It’s been a little over a month since I took the plunge back into collecting. Since I’ve been only collecting Dodgers, my focus has been pretty singular. That said, the desire to open packs really has been strong. Opening packs has allowed me to trade with a couple other card bloggers.
I’ve noticed a few things since I’ve been back. Here’s 10.
1. The hobby is still crazy.
It’s even crazier then when I left it. Online box breaks, bloggers, Facebook groups, twitter wars ….. yadda yadda yadda. Some things never change, like collectors flocking to stores to get ugly Michael Jordan cards in packs of Hanes.
2. Card shows are where it’s at, still.
The best way to make contacts and actually see cards before you buy them are at card shows. eBay is nice and deals are to be made but nothing compares to spending $10 to $20 at a card show and coming home with cards, human interaction and a good experience.
3. Group breaks are crazy.
Crazy can mean a lot of things. I’ll wait for something affordable to get base, a chance at a “hit” and the excitement of opening packs at a distance. Crazy is the prices at which some breaks go for. Crazy for how many there are. Are card companies still mass producing cards like they were in the late 80s and early 90s? All of this makes me wish I could find a group of collectors locally so we can pool money and have our own breaks. Also crazy? The speed and carelessness that some breakers open packs.
4. Bloggers make collecting fun.
Granted, I’m still trying to figure out just how this blog is going to work for me. Am I going to include some of my baseball photography? Reviews? Witty banter about cards, players and life? While I figure it out, the best card collecting bloggers show me things I’ve never seen before, make me think about players and cards differently than I did before and give me more content than just what they added to their binders.
5. Topps is still king.
2019’s set is pretty damn good. Many of the previous base sets just do not have design qualities that make a good baseball card. Heritage is fun-ish. Allen and Ginter seems like a cool idea but I feel like it needs a reset. Panini, Donruss, etc just do not have the same excitement factor for me. I hated Donruss design back in the 80s and 90s. I tolerated Fleer. Diamond Kings were the only thing Topps didn’t have but should have.
6. Hit chasing is still a thing and it’s incredibly stupid.
Sure it’s fun to pull a nice relic or autograph. But upon re-entering the hobby I see the same predatory collectors making it harder for others to enjoy it. Searching and weighing packs in aisles? Get a life! Plus some of the designs on these relics and autographed cards are very poor. Relics with white jersey patches are boring. I’m also noticing all the “hits” from the same players. Either they are mass produced or my perception is not reality.
7. Player and team collecting is more fun now than before.
Again, this is a little due to bloggers documenting their successes and failures. Seeing others modest successes is inspiring and motivating.
8. Leaving and coming back is helpful.
Knowing how being patient is great way to save money on your collection. Prices always end up going down on what most people need for their player and team collections.
9. Franken-sets, WTF!?
Now this is a new thing since I’ve been gone and it seems like a pretty fun thing to do but not for me.
10. Player collecting, should I or should I not?
Back in the day, I had a PC of Dave Parker. He’s the one non-Dodger I liked to collect. There are non-Dodgers who I like to watch play but are they PC-worthy? At this point, I do not know. Should I continue with Parker (and work backwards) or should I find a new player to try to scavenger for?