Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Disappearance of Ryan/Reviving A Blog Bat Around

Once again, the blog went on hiatus. My last post was back at the end of March, and my absence certainly wasn't planned. A lot has been going on, some good and some bad. I was fighting some infections and had a bunch of doctoral visits, basically every week (sometimes every day) for about about five to six months. My first MRI, my first CT scan, my first IV... No worries, though. I'm fine now, and I don't think it was ever very serious. Just a very big inconvenience with some pain.

And I did get a couple weeks of vacation in there, seeing some baseball games in the BCL independent league (I'll eventually do a post on that) and taking a trip to Shanghai. I have been collecting this whole time, and lots of post ideas have come and gone in my head. I've been working on the road all year, which I love, but that makes it much harder to manage my collection.

I also was playing Pokemon Go. Boy that game can take up a lot of time. Sure, I got a lot of exercise walking around, but it ate up more time than I'd like to admit. But that's gone - I quit cold turkey a couple months ago and haven't gone back since. So what have I been doing with my new-found time? Catching up. I've been knocking tasks off my goals for the year and working on some other projects I've had in mind as well. And there's still much more to do - I have five years of pictures from travels to go through and possibly start posting back on my other blog. And there's a lot of things at home I need to do to finish getting my collection back in order and some clutter to clear out. 

But for now, I'm back! And while I've been absent from the blog, a few "bat arounds" and other post inspirations have popped up. (Yes, I have been silently lurking in the shadows, reading your blogs.) So perhaps I'll tackle those first.

Today, I'll answer the question posed by Dan over at It's like having my own Card Shop... back in July of.. last year.

He asks: If you could only keep 5 of your collections or projects, what would you keep?

And then he lists 13 of his collections. It's a tough question, and I could cheat as such:
  1. My player collection
  2. My set collection
  3. My type collection
  4. My theme collection
  5. My non-sport set collection
Yup. That just about covers it... and covers everything!

But that's cheating. So let's look at all that overall and pare it down to some more manageable descriptions.
1. My Type Collection.
When I returned to collecting after college, the first collection I started was my type collection, and I consider it the base of my entire collection. It's massive - if it was complete (which it is far from being) it would be about 65,000 cards, including MLB, MiLB, and foreign cards. It's the best way for me to try to collect everything, and not have to collect everything.
2. My Single Cards Collection.
It's now over 500 cards, and it has mostly relics and/or autographs from my favorite players and celebrities. It, on its own, is the most appropriate tribute to the pop culture side of my life. It's not comprehensive, because many of my favorite celebrities don't have attainable relics or autographs. But it is my collection of my favorite cards. There isn't that much value there, though - many of the hits are the cheapest I could find. Add in the Japanese singles to get me near 1000 cards, though many of those aren't hits. 
3. My Players Collection.
Now up to 36 players, it's fairly simplistic. Just the main Topps flagship cards for each player, each year - no subset cards other than rookie combo cards - plus one bat relic, one jersey relic, an autograph, and one figure or bobblehead. There are a few exceptions to this rule; a few super collections or semi-super collections are mixed in for various reasons.

Some people who replied to this question specified certain players. While I consider all of the players part of one collection, if each player counted as one collection, I'd have to keep my Buck Farmer collection. He was my former student, after all. The other players' hits could be folded in to the Single Cards Collection with the others.
4. Sets.
I think if I had to focus on one type of set, it would be the themes. While the first sets I collected when I returned were ones that I thought looked cool, I've come to realize that having 20 cards of that design isn't much better than the one already in the type collection. And I enjoy my collection of flagship sets and the designs of the throwback sets I have. But again, the art sets and sets with topics are much more interesting to flip through. How many sets would this be? I don't know - there are a bunch of smaller insert sets and subsets to go along with the "full-size" Diamond Kings and Topps Gallery issues.
5. Non-Sport Sets.
My non-sport checklist hasn't been properly updated in several years. While I didn't collect baseball cards for about five years, I did chase non-sport sets during that time frame, and I continued the collection while I was living in the US. Thanks to good timing and stingy shopping, I've amassed some 600+ sets. Some are more important to me than others, and to say that everything in that collection must be kept is probably insane. Sure, I want to keep everything. But I don't have to. So with just a few exceptions, I would probably part with all of the single-subject sets, like the TV series and movie sets. Instead, I'd keep compilation sets - Americana, Disney Treasures, James Bond Connoisseur. And possibly some individual cards from other sets.

Honestly, if absolutely necessary, I could get rid of all of my sets - baseball and non-baseball. I've enjoyed collecting them, but they are the biggest space-hoarder in my collection. And something I've been playing around with is making my own custom card sets - I could have fun making my own topical sets for baseball and non-sports subjects alike.
If you paid any attention to my original list, you might have noticed that my themed collections didn't even make the cut above. Some are superfluous, while others could be replaced with custom cards to make them more personal.

So when push comes to shove, my type collection, player collection, and singles collection are the most important. That doesn't mean I'm giving up the rest!

Until next time...

22 comments:

  1. Glad to see you're still alive Ryan.

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    1. I'm glad to be alive! I've been enjoying your posts, even though I haven't been commenting.

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  2. Welcome back! Sorry to hear about the health problems.

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    1. Glad to be back... again! I feel like Futurama with all my breaks.

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  4. Welcome back to the blogs, glad your health is doing well now!

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    1. Thank you! I'm happy to be back at the keyboard!

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  5. Yep, welcome back. I'll be in your old stomping grounds the next couple of days.

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    1. SF? Atlanta? Tokyo? I have so many old stomping grounds at this point...

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    2. Ah, I figured you were talking about the Atlanta area! Woodstock is literally my old stomping grounds. I wish I could go visit the card shop in Kennesaw again to say hi. Enjoy!

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  6. 1) Really sorry to hear about your health problems. 2) Really glad to hear they are resolved! 3) Also really glad to see you blogging again, welcome back!

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    1. Thank you, three times over! I'm hoping to spend a couple days in Nagoya over the holidays. Are you going to be around?

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  7. MRI, CT scan? Glad to hear you're fine now. One of my friends was telling our lunch table about her husband and Pokemon Go. She was saying it dictates where they go for hikes, out to eat, and even their date nights.

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    1. The Japanese medical system is nothing if it isn't thorough. And thankfully it is much cheaper than in the US. Pokemon Go can really take over your life if you let it, with the raids and special events and all of that. I really don't miss it.

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  8. Definitely welcome back and glad you overcame the health issues! Looking forward to catching up on what you’ve been collecting these past few months!

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    1. Thanks! I'm not sure how much of that is going to get posted, unfortunately, though I want to do some things that will help show off some of my newer purchases.

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  9. I know we've spoken recently but glad I came back here. Didn't realize you had returned to the blog. Glad you're feeling better.

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