Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I'm a convert
This past Sunday marked the ten-month anniversary of my blog.
It's hard to believe it's even been that long.
These last ten months have easily been the best in my collecting "career". There's no question about that.
As I've mentioned before on this blog, I was highly active on trading forums and the like before I found out about this whole blogging thing.
Don't get me wrong. I met a few great people and made tons of great trades during my time on the forums. My collection wouldn't be where it is today without them.
Let's be honest, though.
In just ten short (yet long) months, I've learned that the blogosphere has an entirely different way of doing things. As I've come to find, it's easily the best way.
It should come as no surprise that I've spent less and less time on my trading forum as a result of this blog.
A few weeks ago, I decided to temporarily remove myself from the forums. Maybe, just maybe, I'd just gotten slightly burnt out with trading on there.
I figured I'd get back on once Topps Update came out and make a few swaps, just like I'd always done.
Update has come and gone.
Apparently, so has my time on the trading forums. I'll never fully be able to return to my pre-blogger self, as I've quickly realized in these past few days.
That's definitely a good thing.
While I did make a few trades, I just didn't feel the same tug that I once felt whilst swapping cardboard with other forum members.
I guess a few trades with the great people of the blogosphere will do that to you. Nothing can match our way of doing things.
It's just an entirely different culture here.
On a trading forum, card number 46 from 2012 Topps Update is just another ordinary piece of cardboard.
But in the blogosphere, it's a thing of beauty. One of the things that has made me a "convert" is the fact that this blog has become an outlet of sorts, one where I can fully voice my thoughts on anything and everything cardboard.
Here, I can say that Moyer's 2012 Update issue might just be my new favorite card of the year. And people actually listen.
As you might guess, the main focus of a trading forum is, in fact, trading. Not a whole lot of discussion goes on around there.
I'm not trying to demean anyone who happens to be a part of a trading forum, by any means. For certain collectors, it's a perfect universe.
However, as I've come to find, I'm no longer one of those people.
It's the name of the game on the forums.
For a good six or seven years, Beckett was my Bible as a card collector. If I pulled a neat new card, I immediately ran to my Beckett to see what it was "worth".
That was even the case with my "keeper" cards.
Before I became a blogger, I tended to look at the above Hamilton "rookie" as a card with a decent book value, one that just happened to be of a guy I collect.
It was the wrong perspective to have. Very wrong.
These days, I look at it as an awesome card of Josh Hamilton, one that captures the beginning of his inspirational resurgence into the game of baseball.
To those who might ask what Beckett thinks of it, I have just one response.
Before I started this blog, I tended to think of my collection as the be-all, end-all of collections.
I didn't do the whole set building thing, so why would anyone else do it?
My collection isn't focused on one team or player. Who could possibly want to devote their entire collection to just one franchise?
Again, it was the wrong approach to this hobby. A little arrogant, too, as I'm starting to realize.
One reason I've become a "convert" to the blogosphere is because of the vast diversity of all the respective blogs and collections.
Maybe it's a post on what happened in last night's Orioles game. Or a post about a few Blue Jays cards. Or maybe even a post about Ron Cey. (I decided to start a whole new player collection of "The Penguin" as a result of the blogs.)
That diversity is something to be appreciated, not questioned.
I literally have no idea what I'm going to read from one day to the next.
It's a pleasure.
The main reason I've become a "convert" is a fairly obvious one.
Becoming a blogger has inspired me to take a closer look at my collection.
Before I started writing, I'd looked through each of my binders on a great deal of occasions. Surely I'd already seen everything there was to see.
Writing on a daily basis has forced me to analyze my collection regularly, always on the hunt for that new theme topic or post idea.
I'm still finding new things.
I've owned this card of a young Jose Valverde for as long as I can remember. Yet, before this afternoon, I'd never noticed the backdrop for this shot.
The beautiful Wrigley Field. How that slipped past me all this time, I'll never know.
As if that wasn't enough...doesn't it look like "Papa Grande" is giving the finger with his right hand, at least at first glance?
It took me a couple seconds to realize it was his index finger.
Here I was thinking this was just another ordinary base card.
It just goes to show that sometimes beauty can come from the most unexpected places in this hobby.
It's the same thing with the blogosphere.
Even though I'd read people's praises for it in the past, I never thought it would ever change my way of collecting. I'd just write one, maybe two, posts a day and I'd be done with it.
Nothing more, nothing less.
As I'm sure we all know, that hasn't been the case. Blogging has captivated me in a way that's a bit hard to describe on a sheet of online paper.
Simply put, it's changed my view on the hobby for the better. I don't know how long I could've kept up with the whole "book value" charade, anyways.
The blogosphere has indeed "converted" me into an entirely new way of collecting. One that has me enjoying the hobby a whole lot more.
I'll always be thankful for that.