Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Terminology, Pt. 2

Over the last couple months, I've unknowingly added a new goal for this blog.

Specifically, I've been on a mission to bring all of our favorite "collecting terms" together under one roof.

When I published my original "terminology" post back in November, my references to a card collector's "dictionary" were fairly facetious.

I mean, I didn't really think our hobbyist language was all that different from everyday speak. Sure, we might have a few strange terms and all, but most non-collectors would probably be able to get the gist of our posts in the blogosphere.

After digging into the topic a little more, though, I came to a realization.

People outside of the hobby would have absolutely no idea as to what the heck goes on around here.

Over time, we collectors seem to develop a unique vocabulary.

These days, I bet someone actually could write an entire dictionary of cardboard-exclusive terms.

Now, while my writings on the topic will probably end up being far, far from complete, I'm thinking about creating a new, unofficial "terminology" theme around here.

They help bring me back to the roots of my collecting nature. 

At the very least, anyways, I'll be writing about some more of my favorite "cardboard terminology" in tonight's post.

While I've long had a fairly expansive hobby-related vocabulary, the blogosphere has indeed introduced me to quite a few new terms during my time here.

Judging from the card at the top of the post, I'd bet most of you have a good idea about where I'm going with this first one.

"Bipping" -- verb: Sending an unnecessary amount of the same card to a fellow collector.

See also: "Bip Roberts", "keeping the hobby fun"

I'm still in the dark about this one.

I have no idea how, why, or when this whole fad started. And I have no clue as to who started the "bipping" phenomenon around here.

To date, I haven't seen enough of them to determine what the minimum amount of cards necessary for a "bipping" is.



I'm not sure.

I guess you could say I was on the wrong end of a Tommy John "bipping" as a young collector. 

One afternoon, I stumbled across a large box full of 1981 Topps commons at a garage sale. It was one of the first great purchases of my collecting career.

While I had a blast digging through all that early '80s cardboard. I couldn't help but wonder why there were about 25 different copies of Tommy John's card inside the box.

In fact, I still own every single one.

For better or worse, I haven't been on the receiving end of a blogosphere "bipping" yet.

Still, I have a feeling that the day is coming.

"Mini" --  noun, adjective: Any baseball card smaller than the now-standard 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch dimensions.

See also: "Hostess", "A&G", "tobacco cards", "MIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSS!"

I've often thought about posting a sample of every different type of mini I own here on the blog.

While that idea has been in my head for a while now, I've never quite gotten around to actually doing it.

There's just too many minis out there.

It'd take forever to scan and write about every single different mini-type I have.

With the surge of minis from series like Kimball Champions, Topps 206, and A&G, the bite-sized market has become a bit watered down in recent years.

Even so, I still can't help but be enamored with every single one of them.

Minis are just too awesome to ignore.

"Bat barrel card" -- noun: Any card that features a ballplayer pointing his bat directly at the camera. The entire barrel must be featured.

See also: "Throwback", "mini-collection"

I've had a lot of fun with these over the past few months.

While many bloggers have been nice enough to send me new "bat barrel" specimens for my binders, I'm still in the process of discovering hidden ones within my own collection.

However, I've recently run into a bit of a roadblock.

Should cards like this Dusty Baker be categorized as an official "barrel" card?

It's obvious that the photographer had the right mentality for this one, but the actual barrel tip of Dusty's bat is obscured from view.

I've recently come to a conclusion on this enormously pressing matter.

Sorry, Dusty.

You can't join the "bat barrel" club.

I still love your '76 Topps card and all, but it's a no-go.

No barrel tip, no access to the "barrel club".

That's the way it has to be.

You, my friend, are in.

Welcome to the club, Mr. Rader.

"Airbrush" -- verb, adjective: The act of manually altering a player's uniform to bring the collector up to date. Mostly used due to trades or free-agent signings.

See also: "Photoshopping"

No single area of this hobby is more hit-and-miss than airbrushing.

Or photoshopping, if you'd prefer to use the more "modern" vernacular.

While fairly rare, I do own a few cards that contain absolutely fantastic airbrush jobs.

For the most part, though, most cards in this area lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. It's easy to tell when a card has been "fixed" through the airbrush process most of the time, although few are really that bad in the grand scheme of things.

Every now and then, however, you see cards that are absolute abominations.

I tend to place this '86 Traded issue of "Tom Terrific" into that category.

Somehow, the people Topps managed to make Seaver look like something out of an obscure comic strip, rather than a proud new member of the Boston Red Sox.

Like I said, it's hit-and-miss.

"Vintage" -- noun, adjective: Open for interpretation.

See also: "well-loved", "Topps", "awesome"

Like the oddballs section from my last "terminology" post, I don't have a solid definition for "vintage".

In a way, nobody does.

What is "vintage" to one person might not be to another collector.

For a long time, I went with the 1973-and-before theory. That's what Beckett told me, anyways. And, given my pre-blogger way of thinking, I listened.

Anything newer than this "sunset" card of Willie Mays was absolutely not "vintage", as far as I was concerned.

Nowadays, though, I'm not so sure.

I've heard arguments for vintage being anything pre-overpoduction era. The classification for anything before twenty-five years ago as vintage seems to be gaining steam as well.

My personal thoughts on the topic seem to change all the time.

As it stands, I tend to regard vintage as anything before 1981, the year Fleer and Donruss entered the card market.

For now, I've found it to be a fairly functional operating process.

But, as with almost everything else in this hobby, my thoughts could always change in the future.

The terminology of collecting seems to change with each passing day.

Almost all of the job applications I've filled out have asked me if I speak any other languages besides English.

Lately, I've been tempted to put "card collecting" under that category.

Between "bipping" and "bat barrels", we do indeed seem to speak in tongues around here.


Josh D. said...

It took me a month when I first started reading blogs to figure out what a "blaster" was.

AdamE said...

You can thank Thorzul for starting the whole Bipping thing.

Fuji said...

This is a great resource for collectors and non-collectors alike. I remember when I first started reading blogs coming across "Bipping" and wondering what the heck it was. It took me at least a year to figure it out.

night owl said...

A good place to find all your card terminology in one spot:

tourist504 said...

Oh, no! - I totally Bipped "All the Way to the Backstop" with Bruce Bochy cards. I didn't even know what I was doing!

Now I feel bad.

Nick said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

And thanks for the link, Night Owl. Looks like I'm not the first to have this "dictionary" idea. Now I know the historic beginnings of "bipping", too.