Monday, August 11, 2014
I know it shouldn't matter
Like it or not, I think most of us care how many people read what we write.
To a certain extent, I do blog for myself. The semi-daily task of writing a new post is something that would be nearly impossible for me to give up after doing it for almost three years now.
Then again, I can talk to myself whenever I want. Blogging gives me a chance to connect with a card collecting community that I can't find anywhere else. That's why I notice when readership goes down a bit, as it did around here for some of last week.
In hindsight, I understand those types of dips probably shouldn't matter. People get busy. People go on vacation. People take time away from the blogs. People do a lot of things outside of blogging, you know? But I'd be lying if it didn't worry me at least a little bit.
As of right now, I'm at peace. I know I have a great community of readers who read, enjoy, and often comment on what I write. I try to reciprocate as much as possible.
And, hey, my minor insecurities even resulted in something positive. In an effort to branch this blog out a bit, I even broke down and made a Twitter. There's a feed on the sidebar of this blog, and you can follow me @dimeboxman. I used to be against Twitter for some reason, but I've enjoyed it thus far.
One of my loyal readers, good buddies, and new Twitter followers is Alex of the terrific blog "Chavez Ravining". He recently sent me a glorious batch of cardboard which you terrific members of the blogosphere community will see tonight.
It all started with an awesome custom.
The fact that Alex took time out of his day to make one for me means a lot.
If current Topps is more your thing, Alex certainly went the extra mile there as well.
This mini further emphasizes my argument that there has never been a bad card of Rod Carew. The man was a cardboard legend.
Headband and all.
Alex hit a bunch of my standard-sized 2014 GQ needs with this package.
Though I'm on record as an anti-Gypsy Queen collector, I'll admit that the set has its high points. This page alone features "Stan the Man", Deion Sanders, Will Middlebrooks flying into the crowd, and a nice Pirates throwback. And so much more.
That said, I could do without the giant Aquafina ad on the Hamilton.
Can't win 'em all, I guess.
Unbeknownst to me, Alex also supplied a bit of Trout-mania.
First, it was this nifty Gypsy Queen "Glove Stories" insert.
Then, it ventured into Heritage and its "New Age Performers" series.
But the madness didn't stop there.
It finally ended with the "Fired Up" insert in the top-left of this page.
The Trout was one of many Opening Day base, inserts, and parallels Alex sent along.
I think I've said all I can about this set already.
Sadly, Alex decided to give up on his quest of obtaining a 2014 Topps master set.
Yours truly managed to benefit in his own selfish little way. After Alex began to piece out his collection, he apparently gave my want lists a once-over.
What I found on my doorstep a short while later was an mammoth stack of 2014 Topps insert needs. He managed to knock out a good 80 percent of them. Upper Class, Super Veteran, 50 Years of the Draft, you name it.
I may be a base card kind of guy, but inserts are still kind of a guilty pleasure of mine.
As is the case with seemingly every blog trade I make, Alex really went above and beyond what I was expecting.
That's one of the things I love about the blogosphere. People don't settle for ordinary. They do everything they can to make a trade package memorable.
Alex did exactly that.
I had the chrome version of this bug-eyed Ichiro insert before this package arrived, but not the standard one. Thanks to Alex, they now both sit happily ever after in my Mariners binder.
That's a load off my OCD-filled mind.
Though Ichiro has long been one of my favorites, Alex dug up a few hits for my newer player collections as well.
It's hard to go wrong with a McCutchen rookie. Or a shiny Dickey.
That last part didn't come out right.
I don't necessarily solicit Cubs cards, but I certainly won't turn down ones people want to send me.
Latroy Hawkins is a good guy and still doing his thing in the bigs at 41 years young. I seem to have a recollection of him sucking when he was on the Cubs, but the numbers show differently. He posted a 2.76 ERA in a year-and-a-half in Chicago. I guess bad outings stick out more than the good ones.
Alex also sent what may be a historic piece for my Cubs collection at some point. My very first Kris Bryant card. I try not to get too hyped about untested prospects, but man, can that guy hit. Thirty-eight homers in his first full season in professional baseball.
I'm doing the unthinkable and putting Bryant in my binders, despite the fact that he hasn't played a day in the bigs.
I hope that doesn't jinx him.
Set needs, player collections, Cubbies, what next?
Oh, yeah. Alex found a few mini-collection hits as well.
Dig the sweet Senators throwback.
These two were completely random and much appreciated.
I guess Alex knows I can't turn down anything shiny. These hail from the 2013 Bowman Blue Sapphire Refractor Rookie Reprint insert series. (Long enough title there, Topps?)
I have an authentic '89 Bowman Griffey, but I'm still searching for the Mauer.
Okay, so maybe Donruss was one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
That doesn't mean I can't find some good in it. Any Marlon Byrd cards I find are always welcome around here. They're even sweeter since most of us thought his career was all but over a couple years ago.
I hadn't seen those trippy "No-No's" inserts before Alex sent this package. They seem like the kind of customs that anyone can make.
I mean that in the best way possible.
Speaking of which, Alex closed things out with this terrific Wil Myers, a custom reminiscent of 2008 A&G.
I've seen these floating around lately and was secretly hoping one would find its way into my hands.
Thanks to Alex, my wish has come true.
I know it's silly to obsess over readership stats when I know there's so many great people in the blogosphere. The generosity of collectors like Alex is even more a testament to that.
Don't let my stupid little whining fool you. Whether this is the first post you've read on this blog or whether you've been a follower for years, I thank you.
The blogosphere is the place to be.