Wednesday, June 10, 2015
So long, Alex
If blogging was around when I was a teenager, I don't think I could have done it.
As I've mentioned before, when I was a kid -- before the teenage years hit -- I'd set out to write my own fictional novel. One time, I got up to about 70 or 80 loose leaf pages full of pencil-scrawled writing before I gave up. Then the teenaged years hit and writing became work -- essays and outlines and literary analysis. Who wanted to write during their free time?
Plus there is having the guts to put myself out in the public like one must do when blogging. I couldn't have handled that as a teenager. I had a difficult enough time raising my hand in class.
But I've come across several teens and pre-college card bloggers over the years. Sometimes I don't even know they're that young. Sure, I know they're younger than me because of some of their references, but often times I'm surprised when I find it's an 18- or 19-year-old who wants to be involved this hobby that's supposedly dying out because every collector is 63.
Such was the case when Alex said goodbye. He is/was the operator of Chavez Ravining, a blog focused primarily on the Dodgers. A couple of weeks ago he announced that he was probably ending or at least taking a very long break from his blog and collecting in general. He's heading to college, and he knows what I knew all too well -- it's damn difficult to collect cards in college.
Up until that post I had no idea he was that young. It's part of the charm of this network of collectors that age really has no meaning.
I was disappointed to see him go, but I understand. Then, not long after he made his final post, a package from Alex arrived in the mail. I couldn't help but look at it as a farewell gesture. It was kind of bittersweet opening it, really.
The cards were from my want lists and others that I never said I wanted. But Alex is a Dodger fan. He knows what I want.
As I opened the package, and observed how many players make but brief appearances in Dodger blue, leaving behind a few stray cards to collect, I couldn't help but make comparisons to card blogging. Bloggers come in and out of your life, much like friends do in real life. Hopefully, they leave a mark, an impression. That's their gift.
2015 Topps Finest is out. I'm still trying to complete the Dodgers set from 2014 Finest -- and I love 2014 Finest. But that's the pace of collecting these days. Nothing stays around for very long and we're on to the next thing.
Another fine example of moving in and moving on. Alex's final gift to me was completing the 2014 Topps Archives Dodger team set with this short-print and former Nebulous 9 need Fernando Valenzuela. So I have that done just in time for 2015 Archives to hit shelves. Oh, except inserts. Weeee.
I'm going to have to pick it up on 2014 A&G, too. Because the 2015 set is probably only a month away.
Some things stay the same. Like using this Jackie Robinson pose over and over again. Can't get too mad at a framed card, though.
Can't get mad at shiny Chrome or colored borders either. May that remain forever and ever.
Thanks for the parting gift, Alex. Good luck in college. Maybe you'll be able to grab a few packs here and there like I did.
Hope to see you on the other side.