what awaits me on those two fateful afternoons is invigorating beyond belief.

And it's never disappointed. I've been going to these shows for about four years now, and it seems like I've come away with more and more each time.

Although it's only mid-May, I'm already looking forward to November's show.

Some may call it crazy.

I call it collecting.

No comments: