Monday, June 18, 2018
The good in Twitter
If you look at my Twitter profile page, you will see that Twitter says I joined the social media site in September 2012.
Like almost everything on Twitter, that's only partially accurate.
I actually joined Twitter in 2010. Then after just over a year of viewing non-stop angst, constant self-promotion and a relentless stream of topics that I didn't sign up for at all, I scrapped my Twitter account.
But several months later I decided to give it another try. Twitter had tweaked itself enough so that you could streamline what you wanted to see a little better. The mute button -- what I think is possibly the greatest creation of the social media age -- ensured that I could remain a part of the electronic Tower of Babble without going insane from daily inanity spewing from my timeline.
These days, what I view on Twitter is mostly information about trading cards and baseball. That's really all I care about when it comes to screen time. Oh, people try to pollute my timeline with wrestling or soccer or the latest fantasy film money-making scheme, but that's easy enough to avoid without having to block a soul.
What I still dislike about Twitter are three things:
1. Shilling: My Twitter is still rampant with shilling, mostly because that's what makes the hobby go 'round. I purposely don't follow a lot of box breakers because all they do is shill and I'd like to preserve my sanity. But mostly, I put up with shilling because I know it's a necessary evil when following the Twitter trading card world.
2. People using their keyboard as an excuse to do nasty things. A female collector, relatively new to the hobby, revealed that she had received several unwanted online advances through direct messaging in Twitter purely because she was a woman in the hobby. I can't believe the amount of gross things that guys do online because they think they're anonymous, but to attempt to suck someone innocent into your warped world is quite possibly the worst abuse of Twitter. It's pure evil. Sad, sad, sad, creatures.
3. Politics. I can barely tolerate politics in any medium, but it's without a doubt at its worst on Twitter. Political subjects are incredibly complex, it doesn't matter what the topic. Yet, Twitter is notorious for its inability to handle complex topics. Does this stop people? Nope. Just about every political tweet, no matter what side, contains untruths, or, at best, incomplete information. These are topics that not even a 40-inch story in a newspaper each day of the week can fully address, and there are thousands upon thousands who think a series of tweets can handle it. I won't even get into how insidious political twitter is.
But, yet, there I remain, tweeting away (although less often lately because there is no time). Because, if you really look -- and sometimes you really have to look -- there is good in Twitter.
Sure, there is fun Twitter and informative Twitter and "well, I learned something new" Twitter. There is charitable Twitter and world-joining Twitter and nostalgic Twitter, and my goodness, historical Twitter might be the greatest thing.
And then there is small gestures Twitter.
Thank goodness for small gestures Twitter.
This is where the baseball card at the top of the post comes in.
The card is from the 1990 Topps Career Batting Leaders set. The Career Batting Leaders set was issued in 1989 and 1990. The 1989 cards display red borders and the 1990 cards display green borders. They are 22-card sets that feature a distinctive illustration of a pair of disembodied hands holding a bat alongside the left or right border.
Those are the rather spare backs, although Topps makes the limited factoids exciting, doesn't it?
The cards were issued one per blister pack only at Kmart, and, man, are they a bitch to find, or at least at a reasonable price.
I think they might be one of the trickiest sets of the junk wax era to complete. Most of the cards sell in double figures. Right now, on COMC, you can find only eight cards from the '89 and '90 set for less than six bucks a pop. The lowest price is just over 2 bucks (Julio Franco gets no love). The majority sell for more than 10 dollars.
And, then, there are all those cards in the set that are perpetually sold out. That's what makes completing the 22-card sets difficult.
One of those cards that is always sold out is Eddie Murray.
Murray appears in both the 1989 and 1990 sets as a Dodger. Murray is the only card I care about in the sets, but I've never been able to land one, mostly because I can rarely find one. When I do find one, it's at a price I don't want to play.
This is where Twitter shows the goodness of its heart.
There was a collector I followed on Twitter a year or two ago. Some of you know who he is. His name is Matt. He is an Orioles fan. He's also a big Eddie Murray collector.
Matt quit Twitter some time ago. It's probably been a couple years now. I don't know why he quit. Maybe it was all the shilling, creepiness and political know-it-alls. But, whatever the reason, I know he's still collecting. And I know he's still looking out for his former Twitter collecting buddies.
Matt and I used to chat on Twitter about Eddie Murray cards occasionally. A little over a year ago, I received a private message from a mutual Twitter friend, Shane. Shane said Matt wanted to let me know an Eddie Murray box bottom card was available online. I told Shane to thank Matt and I found and bought the card.
Last month, I received another message from Shane. This time Matt wanted to let me know there was a 1990 Topps Career Batting Leaders Eddie Murray card for sale on COMC.
Oh, boy, that's one I really wanted!
The price was steep for a card from 1990, but I had realized I'd have to pay if I wanted that card. So I was able to get the dealer to cut a couple dollars off the price and the Murray card with the disembodied batting hands was now mine!
Thanks, Matt, from the Twitter beyond!
There's still the matter of getting the 1989 Career Batting Leaders Murray (the one with the airbrushed Dodgers cap). But I'll get it. Maybe Matt will find it for me again.
That is if Twitter hasn't driven me away so I've joined Matt in the Twitter beyond.