Wednesday, February 8, 2017

THREE!!!!!

When I was in college, nothing was better to me than watching Vanderbilt basketball. I stuck it out through four miserable football seasons (1-10, 5-6, 4-7, 4-7) in the marching band simply because I loved being in the basketball pep band. That was especially true thanks to getting to watch games like this one in person:



Early next season and assuming that this streak continues for the rest of the year, Vanderbilt will mark its 1000th consecutive game with a three-point field goal. Only three teams in NCAA basketball have had a three-point field goal in every game since the rule was passed prior to the 1986-1987 season: Vanderbilt, Princeton, and UNLV. 

As I mentioned yesterday, today is the three-year anniversary of my deciding to start writing incomprehensible drivel understandable by and interesting to perhaps 25 other people on this planet. Actually -- somewhat surprisingly to me -- my readership stays consistently between 100 and 250 hits per post, and I'm a little under 7,000 pageviews from hitting the 150,000 pageview mark. This is all very cool to me considering that some of my posts in my first month have yet to break into double digits even three years later. 

Maybe I'm more interesting now?


Tease me with a title like, "Worst Song Ever!!!" and I'm probably going to click on it. Give it a listen -- it's like what would happen if those "Ricola" horns met up with a yodeler trained by the people who sing Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, but only if those people had stuttering problems. It's fantastic.

Last year, I made some "resolutions" for the beginning of my blog year. Let's revisit those to see how I'm doing.

1.  Grow the Robin Yount Collection to 1000 items: As I mentioned yesterday, this one is a SUCCESS, since I have pushed the count to 1,041 items (and I just got in a few more cards to add to that collection yesterday and today). 

2.  Get More Organized, Again: this one related to the need to sort through about 30,000 cards from the "Christmas Horde" that I got from my in-laws for Christmas in 2015. I will say that I have gotten someone more organized within my card room. However, my time allocation has been bad, so I still have about 20,000 cards from 1989 through 1993 to sort through.

That is a FAIL...like on the level of this kid, who calls this his worst trumpet playing ever:


Be sure to ask this kid why his video is so orange. Also, if you play an instrument, there is no need to put your practicing on YouTube.

3.  Winnow down my collection: Nope. Haven't really made a dent. I had less time than I wanted this year to devote to collecting, and it showed. I actually have been downright awful this year in sending out trade packages. 

FAIL

4.  Send out Cards to the SuperTraders: This was and is a great idea -- to have an identified team collector to whom you can send cards. I got plenty of packages just before Christmas this year from some of the SuperTraders, so it's been good to add some new trading partners. I even bought a couple of boxes early in the process to help kick off the group -- and pulled a Yoan Moncada autograph card for Mark Hoyle:


Of course, now Moncada is with the other Sox, having been traded in the Chris Sale deal. Can't blame the Red Sox for that trade -- they can always spend more to get players and their hitting prospects were deep already.

Anyway, I didn't do all that well here in sending cards out, but I did do some. Minor success

5.  Stick to a budget for cards -- or create one.


6.  Get my Brewers Parallels, Oddballs, & Paninis organized and get my post-1965 Milwaukee Braves organized and get want lists created.  

I've been sort of successful here. Little did I think about what getting want lists put together for all those damn Bowman parallels would take. I'm to the point now where I am thinking about giving up on serial numbered cards with serial numbers under about 250 or 500 as going into my team sets. I don't catalog cards numbered 100 or fewer any more except for wanting them for my player collections. But, I'm almost done with Bowman, and I'm getting closer to typing up all the checklists on Topps for parallels.

After that, it will be Donruss, Fleer, and Upper Deck. Ugh.

Then, it will be the police cards and oddballs getting the full treatment.

Finally, after that, I'll pick up the Milwaukee Braves. The Milwaukee Braves are difficult because online checklists will often list cards as Boston Braves or even Atlanta Braves when the player is wearing a Milwaukee hat. It's annoying. Fix it, people. Fix it for me. 

7. Keep on the 1982 Blog and the "Meet the Brewers" Posts. The 1982 Blog is about dead. I fought the 792, and the 792 won. I was too ambitious, basically writing far too much about each card. When I have time, I'm busy creating want lists. So, bye bye 1982 Topps Blog for me. Anyone want it?

The Meet the Brewers posts are actually turning into my personal favorite posts. I have gotten the opportunity to speak with two former Brewers already thanks to that series, and I am hopefully going to get the chance to speak to a few more. I may need to get some drafts done there, though, in order to get ready for speaking with those players -- so I can ask more informed questions.


As the song says...Moving On.

What about this year?

Let's set a few goals.

1. Increase my main player collections. Not just Yount this time. Let's do a list:

a. Robin Yount: Current: 1,041. Goal: 1150
b. Paul Molitor: Current: 516. Goal: 610
c. Gary Carter: Current: 261. Goal: 310
d. Eddie Mathews: Current: 183. Goal: 225
e. Warren Spahn: Current: 143. Goal: 180
f. Joe Adcock: Current: 44. Goal: 60
g. Lew Burdette: Current: 36. Goal: 50
h. Harvey Kuenn: Current: 58. Goal: 70

I set lower goals for some of those older players for obvious reasons -- there just aren't as many cards available. 

2. Get the Parallels, Inserts, and Oddballs organized and bindered up. Carrying on last year's work. This one will be a continuing challenge. It's not like Topps has decided suddenly to reduce the number of parallels, inserts, and card sets they are issuing.

But I also want to add the minor league cards from the Brewers organization to my lists as well. 

I am a glutton for punishment.

3.  Trade More: Time conspired against me over this past year. My goal this year will be more tangible: to send out at least 4 packages per month. It's a small, attainable goal.

Who wants some cards? Comment below and email me your address.

4. Care Less about the surrounding bullshit.


That has grown. 

I know that I get too worked up about Topps ignoring the Brewers in things like Topps Now and Archives. It's a simple answer, of course: focus less on the current and more on the holes in my collection. If Topps doesn't want my money, well, it doesn't have to get my money.

5. Keep up the Meet the Brewers. Like I said, I enjoy these posts a lot. It's a great excuse for me to read old newspapers, old news, do internet sleuthing, and generally find out about guys who played the game. I'm disappointed, though, that one of my main sources of information -- Google Newspapers -- no longer has the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel online for free any more. When Gannett -- owners of USA Today -- bought the newspapers this past year, they decided to monetize that archive for their own profit rather than allowing the world to have access to it for free. 

F*ck Gannett.

That said, my SABR membership has given me access to the archives of The Sporting News, so I have something of a substitute. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.

6. Write anywhere from three to six times for the SABR Baseball Card Blog. That's a tough audience, to be fair -- tons of big names read it and write for it, like Keith Olbermann and Rob Neyer and Jeff Katz and Mark Aubrey and Mark Armour and Matthew Prigge. But I enjoy writing there so I'll try.

Hopefully I can stick to these better than last year's goals. 

Finally, let me close with five cards I got at a recent card show. I've started a binder called, "Cards I Like" as I have mentioned before. Here are the five cards I dig from that card show:


The Topps Tribute space race card just feels and looks cool in hand. It's from back when Tribute sort of did what Allen & Ginter does now -- with random rivalries and such. But Tribute cards are cooler. 

Then, we have Josh Gibson and his Tape Measure Blast in Yankee Stadium and, on the bottom, Judy Johnson. I have had a fascination with the Negro Leagues ever since I read Only the Ball Was White followed by I Was Right On Time. Even as a kid, stories of those leagues intrigued me -- I couldn't imagine why a Negro League was necessary, and it struck me as ridiculous that it existed. Then I read Buck O'Neill's book, and I realized that it wasn't ridiculous -- it was just life, and the guys who lived it actually loved it. Sure, those players would have loved the opportunity in the major leagues, but they loved the opportunities they got.

In the middle row, we first have Paul Gauguin. I've actually featured Gauguin's art on this blog in my first year, and I've been an admirer of his work since high school. I like this Mayo set -- using old photography makes the card more attractive to me, for some reason, over using faux old art like Ginter does.

Finally, we have David Price. The only reason I bought this card was because he is wearing his Vanderbilt uniform. Maybe I'll start a Vanderbilt-uniform collection at some point, but for now, it's going to be a "I like that card" visceral basis.

Thanks for sticking around for these three years. Even though I rarely respond to comments, I enjoy getting them. It means that I struck a chord with someone enough to get them to stop and take a few minutes to write a comment.

Here's to a few more good years here for me, and thanks for reading.

14 comments:

  1. Happy Blogday! I know I tweeted that but felt a comment was necessary, too. I wonder if David Price won a Vandy playoff game? My wife hit me for playing that trumpet video. Thanks.

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  2. Congrats on three years. Here's to three more.

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  3. The Baseball Reliquary is showing the documentary "When Only the ball was White" on the 11th. Also some speakers. I'm hoping to make it there
    http://www.templecitytribune.com/arts-entertainment/baseball-reliquary-presents-only-the-ball-was-white-film-screening-and-discussion/

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  4. OK, I listened to all 3 minutes and 59 seconds of the Worst Song Ever. I should get a prize or something. BTW..I have a Cards I Like binder, too. Bunch of stuff I find cool and buy just because.

    Keep writing, I'll keep reading.

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  5. Congrats on your 'Dale Murphy' anniversary (#3- get it?!)

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  6. Well, you know Jays/Expos/Canadians are welcome here all the time :P

    Congrats on three years... I hope I can make it even that long..

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  7. Gee, Tony, why would I want to post a comment? Just to feed your ego at getting them? C'mon! Now you might think that I like your blog. ;)

    BTW, love your Meet the Brewers posts, and am thrilled that you've actually talked to players because of it. Way to go!

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  8. Congrats on the three year mark. I have a confession, the Meet the Brewers posts are some of my favorite too!

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  9. When I started my blog I completely misjudged the amount of actual bloggers out there. Like you, I thought the community was smaller and only a few people would read. That has been a pleasant surprise.

    Congrats on 3 years! You and I will be hitting arbitration soon

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  10. Congrats on 3 years of blogging Tony, looking forward to many more posts from you!

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  11. A. Congratulations on your three year anniversary.

    B. Best of luck on your 2017 goals.

    C. I may need to adopt #4 as one of my goals.

    D. I have a "Cards I Like" binder too. I might only add one or two cards a year, but it's so much fun to flip through.

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  12. Congrats! I've had my blog site for several years, but have only started posting every couple days since January. I'm still in the single digit reader stage. Any tips for expanding the audience? My posts show up in the sidebar of several notable blogs, but I'm not sure where else to put it. I'm not on social media at all....

    Like that Tribute Rivalry card. I need one for my space binder!

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