Thursday, August 14, 2014

Where have I been?????

Interesting that you ask.  I've been here all along.  I just have little to no time for my beloved hobby.  January was my last post and that seems like an eternity ago.  I spend my days in front of the computer working longer than I should.  In addition, I try to maintain some semblance of focus on the important things in life...being a husband and father.  The latter usually suffers more than it rightfully should.  So here I sit, again in front of a computer, far from home and typing out words that, in the big scheme of life, don't really matter much so I thank you for coming back to read and hopefully enjoy what it is I place in written form. 

I am not, nor will I ever be a daily blogger.  However, once every 6 months is also not what I expected to accomplish when I started this blog in 2013.  Writing in this blog is good for my soul.  This hobby relieves stress for me.  It allows me to connect to my inner youth.  It has also taken more than a few coins from my pocket.  All is good when I can sit and focus on sorting, tracking, and plain and simply "playing" with cards.  I wish I could do more of it but neither work nor family should suffer if that is to occur.  We now move on to the August 2014 rendition of "What are these cards doing in my collection"???

All of us that read, write and trade, simply enjoy this hobby.  There is nothing wrong in the approach anyone takes to collecting.  There are a myriad of ways it can be enjoyed.  Whether it's collecting certain player(s), team(s), sets, image settings on is personal.  This is where I digress into my collection and try to figure what to do with some cards found in the random pack of baseball cards.  I am all about finding the treasure in a random pack.  I have been fortunate enough to find some very nice cards in that fashion.  I have also found cards that, on the surface, do not match my love for the hobby.  For example:

"A Piece of Hollywood" Shirt.  How about a piece of shirt (without the r of course) from Hollywood.  What relation does this have to baseball?  I don't buy a pack or box of cards to find this.  I have no love for this nor do I put this anywhere near my collection.  It sits in a random corner, waiting to be traded, sold or picked up and torn to shreds by a 5 year old that sees it at eye level and wants to place the blue swatch on a Thomas the Train dining car as a table cover.  Can you help me understand why?  Others that fall into a similar pile include:

Really, a wrestling, swimming and fencing relic card?  Thank God there were no pubic hairs floating around in the first two, Ms Hill or Mr Thomas.  Here is where I may differ from others as there are a few individuals that like these cards.  I applaud you but feel free to help me get rid of them in a trade before the 5 year old finds them.

I can also point to some baseball related relic type cards that one will find in a random pack picked up at the local card shop or big box store that won't be mentioned.  Yes, they are baseball related, with baseball players on the card itself but to call these relics is not logical, in my mind.  And maybe I'm misinterpreting these "pulls" from a pack of cards.  Maybe it is just me that has an issue with them.  I'm good with that so feel free to call me out.  For reference, as I place these images in this blog entry, the more I write, the more each section becomes that much more relevant to the collecting world I enjoy. Yes, this is baseball related, but a class ring?  To what, high school?  Anyone can buy one for a mere $50 to $75.  Maybe I'm dating myself with that pricing as I haven't been in that market to know what is today's value.  Useless to me.  For what it's worth, here is the card I speak of:

I'm sure I will contradict myself with these last pictures.  They have some level of collectability to me so I'm not throwing them out completely but again, you can find thousands of these daily at every ball park in the country if you really wanted to find them.  My question is why are they in a baseball card.


You could say that these are as collectible as the piece of wood in a bat card but at least the bat, in theory, was a "game used" relic.  And yes, "game used' can be interpreted very liberally.  We can argue all day about how the actual piece of wood could be from little Billy's bat that some schmuck sold to Topps or Upper Deck as "authentic" but the intent is to get you "closer to the game".  The ticket gets you closer to the seat that you rested your a** in for four hours on any given summer evening.

Interestingly, as counter point to this entire entry, I do enjoy collecting the Topps manu-relic/manu-patch cards inserted in the boxes sold at retail outlets across the US.  So yes, I understand the hypocrisy in that so I will leave you this entry knowing I speak of WTF's out of only one side of my mouth. The other side is open to interpretation.  And yours is appreciated.

Until next bat time on this same bat channel, I bid you adieu.  Let's hope I'm not writing my next entry in 2015.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Orderly and Confused pt deux......a little later than expected

First I must say for anyone that reads my blog and has anticipated part deux, I apologize.  It has taken me almost four months to get to this post.  You can say I've been busy.  Understatement.  Just ask the wife and kids.  I have made a few trades intermittently during this time but for the most part, when my work day ends, I haven't been much in the mood to put my thoughts in print fashion.  Mostly I've tried to wind down by thumbing through a few hundred boxes looking for a few cards to send off to a fellow trader.  Or opening a couple of packs here and there to enjoy my hobby (or obsession, or neurotic behavior, if you will).  So as we move into 2014, I will look to post more often than once every three or four months.  I think I've crossed that line at work that will allow me to be successful in that statement.  So look out 2014, this blogger is staring you down.  I'm starting out quick on January 2nd to make my mark.  Let's just hope I don't end up a premature ejacu-blogger and wander off into oblivion for a few months.  Anyway, back to my dilemma....

As you may recall from last years entry, structure and order is of vital importance to me in my collection, at least from the layman's view.  Boxes in order by year and then alphabetical within that year with one exception.  Topps Flagship will always be the first set encountered in a year.  Beyond that, alphabetical order rules.  I look at the four or five dual row boxes that contain the hundreds and hundreds of relic, jersey, bat, auto cards, et al.  They are currently in alphabetical order by last name of the single individual on the card. First name, Bobby Abreu through last name, Joel Zumaya.  Easy to keep in order, easy to identify where they belong in the boxes.  In addition to these cards, I do keep some single relic cards in a different box based on the set in which they belong.  For example, you will find my Upper Deck 500 HR bat/auto cards all together along with the Upper Deck 3000 Hit Club bat/jersey/auto cards.  They are a subset within themselves and that makes sense in my mind. 

A few other subset minded cards fall into that same situation.  The Yankees Signature Series single, double and triple auto cards.  Again, acceptable order.  But now this is where things start to unravel...

Where does one put this when trying to maintain a sense of order?  I own a few clubhouse collection cards from other years but nothing close to being complete as the others mentioned above.  I don't keep collect nor do I order cards by team so that goes out the window.  Do I sort by the first player (as my wife has suggested in a moment of confusion as I explained my concerns).  That could work but what if I wanted to see if I had a Fred Lewis relic?  There's no way to find this if that were the order of the day.

How could you possibly put one ahead of the other for this card?  Ripken rules, Jeter rules????  And who is listed first?  Ripken going from top to bottom, Jeter going from left to right.  The Yankees are "my" team and there is no way I could make Ripken priority.  At some point logic will prevail, but it may be when I'm six feet under and this is card #426 of 985,438 on the auction list as my kids sit in the wings waiting for their portion of the proceeds.  You see why it is I can't figure this out.

Yeah, enough said.  Here we have three members of the years gone by Yankees folklore.  I actually think Donruss was trying to help me out with this gem #'d to 10.  The players last names are in alphabetical order, oldest to newest. and finally most desired home jersey to flannel grey away to the somewhat modern day polyester away jersey.  But still, let me see how many Maris relic cards I have.....Ooops I'm missing one.  I know I own this but who else is on the card?  Could it be Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Berra???  Where in the hell is that damn card in one of these damn boxes?  Deep breath, deep breath.  Count to ten.  It will show up.  It has to.  My kids haven't a clue how to find this and seeing that four of them are girls, they wouldn't even know why to look for this one particular card.  But Nolan....the blog namesake.  He does, he's a smart four year old.  He knows a smidgen about these cards as we share our moments of daddy screaming...DON'T GRAB IT BY THE CORNERS!!! NO, NO, NO, DON'T DROP IT!!!!

Ok, I'm back.  Anyway, as I was saying, I reach out to my fellow bloggers for input.  I'm curious how you handle this type of situation in your collection, if you do.  Maybe you don't.  Maybe this is just one card settling between a 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco Rated Rookie card and a cherished 1989 Fleer Bill Ripken F*** Face card.  But maybe one of you has the key to making my neurosis go away, at least in the short term.  I'm asking for help.  Who's offering free advice for this wandering soul?  I guess I'd be willing to shell out 5 cents for that psychiatric help.