Saturday, September 30, 2023

Thoughts and questions from an old card collector

 I've been blogging a little over 8 months and I've learned a few things...

First, it's not as easy as I thought it would be. I figured I could just talk off the top of my head and I do that some of the time, like right now, but when I decided to write about my favorite sets from the '80s I actually had to do some research. Now don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed it immensely. I really liked going back through the 1980, 1983 and 1984 Topps sets as I prepared to write the post about the '80s. I still struggle with what topics to write about. I haven't found my niche yet.

Second, its hard to stick to a schedule. Life likes to interrupt the schedule. My original plan was to write at least one a week. That plan quickly changed to every two weeks. It took me over a month to get the '80s part 2 out because life decided to intervene. Work got complicated, lost a family member and moved my youngest son to another state to name a few of life's bumps in the schedule. When life is that crazy, it's hard to sit down and write. I'm not a natural writer like some of the bloggers that I read. I have to really work at it. So, when life gets messy, sitting down to write just isn't a priority.

Third, I love logging into Blogger and see how many people have read the blog and I absolutely love it when people take the time to write a response. It made me realize that I need to respond when I read the blogs that I follow. I don't always do it, but I'm trying to at least say something. So, if you're reading this, leave a message! LOL!

- I've bought cards on Ebay, BuySportsCards.com, Facebook, Online Dime Box, Walmart, Target, local card stores, but I think my favorite place to get cards are at shows. It's the people. I used to love going to the local card store because we'd talk baseball, cards, and sports. It was a place to hang out and talk sports, look at cards and get away from the daily grind. The problem now is the local card stores around me aren't like that anymore. It's all business, the people that work there aren't as friendly, don't seem to want to just talk sports while I browse and don't really make deals anymore either. The card shows are the complete opposite. I've always found deals at the shows, the dealers are friendly and love to talk sports. Give me a card show over any other venue to get cards. 

- As I've mentioned before I've started trying to catalogue my collection on TCDB. It's been a long time since I've done anything as far as adding my collection to TCDB. I have completed 36 trades and have one in transit. I think now that life has settled down a bit, I hope that I can get back to it. 

- Has Ohtani lost some of his shine since he's been hurt? I feel as if everyone has moved on. He's still a lock for AL MVP and I think he still deserves it(You could make an argument for Corey Seager, but he's just missed too many games). I know that I don't seem to see as many Ohtani cards when I'm out looking.

- Absolutely love the discussion between Acuna Jr. and Betts for NL MVP. I really like Mookie Betts, but I think he's finishing second in this race. Acuna's season is off the charts.


Questions...

-Do you think the grading of cards is growing, staying steady or declining?- 

   

I believe that grading of cards might be on the decline. I've heard enough stories of people being unsatisfied with the grades the cards receive, how long it takes to get the cards back and the expense of grading the cards. I'm seeing more and more people looking for ungraded cards at shows. I do believe that it will be around, but I think it might be losing it's luster. 

- If you could keep only one thing from your collection, what would it be?

That's a tough question. For me, it probably would be my 1953 Jackie Robinson. Not because of the monetary value because it's in pretty rough shape, but for what Jackie Robinson represents. I've tried to type this sentence several times only to delete it because it everything I've tried to write just doesn't do him justice. I can't even begin to imagine everything that he had to deal with and still be able to play the game at such a high standard. That's what a real man looks like. 

Finally, I was very blessed to have met Brooks Robinson at a card show when I was a teenager. I didn't get to spend much time with him and to be honest I really don't remember anything of our brief conversation, but I do remember him being larger than life and an extremely nice man. He took the time to recognize a teenager who was pushed to the side by a bunch of older men. Rest in peace Brooks Robinson. The world is a little worse off without you in it.

 

Peace, 

Michael

Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, September 24, 2023

The 1980s Part 2

This is the second of three installments about my 3 favorite sets from the '80s. The fourth installment will be about my 3 least favorite sets. 

Once again, this won't be a deep dive into the sets, but will hopefully be a little informational and a bit of  opinion. The 3 favorites are not ranked in any order, just like my 3 least favorites won't be either. I'm also sticking to Topps base sets. It's not like that's all I collected back then. I have tons of  Fleer and Donruss cards that I collected in the '80s, but my focus these days is on Topps so that's what I'm sticking to for now. 

One of my favorite sets from the 1980s is the 1984 Topps set. 

  

The 1984 Topps set was released in one series, as best as I can tell, in April of '84. This 792 card set is very similar in design to the '83 set. Like it's predecessor, the '84 set has a large action shot with an inset portrait, but differs in that the inset portrait is in a square set in the bottom left corner and the team name, in block letters, runs vertically down the left side of the card. The backs of the cards have a blue border with red and blue text. There are 93 rookies in the set. The top two rookie cards are the Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry rookie cards. 

    

I remember when I was opening packs and pulled both of these cards. Isn't it an awesome feeling when opening packs and you pull the card you've been looking for? I love that feeling. 

The first six cards of the '84 set are the 1983 highlights. 


Two really cool cards that honor the history of the game. First 3 pitchers in one year surpassing Walter Johnson...what a cool part of history. Second, three HOFs all retiring at the same time. Great way to honor their contribution to the game with a card.

Cards 131 to 138 are the League Leaders cards. 


I really like these cards because they show some of the history of year and as I go through the set, I'm reminded about who the league leaders of that time were.

Cards 386 to 407 are the All-Star cards. 

   

I've never been a big fan of the All-Star cards. I really like the way it was done in '79 and '80. That being said, I do like the design of the '84 cards. I think it's the team name on the left side. 

The last subset in the '84 set is the NL/AL Active Career Leaders cards numbered 701 to 718.

     

I think this is a super cool subset. I love the quick reference to those players who are moving up the ladder of career stats. These cards are great examples; 5 HOFs and one that had a huge impact on baseball. 
 
 Here's a few more of my favorite cards. 

     

     

I really think the action shots are so much better in the '84 set. The Jackson card is one of my favorites. I think its the colors, that classic Reggie swing, just a cool card. 

     

I am a big fan of the manager cards. I always liked Billy Martin as a manager. I think it was his fiery demeanor and his willingness to argue to defend his players. Frank Robinson is, in my opinion, an underrated HOF'er. I'm not saying he doesn't get recognized as great, but I believe he was better than some of the others that get more recognition. 

     

I love the action shots that have the ball in them. The ball makes the shot seem realistic to me.


This one of my favorites. Not so much because it's Rupert Jones, because of the shot of the hitter and catcher. Cool pic.

I had a hard time trying to decide between the '83 and the '84 sets. Very similar sets as far as design goes and I didn't want 2 of my 3 favorites to look so much alike that I had to choose one(spoiler alert! 1983 won't be my next pick). I went back and forth between the two. First, I was leaning to '83 set mainly because of the rookie cards of Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg. 

    

The more I looked at the set, which I still really like, I kept finding things that I didn't like as much as I did of the '84 set. For instance, the All-Star cards. I don't like the star design on the card. The star is too big and the font of the All Star looks like it was a last minute add to the design. The '84 design is better.

      

    

Another thing that I noticed as I went through the sets, the '83 set seemed to have more posed "action" shots. That's not to say there aren't any "posed" action shots in the '84 set. As I was going through both sets I found that there are more than double of the posed "action" shots in the '83 set as compared to the '84 set.

       

That's enough comparing the '83 and the '84 sets. Let me know what your thoughts are on my choice!

Peace, 
Michael
Isaiah 40:31

The Seventies-My favorites Round 1

The Seventies were my youth. The movies "Jaws" and "Star Wars" came out. Disco was king. The A's and Reds dominated ...