This morning, I gave that presentation I mentioned on this blog a little while ago.
A series of delays caused it to be pushed back a couple weeks, but I was happy to finally have my moment in the spotlight. It's the first time I've really talked about baseball cards in-person with more than one or two people.
Overall, I think it went quite well. My teacher seemed to enjoy what I had to say, and I think I grabbed the attention of at least a few people during my little speech. (Which isn't easy for a 9:30 class.)
I heard a couple "ooohs" as I opened up my Cubs binder to show the class. Funny thing is, that's only one of the three Cubs binders in my collection.
One thing I mentioned during my presentation was that cards can come in all shapes and sizes. I showed a standard-sized card, a Topps Giant, and the Fukudome mini you see above. For better or worse, I got a few laughs when I reminisced about Fukudome's disastrous tenure in Chicago.
And, in case you're wondering, I did indeed mention this blog in my speech as well. Since I don't have any actual friends who collect anymore (yet), I talked about how starting a blog has enabled me to keep in touch with people around the world who enjoy cardboard as much as I do.
It's hard to express in words just how appreciative I am about joining the blogosphere. Plus, while we already have a tremendous group of bloggers around, I think it's important that our community keeps growing.
By now, I'm sure most of us know about the longer-tenured bloggers such as Mr. Owl, gcrl, and Fuji. And I always have to give props to blogger buddies such as Mark, Marcus, and William, among many others.
But, for tonight, I've decided to put a little spin on a recent Night Owl post and highlight a few newer or under-the-radar blogs that I enjoy.
"Baseball Cards in Oz"
At one point in my presentation, I mentioned how the internet has allowed me to connect with fellow collectors around the world.
Even in Australia.
My good buddy Nick is who I was referencing there. I can't imagine baseball cards are all that easy to come by in "Oz", but he's developed quite a collection nevertheless. I think his love and passion for the hobby certainly comes across in his writing.
I've met a lot of great people during my time in the blogosphere, but I don't think I've ever met someone with more similar collecting tastes than Nick. (We even have the same name and everything.)
I'll give you an example. A couple days ago, Nick left a comment on one of my "frankenset" posts noting that Shawon Dunston has a card as a Pirate in the 1998 Fleer Tradition checklist.
Why? Because we both enjoy guys in unfamiliar uniforms. Dunston spent exactly 18 games with the 1997 Pirates. And, up until that comment, I didn't think a card existed of him as a Buc. I thought I'd have to settle for his '98 Score issue which lists him as a Pirate, yet shows him as a Cub.
It's not the first card Nick has added to my want list, and I'm sure it won't be the last.
In terms of collecting, he's almost like my Australian twin.
All that talk about the Pirates leads me into the next portion of this post.
I have a ton of respect for team collectors. Mark, the mind behind this Buc-centric blog, is precisely that. However, he also likes to venture outside the box a bit with his collecting as well. If you've read my blog at all, you know that I can certainly appreciate that.
From what I've read, Mark just recently got married (congratulations!), yet still manages to carve out a decent amount of time to blog and collect. I think that speaks to just how much he enjoys the hobby.
Mark also recently found perhaps the best card I've seen on the blogs in this young year so far. He plucked a '78 Kellogg's Goose Gossage at his local card show, one that features him in wildly unfamiliar Pirates gear.
For a dime.
I've always considered my '77 Hostess Gossage to be one of my all-time best discount bin finds. Mine, however, came from a fifty-cent box, and I'd always assumed it was the only card of "Goose" as a Pirate. At the time, it was a bit of a "white whale" of mine.
I guess I have another one to spear now.
"Topps Cards That Never Were"
This is one of the newer entries on this list.
Much like team collectors, I have a gigantic amount of respect for people who do customs. I've personally never ventured into that sort of thing myself. My inability to create anything remotely artistic is probably the biggest part of that.
It's no easy task. I know that much. That's why I'm such a big fan of all the custom-based blogs out there, especially this new one run by a fellow named Jeremy.
Not only is he trying to collect autographs for every card in the 1992 Topps checklist, but he's also creating customs for guys that Topps may have overlooked in that set.
I've always considered 1992 to be quite a special year. Yes, I do rather like what Topps did with the design.
But it also just happens to be the year I was born.
That's why I can definitely get behind anything that has to do with 1992 Topps.
Keep the customs coming, Jeremy.
"Infield Fly Rule"
I briefly mentioned this blog in a past post, but I figured I'd devote an entire section to it in this post.
I was first introduced to a collector named Adam through one of the best trade packages I've ever received. As luck would have it, Adam was the victor of the 1,000th post contest I held recently.
As it happens, he just recently decided to start a blog of his own. One thing I found to be quite cool was the fact that he documented the spoils from my contest in the very first post(s) on his blog.
I seem to have inspired at least a few people to jump onto the mini-collection wagon. Adam, a big Rockies fan, came up with one of the better ideas I've heard in that regard. He's collecting any cards with Coors Field in the backdrop.
One of my personal favorites from that theme has to be the Ryan Spilborghs you see above.
Though his blog is fairly new, I can't wait to see what else Adam has in store for us.
Another new mini-collection devotee is a collector named John.
A lot of you already seem to have been introduced to him through various packages and PWEs he's dropped onto the blogging community. I've already been the beneficiary of two flat-rate boxes from John, plus a couple other envelopes and the like.
While he's easily one of the more generous souls in the blogosphere, the guy runs one heck of a blog as well. He even has a whole day devoted to mini-collections, aptly called "Mini Mondays". From "playin' dirty", "double dips", and "fist bumps", it's a ton of fun.
John also happens to be a Braves fan/collector as well, which means I'm hoping he already has a copy of this '05 Fleer Tradition Marcus Giles, one of my personal favorite "double dips" in existence.
I may have come up with the "mini-collection" label, but people like John are taking it to levels that I never could've imagined.
It's true, folks.
We have another Dodger collector in the blogosphere. I've lost count of how many there are at this point.
This new blog is run by a fellow baseball fan and collector named Alex. Other than showing great Dodgers cards on a regular basis, what sets "Chavez Ravining" apart from most of the other new blogs I've found is the fact that Alex is right around my age.
There aren't a ton of bloggers right now in the 15-22 demographic, so it's always nice to see a new one sprout up every now and then. It eases my mind to know that there are still people my age in this hobby.
Better yet, some of them are even starting blogs.
Just ask Alex.
"Playing With My Cards"
"Random" is always in full force whenever Ethan is around.
We're both the same type of no-rhyme-or-reason collectors. From my conversations with him, Ethan basically collects...well, everything. Even more than I do.
In terms of reading, commenting, and just general blog fandom, I don't know that I've met anyone as awesome as Ethan. He's always quick to deliver great, thoughtful, and downright funny thoughts on my writings, and has done so on a number of occasions.
If you read through his blog, you'll find that Ethan has a massive collection. As a fellow "Randomite", his posts ooze a deep love for the hobby and everything it encompasses.
He's also become a mini-collection fan lately as well. One of my favorite themes is his "Getting a Grip" series, which mostly features pitchers showing off various grips such as the knuckleball, change-up, etc.
I sure hope Ethan already has the most intense "grips" card ever issued with this '89 LaCoss. I wouldn't want to be the Topps photographer who took that shot.
Ethan and I send emails back and forth sometimes. Though he's an immensely generous individual (he recently sent a doozy of a trade package that I'll post soon), that's second nature to the great person he is.
Though I've never met Ethan in person, I already feel like I know him.
While I had a ton of fun making this list, I'm sure there are a ton of new blogs floating around out there that I have yet to discover. I'm sure I'll have to write a sequel to this at some point.
That's part of the fun of this place.
You never know what you'll find next.