Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Why do I blog? Why bother? This is the topic of my first Blog Bat Around, and even though I'm still the new kid on the block, I'm gonna hang tough and answer to the best of my abilities.
The number one reason I blog is that I truly love baseball, and collecting baseball cards. My love affair with baseball started when I was a 6 year old kid, who was a tee-ball terror. There was something about the game I couldn't shake, and the fact that I was pretty good at it certainly didn't hurt. I continued to play into my high school years, but with much less success. It's sad, but my peak was as a 12 or 13 year old. Along with playing, I also loved watching baseball, and following my hometown Orioles. As most of you know, being a Baltimore fan requires dedication and loyalty, since the Birds haven't had much success in the past 10-15 years. Regardless, I cannot root for another, and the way I feel about the Orioles shall never be forsaken. This is the spiritual reason that I decided to become a blogger, to share my love of baseball and collecting with anyone and everyone interested in reading about it.
"If you write it, and have decent pictures, they will come", the voices said to me as I sat on my couch bored out my skull. I had been unemployed for almost 4 months, and was looking for a creative outlet to help motivate me. Almost everyday I would run to the card shop, or Wal-Mart, and pick up packs or a blaster just to get a few minutes of satisfaction in days filled with ennui. I'd been a long time lurker on many card blogs, and left my fair share of comments as well. One day, while watching the same episode of SportsCenter for the 4th time in a row, it hit me. "You've got cards", I said to myself, "and Ms. Shera always said you were a good writer in 9th grade english class, besides, what are you doing anyway except feeling sorry for yourself all day." That afternoon, Beardy's Baseball Blog was born. 30+ posts, and 2 weeks later I now have a job, but am still all about blogging, and sharing my collection with anyone and everyone on the interwebs. This is reason #2.
I'll be brief with reason #3. I LIKE TRADING, and having a blog is a good way for others to see what you have, and what you are interested in.
The 4th reason I do this is one I might take some heat for, but I'm going to say it anyway. Blogging is self-indulgent, and I love myself. Look at my header for pete's sake, it's obvious that much like the immortal T.O., I loves me some me. I don't know if all bloggers are insecure, and would never go out on a limb to make that claim, but I can tell you that this one is, and I really enjoy knowing people read my banter, it makes me feel good.
The final reason why I blog has to be the card blog community, and things like the Blog Bat Around. It's really awesome to see the camaraderie that exists between people who share a common interest, and honestly, I wanted to be a part of it. There's nothing like being a part of something special, and what's more special than surrounding yourself with truly great people who all share collecting as a hobby? We're all passionate, and opinionated, and sometimes just plain goofy, but I wouldn't have it any other way, and really appreciate the warm welcome that I've received from most everyone who's bothered to check out my site.
Now, on to the second part of the question, why trading cards? Well, for me it's baseball cards, and it's because I have a serious problem. I can't stop buying or accumulating 2.5" x 3.5" little pieces of cardboard joy. I collected as a kid, and had a modestly impressive collection. As I stated in one of my earlier posts, I lost interest in the hobby around age 13 or 14, and had no idea, nor did I really care, what became of those old cards. Maybe it was the baseball strike, but I mostly think it was girls, and the desire to be cool. We've all been there in one form or another, where being a collector just makes you feel like a big nerd. That's another thing that's so awesome about the card blog community, it's shelter from the storm so to speak. On blogger or wordpress we're just regular folks with a common passion. Anyway, back to my story, I got back into collecting in late 2007 on a trip to Cooperstown. I hadn't been there since I was 8 or 9, and the one thing I remembered about the place, aside from the massive museum, were all the card shops. I decided to pick up a few packs of Turkey Red and Allen & Ginter, on the premise that as an artist, the package design and vintage feel was appealing to my eyes. I pulled a refractor of my favorite Oriole at the time, Nick Markakis, and the rest as they say is history. I didn't know it was a refractor at the time, because I didn't even know what a refractor was. All I knew was that it was shiny, and pretty and that I liked it.
I continue to collect mainly for myself, but the thought of having an all-American hobby to pass on to my children one day definitely enters my mind from time to time. That way the youth of tomorrow can see that cards were once actually printed on paper, since in the future I'm sure cards will all be incredibly thin LCD screens with multiple moving images, and DVR capablilities. They will also cost $600/pack for 1 card.
For more information on my background as a collector, read my favorite post so far, A Collector's Tale.
I'd like to round this post out by giving a shout out to all the blogs that inspired me to get off my lazy behind and start my own. Many people talk about Ben Henry's Baseball Card Blog, and I remember reading his posts, but alas, it was discontinued before I really got back into collecting. Wax Heaven is definitely a major reason my blog exists, and if it wasn't for Mario, I'd still probably have no idea what was happening in the hobby. A Cardboard Problem is another blog I frequent, not only for the great posts, but for their lengthy blogroll through which I found out about many other awesome card blogs. dayf at Cardboard Junkie cracks me up, and is a must read. Night Owl's writing is very eloquent, and he can make the dullest of cards interesting with his wordsmithery. Motherscratcher just might be my doppelganger, and his Big Lebowski Card Fest was really the last straw for me. After that, I had an itch that needed to be scratched, a monkey that needed to be fed. I just couldn't get enough and I owe each of these people, along with MANY others who I may have left out a huge debt of gratitude for inspiring me not only just to blog, but to collect.