Sunday, January 26, 2014

Glowing reviews


I did go to the card show. I'm happy to say I did a fantastic job of buying. But I'm going to wait until tomorrow to show off that stuff. I'm pretty tired and I need some time to absorb it all so I don't plague you with a bunch of exclamation points.

Instead, I wanted to write something about blogs.

I love card blogs. I have since I found them 5 1/2 years ago. I follow more than 300 of them. And I try to look at all of them just about every day. In many ways, it's what I do. Yes, I'm a husband and a father and a journalist and a tax payer and a card collector. But my job description also needs to include "reader of card blogs" because I do that ... a lot.

Even though I read so many of them, I don't mind when more show up. I rather like it. For example, Baseball Card Breakdown is a fairly new blog and I enjoy reading it. Recently, BCB's owner, Gavin, sent me some of his homemade glow-in-the-dark cards.


Some of them glowed in the dark quite well -- most notably the '87 Rick Honeycutt. Others glowed only a little. I'm blaming the current owner. I'm terrible at getting things to do what they're supposed to do.

My favorite is the sparkly, glowing Gil Hodges. I'm sure Gil never imagined himself in such a get-up.

Gavin recently brought up the "Blogger of the Year" contest that Jaybarkerfan's Junk puts out every year. I'm fortunate enough that people read my stuff and voted me the winner again this year. But I mention it because he also brought up that I nominated him for Blogger of the Year candidacy.

I did that because I love it when I see new card blogs. It both gives me something new to read and it sticks it to the trendy types who snort about blogs dying and that there are 50 newer and better ways to communicate that are far cooler than blogs.

Bullshit, I say. Writing and writing for a long time will always be cool. It will always be memorable. Who remembers any sentence that anyone said on Twitter? No one. It's gone into the ether forever and 99.9999 percent of it never left any impact.

So when I see new card blogs pop up, I see people who get it. I see people who want to explore and chart their hobby in a meaningful way.

I nominated Baseball Card Breakdown because it was a new blog and I know that new blogs sometimes have trouble getting established. It's discouraging being a new blog, wondering if anyone is reading you or even cares.

I also nominated it because he does and writes interesting card stuff. He gets me to do something that's pretty rare -- click on his blog every time he writes something.

Even though I follow a ton of card blogs, I admit I don't click on every one every time. Those 24 hours go by pretty quick. It's just like you're skimming this now. I scan and I skim. But I don't always click and read to the bottom.

So I wanted to list the blogs who always get me to click and read to the bottom. I'll limit it to a dozen. There's probably more, but we can't have everyone going around with an inflated head. Nobody will ever get out of the room and nothing will ever get done.

So here is my top 12 "always read to the bottom" blogs. It's not in any kind of order. So don't get excited:

1. Baseball Card Breakdown: I've never made a gif in my life. It's probably insanely easy but I've always treated it like it's as complicated as putting together a kid's bicycle. I automatically have no time for that. But Gavin does, does it with humor and I'm easily amused and amazed.

2. garveyceyrusselllopes: Yes, a lot of this is because Jim's a Dodger fan. And a lot is because we used to be the only Dodger card bloggers around. He collects a lot of the same kinds of Dodgers as me. He also tends to go for the exact same cards as I do, so chances are one of his posts is going to work me into a jealous frenzy. Every collector can use some incentive, right?

3. The Chronicles of Fuji: Fuji collects a wide variety of stuff and his flea market posts are totally out of this world. Seriously. I think he goes to Jupiter to find this stuff. He tracks down incredible deals. I'm not interested in all of it (you know me, it's all about the cards). But when he finds a bunch of Kellogg's cards or some awesome board game from the '70s, it makes me want to hop in a car and drive 3,000 miles to the left.

4. The Junior Junkie: You wouldn't think that a player collector would cause me to click on his blog every time. But T.J. can write and you know how I like writing. He makes any old card he shows either interesting or amusing or both. And he'll bring up something you've never considered. Probably my favorite to read.

5. Wrigley Wax: Yeah, it's the Cubs. That gets old very fast. But WW finds a way to keep me coming back, whether it's to gawk at his freakish organizational skills or to see what set he's featuring next, or even to have another laugh at the Cubs. I can always use a laugh.

6. A Cardboard Problem: You didn't know they were back? They are back! Marie and Sooz were part of a certain era of card blogging that will never return -- but at least they're returning. I loved their enthusiasm for collecting, even all that Yankee stuff, and I hope it's here for good.

7. Cards From The Quarry: OK, I admit the Rockies stuff doesn't get me going. But when it's time for another set of Quarry Unlimited cards, I'll click on there every time. I reel at the amount of work that must go into that, and I would never have the patience for it. But this is as close as you're going to get to Topps Total every year, so check it out.

8. Cardboard Junkie: Dayf isn't the rampant blogger that he once was and half the time I have no idea what he's talking about on there. I don't follow ponies and cards is about as nerdy as I get. But even though I'm eternally lost, it's always fun. And when cards show up, I'm pleasantly thrilled!

9. Mark's Ephemera: Another veteran blogger, Mark's family man ways really gets me interested in his posts. He's not as rabid a collector as me and writes about other things tangentially related to cards, but I like the diversity. And I like the interest in history. Jeff Burton? Not so much.

10. Play At The Plate: Once Brian went through and commented on every single post of my 1975 Topps blog. That kind of dedication and enthusiasm deserves a click every day. Plus his card luck -- between the former LCS owner and his mother-in-law and the stuff he pulls out of common ordinary packs -- is not to be believed unless you read it. I still don't believe it.

11. $30 A Week Habit: Robert treats cards like I treat cards. It comes out in his writing. There is something familiar and comforting in his posts. Like talking to the guy searching for cards next to you at the dealer's table.

12. Dime Boxes: I'm convinced that Nick is really a 45-year-old man. Nobody has that kind of respect for '70s cards without living through the decade. Because we have that in common, I continue going to his blog. He doesn't really collect the way I do, but he views cards the way I do.

OK, you didn't see your blog listed there. Not that you should care, but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy it. Chances are I look at it 90 percent of the time anyway.

Why I can name a bunch of my favorites that I didn't list up there off the top of my head. Nachos Grande, All The Way To The Backstop, Lifetime Topps, 2 By 3 Heroes, The Angels In Order, The Five-Tool Collector, Community Gum, Cards On Cards, Waxaholic, ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession, The Lost Collector, The Card Chop, Bob Lemke's Blog, Baseball Cards Come To Life, Scott Crawford Cards, Shoebox Legends, etc., etc. They're all favorites.

And I have other favorites, too.

I do a lot of reading.

And my eyes get tired.

You must be doing something right.

16 comments:

  1. Great post! Blogging is a medium that definitely won't be going away anytime soon.

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  2. Nachos Grande: Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Or something like that.

    Nah, picking favorite blogs is a tricky business - and I credit you for have the cajones to even mention such a list...let alone actually publish one. I think my job makes me too vanilla - teachers don't dare offend anyone dontchaknow...and I have a hard time letting mantra that go in my personal writing. It makes for a safe blog, but rarely do I elicit much in the way of a reaction. I also open too much junk wax for a lot of people's tastes I'm afraid.

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  3. Aw, my face is red as a beet over here! Thanks as always.. you're the best, Greg!

    My favorite out of the glowing Dodgers I sent you is the Ted Williams Cey.. The background image is the one that glows in the dark! Switcheroo! I thought that was pretty neat.

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  4. I agree with pretty much all the blogs you mentioned, Greg. I try and read every post I can, but I always seem to gravitate towards guys like Mr. Fuji or The Junior Junkie or, of course, Night Owl cards. (And thanks for mentioning my blog.)

    I also think we should start a collection to get those Quarry Unlimited cards printed and released nationwide. I love those things.

    P.S. -- Looking forward to seeing what you got at the show!

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  5. Thank you for the kind words...to be on the go-to list of the #1 blogger is quite an honor.
    Go Cubs....proudly providing comic relief for the rest of Major League Baseball since 1909.

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  6. Thanks for clicking...I better pick up the quality of the writing! Looking forward to seeing your show haul...I need to find one of those to hit soon. I'm gonna get caught up on the '71 blog too!

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  7. Thank you very much for the kind words and I am definitely honored to be mentioned with the other fantastic blogs. You are correct that there a LOT of work that goes into the Quarry Unlimited set. I don't have the unreal writing skills of someone like yourself, so I have to go the extra mile to get noticed. It's worth it though and it is a whole lot of fun.

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  8. Because I'm commenting late in the cycle my word might sound hollow, but thank you for the kind words.

    "He's not as rabid a collector as me" - I don't know many that are. My pledge to you is less Jeff Burton in 2014.

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  9. Nice list, sometime I hope to be on it lol. That would be an honor! Gotta admit most of those I haven't seen or heard of however. Your blog is a regular of mine as I ran across it one day and I have come on regularly despite not commenting too much.. But glad I did find you. I don't have a very big list of bloggers that I read. Mostly because I haven't had a chance to sit down and add some. But I may start searching for more to read. And if anyone wants to add mine as well that would be great. The one thing about us bloggers is it's not about competition for best blog, its about a community of collectors coming together and voicing ourselves about the hobby and sharing it with one another.

    Great article again Night Owl! i look forward to the next!

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  10. *blush

    I need to get my butt in gear when it comes to posting regularly. I've been on such an organization kick.

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  11. I personally don't blog but I read 40-50 of the various blogs. Definetly a great community to be associated with. Thanks to all you guys who write these great blogs

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  12. Just curious. If somebody goes a really really long time without posting when they finally do, does that trigger a read?

    FYI.. I still have that card for you. I'll try to mail it in a more timely manner than I post...

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  13. I knew I should have posted the base cards...

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  14. "like the guy searching for cards next to you at the dealer's table"

    I think about that, and remember how many conversations I have had in the past couple of years with dealers and collectors alike.

    That's part of what makes this hobby great, the fact that so many people share it, and 99% of the people who do collect are friendly and easy to talk to.

    I appreciate the recognition btw, thank you!!

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  15. I probably could have made "consolation prize" if I would ever mail out my season break winnings! haha!

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  16. Greg anytime you're in the Bay Area, just let me know and I'll take you on a flea market tour. Heck... we'll hit the whole West Coast.

    As for Gavin... his gifs are awesome. He inspired me to create my first one a few days ago.

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