Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Five For Fighting

I've read some blogs lately that revolved around a Blog Bat Around-ish theme..."Which aspects of your collecting would you keep if you were limited to five?" Or something like that. Gavin's entry was the first I read although I'm not sure his was the first posted. Robert followed up with his and I'm sure there are others.

This sort of thing is right up my alley. I like lists. I particularly like lists related to collecting. I thought this would be an easy one. Turned out not to be so. I spun my chair around in my newly re-done hobby room/office and jotted down my hobby 'interests' in broad terms. I tried not to put too fine a point on it. I mean would my Billy Pierce collection be an 'aspect' or is it part of my larger player collection? See, I was over-thinking it all. This is not the LSAT. And when I think about it this will be very similar to my post in response to Night Owl's 'Hobby Projects' theme.

So after reading and rereading those notes, I came up with the following list in (almost) no particular order (and subject to change at any moment):

1) Orioles and Baltimore Colts Publications.

This is, and always has been, my hobby priority. When I was a kid I got a program at every game I attended. My Dad always brought me to Manny's Baseball Land before games in the Bronx to check out the yearbooks. And so on. I've completed my Colts publication checklist and am nearly there with the Orioles.

2) Fantasy Sports Player Collection

This is my longest lasting and most extensive card project. In 1980 I started a fantasy football league among my college friends. We are still going strong as we get set for our 39th season. I began picking up cards of players I had on my team about a year after we began. I've kept it up ever since and now I also collect cards of guys on my fantasy baseball teams and the other FB teams I've managed. It's been fun, alternately frustrating and satisfying. Especially over on the football side. Pre-Internet days meant you had to hunt for cards at shows and through hobby publications.

I enjoyed tracking down obscure cards of obscure kickers and backup QBs. The Jose Cortez saga is the perfect example. I put out an APB for his one and only actual card one day on this blog and not four hours later I got a response and soon had the card in my binder! I was so happy I thought I'd cry! (Thanks again, Raz!!!) Sometimes I had to to make my own custom cards and with my sad graphics skills, that's an ordeal. Then there's the whole Randy Burke fiasco.

I have too much invested (in time and dedication if not money) to give this collection up.

3) Vintage Set Collecting 

The chase is the thing. As a collector there is no feeling like getting down to the last few cards needed for a vintage set. I'm inside of forty cards needed to finish off the 1962 Topps set. It's by far the most difficult of the sets I've attempted. Those woodgrain borders and terrible centering make finding acceptable yet affordable cards a challenge. The 'green tint' and photo and numbering variations throw you a curve when it comes to deciding on what a complete set consists of. But it'll be worth the effort when I can flip through the filled binder pages.

Another fun thing about set collecting has been blogging them. Yes, I'm way behind of the '58 and '60 blogs but I'll get them back on a regular schedule soon. And doing the research is a kick. Perhaps my favorite post ever on any blog I write is the one for Don Rudolph's 1959 card. Warning: That link will introduce you to Miss Patti Waggin, Don's lovely wife.

Oh, and I'm considering all my vintage sets here. I dig old basketball sets.

And non-sports sets. Is this fudging the five area limit? My post, my rules I guess.

I collect the Philly Gum sets from the mid-60s. Only have 1964 finished as of now.

More non-sports.

And chasing hockey is fun, too.

Yup, vintage sets and the collecting of same has to be one of the five areas of the hobby I'd continue with.

4) Player Collections

It would be impossible to sacrifice my player collections as I bet it would be for every hobbyist. If I really was forced to consolidate I could give up collecting some players. After all, I really don't need to chase Ed Charles cards, do I? But my Billy Pierce collection is sacred!

As are my Johnny U.....

....Charles Bender....

...Connie Hawkins....

...Dennis Martinez...

....Sandy Koufax...

....Brooks Robinson....

..and Elston Howard Collections.

5) Non-Sports Sketch Cards

I'd keep collecting sketch cards because I find them so much fun. Seeing all the different versions of  Batman, etc is a kick. And to be honest some have been fairly pricey and that's a consideration.

Luckily I'm not going to have to face this type of decision. Because if I did I'd be giving up a bunch of stuff. Out the door would go my postcards, presidential pins, bobbleheads, Starbucks mugs, Baltimore-related glassware, pennant collection, commemorative coins (state and park quarters, mostly), Orioles stars binders, Orioles and Colts oddball items, signed 8x10s, etc, etc. That would be a sad day indeed.

Oh, the title of the post? I was vaguely aware of a music act with that name and I thought it was appropriate. I had to look up the group and I'm still unsure if it's one guy or several. No matter, he/they sound like the Dave Matthews Band to me (and that's not a compliment). I did recognise this tune though. For whatever that's worth.

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