One of the ways I think the hobby has regressed a bit is in the way many collectors enjoy their collection nowadays.
Often times when I'm surveying the card scene on Twitter, I'll see someone post a nice item they recently picked up (that's basically all Twitter is). Invariably, someone always comments with some variation of: Nice! Put that bad boy in a toploader!
Now listen: I'm not saying we have to go back to the '50s or whatever when kids were throwing their cards against brick walls. And I don't want to sound preachy about this -- believe me, I'm not against putting cards in sleeves/toploaders at all. But it seems backwards to me that the first thing some people think of when they see an exciting new card is gotta protect that! Is that really enjoyment? Is it even a hobby at that point?
I don't think so -- anytime I luck into a new refractor, like the above Rod Beck for instance, I'll always take a few seconds oohing and aahing over the way it shines when I tilt it back and forth in the light.
I love that most bloggers aren't like that: we handle our baseball cards, we enjoy our collections.
While the name of his blog might suggest otherwise, I know my buddy Jon of "A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts" knows how to enjoy his collection as well. And he knows how to boost that enjoyment for others by putting together awesome PWEs (from which the aforementioned Shooter came) and trade packages (including everything you'll see in the rest of this post) like the ones I received from him a while back.
Oddballs like these are certainly meant to be loved and handled, especially that Mathewson which is the first Prototype from the Conlon set I've ever seen (I didn't even know they existed).
A spiffy quartet of legends.
For duty and humanity!
Jon is one of the few other remaining Golden Age fanatics I know of, and he was nice enough to throw a couple of his extras my way.
Seriously, I can't think of a brand that knew how to do inserts better than good ol' Golden Age -- I mean look at these.
Inserts please the eyes, but minis win my heart.
Is it just me, or does it seem like Archives (scheduled to drop in mid-August) is coming out a lot later this year?
I don't like that -- but at least Jon helped me knock out some of my remaining 2017 Archives needs in the meantime, including Jeets, The Kid...
Somehow I failed to pull a single Judge out of the gaggle of 2017 Archives I opened (meanwhile I ended up with four or five copies of many other cards). And because I wasn't about to spend $15-20 on a copy, I figured it'd be relegated to want list purgatory for a couple years at least. But then Jon showed up and put all that to rest out of the kindness of his heart.
This is the kind of card some Twitterers(?) would be crying out for toploader usage. NO! I treated it just like any other treasured new addition -- I flipped it around in my hands, admired the front and back (because it really is a nice card), and sent it off to its happy binder home to be with my other Judges.
Because a hobby is to be enjoyed, not guarded.