Thursday, May 13, 2010
My tedious 10
I've really tried to sing the praises of our hobby. I'm fiercely proud of it and firmly believe in announcing the fun factor in collecting every chance I get. I hope that when I'm oooohing and aaaahing in a trade post or cardboard appreciation or awesome night card that you understand what I'm really doing. I'm broadcasting how fun and, yes, exciting it is to collect rectangular pieces of cardboard.
Sure, I criticize sets or cards, but that's only because I love the hobby so much that I want to see it stay great forever. As much as I love vintage, and threaten to go all vintage at times, I would be sad if I had to do that. Because that would mean that I believed my hobby was on the verge of death.
Truthfully, I spend very little time thinking about the negative aspects of the hobby. About the only time I do that is when I'm reading the blogs. That's right. You're all to blame.
The vast majority of the time I spend in the hobby is pouring my love into it. Organizing and sorting. Filing and blogging. Looking at the backs and marveling at the fronts. Checking off lists and searching for cards for others. Planning my next card aisle visit. All of that is just a visible sign of this sentence: "I heart collecting."
But I admit, there are tiny little things that irk me in this hobby. These aren't things you hear about often when reading collectors' complaints. These aren't the big issues. These are the itty bitty ones. Some would say they're not even worth mentioning. But they are ones that collectors deal with almost daily.
I present you with the Tedious 10. These are the things about my hobby that actually make me sigh. See if you share any of these issues:
1. Variation backs: Yes, they're dippy. They're even more dippy when companies aren't trying to replicate old tobacco companies' habit of switching up the ad backs. But my major problem is how the heck do I display these? If I put them in a binder face up, then it looks like I have duplicates next to each other. I know they're not duplicates. But my brain is very resistent to the idea and is going to remind me every chance it gets, which is every time I look them. If I put the variation backs in a binder with the back side up, to show the variation, it looks stupid. It looks like I missed putting a card in the page slot. Right now, I do have my variation back cards with the back side up. And it's really, REALLY stupid-looking.
3. Cataloging my cards: I try to be a good organizer. I really do. I'm in the middle of trying to record every card I have. I have been in the middle of that process for over two years now. The last time I mentioned this process -- about a year ago -- I was on the letter "H." One year later, I am on the letter "K." I don't anticipate ever typing in the name of Kevin Youkilis.
4. Organizing my dupes: All right, I just encouraged everyone to do this in the "get-off-your-ass-and-collect" post. But I confess, it is excruciating. Ninety-nine point nine, nine, nine, nine, nine of these cards I don't ever want to see again. Most are Dodgers that I would really like to send to a Dodger collector. But there seem to be so few of them. So, I organize for a purpose that may never come to pass. It's kind of like card collecting hell. Or purgatory, at least.
5. Scratchy chrome: Shiny is very cool. Love it. But I have this thing about finding scratches on my chrome cards. I actually asked a week or so ago if anyone has ever used Turtle Wax or Armor All on their chrome cards. I was only half-joking.
6. Glossiness and card stacks: Once upon a time, you would be able to stack your cards in piles of about 300 or so and have no problem transporting them if you needed. But ever since the arrival of glossy cards and chrome, attempting to move an even modest-sized stack of cards is like carrying around explosives. At any second, slickified cards start shooting out of the stack like wet fish and before you know it all your cardboard is on the ground, flopping around. Or, sometimes you carefully put a couple of stacks next to each other and some chromy card halfway down causes both stacks to collapse on each other, completely obliterating your organization.
here. Second, if you look at the scans of these cards or even in the right light in person, it looks like the name or team or whatever is in foil, is missing on the card. It looks unfinished. I used to think foil was cool. But I will be happy if foil never shows up on a card front again. I can't be the only one.
8. Hidden card numbers on the back: The '90s was a great decade for this. I'm used to looking for my card numbers in the upper left- or right-hand corner. Sometimes in the lower right-hand corner. This ...
9. Pages/binders that rip: I'm fairly delicate with my collecting equipment. But it does get handled a lot. I hate it when pages and binders specifically designed for our hobby, start falling apart after relatively little usage. I have so many binders that need replacing, and a lot of them aren't the dollar-store kind.
10. Cards that feature your team's player with another team's player: I am a team collector. I put my Dodgers all together. I don't want to see a Phillie or a Twin or (god forbid) a Yankee sneaking in my binder under the guise of a Classic Combo or Home Run Leaders or SuperStar Special card. I put them in my binder because of the Dodger, but everytime I look at it, that stoopid Yankee is staring at me.
All right, those are my tiny little quibbles with the hobby. If it sounds like I'm whining, OK I am. But will they make me quit the hobby or stop singing its praises? Absolutely not. I am not a drama queen. I deal with life's little inconveniences with the best of them.
The world's not perfect. The hobby's not perfect. But it's pretty darn close. The hobby, I mean.