Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The hobby's greatest invention

When considering the hobby's greatest invention, I'm excluding the cards themselves. It's understood that the cards are the greatest thing about collecting.

The greatest invention of the hobby is best described as a tool. Any guesses?

Well, if you said "price guide," then you're really at the wrong site. Go find the Beckett site and go nuts. Roll around in some patch cards.

Binders and pages? They were pretty radical back in the late '70s, which is the first time I ever came across them. They come in handy to this day. But that's not the greatest invention.

Blogs and the internet? Tremendous tools of the hobby. But neither are the exclusive domain of card collecting, as much as we'd like to think they are.

Top loaders? Penny sleeves? Card shops? Card shows? Shoe boxes? Bubblelopes? Rummage sales?

Nah, none of that.

The greatest invention in the hobby for me is also the most useful invention.

It is the want list.

As you know, I've got a fairly large and detailed want list on my site. At least some people say so anyway. But I've seen better.

For more than a year, it's been under construction. I had never gotten around to completing the years 2005-08. And then there was the whole matter of going back to the beginning and finding all the sets that I had missed the first time.

Well, recently, for the first time in over a year, I added to the want list. The years 2005 and 2006 are now complete! Still have more to do, but for me getting 05 and 06 done is a big deal.

That's because I have discovered over and over again that people actually consult the want list. Repeatedly.

And then you get a guy like Greg L. of Nearly Mint, who lives next to a card shop that I'm still not convinced is on this planet, who looks at the want list, and the next thing you know you have this:

A bunch of new Hideo Nomo cards (with Shawn Green sneaking in there).

And a bunch of Shawn Green cards (with Hee-Seop Choi sneaking in there because I thought he was Shawn Green).

You end up with a numbered gold refractor of Green. Wow, that is one ugly card.

You end up with cards from sets you've never seen like 2003 Fleer Genuine.

And cards from sets you never collected like 2002 Chrome.

And 2004 Donruss. Shall I call this the Pixelated Set?

And 2003 SPx

And super shiny 2003 Topps Gallery (don't ask me which one is the refractor Snider, I'm terrible at that).

There are so many cards from the early part of this decade that I missed because I wasn't collecting. But thanks to the want list and Greg's magic card shop, they end up in my clutches. Three short years ago, I didn't have a clue about some of these sets. Yet here they are:

2004 Sweet Spot Classic.

Whoops. Forgot Pee Wee.

2003 Fleer Fall Classics

Forgot Pee Wee again. He looks like he's on the beach at Normandy.

2003 Upper Deck Vintage. There's that same photo of Pee Wee.

Plus a couple of Vintage Rookies. Not sure what makes you a Vintage rookie. A player that didn't reach their potential?

2003 UD Game Face. What a weird set.

I repeat. Weird set.

2002 Fleer Genuine. I still think this is one of the best looking sets that I never collected.

I forgot Shawn Green. There were 13 new Greens in this package.

2001 SPx, which I had never seen before in my life.

There's Shawn again.

2001 Bowman. I always have trouble landing these cards. I think it's because people are so worked up over the Pujols or Ichiro rookie that they think that they might be accidentally stuck to the underside of one of the "more common" players and so they keep all their 2001 Bowmans sealed up tight.

And, so I don't leave any sets out, here's some 2000 Opening Day, 2000 Finest, 2004 Leaf and 2002 Fleer Maximum.

And a few more cards.

And a ...

Few ...


I know what you're saying -- the 3 of you who have made it this far:

"Gee, night owl, those are some super duper special Dodgers from the last 10 years. Really swell and all. But didn't you get any vintage in the package?"

Well, yes, yes, person from the 1950s, I sure did:



Wait ...

Two more:


So, yes, if you don't have a want list up the blog, I highly recommend that you find the time to do so.

It's the greatest invention ever.

Have I mentioned that Greg L. has already sent me another package? All cards off my want lists?

He has.

Greatest. Invention. Ever.


  1. I have to disagree with you a little. The internet is the best invention to card collecting. it gives us access to ebay and the other card sites out there like COMC,, and Sportslots. Just think of all the online trades you have made. I bet you have made ten times as many online trades as you have in person, even all those trades you made as a kid. I know I haev made 100s of more online trades than in person trades. (I first started online trading back in the late 90s in the Tuff Stuff forums. Heck, without the internet Greg L or anyone else would have no way to even look at your want list.

    Plus without the internet I wouldn't be able to read great blogs like yours.

  2. I agree that the want list is the greatest "necessity is the mother of" invention. But the Internet and blog is the best invention, although your point about it being non-exclusive to collecting is well taken.

    Those 2003 UD Game Faces remind me of one year of Topps stickers from the 1980s (1985? I remember Dale Murphy). I remember my album each had two ovals at the top of the page and they looked identical to those.

    Also 2005 and 2006 were my last two personal want lists made out as well. Maybe 2007 just brought all of us back to the hobby. Who knows?

  3. Ye gads - nice mail day.

    I'm still partial to the 9-pocket sheet, but the others are indeed great inventions.

    I wonder whether Greg L's card shop has '74 OPC. That set drives me nuts.

  4. OK I have to say that I think that might be the most cards I have ever seen displayed in a single post. Well done sir.

  5. It is weird to think that not too long ago there was dozens of sets to choose from. The early to mid 2000s are the weak part of my PC also. Some of the sets that you picutred are new to me.

  6. I'm making one more pilgrimage to the aforementioned card store on Saturday. There are a few more boxes I need to look through. Moving to Kansas in two weeks, so I need to make sure I don't miss anything.