Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm going to write about baseball cards

I figure I'd like to do a bit of an introductory post here before I go on writing about baseball cards in general. With that in mind, let me explain first why I decided I'd write here about baseball cards at the invitation of my good friend Andy. First and foremost, I like to write. I like having an excuse to write. Baseball cards sound like a pretty fun excuse, at least to me. I've also written here and there about baseball cards before (at the now-defunct Future Considerations. I even wrote a post there once that got featured on Deadspin, which I find quite braggable. Which I imagine is something you'd have picked up on as I'm blatantly dropping that in here for no real reason). My first job was at Dave's Dougout, a baseball card store in Albany, CA. I worked there for about four years. I'm a lifelong collector myself. I know cards and I want to bring some of that knowledge here in the written form.

I think baseball cards are pretty awesome. The photography, the design, the look, the feel. I've learned more about baseball players (and football and basketball players) from cards than I think through any other outlet over my years so far. What he looks like, what teams he played for. Baseball cards are like a visual history of the game and the times that surrounded the game. The best cards can capture a player in a moment like few other mediums.

I think it's a shame the baseball card industry has hit a snag (I'm doing my best to refrain from saying it's dying). I think it's a shame more and more card shops close with each passing year. I think it's a shame more young people like Andy or myself don't bother with baseball card collecting. Most importantly, I think it's a shame that baseball card companies focus so much on the thrill-seeking involved with baseball card collecting nowadays. I, too, enjoy a great pull here and there, but I also get as much (if not more) enjoyment out of card collecting when I find an obscure card of an A's minor leaguer or a Northeastern alum for a dollar at a card shop. That's part of what I want to bring here: an appreciation for the obscure, the low-end, the offbeat, and the simple of the baseball card world. I want to write for the person like my dad who spends some of his free time putting together cheap basketball sets and bidding on common 1966 Topps cards on Ebay looking to finish a set. I want to show how can it be exciting to find the simple cards that relate to you in a collecting world that glorifies rarity for the sake of rarity these days. I hope, throughout my time writing here, that I accomplish just that.

To end things, let me share one of my favorite cards in my entire collection with you:

2002 Topps #334- Season Highlights: Oakland Athletics win 20 consecutive games. This card's pretty well worn by now. It's the one baseball card I keep in my wallet. Back in 2002, 14-year-old me witnessed wins 18,19,20 in the A's American League record-breaking 20 game win streak. All three games ended in a walk off for the A's, and to date that three game stretch remains my most memorable and my favorite moment as a sports fan yet. This card commemorates that streak, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in your collection.

Lastly, forgive the photography. At some point I'll figure out how to take pictures of cards right. That point is not right now.

1 comment:

--David said...

If your digital camera has a "macro" setting (usually the icon on the camera looks like a flower), use that setting so you can get up close to the card and still keep the details. :-)