Things are almost getting back to normal for me after my job change. I'm starting to work a fairly regular schedule again -- as opposed to over the holidays, when I would sit and sort cards all day since there was no point in my going into the office. I'm working a fair amount at trying to develop business, which at this point is being accomplished by contacting people I've worked with in the past.
I'm still not all the way back on blogging, though. My 1982 Topps blog has lagged severely in the past two months as I've been getting ready for my job change. I had a ton of pretty important things I had to do -- set up a limited liability company, set up two bank accounts, get my cell phone number transferred to me by my firm, get a new phone to replace the BlackBerry I had, get a new computer to be my work computer (and, since it's an Apple, that has been a heck of a learning experience), getting health insurance set up, and get all the technology talking to each other properly so that I can actually get my work e-mail on my smartphone.
Just remembering everything I needed to do was a chore. Getting all of it done...well, I'm getting there. It's a tricky process to walk that line between being respectful to the job I had and making preparations for the job I was going to have.
All of that is just a further explanation as to why I'm still a little behind on blogging.
Last night, though, injected some life back in to my collecting and blogging. My wife organized a neighborhood party and made two crock pots of chili for it. We had a bunch of people over, including one family whom I know somewhat but not very well. They brought their 8-year-old son and their 9-year-old daughter along, and one task for the night was to entertain them. The boy dug right in when I turned on my Playstation for him and he started playing one of the EA Sports NCAA football games as the Georgia Bulldogs, which made me smile.
About midway through the night, though, my wife was talking to the boy's mother. His mom told my wife that her son (and her husband) both love baseball and that her son collects baseball cards. That led to the boy, the mom, the dad, the mom's sister, and the daughter all coming into my baseball card room to see my collection. They didn't believe me when I estimated that I have about 70,000 cards or more...now they do.
The dad is a big Cincinnati Reds fan, and he was very proud of the fact that they had found that a former Reds player from the 1910s is a third- or fourth-cousin of theirs. I happened to have a Reds franchise history book on my shelf that I got about 12 years ago when I was buying a lot of baseball books. I pulled out my Reds cards, and the boy started looking through them.
Suddenly, half the party came upstairs to my card room. People were telling stories about the Big Red Machine in the 1970s, how Davey Concepcion should be in the Hall of Fame, what players they remembered meeting, who was nice, who was not -- just as if they were the 8-year-old kids again. So, I pulled out a card that any Reds fan and nearly any baseball fan would have to appreciate -- a 1981 Donruss Johnny Bench autographed card that I got back in about 1982. I think the dad was more excited by that than the boy was.
As it turned out, the boy is also a big Freddie Freeman fan (living in Atlanta and all). I happened to have a 2014 Allen & Ginter Freeman relic that came out in Gint-A-Cuffs last summer, so I gave him that and some 2013 Topps Stickers and, yes, I gave him the Johnny Bench autograph.
It really reminded me what collecting is really about. It's about keeping what you want and what you like, and what you give away will put smiles on other people's faces.
Kind of like how #walletcard Robert Edwards makes me smile. It's why Robert joined me at my computer tonight.
For what it's worth, my computer background changes every 30 seconds to show another card I've scanned. It just happened to be Blue Jay Molitor this time.
Thanks for reading tonight -- some cards will appear tomorrow on this blog. I promise.