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Showing posts from July, 2019

Card room mega upgrade

Nearly six years ago, I showed off what qualified as my "card room."

It was tucked inside a makeshift room between a bathroom and a linen closet. My guess is at some point, someone who lived in our house before us cut down on the size of the bathroom to make some sort of mini den. I'm sorry they did that because the bathroom doesn't have a window and ventilation is always an issue.

But it did allow a place for me to store most of my collection. It wasn't big enough though. I had to distribute other binders and cards and hobby-related stuff in a couple of different areas, on a separate card desk and down in the basement. And I was desperate for more space as the last bit of area in the "card room" had been filled and I could stack no more.

Still, what you see above is basically the way it's been all the way into 2019. Four rows of binders stacked on a desk six binders deep. More binders stacked on a small file cabinet. More rows of binders stacked o…

The silver lining

All right, it's fairly obvious at this point that I'm not going to be able to tackle It's Like Having My Own Card Shop's anniversary contest in proper fashion. For weeks I've been staring at the possible writing exercises and coming up with nothing.

Most of the prompts, to be honest, I don't feel like writing. I don't care how nice the prizes are, I will not write something I do not feel.

One exercise seemed promising -- your most embarrassing moment involving baseball cards -- just because I have no issues airing my embarrassing moments while I know others do. But I already wrote about an embarrassing moment quite awhile ago and I can't think of anything that tops that.

Finally, I did settle on something. It has to do with the prompt to post a video of myself sharing my collection with someone who didn't know I collected. Except, there's not a chance in hell I would video myself sharing my collection with someone else.

But what I did do recent…

Readers

We bloggers often characterize folks who comment or trade but don't have a card blog of their own as "readers."

It's an odd description. The bloggers who comment and trade are readers, too. At least I assume they're reading my stuff.

But how else am I going to describe the non-blogger? I can't say "non-blogger Art sent me some cards." That sounds weird. And a little accusatory. I can't say, "this dude who I don't know contacted me and wanted to trade me some cards." That's true, but it's also awkward.

"Reader" is a little catch-all phrase and it also makes me feel good. This person is reading my stuff even though he doesn't have a blog of his own, even though he is not invested in the online card community. He just wants to read my stuff!

If you have a successful blog, you need these kind of "readers." They give your blog the stamp of approval. I am fortunate enough to see quite a few "readers&…

While you were summering

Topps publicly unveiled the design for 2020 flagship yesterday, while I was in the middle of a four-hour car trip.

Needless to say, it was a surprise. I didn't expect Topps to do anything like that this early. The last five years or more, Topps has revealed the next flagship design in the middle of August. This still seems terribly early to someone who as a kid opening packs didn't know what the design looked like until he opened his first pack, but at least it fell around the same time and I could prepare in my usually inefficient manner.

But July?

Topps knows nobody pays attention to anything in July, right? July was created so you didn't have to notice anything. Except lakes, you can notice lakes in July. And trees. And frogs. And you can notice baseball but nothing that has to do with marketing or release dates or added value. Just fun baseball stuff that takes very limited brain power.

But, no, Topps is determined to wake you up in the middle of July because it needs…

'56 of the month: Andy Seminick

I've written a handful of posts about Frank Smith, a former major leaguer from where I live who was a relief pitcher for the Reds and Cardinals during the 1950s.

I had the thrill of writing some stories about Smith, long after his playing career had ended, both before and after his death. It is still one of my greatest honors as a writer to have written Smith's "sports section obituary" after he died in 2005.

I got to know Smith a little bit between 2002-05 and that made me want to know some of the other people that spent time with him during the majors. Smith mentioned that some of his best friends in baseball while he played were Ken Boyer and Harvey Haddix with the Cardinals. But probably his best friend of all was Andy Seminick with the Reds.

That makes sense because Seminick was a catcher and caught Smith when the two played together from 1952-54.

When Smith mentioned Seminick when I wrote that first story, I had never heard of him. I figured he was one of thos…